After one woman in the state of Washington discovered that her grandmother had lost her life savings to an acquaintance who needed a series of “loans,” she decided to take action. All told, Mariana Cooper, age 87, gave more than $217,000 to Janet Bauml, a person whom was involved in Cooper’s life and whom she trusted to pay back the money. When Cooper finally admitted her financial losses to her granddaughter, Amy Lecoq, 41, immediately started calling law enforcement officials to ensure that Bauml would be prosecuted for her crimes. Next, Lecoq became an activist, traveling around the state to speak about the dangers of financial abuse for often vulnerable older Americans. Lecoq also became a lobbyist, trying to push state legislation that would provide for harsher penalties for those who took financial advantage of older Americans. In the meantime, Cooper did receive justice for her financial losses; Bauml was sentenced to three and one-half years in prison.
Many states have laws on the books that address the illegal or improper usage of money that belongs to seniors. However, these laws vary widely from state to state, enforcement of the laws is often inconsistent, and penalties may not be very harsh. In response to their growing knowledge of this problem, some states have taken action in recent years to increase the penalties for elder financial abuse, extend the statute of limitations for prosecuting a perpetrator of this type of elder abuse, and expanding legal definitions to include financial exploitation.
The Wisconsin elder financial abuse lawyers of Boller & Vaughan know how devastating it can be when you entrust your loved one to the care of others, only to have that trust completely betrayed when your loved one is subjected to abuse or neglect. Our attorneys are dedicated to protecting your rights and those of your loved ones in all types of circumstances. We handle nursing home abuse and neglect cases on a daily basis, and we know how to get the relief to which you may be entitled. Don’t hesitate to fight back against a neglectful or abusive nursing care and assistance living facility that has caused harm to your loved one. Call us today and see how we can help.