4.8/5 based on 35 reviews.
4.8/5

Sudden Wealth Blog

Is Financial Exploitation a Crime? Understanding the Law

Older lady with walker. Is financial exploitation a crime?

Financial exploitation is a serious issue that can have devastating consequences for victims. But is financial exploitation a crime? The short answer is yes. In this article, we’ll explore the legal definition of financial exploitation, the different types of exploitation, and the potential consequences for perpetrators.

What is financial exploitation?

Financial exploitation is the illegal or improper use of an individual’s funds, assets, or property for personal gain. This can include theft, fraud, forgery, or coercion. It can happen to anyone, but older adults and individuals with disabilities are particularly vulnerable. Financial exploitation can have serious consequences, including loss of savings, eviction, and even homelessness. It is important to recognize the signs of financial exploitation and report any suspected abuse to the appropriate authorities.

How is financial exploitation defined by the law?

Financial exploitation is considered a crime under both state and federal law. The legal definition of financial exploitation varies by jurisdiction, but generally includes the unauthorized use of an individual’s funds, assets, or property for personal gain. This can include theft, fraud, forgery, or coercion. In some cases, financial exploitation may also involve the misuse of power of attorney or guardianship. The consequences of financial exploitation can include fines, imprisonment, and restitution. It is important to report any suspected abuse to the appropriate authorities to protect yourself or your loved ones.

Is financial exploitation a crime in Arizona?

Yes, financial exploitation is considered a crime in Arizona. Pursuant to A.R.S. §13-1802:

A person commits theft if, without lawful authority, the person knowingly takes control, title, use or management of a vulnerable adult’s property while acting in a position of trust and confidence and with the intent to deprive the vulnerable adult of the property. Proof that a person took control, title, use or management of a vulnerable adult’s property without adequate consideration to the vulnerable adult may give rise to an inference that the person intended to deprive the vulnerable adult of the property.

The state defines financial exploitation as the illegal or improper use of an incapacitated or vulnerable adult’s resources for personal profit or gain. This can include theft, fraud, forgery, or coercion. The consequences for financial exploitation in Arizona can include fines, imprisonment, and restitution. It is important to report any suspected abuse to the appropriate authorities to protect yourself or your loved ones.

Is financial exploitation a crime in other states?

Yes, financial exploitation is considered a crime in all 50 states in the United States. Each state may have slightly different definitions and penalties for financial exploitation, but it is universally recognized as a form of abuse and is taken very seriously. It is important to familiarize yourself with the laws in your state and report any suspected abuse to the appropriate authorities.

What should you do if you suspect financial exploitation?

If you suspect that someone you know is being financially exploited, it is important to take action. First, gather any evidence you may have, such as bank statements or receipts. Then, report your suspicions to the appropriate authorities, such as Adult Protective Services or law enforcement. You can also contact a local elder abuse hotline for guidance and support. Remember, financial exploitation is a serious crime and should not be ignored.

Give us a call today at 602-443-4888 if you suspect a loved one was the victim of financial exploitation.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Founding attorney Paul Deloughery has been an attorney since 1998, became a Certified Family Wealth Advisor. He is also the founder of Sudden Wealth Protection Law.

SPREAD THE WORD