With stiffer penalties, that include more jail time and higher fines than those imposed in the past, a new law has taken effect in Tennessee to protecting older citizens against individuals who are convicted of elder financial abuse. This is one of several updates that are now being put into place in the Volunteer State to combat elder abuse.
Nashville Public Radio recently published a story titled “New Tennessee Laws Aim To Combat Fraud Against Elders.” The story noted that many of the changes deal with real-world interactions, which are the focus of much of the financial fraud targeting the elderly.
We frequently hear about internet scams of seniors. However, when an elderly person is defrauded, the criminal is usually a relative or close acquaintance. Just last week I was advising a client as to the difficulty of a case he has against his sister's caregiver.
In other words, a caregiver, says Shelley Courington, advocacy director for AARP-Tennessee. "I would believe that most of those are good. They're good earnest people working to care for their loved ones," she says. "But as in any scenario, there are some bad actors out there."
Under Tennessee’s new law, people who steal from the elderly will receive sentences that are a full class more severe than those who swindle other citizens in the state. In addition, these schemers will have their names recorded in an Elder Abuse Registry.
Tennessee has another new law that allows financial institutions to delay or freeze transactions when they suspect elder fraud—despite the fact the account holder has given his or her consent.
Background checks will now be required for anyone volunteering to work with the elderly. This means volunteers will have to undergo the same background check that is required for professional service providers working with the elderly in services and counseling.
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Reference: Nashville Public Radio (July 5, 2017) “New Tennessee Laws Aim To Combat Fraud Against Elders”