Financial Crimes Against the Elderly 2015 Legislation

Heather Morton 11/20/2015

Financial crimes and exploitation can involve the illegal or improper use of a senior citizen's funds, property or assets, as well as fraud or identity theft perpetrated against older adults.

While exact statistics on how often financial crimes against the elderly occur are not available, it is widely believed to be underreported by the victims. A recent study published by MetLife Mature Market Institute estimates the financial loss by victims of elder financial crimes and exploitation exceeds $2.9 billion dollars annually.

Financial TheftThirty-three states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico addressed financial exploitation of the elderly and vulnerable adults in the 2015 legislative session.

Twenty-three bills and resolutions were enacted or adopted in 2015. California required a sentencing court to consider issuing a restraining order to prevent defendants from contacting older or dependant adult victims and required that the death benefit payable to people 65 years of age or older to be at least equal to the annuity value or accumulation value, excluding any surrender charges or penalties upon death, for annuities and insurance contracts with cash surrender benefits.

Colorado expanded its mandatory reporting law to include adults with intellectual or development disabilities and clarified that financial institutions must report if a person directly observes abuse or exploitation. Among several items, Connecticut gave abused, neglected, exploited, or abandoned elderly people a civil cause of action and required certain financial agents to receive training on elderly fraud, exploitation and financial abuse. Georgia provided for abuse, neglect and exploitation of disabled adults and elder persons as a rackeeering activity.

 Illinois changed the civil liability provision of financial exploitation of an elderly or disabled person. Maine included financial exploitation in the definition of abuse. Missouri permits specified individuals to report the occurrence or suspected occurrence of financial exploitation for a person 60 years of age or older or a person with a disability between the ages of 18 and 59.

Montana enhanced protections from securities fraud for the elderly or persons with developmental disabilities. Nevada required broker-dealers and investment advisers to provide training to specified persons concerning the identification and reporting of suspected exploitation of older persons and vulnerable persons. North Carolina clarified that upon conviction for exploitation of an older adult or disabled adult, any seized assets shall be used to satisfy the defendant's restitution obligation as ordered by the court. Oregon provides that financial institutions may refuse to pay any check, draft or order if the officers or employees have reason to believe that the person signing or indorsing the instrument is a victim of financial exploitation and adds personal support workers and home care workers to the list of mandatory reporters of the abuse of children, elderly persons and other vulnerable persons.

South Dakota established a task force to study elder abuse in the state. Tennessee classified the financial exploitation by a caretaker of an adult as a Class D felony and required the district attorney to freeze the assets of anyone charged with taking property valued at $5,000 or more until the criminal proceedings are complete. Washington modified definitions concerning vulnerable adults, including the definitions of abuse and sexual abuse; includes improper use of a restraint, personal exploitation, mental abuse, chemical restraints, hospitals and mechanical restraints.

California proclaimed and acknowledged the month of June 2015 and June of every year thereafter as Elder and Vulnerable Adult Abuse Awareness Month. Delaware recognized June 15, 2015, as Delaware Elder Abuse Awareness Day. 

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Financial Crimes Against the Elderly and Vulnerable Adults 2015 Legislation
State: Bill Number: Bill Summary:
Alabama None  
Alaska S.B. 108 Repeals and reenacts the Alaska Securities Act, including provisions relating to exempt securities and transactions. Relates to registration of securities, firms, and agents that offer or sell securities and investment advice; relates to administrative, civil, and criminal enforcement provisions, including restitution and civil penalties for violations.Allows certain civil penalties to be used for an investor training fund; establishes increased civil penalties for harming older Alaskans. Retains provisions concerning corporations organized under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.
Arizona None  
Arkansas S.B. 1005

Creates an enhanced penalty for a felony offense that involves elder financial exploitation.

California A.B. 441 Existing law makes it a public offense for a person to acquire or retain possession of, or sell or transfer, the personal identifying information of another person with the intent to defraud. Existing law makes these offenses punishable as misdemeanors or felonies, as specified. This bill provides an enhanced sentence of an additional two years imprisonment for a felony conviction when the victim was 65 years of age or older.
California A.B. 1382 Existing law makes it a crime for a person who knows or reasonably should know that a person is an elder or dependent adult to willfully cause or permit the person or health of the elder or dependent adult to be injured, or willfully cause or permit the elder or dependent adult to be placed in a situation in which his or her person or health is endangered. Existing law specifies penalties for a person who violates any provision of law proscribing theft, embezzlement, forgery, fraud, or specified identify theft provisions of law when the victim is an elder or a dependent adult. This bill makes technical, nonsubstantive changes to these provisions.
California

A.C.R. 71

Adopted 7/7/15, Resolution Chapter 95
This measure proclaims and acknowledges the month of June 2015 and June of every year thereafter as Elder and Vulnerable Adult Abuse Awareness Month.
California S.B. 338 Existing law provides that a person who knows or reasonably should know that the victim is an elder or dependent adult, and under circumstances or conditions likely to produce great bodily harm or death, willfully causes or permits the victim to suffer unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering, is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by a fine not to exceed $6,000, or by both that fine and imprisonment, or by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three or four years. This bill provides that a person who knows or reasonably should know that the victim is an elder or dependent adult, and under circumstances or conditions likely to produce significant or substantial mental suffering, willfully causes or permits the victim to suffer unjustifiable mental suffering, is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by a fine not to exceed $6,000, or by both that fine and imprisonment, or by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three or four years.
California

S.B. 352

Signed by governor 9/8/15, Chapter 279
Existing law makes it a crime for a person who knows or reasonably should know that a person is an elder or dependent adult to willfully cause or permit the person or health of the elder or dependent adult to be injured, or willfully cause or permit the elder or dependent adult to be placed in a situation in which his or her person or health is endangered. Existing law specifies penalties for a person who violates any provision of law proscribing theft, embezzlement, forgery, fraud, or specified identity theft provisions of law when the victim is an elder or dependent adult. Existing law makes it a crime to falsely imprison an elder or dependent adult by the use of violence, menace, fraud, or deceit. This bill requires a sentencing court, upon a person’s conviction for violating these provisions, to consider issuing an order restraining the defendant from any contact with the victim, whether the defendant is sentenced to state prison or county jail, or if imposition of sentence is suspended and the defendant is placed on probation, which may be valid for up to 10 years, as determined by the court.
California

S.B. 426

Signed by governor 7/15/15, Chapter 100

Existing law governs annuities and, for those insurance contracts that provide cash surrender benefits, prescribes the cash surrender benefit available prior to maturity. Existing law also requires the death benefit under these contracts to be at least equal to the cash surrender benefit. This bill instead requires the death benefit payable under contracts issued or delivered on or after Jan. 1, 2016, to people 65 years of age or older to be at least equal to the annuity value or accumulation value, excluding any surrender charges or penalties upon death. The bill also make technical changes.
California S.B. 473 Existing law, the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act, establishes various procedures for the reporting, investigation, and prosecution of elder and dependent adult abuse, and provides that the purpose of the act is to, among other things, collect information on the number of abuse victims, circumstances surrounding the abuse, and other data. The act defines the term “abuse of an elder or a dependent adult” for its purposes. Existing law also makes it a crime for a person who knows or reasonably should know that a person is an elder or dependent adult to willfully cause or permit the person or health of the elder or dependent adult to be injured, or willfully cause or permit the elder or dependent adult to be placed in a situation in which his or her person or health is endangered. Existing law specifies penalties for a person who violates any law proscribing theft, embezzlement, forgery, or fraud, or specified identity theft laws, when the victim is an elder or a dependent adult. This bill requires a person who is convicted for a crime involving the abuse of an elder adult, as defined in the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act, to register for the remainder of his or her life with all police departments and the sheriff in the county in which the person was convicted and in the county in which he or she resides. The bill requires the police department or county sheriff to forward the registration information to the Department of Justice. The bill requires the Department of Justice to maintain a publicly accessible Internet Web site containing certain information concerning persons who are required to register pursuant to these provisions. The bill makes it a crime to use information obtained from the Internet Web site to commit a crime, and subjects a person who uses information obtained from the Internet Web site for any other reason than to protect an at-risk person to civil liability, as specified. The bill relieves a person from the duty to register pursuant to these provisions if he or she receives a certificate of rehabilitation and he or she is not in custody, on parole, or on probation. The bill makes it a misdemeanor for a person who is required to register pursuant to these provisions to willfully violate any requirements related to registration.
Colorado

H.B. 1018

Passed House 4/15/15

Adds additional persons who are required to report the abuse or exploitation of senior citizens and makes an appropriation.
Colorado

S.B. 109

Signed by governor 6/5/15, Chapter 278

Under current law, certain people are required to report to a law enforcement agency if the person observes or has reason to believe that a person 70 years of age or older has been abused or exploited. Effective July 1, 2016, the act expands this requirement to also cover a person with an intellectual or developmental disability who is 18 years of age or older. The act also clarifies that personnel of a lending or financial institution are only required to report if the person directly observes in person the abuse or exploitation of the adult with an intellectual or developmental disability. The act establishes a task force in the department of human services to study issues related to requiring people to report abuse or exploitation of adults with an intellectual or developmental disability and to make recommendations to the governor and specified committees of the General Assembly.
Connecticut

S.B. 896

Signed by governor 7/2/15, Public Act 15-233

This act modifies laws affecting protective services for, and investigations concerning, elderly abuse victims. Generally, the act: 1. Allows the Department of Social Services (DSS) to petition the probate court, under certain circumstances, for an order to enter an elderly person's premises to conduct an assessment; 2. Broadens DSS' ability to issue subpoenas when investigating allegations of abuse, neglect, exploitation, or abandonment of an elderly person; 3. Narrows the circumstances under which DSS may disclose the name of the person reporting abuse, neglect, exploitation, or abandonment; 4. Allows an elderly person or his or her legal representative access to DSS records pertaining to the elderly person, with certain exceptions; and 5. Establishes circumstances when DSS may disclose an elderly person's file, both with and without authorization from the elderly person or his or her legal representative. The act also changes the definition of neglect for purposes of DSS investigations and services. Under prior law, “neglect” referred to an elderly person who is living alone and unable to provide for himself or herself the services necessary to maintain physical and mental health or not receiving these services from a responsible caretaker. The act broadens the definition by also including an elderly person who does not live alone but is unable to provide himself or herself with the necessary services. It also specifies that a caretaker's failure to provide or arrange services constitutes neglect. Under the act, “services necessary to maintain physical and mental health” include protection from abuse, neglect, exploitation, or abandonment, rather than protection from maltreatment generally as under prior law. Finally, the act makes several technical and conforming changes.
Connecticut

S.B. 1005

Signed by governor 7/7/15, Public Act 15-236

This act makes a number of changes in laws regarding elder abuse. Among other things, it: 1. Makes certain emergency medical service providers mandated reporters of elderly abuse and expands training requirements for employees of certain entities who care for people age 60 or older; 2. Gives abused, neglected, exploited, or abandoned elderly people a civil cause of action; 3. Requires the Commission on Aging to (a) study best practices for reporting and identifying elderly abuse, neglect, exploitation, and abandonment and (b) create a portal of training resources for financial institutions and agents; 4. Requires certain financial agents to receive training on elderly fraud, exploitation, and financial abuse; and 5. Changes definitions of elderly neglect and necessary services. The act also prohibits certain individuals, including those convicted of first or second degree larceny or first degree abuse of an elderly, blind, or disabled person or person with intellectual disabilities, from inheriting, receiving insurance benefits, or receiving certain property from a deceased victim. It makes changes to the disposition of certain types of jointly owned personal property when one owner is convicted of one of these or certain other crimes against another owner. Finally, the act makes technical and conforming changes.
Delaware

H.B. 17

Signed by governor 6/4/15, Chapter 31

Chapter 438, Volume 79 of the Laws of Delaware (House Bill 417 from the 147th General Assembly) provides a mechanism for financial institutions to freeze transactions that they suspect are financial exploitation of an elderly person and requires them to report suspected financial exploitation to the proper state or federal agency. Chapter 438, Volume 79 of the Laws of Delaware defined “financial institution” for the first time in Chapter 39 of Title 31. When introduced, House Bill 417 included “broker-dealer,” “investment adviser” and “federal covered adviser” within the definition of “financial institution”; however, these terms were removed by an amendment due to concerns expressed by some of these entities. This act restores “broker-dealer,” “investment adviser” and “federal covered adviser” to the definition of “financial institution.”
Delaware

S.C.R. 24

Adopted 6/11/15

Recognizes June 15, 2015, as “Delaware Elder Abuse Awareness Day” and encourages all of Delaware’s citizens to learn about how to protect and nurture our elderly citizens.
District of Columbia

B21-326

Redefines vulnerable adults to include persons aged 65 and over and establishes financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult. It defines undue influence and establishes factors to determine whether a result was produced by undue influence. It also establishes penalties for criminal abuse or neglect and financial exploitation of vulnerable adults.
Florida None  
Georgia

H.B. 72

Signed by governor 5/5/15, Act 86

Relates to crimes and offenses; expands and clarifies protection of disabled adults and elder persons. Provides for and revises definitions; repeals provisions relating to exclusion of evidence obtained during the execution of an inspection warrant. Provides for abuse, neglect, and exploitation of disabled adults, elder persons, and residents as a racketeering activity. Provides for priority scheduling of cases when the alleged victim is a disabled adult or elder person; relates the reporting of abuse.
Guam Not available  
Hawaii

S.B. 276

Passed Senate 3/10/15

Creates the Hawaii Kupuna Trust Fund, which comprises public and private funding for meeting the outstanding and future needs of the elder and vulnerable adult population.
Idaho None  
Illinois

H.B. 1156

Amends the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963. Makes a technical change in a section concerning the admissibility of hearsay evidence in a prosecution for elder abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation.
Illinois H.B. 1201 Amends the Code of Civil Procedure. Makes a technical change in a section concerning the admissibility of out of court statements concerning elder abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation made by elderly adults.
Illinois

H.B. 1588

Signed by governor 8/5/15, Public Act 99-0272

Amends the Criminal Code of 2012. Changes the civil liability provision of financial exploitation of an elderly person or a person with a disability. Deletes provision that civil liability only attaches if the person is charged by information or indictment with the offense and fails or refuses to return the victim's property within 60 days following a written demand from the victim or the victim's legal representative. Provides that the civil liability provision shall not limit or affect the right of any person to bring any cause of action or seek any remedy available under the common law, or other applicable law, arising out of the financial exploitation of an elderly person or a person with a disability. Provides that the civil provision applies whether or not the defendant has been charged or convicted of the criminal offense. Provides that in a civil action for financial exploitation of an elderly person or a person with a disability, the burden of proof that the defendant committed financial exploitation of an elderly person or a person with a disability (rather than unlawfully obtained the victim's property) shall be by a preponderance of the evidence.
Illinois

H.B. 3529

Passed House 4/23/15

Amends the Criminal Code of 2012 concerning financial exploitation of an elderly person or a person with a disability. Provides that the offense includes obtaining control over the property of an elderly person or a person with a disability or illegally using the assets or resources of an elderly person or a person with a disability, including income required to be applied to the cost of care of an elderly person or person with a disability residing in a facility licensed under the Nursing Home Care Act in order to establish and maintain Medicaid eligibility for long term care supports and services as provided in the Illinois Public Aid Code. Amends the Unified Code of Corrections. Provides that in addition to the sentence provided for the offense, the state's attorney of the county that prosecuted the defendant shall request that the court order a person convicted of financial exploitation of an elderly person or a person with a disability, who failed to pay the long term care facility licensed under the Nursing Home Care Act for care provided to the elderly person or person with a disability, to pay restitution to the facility where the elderly person or a person with a disability resided at the time of the financial exploitation of all amounts that are owed to the facility to pay for the care of the elderly person or a person with a disability.
Illinois H.B. 3752 Creates the Financial Institutions Elder Abuse Reporting Act. Provides that a financial institution shall make an abuse report if an employee of the financial institution (i) has direct contact with an elder adult or reviews or approves an elder adult's financial documents, records, or transactions in connection with financial services provided by the financial institution to or for the elder adult, and (ii) observes or obtains knowledge of behavior, unusual circumstances, or transactions that leads the employee to know or have reasonable cause to suspect that the elder adult is the victim of financial abuse. Provides that an abuse report made under the act is confidential. Provides that a financial institution shall establish and implement a training program to (i) assist employees in recognizing signs of potential financial abuse of an elder adult and (ii) inform employees about the requirement to file abuse reports provided by the act. Provides for civil penalties for failure to file an abuse report.
Illinois H.B. 4109 Amends the Illinois Banking Act, the Savings Bank Act, and the Illinois Credit Union Act. Provides that persons or entities under those acts furnishing information concerning financial abuse of the elderly shall be entitled to the rights and protections of a person furnishing information under the Department of Human Services Act.
Indiana S.B. 182

Urges the legislative council to assign the topic of adult protective service laws to an appropriate study committee during the 2015 interim.

Iowa H.F. 85 This bill relates to elder abuse. The bill eliminates a listing of people who were exempt from the confidential relationship requirement in order to be considered as standing in a position of trust or confidence with a vulnerable elder and thereby potentially subject to an allegation of financial exploitation under the elder abuse code chapter. The bill provides instead that the determination of the existence of a confidential relationship is an issue of fact to be determined by the court based upon the totality of the circumstances.
Iowa H.F. 184 This bill includes provisions relating to elder abuse and financial exploitation. The bill eliminates a listing of persons who were exempt from the confidential relationship requirement in order to be considered as standing in a position of trust or confidence with a vulnerable elder and thereby potentially subject to an allegation of financial exploitation under the elder abuse Code chapter. The bill provides instead that the determination of the existence of a confidential relationship is an issue of fact to be determined by the court based upon the totality of the circumstances. The bill redefines “substitute petitioner” by eliminating as a potential substitute petitioner any other interested person, and instead including a person who has a demonstrated interest in the vulnerable elder. The bill provides that if a substitute petitioner files a petition for relief from elder abuse, the clerk of court shall provide notice to the vulnerable elder. The bill also authorizes the court, in its discretion, to limit the number of petitions filed and the timeframe within which multiple filings of petitions may be made involving the same vulnerable elder. The bill establishes the crime of financial exploitation of an older individual. A person commits financial exploitation of an older individual when the person stands in a position of trust or confidence with the older individual and knowingly and by undue influence, deception, coercion, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty or extortion, obtains control over or otherwise uses the benefits, property, resources, belongings or assets of the older individual. The criminal penalties range from a simple misdemeanor to a class “C” felony based on the amount of benefits, property, resources, belongings or assets of the older individual involved.
Iowa H.F. 328 This bill includes provisions relating to elder abuse and financial exploitation. The bill eliminates a listing of people who were exempt from the confidential relationship requirement in order to be considered as standing in a position of trust or confidence with a vulnerable elder and thereby potentially subject to an allegation of financial exploitation under the elder abuse Code chapter. The bill provides instead that the determination of the existence of a confidential relationship is an issue of fact to be determined by the court based upon the totality of the circumstances. The bill redefines “substitute petitioner” by eliminating as a potential substitute petitioner any other interested person, and instead including a person who has a demonstrated interest in the vulnerable elder. The bill provides that if a substitute petitioner files a petition for relief from elder abuse, the clerk of court shall provide notice to the vulnerable elder. The bill also authorizes the court, in its discretion, to limit the number of petitions filed and the timeframe within which multiple filings of petitions may be made involving the same vulnerable elder. The bill establishes the crime of financial exploitation of an older individual. A person commits financial exploitation of an older individual when the person stands in a position of trust or confidence with the older individual and knowingly and by undue influence, deception, coercion, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, or extortion, obtains control over or otherwise uses the benefits, property, resources, belongings, or assets of the older individual. The criminal penalties range from a simple misdemeanor to a class “C” felony based on the amount of benefits, property, resources, belongings, or assets of the older individual involved. The bill directs the department on aging, department of human services, department of inspections and appeals, department of public health, the office of long-term care ombudsman, and the office of the attorney general to collaborate to develop draft legislation to develop an elder abuse prevention system for the state. The draft legislation is required to incorporate a multidisciplinary approach to elder abuse, based on best practices, utilizing the strengths of the various agencies and the aging network in addressing prevention, detection, and investigation of elder abuse and is required to do all of the following: protect all Iowans 60 years of age and older from the recognized categories of abuse including physical abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, sexual abuse, financial or material exploitation, and abandonment, neglect, and self-neglect; specify who should be a mandatory reporter of elder abuse; specify a penalty for failure to report elder abuse; include consequences for perpetrators of elder abuse; provide for a central elder abuse registry; specify educational and training requirements for staff of the agencies that address prevention, detection, and investigation of elder abuse; specify who will provide legal assistance for victims of elder abuse; include services provisions; recognize the multidisciplinary team as an essential element of an elder abuse system and require entities to work together to establish local multidisciplinary teams throughout the state; enable all parties providing assistance to have access to information needed to maximize assistance to victims of elder abuse while maintaining the privacy of the victims; utilize the aging and disability resource centers as the named contact source for elder abuse reporting while building upon the collaborative no-wrong door approach; and provide for designated elder abuse investigators who are not also child abuse or dependent adult abuse investigators. The bill requires the agencies and offices to submit a report to the governor and the general assembly by Dec. 15, 2015, including draft legislation as specified in the bill.
Iowa S.F. 109 This bill includes provisions relating to elder abuse and financial exploitation. The bill eliminates a listing of persons who were exempt from the confidential relationship requirement in order to be considered as standing in a position of trust or confidence with a vulnerable elder and thereby potentially subject to an allegation of financial exploitation under the elder abuse Code chapter. The bill provides instead that the determination of the existence of a confidential relationship is an issue of fact to be determined by the court based upon the totality of the circumstances. The bill redefines “substitute petitioner” by eliminating as a potential substitute petitioner any other interested person, and instead including a person who has a demonstrated interest in the vulnerable elder. The bill provides that if a substitute petitioner files a petition for relief from elder abuse, the clerk of court shall provide notice to the vulnerable elder. The bill also authorizes the court, in its discretion, to limit the number of petitions filed and the timeframe within which multiple filings of petitions may be made involving the same vulnerable elder. The bill establishes the crime of financial exploitation of an older individual. A person commits financial exploitation of an older individual when the person stands in a position of trust or confidence with the older individual and knowingly and by undue influence, deception, coercion, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, or extortion, obtains control over or otherwise uses the benefits, property, resources, belongings, or assets of the older individual. The criminal penalties range from a simple misdemeanor to a class “C” felony based on the amount of benefits, property, resources, belongings, or assets of the older individual involved.
Kansas S.B. 219 The bill amends the law relating to the reporting of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of adults by the addition of “vulnerable” to the term “adult” as used in the section. The bill defines “vulnerable adult” to mean an individual 18 years of age or older who has a physical, mental, or frail condition alleged to be unable to protect their own interest and who is harmed or threatened with harm, whether financial, mental, or physical in nature. The bill also clarifies that “involved adult” means a vulnerable adult who is the subject of an investigation of abuse. Certain persons would be mandated to report suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation of adults. The bill organizes the various mandatory reporters in similar fashion to the list of mandatory reporters found in the Revised Kansas Child in Need of Care Code: Persons providing medical care or treatment; persons licensed by the state to provide mental health services; teachers, school administrators, or other employees of an educational institution the vulnerable adult is attending; and firefighters, emergency medical services personnel, law enforcement officers, court services officers, community corrections officers, administrative officers, and others providing services to vulnerable adults. Upon receiving a report of vulnerable adult abuse, neglect, or exploitation, the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) would make a face-to-face assessment with the involved adult. The bill requires DCF to forward any substantiated finding of abuse, neglect, or exploitation alleged to have been committed by a service provider to the appropriate state regulatory authority, if applicable. The bill also requires DCF to inform complainants that an investigation has been initiated. If the involved adult has no legal representative and lacks capacity to consent, DCF may petition the court for appointment of a guardian, conservator, or both. Finally, the bill sets forth certain terms dealing with consent to receive protective services.
Kentucky None  
Louisiana None  
Maine

L.D. 1272

Signed by governor 7/6/15, Chapter 306

Strengthens the protections for senior citizens in the state; references the factor of a victim's ability to self-protect due to age. Includes financial exploitation in the definition of abuse. Relates to undue influence in a trusting, confidential or fiduciary relationship with a person who is a dependent or incapacitated adult; provides funds for investigation and prosecution.
Maine

L.D. 1348

Became law without governor’s signature 7/12/15, Chapter 332

Provides ongoing funding to the office of aging and disability services program within the Department of Health and Human Services for the operation of personal financial management assistance programs for senior citizens, to assist older people with maintaining their financial independence and avoiding financial exploitation.
Maryland

H.B. 20

S.B. 411

Increases from 10 to 20 years the maximum imprisonment and from $10,000 to $20,000 the maximum fine or both for the crime of causing abuse or neglect of a vulnerable adult in the first or second degree.
Massachusetts H.B. 517

Mandates reporting of elder abuse.

Massachusetts H.B. 1366

Relates to the prevention of financial exploitation of the elderly.

Michigan None  
Minnesota

H.F. 104

Substituted by S.F. 239 2/5/15

S.F. 239

Passed Senate 5/5/15

Adds the crime of financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult to definition of designated offense in forfeiture laws.
Minnesota

H.F. 843

Passed House 4/22/15

S.F. 804

Relates to economic development. Appropriates money for the Departments of Employment and Economic Development, Labor and Industry, and Commerce; the Bureau of Mediation Services; Housing Finance Agency; Explore Minnesota Tourism; Boards of Accountancy, AELSLAGID, Cosmetologist Examiners, and Barber Examiners; Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals; and Public Utilities Commission. Makes policy and technical changes. Modifies fees. Provides penalties. Requires reports. Modifies data sharing.
Minnesota

H.F. 1068

S.F. 1614

Modifies standards related to issuance of administrative subpoenas; requires disclosure.

Minnesota S.F. 2041

Requires that government authorities obtain search warrants before accessing financial records.

Mississippi None  
Missouri

H.B. 636

Passed House 4/13/15

This bill establishes the Senior Savings Protection Act that allows specified individuals associated with a broker-dealer to report the occurrence or suspected occurrence of financial exploitation of qualified adults. The bill defines "qualified adult" as a person who is 60 years of age or older or who has a disability as defined in the bill and is between the ages of 18 and 59. The specified individuals associated with a broker-dealer may notify the Department of Health and Senior Services and the commissioner of Securities as well as an immediate family member, legal guardian, conservator, co-trustee, successor trustee, or agent under power of attorney of the qualified adult if he or she believes that financial exploitation of a qualified adult has occurred, has been attempted, or is being attempted. The specified individuals associated with a broker-dealer may refuse a request for disbursement from the account of a qualified adult or an account on which a qualified adult is a beneficiary or beneficial owner if the individual reasonably believes the request will result in financial exploitation. If the individual refuses disbursement, he or she must make a reasonable effort to notify all parties authorized to transact business on the account of the refusal within two business days. The individual must notify the department and the commissioner within three business days. A broker-dealer, agent, or qualified individual who, in good faith and exercising reasonable care, complies with these provisions must be immune from any civil liability for actions taken in accordance with these provisions. By Sept. 1, 2016, the commissioner must develop and make available a website that includes training resources to assist broker-dealers and agents in the prevention and detection of financial exploitation of qualified adults.
Missouri

H.B. 645

Substituted by H.B. 636 3/16/15

This bill establishes the Senior Savings Protection Act that allows specified individuals associated with a broker-dealer to report the occurrence or suspected occurrence of financial exploitation of qualified adults. The bill defines "qualified adult" as a person who is 60 years of age or older or has a disability as defined in the bill and is between the ages of 18 and 59. The specified individuals associated with a broker-dealer may notify the Department of Health and Senior Services and the commissioner of Securities as well as an immediate family member, legal guardian, conservator, co-trustee, successor trustee, or agent under power of attorney of the qualified adult if he or she believes that financial exploitation of a qualified adult has occurred, has been attempted, or is being attempted. The specified individuals associated with a broker-dealer may refuse a request for disbursement from the account of a qualified adult or an account on which a qualified adult is a beneficiary or beneficial owner if the individual reasonably believes the request will result in financial exploitation. If the individual refuses disbursement, he or she must make a reasonable effort to notify all parties authorized to transact business on the account of the refusal within two business days. The individual must notify the department and the commissioner within three business days. A broker-dealer, agent, or qualified individual who, in good faith and exercising reasonable care, complies with these provisions must be immune from any civil liability for actions taken in accordance with these provisions. By Sept. 1, 2016, the commissioner must develop and make available a website that includes training resources to assist broker-dealers and agents in the prevention and detection of financial exploitation of qualified adults.
Missouri

S.B. 244

Signed by governor 6/12/15

This act permits certain individuals to report the occurrence or suspected occurrence of financial exploitation of qualified adults. The act defines qualified adult as a person who is either 60 years of age or older or has a disability as defined under current law and is between the ages of 18 and 59. The act permits certain individuals to notify an immediate family member, legal guardian, conservator, co-trustee, successor trustee, or agent under power of attorney of the qualified adult if they are of the belief that the qualified adult is, or may become, a victim of financial exploitation. The act permits certain individuals to refuse to make a disbursement from the account of a qualified adult or an account on which a qualified adult is a beneficiary or beneficial owner if the individual reasonably believes the request will result in financial exploitation. If the individual refuses disbursement, he or she must make a reasonable effort to notify all parties authorized to transact business on the account of such refusal within two business days. The individual must further notify the Department of Health and Senior Services and the commissioner of Securities within three business days. The act grants immunity from civil liability when complying with the provisions of this act with reasonable care and good faith.
Montana

H.B. 57

Signed by governor 2/18/15, Chapter 28

Enhances protections from securities fraud for the elderly or persons with developmental disabilities; increases access to the securities assistance restitution fund for the elderly or persons with developmental disabilities.
Nebraska None  
Nevada

A.B. 51

Signed by governor 6/5/15, Chapter 362

Existing law establishes the Uniform Securities Act which sets forth provisions governing the sale and purchase of securities in this state in a manner consistent with federal laws and regulations. This bill requires broker-dealers and investment advisers to provide training to certain persons concerning the identification and reporting of suspected exploitation of older persons and vulnerable persons. “Older person” is defined in existing law as a person who is 60 years of age or older. “Vulnerable person” is defined in existing law as a person who is 18 years of age or older who: (1) suffers from a condition of physical or mental incapacitation because of a developmental disability, organic brain damage or mental illness; or (2) has one or more physical or mental limitations that restrict the ability of the person to perform the normal activities of daily living. Specifies which sales representatives, representatives of an investment adviser and officers and employees of broker-dealers or investment advisers must receive the training, when the training must be provided and the content of the training. Requires those people to report incidents that reasonably appear to be exploitation of an older person or vulnerable person. Requires each broker-dealer and investment adviser to designate a person to whom such reports must be made. The person so designated is then responsible for determining when a formal report must be reported to the appropriate agency. Existing law authorizes the imposition or granting of certain actions and penalties against a person who has violated any provision of state law or a regulation or order of the administrator of the Securities Division of the Office of the Secretary of State relating to securities, including civil penalties, restitution and costs of investigation and prosecution of such a violation. This bill revises those provisions to include, if the violation was committed against an older person or vulnerable person, the imposition or granting of civil penalties, restitution and costs of investigation and prosecution in amounts equal to twice the amounts that would otherwise have been imposed or granted. This bill authorizes the administrator to adopt regulations consistent with the federal Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (Pub. L. No. 112-106), including regulations relating to the creation and oversight of funding portals for the purchase of securities.
Nevada

A.B. 223

Signed by governor 5/25/15, Chapter 174

Existing law sets forth provisions concerning the abuse, neglect, exploitation or isolation of older persons and vulnerable persons. This bill generally adds the abandonment of older persons and vulnerable persons to such provisions. This bill defines the term “abandonment” to mean the: (1) desertion of an older person or a vulnerable person in an unsafe manner by a caretaker or other person with a legal duty of care; or (2) withdrawal of necessary assistance owed to an older person or a vulnerable person by a caretaker or other person with an obligation to provide services to the older person or vulnerable person. The bill also provides that the term “abuse” includes: (1) infliction of psychological or emotional anguish, pain or distress on an older person or a vulnerable person through any act; (2) nonconsensual sexual contact with an older person or a vulnerable person; and (3) permitting acts which constitute abuse to be committed against an older person or a vulnerable person. Additionally provides that the term “isolation” includes permitting acts which constitute isolation to be committed against an older person or a vulnerable person. Finally, the bill revises the definition of the term “undue influence” for purposes of the definition of the term “exploitation,” and revises the definition of the term “protective services” to include services provided to an older person or a vulnerable person who is unable to provide for his or her own needs. Existing law requires certain professionals who know or have reasonable cause to believe that an older person has been abused, neglected, exploited or isolated to report, in certain circumstances, such abuse, neglect, exploitation or isolation to: (1) the local office of the Aging and Disability Services Division of the Department of Health and Human Services; (2) a police department or sheriff’s office; (3) the county’s office for protective services, if one exists in the county where such suspected abuse, neglect, exploitation or isolation occurred; or (4) a toll-free telephone service designated by the Aging and Disability Services Division. This bill removes the option to report suspected acts to the county’s office for protective services. Existing law also requires that reports made concerning the abuse, neglect, exploitation or isolation of an older person or a vulnerable person, and records and investigations relating to those reports, are confidential, and a person, law enforcement agency or public or private agency, institution or facility can release data or information concerning the reports and investigation only in certain limited circumstances. Such circumstances include data or information concerning the reports and investigation being made available to: (1) an agency responsible for or authorized to undertake the care, treatment and supervision of the older person or vulnerable person; (2) the older person or vulnerable person named in the report, if that person is not legally incompetent; and (3) if the person who is reported to have abused, neglected, exploited or isolated the older person or vulnerable person is the holder of a certain license or certificate, the board that issued the license. This bill provides that if data or information concerning the reports and investigation is made available in such circumstances, the name and any other identifying information of the person who made the report must be redacted before the data or information is made available. This bill adds a reference to the term “abandonment” to certain provisions of existing law that reference the abuse, neglect, exploitation or isolation of an older person or a vulnerable person.
New Hampshire None  
New Jersey

A.B. 736

S.B. 205

Increases penalties for identity theft when victim is a senior citizen or veteran.

New Jersey

A.B. 738

S.B. 925

Creates new offense of theft by financial exploitation of a vulnerable person.

New Jersey

A.B. 2461

S.B. 203

Creates offense of financial exploitation of the elderly.

New Jersey

A.B. 3948

Passed Assembly 3/9/15

S.B. 2762

Requires money transmitters to provide training materials to delegates concerning financial abuse and exploitation of elder adults.
New Jersey S.B. 3182

Establishes New Jersey Task Force on Abuse of Persons who are Elderly or Disabled.

New Mexico None  
New York

A.B. 83

S.B. 852

Passed Senate 6/15/15

Requires the office of children and family services to track and report elder abuse and to issue a biennial report to the governor and legislature regarding the incidence of elder abuse in the state.
New York A.B. 2176 Enacts the Elderly Abuse Protective Act relating to elderly abuse protective services. Appropriates $600,000 therefor.
New York

A.B. 2325

S.B. 262

Provides for a financial exploitation prevention outreach, education and training program and fund. Authorizes the director of the office of the aging to award grants to qualified agencies to establish local elderly exploitation, outreach, education and training programs. Outlines elements of such program.
New York A.B. 2481 Relates to reporting of financial exploitation. Establishes a financial exploitation, outreach, education and training program and fund.
New York A.B. 3305

Requires financial planners working with the elderly to be certified financial planners.

New York A.B. 3743 Enacts the Elderly Abuse Protective Act to protect residents 62 years of age or older who suffer abuse or deprivation. Requires reports to the commissioner of the office of children and family services of the possible necessity for protective services. Specifies action by such commissioner upon receiving such report including evaluation, right of entry, and furnishing of protective services. Specifies the authority of the office of children and family services with respect thereto and requires assistance of other agencies in the implementation thereof. Provides for judicial and review action against caretakers who abuse elderly. Creates statewide central register of elderly abuse. Appropriates $600,000 to the office of children and family services.
New York

A.B. 4467

S.B. 1417

Includes the financial exploitation of the elderly or disabled within the definition of the crime of larceny; defines terms.
New York

A.B. 5336

S.B. 639

Passed Senate 6/15/15

Authorizes banks to refuse payment of moneys when there is reason to believe that a vulnerable adult is being financially exploited.
New York

A.B. 5969

S.B. 148

Passed Senate 5/28/15

Relates to offenses involving thefts of identity.

New York

A.B. 6555

S.B. 239

Enacts the Senior Anti-Violence and Enforcement Act (SAVE). Establishes a central registry for access to reports of maltreatment of seniors. Creates a council on elder abuse. Establishes penal provisions regarding offenses against the elderly and disabled.
New York A.B. 6665 Relates to establishing the crime of financial exploitation of a vulnerable elderly person and provides for civil liability for financial exploitation of a vulnerable elderly person.
New York

A.B. 7612

Sent to governor 11/10/15

S.B. 5328

Substituted 6/15/15

Authorizes the office for the aging to conduct a public education campaign relating to elder abuse.
New York S.B. 530 Establishes the crimes of exploitation of an elderly person, vulnerable elderly person or incompetent or physically disabled person in the first, second, and third degree.
New York S.B. 2289

Establishes a statewide toll-free elderly abuse hotline.

North Carolina

H.B. 397

Signed by governor 8/5/15, Chapter 182

Clarifies that upon conviction for exploitation of an older adult or disabled adult, any seized assets shall be used to satisfy the defendant's restitution obligation as ordered by the court.
North Carolina S.B. 653 Create protections for senior citizens and other consumers related to residential contractors. Requires the attorney general to operate a database that can be used to investigate potential financial exploitation of adults; and requires that financial institutions report potential financial exploitation of older adults to the attorney general.
North Dakota S.B. 2072 Amends and re-enacts subsection 7 of §50-25.2-01 and §§50-25.2-03 and 50-25.2-05 of the North Dakota Century Code, relating to the definition of financial exploitation, allegation of abuse or neglect caused by an individual in the custody of law enforcement against another individual in custody, and access to records of an alleged vulnerable adult.
N. Mariana Islands Not available  
Ohio None  
Oklahoma H.B. 1031 Relates to wills and succession. Prohibits persons convicted of certain crimes from inheriting from the victim. Describes distribution of property. Provides for exception. Limits liability for property holder. Provides limited liability for certain types of holders. Directs full cooperation of property holder. Permits civil action. Grants court discretion in ruling.
Oklahoma

S.B. 218

Passed Senate 3/10/15

Relates to the Protective Services for Vulnerable Adults Act; provides that if the complainant regarding resident abuse at a nursing facility, residential care facility, assisted living facility or continuum of care facility is a facility resident, the Department of Human Services shall keep the complainant's identity or other information which may identify the complainant confidential.
Oregon

H.B. 2225

Signed by governor 6/16/15, Chapter 415

Provides that a circuit court judge may authorize execution of a search warrant outside the judicial district in which the court is located if the judge finds that: (a) The search relates to one of the following offenses involving a victim who was 65 years of age or older at the time of the offense: (A) Criminal mistreatment in the first degree as described in ORS 163.205 (1)(b)(D) or (E); (B) Identity theft; (C) Aggravated identity theft; (D) Computer crime; (E) Fraudulent use of a credit card; (F) Forgery in any degree; (G) Criminal possession of a forged instrument in any degree; (H) Theft in any degree; or (I) Aggravated theft in the first degree; (b) The objects of the search consist of financial records; and (c) The person making application for the search warrant is not able to ascertain at the time of the application the proper place of trial for the offense described in paragraph (a) of this subsection.
Oregon

H.B. 2350

Signed by governor 6/4/15, Chapter 244

Updates and clarifies portions of Bank Act and related statutes. Provides that an insured institution may refuse to pay any check, draft or order drawn upon the insured institution if the officers or employees of the insured institution have reason to believe that the person signing or indorsing the instrument was the victim of financial exploitation, as defined in ORS 124.050, or was so under the influence of liquor, drugs or controlled substances or otherwise so incapacitated as to make it reasonably doubtful whether the person was capable of transacting business at the time of signing or indorsing the check, draft or order.
Oregon H.B. 2780 Provides that an escrow agent or other person that engages in a real estate closing escrow may not accept funds, property or documents if the principal to a real estate closing escrow is 65 years of age or older and the selling price of the property is more than 20 percent below the appraised or assessed value and if the escrow agent or other person reasonably believes that the principal does not understand the nature or terms of the transaction. Requires an escrow agent or other person that reasonably believes that the principal does not understand the nature or terms of the transaction to report the attempted sale as a suspected financial exploitation in accordance with elder abuse reporting requirements.
Oregon

S.B. 622

Signed by governor 5/26/15, Chapter 179

Adds personal support workers and home care workers to the list of mandatory reporters of the abuse of children, elderly persons and other vulnerable persons.
Pennsylvania H.B. 786 Amends the Older Adults Protective Services Act, making extensive amendments and adding provisions relating to preliminary provisions, administration, criminal history for employees, reporting suspected abuse by employees and miscellaneous provisions.
Puerto Rico S.R. 101 Amends Law 121 of 1986 known as the Law of the Bill of Rights of the Elderly Person relative to financial exploitation and including an element of abuse; empowers the Office the Advocate for Persons Pensioners and Senior Citizens to develop a program or protocol to alert financial exploitation of the elderly; tempers the Act to Recent amendments of Reorganization Plan 1 of 2011.
Rhode Island H.B. 5498 This bill requires registration of those individuals who provide personal care attendant services to a consumer.
Rhode Island S.B. 578 This bill requires registration of those individuals who provide personal care attendant services to a consumer.
South Carolina H.B. 3721 Amends §43-35-85 relating to penalties associated with the abuse, neglect, and exploitation of vulnerable adults, so as to add penalties for certain caregiver conduct.
South Dakota

S.B. 168

Signed by governor 3/13/15, Chapter 122

Establishes a task force to study elder abuse in South Dakota.

Tennessee

H.B. 736

Substituted 4/9/15

S.B. 147

Signed by governor 4/22/15, Public Chapter 187

Classifies the financial exploitation by a caretaker of an adult as a Class D felony; requires the district attorney to freeze the assets of anyone charged with taking property valued at $5,000 or more until the criminal proceedings are complete.
Texas None  
Utah None  
Vermont H.B. 112 This bill proposes to provide law enforcement officers and adult protective services investigators with access to the financial records of alleged victims of abuse, neglect, or exploitation. It requires the custodian of the financial records of a vulnerable adult to make those records available to a law enforcement officer or adult protective services investigator.
Virginia None  
Virgin Islands Not available  
Washington

H.B. 1499

Addresses vulnerable adults. Revises the definition for first, second, and third degree criminal mistreatment. Creates the crime of theft from a vulnerable adult. Authorizes persons who are trained and qualified to serve on multidisciplinary personnel teams to disclose information and records to each other that are relevant to the prevention, identification, or treatment of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of vulnerable adults.
Washington

H.B. 1726

S.B. 5600

Signed by governor 5/14/15, Chapter 268

Modifies definitions concerning vulnerable adults, including the definitions of abuse and sexual abuse. Includes improper use of a restraint, personal exploitation, mental abuse, chemical restraints, hospitals and mechanical restraints.
Washington S.B. 5788 Requires the department of social and health services to establish two elder justice center demonstration programs, one in Clark County and the other in Spokane County.
Washington S.B. 5945 Specifies that, upon receipt of a complaint and investigation thereof, or for other good reason, the office of the attorney general or the department of social and health services has standing to petition the court to modify or terminate a guardianship with regard to incapacitated persons. Requires the office of the attorney general to investigate a complaint for theft or financial exploitation against an incapacitated person by the appointed guardian. Requires the department of social and health services to: (1) Investigate a complaint, and bring an action to protect a vulnerable adult, where the vulnerable adult is an incapacitated person and the complaint alleges theft or financial exploitation against the incapacitated person by the appointed guardian; and (2) Establish an elder justice center at two demonstration sites, one of which must be located in Clark county and the other located in Spokane county. Creates the crime of theft by a guardian of an incapacitated person's property or services.
Washington S.B. 6091 Revises the definition of "slayer," for purposes of chapter 11.84 RCW (inheritance rights of slayers or abusers), to include a person who is found not guilty by reason of insanity of a criminal offense constituting participation, either as a principal or an accessory before the fact, in the willful and unlawful killing of any other person.
West Virginia

H.C.R. 130

Passed House 3/11/15

Requests the Joint Committee on Government and Finance to study and review current law, procedure and public services intended to protect against senior citizen financial abuse and exploitation and to study the feasibility of developing and providing additional effective tools, resources and best practices to help protect senior citizens from financial abuse and exploitation.
Wisconsin None  
Wyoming None  

 

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Heather Morton is a program principal in Fiscal Affairs. She covers financial services, alcohol production and sales, and medical malpractice issues for NCSL.

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