Dealing with an aging relative can be incredibly difficult. Nobody wants to watch a loved one lose the ability to physically take care of him or herself, especially if it is accompanied by Alzheimer’s or mental illness. However, a situation can become exponentially more painful if a plan isn’t taken to protect an elderly person from abuse. There are, unfortunately, people out there who are looking to take advantage of the elderly for personal gain. Aging people that have a lot of liquid assets can be seen as easy targets for fraudulent schemes, so it’s important to protect them before a problem occurs. Establishing financial conservatorships can prevent senior citizens from being swindled.
One such situation occurred to an elderly Denver man, who was conned out of $500,000 over a period of five years. The scheme began in 2008 when a con man knocked on the 89-year-old man’s door and claimed that his parents had just been killed in a car accident. The con man wept as he told the elderly man that he had no money. Because they were both of Japanese descent, the senior citizen took pity on the con man and agreed to let him borrow some money.
The con man continued to borrow money under the guise that he was going to pay the elderly man back when he received a large inheritance from his deceased parents. In 2009, the con man spent almost three years in a state prison for felony drug possession. Even while he was in jail, he continued to contact get the elderly man to wire money to him for diabetes medication. In reality, the con man’s parents have been dead for years, there was no inheritance, and he never had diabetes. The con man has recently pleaded guilty to fraud and could face up to 20 years in prison.
If you believe your loved one has been the victim of this type of financial scheme, it’s best to speak with an experienced legal professional to learn more about your options.
Source: thedenverchannel.com, “Con man, Akihiko Siegfried, pleads guilty to swindling $500,000 from 89-year-old Denver man” Alan Gathright, Oct. 30, 2013