South Dakota Elder Fraud Statutes
According to South Dakota’s Adult Protective Services program, exploitation is “the wrongful taking or exercising of control over property of an elder or adult with a disability with intent to defraud the elder or adult with a disability.”
Section 22-46-3 expands on this definition: “Any person who, having assumed the duty voluntarily, by written contract, by receipt of payment for care, or by order of a court to provide for the support of an elder or an adult with a disability, and having been entrusted with the property of that elder or adult with a disability, with intent to defraud, appropriates such property to a use or purpose not in the due and lawful execution of that person’s trust, is guilty of theft by exploitation.”Reporting Duties
Section 22-46-9 specifies that certain people are obligated to report suspected elder exploitation, including healthcare professionals, social workers, and government employees. This report needs to include the names of the people involved and the nature of the exploitation. If a person fails to make a report, this is a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Anyone else who believes an elderly person is being exploited may also make a report. As per section 22-46-8, the person making the report will be immune from civil or criminal liability as long as it was made in good faith.Exploitation Actions
If a court finds that exploitation has occurred, the elderly person has a right to recover compensatory and punitive damages, according to section 22-46-13. This action can be brought by the elderly person, their guardian or conservator, or by anyone acting on his or her behalf.Victims of Elder Exploitation Should Take Action
If you lost money due to fraud or exploitation, not only should you report this immediately, you should also think about getting legal representation. To speak with an experienced elder financial fraud lawyer, get in touch with the Silver Law Group. For years we have helped elderly investors recover lost money through litigation or arbitration, and we may be able to help you too.
Call us toll-free at 1-800-975-4345 or just fill out our online contact form. The Silver Law Group works on contingency. We don’t require a fee unless you get money back.