Oklahoma Elder Fraud Statutes
As stated in Oklahoma’s Protective Services for Vulnerable Adults Act, exploitation is the “unjust or improper use of the resources of a vulnerable adult for the profit or advantage, pecuniary or otherwise, of a person other than the vulnerable adult through the use of undue influence, coercion, harassment, duress, deception, false representation or false pretense.”
The law also specifies financial neglect as “repeated instances by a caretaker, or other people, who has assumed the role of financial management, of failure to use the resources available to restore or maintain the health and physical well-being of a vulnerable adult.” Examples of financial neglect include:
- Squandering the assets of a vulnerable adult or negligently mismanaging them
- Refusing to provide money for necessities
- Offering substandard care to a vulnerable adult even if financial resources are available
According to section 10-104, if someone has cause to believe that an adult is being exploited, they need to report this to either the Department of Human Services or their local police department. This report should include the name of the vulnerable adult, their caretaker (if applicable), and information on their condition and the nature of the exploitation.
If someone “knowingly and willfully” doesn’t make a report, they are guilty of a misdemeanor, which could result in a fine of up to $1,000 and/or a jail term of up to one year. If a report is made in good faith, the person making it will be immune from any criminal or civil liability.
Elder exploitation penalties
As per section 843.3 of Oklahoma’s criminal statutes, if someone exploits a vulnerable adult, they are guilty of a felony. Upon conviction, they could receive a fine of up to $10,000 and/or a prison sentence of up to two years. If a person is tasked with taking care of a vulnerable adult and is “knowingly or recklessly” neglectful, this is also a felony with the same penalties.
Criminal penalties for someone guilty of elder fraud might serve justice and make a victim feel better, but they may not result in recovery of lost assets. If you were cheated out of money, you may be able to get it back. To review your situation, contact the Silver Law Group for a free consultation from an experienced elder financial fraud attorney. You can call us toll-free at 1-800-975-4345 or just fill out our online form.
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