Georgia Elder Fraud Statutes
Financial exploitation in Georgia is defined as the “illegal or improper use of a disabled adult or elder person or that person’s resources through undue influence, coercion, harassment, duress, deception, false representation, false pretense, or other similar means for another’s profit or advantage.” This type of fraud is often perpetrated by fiduciaries, including brokers and investment advisors. Examples include:
- Forging signatures
- Cashing checks without authorization
- Misusing money
- Coercing someone into signing a document
- Improper use of power of attorney
The penalties for elder abuse in Georgia are stringent. If someone exploits an elder person “knowingly and willfully” or deprives them of necessary services, they are guilty of a felony. If convicted, punishment could include a prison sentence of up to 20 years, a fine of up to $50,000, or both. In addition, if someone threatens or intimidates an elderly person as part of retaliation for making a report or obstructs an investigation, they are guilty of a misdemeanor of a “high and aggravated nature.”Protection for Whistleblowers
Georgia statutes also make it clear that anyone who suspects financial exploitation of an elderly person should make their suspicions known. O.C.G.A. 30-5-4 states that an employee of a financial business shall make a report if they have “reasonable cause to believe that a disabled adult or elder person has been exploited.” And as long as reports are made in good faith, the person will be safe from any criminal or civil liability.Helps is Available for Victims of Financial Elder Fraud
Someone who abuses an elderly person clearly deserves everything the law can throw at them. And while criminal penalties are well and good, they don’t specifically help the victim recover any losses. If you lost money due to the unethical actions of a broker or financial advisor, you need somebody on your side who will help you get it back.
For assistance from experienced elder fraud attorneys, contact the Silver Law Group. Through litigation or arbitration, we may be able to recover your lost funds. Get in touch by calling 1-800-975-4345 or send us a message through our online form.