Maryland Elder Fraud Statutes
In Maryland, exploitation is defined as “any action which involves the misuse of a vulnerable adult’s funds, property, or person.” A vulnerable adult is someone “who lacks the physical or mental capacity to provide for the adult’s daily needs.” Maryland’s Office of Adult Services offers these examples of financial exploitation:
- The forging of signatures on financial documents, including checks or withdrawal slips
- Using coercion or threats to get someone to give away their money
- Making withdrawals from accounts without authorization
- Charging excessive fees for services
- Using tricks to get someone with a memory impairment to turn over money
Duty to report
If someone has reason to believe that a vulnerable adult is being exploited, Maryland makes it a requirement that they make a report. This needs to include the name of the possible victim, the nature of their incapacity, and all relevant information on the alleged exploitation.
Penalties for elder financial fraud
Maryland has strict penalties if someone “knowingly and willfully obtained by deception, intimidation, or undue influence the property of an individual that the person knows or reasonably should know is a vulnerable adult with the intent to deprive the vulnerable adult of the vulnerable adult’s property.”
If the property involved is less than $500, this is a misdemeanor that could result in a $500 fine and/or a prison sentence of up to 18 months. If the property is $500 or more, this is a felony. The penalty, in this case, is a fine of up to $10,000 and/or imprisonment for up to 15 years.
Did you lose money due to the possibly illegal actions of a financial advisor or broker? You may be able to reclaim it through litigation or arbitration. To learn how this process works, get in touch with the elder financial fraud attorneys at the Silver Law Group. We are a contingency-based firm, so unless we successfully help you recover funds, you won’t owe us any fee. Call our office at 800-975-4345 or send us a message through our online form.
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