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Financial Exploitation of the Elderly



Understanding Financial Exploitation of the Elderly

At Leppard Law, we recognize the growing concern around the financial exploitation of the elderly, a distressing form of abuse that targets some of the most vulnerable members of our community. This unethical practice involves the illegal or improper use of an elder’s funds, property, or assets, and unfortunately, it’s becoming increasingly common in Florida.

Financial exploitation can manifest in various forms, from the misuse of a power of attorney, unauthorized taking of money or property, to scams and fraud. It often goes unnoticed until the damage is severe, leaving the elderly victim in financial distress.

Florida Statute 825.103, aimed at protecting the elderly from financial abuse, outlines the legal framework for combating this issue. It defines exploitation and sets forth the penalties for those convicted of such acts. Understanding this statute is crucial for anyone seeking to protect themselves or their loved ones from financial exploitation.

What is Financial Exploitation of the Elderly? Financial Exploitation of the Elderly involves the illegal or improper use of an elder’s funds, assets, or property.

Common scenarios leading to financial exploitation include the unauthorized use of an elder’s money, forging their signature on financial documents, or deceiving them into signing contracts or wills. These acts can have devastating effects on the financial stability and well-being of an elderly person.

Financial Exploitation of the Elderly

At Leppard Law, led by Joe Easton and John Vallillo, we bring over 60 years of combined criminal defense experience to the table. Our team is dedicated to fighting for the rights of the elderly, offering a compassionate and strategic approach to each case. With over 300 5-star Google reviews, our commitment to excellence and innovative defense strategies set us apart.

If you suspect that you or a loved one is a victim of financial exploitation, it’s crucial to act swiftly. Reporting the abuse to authorities and seeking legal assistance can help protect the victim’s rights and assets. Our fully staffed office is ready to assist you, ensuring great communication throughout your case.

For expert legal assistance and a personal touch in your defense, call Leppard Law at 407-476-4111. Let us be your advocate in protecting the financial independence and dignity of the elderly.

Learn more about financial exploitation of the elderly and how we can help.

Identifying Signs of Financial Exploitation

Recognizing the signs of financial exploitation in the elderly is crucial for early intervention and prevention. Financial exploitation can often be subtle and hard to detect, especially in its early stages. However, understanding the common indicators can help you spot potential abuse before it escalates. Here, we outline the red flags that may signal financial exploitation of an elderly individual.

Common Indicators and Red Flags

Several signs may indicate that an elderly person is being financially exploited. These can range from sudden changes in their financial situation to alterations in their wills or power of attorney. Below are some of the most common indicators:

  • Unexplained withdrawals from bank accounts or transfers between accounts
  • Unpaid bills or notices of eviction despite having sufficient funds
  • Changes in banking practices, such as an elderly person who has never used online banking suddenly showing transactions made online
  • New “friends” appearing and conducting financial transactions on behalf of the elderly person
  • Changes to a will, power of attorney, or other legal documents without a reasonable explanation
  • The disappearance of valuable objects
  • Signatures on checks or documents that do not resemble the elderly person’s signature

It’s important to approach the situation with sensitivity and care. If you notice any of these signs, it may be time to have a conversation with the elderly individual about their financial management. In some cases, it may also be necessary to seek legal advice or assistance.

Financial Exploitation Warning Signs

At Leppard Law, our team understands the complexities involved in cases of financial exploitation of the elderly. Joe Easton and John Vallillo leverage their extensive experience in defending against financial exploitation to provide compassionate and effective legal representation. Our goal is to protect the rights and assets of the elderly, ensuring they receive the respect and security they deserve.

If you or a loved one are facing issues related to financial exploitation, do not hesitate to reach out for help. Early intervention is key to safeguarding the wellbeing and financial security of the elderly. Contact Leppard Law at 407-476-4111 for a consultation and let our dedicated team support you through this challenging time.

For more information on how to protect yourself or your loved ones from financial exploitation, visit our Crimes of Extortion page. Our expertise and resources are at your disposal to ensure the safety and security of the most vulnerable members of our community.

When it comes to the financial exploitation of the elderly in Florida, the law does not take these offenses lightly. The penalties for those found guilty of such crimes are severe, reflecting the seriousness with which the state views the protection of its elderly citizens. Understanding the potential legal outcomes for perpetrators is crucial for both victims and their families, as well as those accused of committing these crimes.

Severity of Charges Based on Exploited Value

The legal repercussions for financial exploitation of the elderly can vary significantly, depending on the value of the assets involved. Florida law categorizes these crimes into degrees, with each degree corresponding to a range of penalties:

  • Third-Degree Felony: If the value of the property exploited is less than $10,000, the crime is considered a third-degree felony. This can result in up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
  • Second-Degree Felony: For property valued at $10,000 or more but less than $50,000, the crime escalates to a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
  • First-Degree Felony: The most severe category, for property valued at $50,000 or more, constitutes a first-degree felony, with penalties including up to 30 years in prison.

It’s important to note that the total value involved in an exploitation scheme can be aggregated, meaning that if multiple instances of exploitation occur as part of a single scheme, their values can be combined to determine the degree of the felony charged.

What determines the severity of charges in financial exploitation cases? The severity of charges is primarily determined by the total value of the assets involved in the exploitation, with higher values leading to more severe charges and penalties.

For those facing accusations, it’s crucial to seek knowledgeable legal representation. At Leppard Law, our experienced team, led by Joe Easton and John Vallillo, understands the intricacies of these cases. We use our expertise to navigate the legal system, aiming to achieve the best possible outcome for our clients.

Whether you’re a victim of financial exploitation or falsely accused, understanding your legal rights and options is paramount. Our team is committed to providing a personalized approach to each case, ensuring our clients receive the dedicated support and representation they deserve. Contact Leppard Law at 407-476-4111 to discuss your case and learn how we can help.

For more information on protecting yourself or your loved ones from financial exploitation, explore our resources on identity theft and forgery crimes. Our extensive experience in handling such cases equips us to provide the guidance and defense necessary to navigate these complex legal challenges.


Preventive Measures and How to Take Action

Protecting the elderly from financial exploitation is a critical concern that requires vigilance, awareness, and proactive measures. Whether you’re safeguarding your loved ones or yourself, understanding the steps to prevent exploitation and the actions to take if exploitation is suspected is essential. Here, we’ll explore practical strategies for prevention and outline the process for seeking justice and support.

Strategies for Preventing Financial Exploitation

Preventing financial exploitation starts with awareness and education. Here are key strategies to protect yourself or your loved ones:

  • Maintain Open Communication: Regularly discuss financial matters and plans with your family members. This openness can help detect any unusual activities early.
  • Utilize Financial Monitoring Services: Consider using financial monitoring services that alert you to suspicious activities in bank accounts and credit reports.
  • Establish Power of Attorney: Appointing a trusted individual as a power of attorney can provide a safeguard, but ensure this person is reliable and has the elderly’s best interests at heart.
  • Educate on Scams: Stay informed about common scams targeting the elderly and discuss these with your loved ones, emphasizing the importance of not sharing personal information.

If financial exploitation is suspected, taking immediate action is crucial:

  • Report to Authorities: Contact local law enforcement or adult protective services to report the suspected abuse. In Florida, the Florida Abuse Hotline is a critical resource.
  • Secure Financial Accounts: If you suspect exploitation, immediately secure bank accounts and credit cards that may be at risk.
  • Seek Legal Advice: Consulting with a legal professional specializing in elder law or financial exploitation can provide guidance on the next steps, including how to recover lost assets and protect against further exploitation.

At Leppard Law, we understand the devastating impact financial exploitation can have on the elderly and their families. Our experienced attorneys, led by Joe Easton and John Vallillo, are dedicated to fighting for the rights of those affected by such crimes. With a compassionate approach and a commitment to justice, we work tirelessly to ensure our clients receive the protection and representation they deserve.

If you or a loved one has fallen victim to financial exploitation, don’t face this challenge alone. Contact Leppard Law at 407-476-4111 for a consultation. Together, we can take decisive action to safeguard your rights and seek the justice you deserve.

Remember, prevention is the best defense against financial exploitation. Stay informed, stay vigilant, and don’t hesitate to seek professional help when needed.

For additional resources on preventing and addressing financial exploitation, explore our articles on identity theft and forgery crimes. Knowledge is power, and at Leppard Law, we’re committed to empowering our clients and the community with the information and support they need to protect themselves and their loved ones.


Infographic depicting the words Financial Exploitation of the Elderly

FAQs on Financial Exploitation of the Elderly

What is financial exploitation of the elderly?

Financial exploitation of the elderly occurs when someone illegally or improperly uses an elderly person’s money, assets, or property. This can include unauthorized taking of funds, forging their signature, deceiving them into signing documents, or any other act that benefits the exploiter at the expense of the elderly person.

How can elderly victims protect themselves from financial exploitation?

  • Regularly review financial statements and accounts.
  • Never share personal information like Social Security numbers or bank account details over the phone unless absolutely certain of the caller’s identity.
  • Set up financial powers of attorney with someone trustworthy.
  • Consult with a legal professional before signing any documents that could affect financial or property interests.

What are the signs of financial exploitation?

  • Unexplained withdrawals from bank accounts.
  • Sudden changes in a will or other financial documents.
  • Unpaid bills despite having sufficient resources.
  • Missing property or funds.
  • The elderly individual seems confused about their finances and transactions they did not authorize.

How does Leppard Law help victims of financial exploitation?

Leppard Law provides comprehensive legal assistance to victims of financial exploitation, including investigating the extent of the exploitation, working to recover lost assets, and pursuing legal action against perpetrators. Our dedicated attorneys use their expertise in elder law to protect the rights and interests of the elderly, ensuring they receive the justice and support they deserve.

For direct assistance, call us at 407-476-4111 or visit our contact page to send a message.

Other Practice Areas We Serve

Delving into the complexities of legal matters, we extend our expertise across a broad spectrum of practice areas, ensuring comprehensive support for our clients in Florida.

Abuse of Public Position Crimes Prohibited Access to Stored Communications
Florida Anti-Tampering Act Bribery of a Public Servant
Criminal Investigations of Charities Computer Hacking
Deceptive Marketing Practices Economic Crimes
Embezzlement Environmental Crimes in Florida
Financial Exploitation of the Elderly Crimes of Extortion
Forgery Crimes Identity Theft Crimes in Florida
Federal Crime of Identity Theft Orlando Illegal Gambling Defense Lawyers

List of Top-Rated Financial Exploitation of the Elderly Attorneys Serving Florida

Securing the right legal advocate is paramount in cases of financial exploitation of the elderly. Our team, led by attorneys with a wealth of experience and a personal commitment to their clients, ensures that your case is handled with the care and diligence it deserves.

  • John Vallillo: John Vallillo’s blend of experience and strategic acumen makes him a formidable ally in the fight against financial exploitation of the elderly.
  • Joe Easton: With a background as a former prosecutor, Joe Easton brings a unique perspective to each case, ensuring thorough and aggressive representation.
  • Joel Leppard: Joel Leppard’s innovative approach and dedication to justice have earned him a reputation as a trusted advocate for victims of financial exploitation.

Discover What Our Clients Are Saying

At Leppard Law, we’re not just about winning cases; we’re about making a difference in the lives of our clients. The positive feedback we receive is a testament to our unwavering commitment to excellence and client satisfaction.



Infographic depicting the words Financial Exploitation of the Elderly

Secure Your Rights with Leppard Law

When it comes to defending against accusations of financial exploitation of the elderly, choosing the right legal team is not just a decision—it’s a necessity. At Leppard Law, we understand the complexities of these cases and the profound impact they can have on families. Our dedicated team, led by seasoned attorneys like Joe Easton and John Vallillo, brings over 60 years of combined experience to the table, ensuring that your case is handled with the expertise and sensitivity it deserves.

But our commitment doesn’t end with our legal prowess. At Leppard Law, we believe in building personal relationships with our clients, treating each case with the individual attention and compassion it requires. We’re not just your attorneys; we’re your advocates, your confidants, and your support system, fighting tirelessly to protect your rights and your future.

Our innovative defense strategies, coupled with our dedication to client communication, have not only garnered us over 300 5-star Google reviews but have also led to countless dismissals and reductions for our clients. With Leppard Law, you’re getting more than just legal representation; you’re gaining a partner who will stand by you every step of the way.

Don’t let the stress of legal challenges overwhelm you. Reach out to Leppard Law today at 407-476-4111 and take the first step towards securing your rights and your peace of mind. Schedule your free consultation and experience firsthand why we’re consistently ranked among the top defense attorneys in Florida. Your fight is our fight, and together, we’ll work towards the best possible outcome for your case.

Highlighted among the “Top Criminal Defense Attorneys in Orlando” for 2024 by Expertise, and listed as one of the “Top 10 Criminal Defense Attorneys near Orlando, FL” by Thumbtack, Leppard Law is your trusted partner in navigating the legal system. Let us put our award-winning service and defense expertise to work for you.

Legally Reviewed by Joe Easton

Expert Attorney

Legally reviewed by Joe Easton and the content team, this article reflects the firm’s 60 years of combined criminal defense expertise. Joe Easton, with his extensive experience and strategic prowess in DUI and criminal defense, offers more than just legal representation; he brings a commitment to turning legal challenges into victories. His approach, combining tenacity in the courtroom with personalized client care, ensures your case is not just defended but championed with dedication and expertise.

Learn More About Joe Easton