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Arizona Elder Fraud Statutes

Financial exploitation in Arizona is considered “the illegal or improper use of an incapacitated or vulnerable adult or his resources for another’s profit or advantage.” It can take several forms, including:

  • Forgery
  • Misappropriation of cash or assets
  • Abuse of joint accounts
  • Abuse of power of attorney

According to Arizona, elder financial fraud is separated into two categories: exploitation by a person who knows the victim and exploitation by a stranger.

Exploitation by a person known to the victim

These could include family members, caregivers, financial advisors, or someone acting as power of attorney. Examples include:

  • Obtaining money or property by misrepresentation or fraud
  • Fraudulent use of power of attorney or fiduciary authority
  • Misappropriation of income or assets
  • Charging excessive rent or fees

Exploitation by a stranger

Strangers may be scammers or dishonest contractors or salespeople. Examples include:

Telemarketing schemes

Unsolicited work

Lottery or prize scams

Mail fraud

Duty to report

Under Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) §46-454, the reporting of elder abuse is mandatory. If someone “discovers a reasonable basis to believe that exploitation of the adult’s property has occurred or that abuse or neglect of the adult has occurred” they need to immediately report this to a peace officer, protective services worker, or public fiduciary.

People who make reports are also protected under A.R.S. §46-454. This allows anyone making a complaint or report to be immune from civil or criminal liability “unless the person acted with malice or unless such person has been charged with or is suspected of abusing, exploiting, or neglecting the incapacitated or vulnerable adult in question.”

Many elderly people who are victims of fraud stay silent because they are embarrassed or don’t think there’s anything they can do. There are options for finding justice and retrieving the lost money, however. Both litigation and securities arbitration may be effective ways to recover funds from a financial advisor or broker. To get advice on the best course of action from an attorney who is experienced with various forms of elder fraud and the state statutes that govern the issue, contact the Silver Law Group.

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