Nebraska Elder Fraud Statutes
In 2014, Nebraska enacted the Adult Protective Services Act, which was designed to provide help and assistance to vulnerable adults who have been abused or exploited.
This act defines exploitation as “the wrongful or unauthorized taking, withholding, appropriation, conversion, control, or use of money, funds, securities, assets, or any other property of a vulnerable adult or senior adult by any person by means of undue influence, breach of a fiduciary relationship, deception, extortion, intimidation, force or threat of force, isolation, or any unlawful means or by the breach of a fiduciary duty by the guardian, conservator, agent under a power of attorney, trustee, or any other fiduciary of a vulnerable adult or senior adult.”
Duty to report
When someone has reason to believe that a vulnerable adult is being exploited, Nebraska statute 28-372 mandates that a report is made to law enforcement or the right department. This report has to include the name of the possible victim and the nature of the abuse. An investigation will then be conducted by the appropriate agency. As long as the report is made in good faith, the reporter will be immune from any sort of liability.
In some instances, the court may decide that a vulnerable adult needs temporary protective services. In this case, statute 28-387 will allow an ex parte order to be made “authorizing the provision of short-term involuntary adult protective services or temporary placement for a vulnerable adult for up to forty-eight hours.” After a hearing is conducted, a judge will decide if the order should be lifted.
Elder abuse penalties
If a person exploits someone “through a knowing and intentional act,” this is a Class IIIA felony. The penalty for this could be a fine of up to $10,000 and/or imprisonments of up to five years. In addition, statute 28-384 makes it a Class III misdemeanor for anyone who fails to make a report if they suspect someone is being exploited. This comes with a possible $500 fine and/or three months in jail.
What about the victims?
While offenders could face large fines or jail time, often the victims are forgotten about. If you lost money, the Silver Law Group may be able to help you get it back. For a free consultation from an experienced elder financial fraud attorney, call our office at 800-975-4345. You can also reach out through our online contact form.
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