Alabama Elder Fraud Statutes
In Alabama, elder financial exploitation is defined as:
- The use of deception, intimidation, undue influence, force, or threat of force to obtain or exert unauthorized control over an elderly person’s property with the intent to deprive the elderly person of his or her property or;
- the breach of a fiduciary duty to an elderly person by the person’s guardian, conservator, or agent under a power of attorney which results in an unauthorized appropriation, sale, or transfer of the elderly person’s property.
To safeguard Alabama’s elderly population from financial abuse, the state has enacted two laws.The Protecting Alabama’s Elders Act
In Alabama, financial abuse of an elderly person is separated into three degrees by the Protecting Alabama’s Elders Act of 2013.
First degree – If the financial exploitation exceeds $2,500. This is a Class B felony.
Second degree – If the financial exploitation exceeds $500 but is less than $2,500. This is a Class C felony.
Third degree – If the financial exploitation doesn’t exceed $500. This is a Class A misdemeanor.
The act also protects those reporting or investigating fraud, stating that people are “immune from any civil liability that might otherwise be incurred or imposed as a result of the report, investigation, or participation, unless the person or entity acted recklessly, in bad faith, or with malicious purpose.”Adult Protective Services Act
Alabama also has the Adult Protective Services (APS) Act, which was passed into law in 1976. This act focuses on the abuse or exploitation of adults who are unable to protect themselves and don’t have someone who can protect them. Under the APS Act, the Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR) has to receive and investigate any reports of suspected neglect, abuse, or exploitation. The DHR can also help vulnerable adults through the arrangement of the necessary services.
Victims of elder financial fraud in Alabama often don’t think they can do anything, but they do have recourse. Through litigation or arbitration, many people have been able to recover money lost by unethical brokers or financial advisors. If you were taken advantage of, get in touch with the experienced elder financial fraud attorneys at the Silver Law Group.