Tennessee Elder Fraud Statutes
Tennessee’s Adult Protection Act defines exploitation as “the improper use by a caretaker of funds that have been paid by a governmental agency to an adult or to the caretaker for the use or care of the adult.”
Duty to report
Section 71-6-103 states that if anyone has reasonable cause to believe that an elderly person has been or is being exploited, they need to report their suspicions. This report should include the name of the adult, the person responsible for their care (if applicable), the nature of the exploitation, the name of the perpetrator, and any other relevant information.
When a person makes a report in good faith, he or she will not be subject to any civil or criminal liability, as per section 71-6-105. However, if someone “knowingly fails” to make a report, they are guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.
Penalties for elder fraud
If someone is found guilty of exploiting an adult, this is a Class D felony under section 71-6-117. In addition to any court-imposed sentence, the penalty for this is a fine between $50 and $200. The person convicted will also be placed on a registry of people “who have abused, neglected, or misappropriated the property of a vulnerable individual.”
Actions for exploitation
Victims can seek compensatory damages when a defendant has been proven to be liable for exploitation or for “theft of such elderly person’s or disabled adult’s money or property whether by fraud, deceit, coercion or otherwise,” according to section 71-6-120. The defendant may also be liable for punitive damages.
Help is available for fraud victims in Tennessee
Elder fraud is a common crime all across the U.S., and it often goes unreported. If you are a victim, you shouldn’t remain silent. In addition to criminal penalties for the perpetrator, you should seek any funds you may have lost. To learn about your legal rights, contact the Silver Law Group. You can speak to one of our experienced elder fraud attorneys during a free consultation.
Call our office toll-free at 1-800-975-4345 or send us a message through our online contact form. The Silver Law Group is a contingency-based firm, which means we waive all fees unless you recover money.
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