“Two northwest suburban residents were charged with financially exploitating a 96-year-old after they allegedly took approximately $140,000 from the victim’s bank account,” reports the Chicago Sun-Times.
Timothy Zink and Rosemary Zink have been charged with unlawful financial exploitation of an elderly person and were transported to the McHenry County Jail after it was discovered that they unlawfully and without permission removed approximately $140,000 from an elderly person’s account over the past year. The article did not release the name of the victim, only stating that he or she is 96 years old.
Unfortunately, this incident serves as a reminder that the elderly are a particularly vulnerable segment of our population. Our Chicago nursing home abuse attorneys know that not all elder abuse is physical or emotional abuse – it can also include financial exploitation.
McHenry County Sheriff Keith Nygren, who is investigating the case, “reminds residents that elder abuse does not always involve physical harm. It can also involve the person’s finances including their personal property, investments, cash, and real estate. Quite often the offenders in these investigations turn out to be complete strangers, newly developed ‘friends’ who take a sudden interest in the elderly subject, caretakers, and even relatives.”
In order to protect your loved ones from exploitation, our Chicago nursing home abuse attorneys recommend the following:
• Reviewing financial statements monthly. This will ensure that you catch any changes in accounts including but not limited to large or unexplained withdrawals, changes in account information, and unfamiliar signatures on checks.
• Checking credit reports or using credit monitoring services. This will help alert you if new accounts are opened using your loved one’s information and social security number.
• Arranging for a stipulation in power-of-attorney documents for a neutral third party to review an appointed person’s actions to prevent abuse of their position.
If you or a loved one have been the victim of elder abuse of any kind – nursing home abuse, elder abuse, financial exploitation – you should speak with a legal professional. Our Chicago nursing home abuse attorneys have extensive experience dealing with elder abuse of all kinds. We can advise you on how best to proceed and protect your loved one from further exploitation while recovering damages for their pain and suffering.
Additionally, you should officially report elder abuse by contacting the Illinois Department on Aging at (866)-800-1409 or www.state.il.us/aging.