ABC7 News is reporting of another example of the vulnerable financial situation of many senior citizens. In an appalling case of elder financial exploitation, a ninety year old woman, Marian McGlone, had hundreds of thousands of dollars stolen from her savings by her caregiver, Erma Jean Williams.
Ms. Williams is accused of taking nearly $200,000 from the elderly woman and her husband. Ms. McGlone experienced mental instability as she aged becoming confused about situations and having difficulty with her memory. Her caregiver took advantage of that weakness, ultimately using the elderly woman’s money to remodel her home and buy a new care, among other illegal abuses. The true extent of what was taken by the greedy caregiver may never fully be known.
In fact, as Ms. McGlone’s health deteriorated even further, Erma Jean Williams attempted to ensure that theft could last even longer by trying to get Ms. McGlone to change her will to include Ms. Williams. On two different occasions Erma Jean forced Ms. McGlone to visit an attorney and attempt to change the will. Luckily, it was obvious from the elderly woman’s mental condition that she was not stable enough to change the document. The attorneys at the office were vigilant enough to ensure that the abuse did not continue.
Ms. McGlone died two weeks after the last attempt to change her will. Shortly after her passing the extent of Ms. Williams abuse finally came to light. It was also discovered that Erma Jean had several previous arrests that were unknown to the McGlone children when they were looking for a caregiver for their mother.
As we’ve recently documented on this blog, elder financial abuse is an shockingly large problem that receives far too little attention. Some estimates claim that one in five elderly individuals are victims of similar conduct. It occurs in all circumstances, between family members, at-home caregivers, and at nursing homes. Our Chicago nursing home lawyers at Levin & Perconti have seen the abuse case after case. That is why we approve of measures taken this week by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, which require bank officials to do more to ensure that they report questionable financial transactions with their elderly customers.
It is often very difficult to detect abuse of elderly finances. If you suspect you know a victim, please contact our office today to learn about your options.