Back Story

A 73-year-old female lived in a multifamily brownstone.  The perpetrator and her husband lived in another unit in the same building.  They started caring for the victim’s mother before she went into a nursing home and continued to care for her until she passed away.  The perpetrator then started caring for the victim.


Adult Protective Services (APS) found that the victim was not very mobile and showed signs of being childlike.  This made her vulnerable to manipulation and exploitation.  The perpetrator took advantage of the victim’s vulnerability and wrote large checks totaling over $120,000 to the victim, which were then cashed.  The perpetrator also wrote checks for rent, knowing that they would bounce, but the victim wouldn’t be aware of it.  Furthermore, the perpetrator signed $170,000 worth of withdrawal slips that were not used for the client’s benefit.

The perpetrator went even further by conducting renovations worth over $150,000 for her husband’s business and added themselves to the deed of the building with the intention of inheriting the estimated $3,000,000 brownstone property after the victim passed away.  This is an egregious form of financial abuse.  The perpetrator had no regard for the victim’s well-being and was only focused on exploiting her for personal gain.

Red Flags

Red flags in this case, could be identified as the significant amount of funds being transferred to the perpetrator and the addition of the perpetrator to the deed of the victim’s brownstone.


This case highlights the importance of being vigilant and proactive in protecting vulnerable adults from financial exploitation.  Caregivers should be screened thoroughly before being entrusted with the care of vulnerable individuals.  Family members and friends should be on the lookout for signs of financial exploitation.  This can be things like large withdrawals, unexplained spending, and changes in estate planning documents.  By being proactive, we can prevent financial exploitation and ensure the safety and well-being of our elderly population.