Ohio Elder Fraud Statutes
Exploitation is defined in Ohio as “the unlawful or improper act of a caretaker using an adult or an adult’s resources for the monetary or personal benefit, profit, or gain when the caretaker obtained or exerted control over the adult or the adult’s resources” either by deception, intimidation, or threats.
Exploitation also occurs if it takes place “without the adult’s consent or the consent of the person authorized to give consent on the adult’s behalf” or it is “beyond the scope of the express or implied consent of the adult or the person authorized to give consent on the adult’s behalf.”Reporting Responsibilities
In some instances, Ohio makes the reporting of exploitation mandatory. Section 5106.61 requires certain professionals to make a report, including doctors, lawyers, and employees of healthcare facilities. Anyone else who believes an elderly adult has been exploited can also make their suspicions known to the appropriate department.
This report needs to contain all relevant information, including the names of those involved and the nature and extent of the exploitation. If the report is made in good faith and without malicious intent, the person who made it will be immune from criminal or civil liability.New Elder Fraud and Exploitation Bill
In May of 2017, a bill was introduced in the Ohio Senate designed to protect against elder financial fraud. Senate Bill 158 has four key tenets:
- It adds professionals to the list of people who are obligated to make reports if they suspect exploitation, including financial planners, accountants, and realtors.
- It requires that the Attorney General publish six public service announcements every year related to elder fraud.
- It mandates that banking associations and state agencies work together to create standards and practices for preventing elder financial exploitation.
- It makes elder fraud a fineable offense of up to $50,000.
As of March 2018, the bill was still pending in Ohio’s House of Representatives.Help is Available for Victims
If you have been defrauded out of money, it may be possible to get it back. An elder financial fraud lawyer can give you the information you need about your legal options. To speak to an experienced attorney, contact the Silver Law Group at 800-975-4345 or through our online form. We are a contingency-based firm, which means we won’t ask for a fee unless we help you recover funds.