One of our previous articles outlined the many types of elder abuse prevalent today. Now we highlight a new federal law designed to address this growing problem.
While elder abuse is underreported, the National Council on Aging, states that approximately 1 in 10 Americans age 60 or older have experienced some form of elder abuse. In 2011, a MetLife study estimated that older Americans are losing $2.9 billion annually to elder financial abuse alone.
The bipartisan Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Act of 2017 authorizes the Department of Justice (DOJ) to take steps to combat elder abuse, including the following:
- Create an elder justice coordinator position in federal judicial districts, at the DOJ, and at the Federal Trade Commission
- Implement comprehensive training on elder abuse for Federal Bureau of Investigation agents
- Operate a resource group to assist prosecutors in pursuing elder abuse cases
The law specifically targets email fraud by expanding the definition of telemarketing fraud to include email fraud. Prohibited actions include email solicitations for investment for financial profit, participation in a business opportunity, or commitment to a loan.
“Exploiting and defrauding seniors is cowardly, and these crimes should be addressed as the reprehensible acts they are,” said Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), a co-sponsor of the legislation, adding that the legislation “sends a clear signal from Congress that combating elder abuse and exploitation should be top priority for law enforcement.”
This article is written by an attorney at Wyatt & Mirabella, PC. Always consult an attorney before making any legal decisions. To make an appointment today for a free consultation, please click here to contact us.