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Chicago Area Man Victim of Elder Financial Exploitation

The Chicago Tribune recently published a troubling story of financial abuse affecting an elderly man from nearby Des Plaines.

Will Harling is seventy one years old, a fact that he believes made him a more attractive target for his abuser, Taha Mahmood. Mr. Harling met Mahmood through a mortgage underwriter, and the two began discussing possible business opportunities. Mahmood seemed to say all the right things, even claiming to have gone to the same high school at Mr. Harling. Eventually, Mr. Harling agreed to assist Mahmood in starting a construction business. However, the funds that were provided to help jump-start the new project were never used to build the business. Instead, they went straight into Mohmood’s pocket.

The ruse was taken to new heights when Mahmood manufactured a fake loan approval document (totaling $2.6 million) in order to convince Harling that the project was progressing. Eventually the repossession of a Rolls-Royce that had been purchased under Mr. Harling’s name alerted him to the fraud.

In total, the con-man stole almost $500,000 from his elderly neighbor. Mr. Harling is now struggling to stay afloat. He is still not sure whether he will be able to afford to keep him home.

Mahmood’s exploitation of Will Harling seems to be merely one incident in a string of fraudulent actions that swindled funds from innocent parties. In another case, a businessman from Highland Park agreed to finance a small business trip led by Mahmood. In the end, an unnecessary private jet was chartered and the businessman was out $127,000. In other cases, the scheming con-man was charged with writing $11,000 worth of bad checks and stealing $4,000 from a high-end department store.

Our Chicago nursing home lawyers at Levin & Perconti are continually disgusted by the length that some will go to take advantage of our vulnerable senior citizens. This form of elder financial exploitation occurs all too frequently, including at nursing homes. Recent efforts have attempted to raise awareness of the problem, but the risk of senior financial abuse remains high. Please remain vigilant to possible exploitation of elderly family and friends.