Thetelegraph.com is reporting that authorities have charged an Alton, Illinois attorney with embezzling more than $137,000 from an elderly woman. The attorney had met this woman at a church and offered to help her obtain a payment for her probate case in which she was a litigant. The 62 year old man was charged in Madison County Court with unlawful financial exploitation of an elderly person. This is based on the evidence that he obtained a check written payable to the 81-year-old victim.
The Illinois lawyer was arrested after a police office obtained an eavesdrop order and placed a recording device on the elderly victim. The case was originally being handled by attorneys based in other states and the defendant told the woman he would write the checks in an effort to expedite the case. After many inquiries into the whereabouts of the check, the elderly woman hired another lawyer to investigate the elderly financial exploitation. The authorities discovered that the check had been sent by the out of state lawyers and that the defendant had deposited the check into his own personal account. His license has been suspended for a year.
Financial exploitation has become a common form of elderly abuse. According to the NCEA financial exploitation is defined as the illegal or improper use of an elder’s funds, properties or assets. Many times this falls in the hands of the attorney or estate executor. To read more about the specific case of Illinois financial abuse, please click the link.