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radcliff's avatar

Am I at fault if we keep this scandal a family secret?

Asked by radcliff (253 points ) November 18th, 2011

I do not want to be in trouble for not contacting proper authorities, but am trying to resolve a financial exploitation matter in the family. I’m trying to get to the bottom of this before allegations of exploitation of an elderly parent are reported. My parent has had a child on her checking, savings and other accounts. The child has transferred funds over a period of time. He has not give any access to her account by other family members when asked after suspicious behavior has occured.
He has transferred money out to his name and sometimes money back in. There is a huge lack of funds and will be a nightmare to figure out. He has just closed her savings and said he created a hidden account to evade paying lawyers and probate expenses. He has only ok’d this with one sibling and the rest were not told initially of this hidden account. Then when other siblings and I found out, they were not in agreement and said put it back in her name. Anyway, the account money has not been transferred back, but we finally got access. Also, there are a number of online transfers into his account over the months from her account into his. His money was combined in the account. He says only a portion of it is our parent and it is untrue. My parent, who has dementia, and is getting worse, has no clue of this activity. she should have tons of money after 10 years and there’s not much left.
Can anyone help me out here?

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16 Answers

Coloma's avatar

Simple. Do you have integrity, or, are you a coward that is willing to allow an elderly person to be financially exploited so as not to have to deal with the fallout?

I’d see an attorney for advice pronto, and be prepared to do whatever is necessary to remove this shyster family member from any dealings with your parents finances.

Get legal counsel ASAP.

zenvelo's avatar

I think you should call your county senior services department or the district attorney’s office to report elder abuse. This is both elder abuse and theft. It is not something you can get resolved within your family, you need the strength of the law behind you.

Dog's avatar

Let me get this straight. You are observing a possible robbery and your main concern is that YOU will somehow be implicated?

This is possibly fraud and elderly abuse. Find your local social services or elderly abuse and anonymously report this if you have any sense of moral decency. I know it is hard when family is involved- but this is truly one of those cases when you define WHO you are by your ACTIONS or INACTIONS.

radcliff's avatar

I am trying to make sure that I can put the pieces of the puzzle together and have facts before i report it. In the mean time, we have set up a new account and now have a power of attorney for her.
The transactions are money out and some money back in. It has been transferred to her savings, his savings, back into her account and is extremely confusing.
One family ember says give him a chance to put all funds back….after we find out the real amount taken. 2 siblings say he would never have done that and are oblivious to it. When I found this out, I alerted my siblings and the drama began. I am all for turning him in when we can prove it. My mother will get super upset about the whole situation and wont believe it either. So far she has not been told, again, it will be a nightmare to put the pieces together.

bea2345's avatar

You need a lawyer or an accountant; somebody all of you trust, who will do the necessary investigation. Once you have reliable information you can act.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

How is it that you have access to know of all these financial transfers but don’t have access to the account?

First person to get Power of Attorney WINS… plain and simple.

Coloma's avatar

@radcliff

Quite the dilemma you have going on, but…someone HAS to take the bull by the horns, and it’s not going to be the bull that does it.

Life calls upon us at times to take a stand, this is your calling.

radcliff's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies
I recently gained access to the checking/savings. When this was found out, he closed the joint savings and left the checking open. He then added the savings to the hidden account. When asked about it, he would not give access to the hidden account in his name. He finally gave the family access after many excuses and non returned phone calls. This is all so recent, that I for sure, need evidence. My mom has a heart problem. Hopefully the new power of attorny can take over. This whole situation is being “minimized” by some of the family and half of us are LIVID at the obliviousness of the other half of the family.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Sucks when family feuds.

pageiv's avatar

Talking to lawyer should be your first step. Only he or she will know how to track down all the funds promptly. Also this should be done sooner than later. A friend of mine had his dad’s estate tied up in probate for years because of family disputes.

radcliff's avatar

Lets assume she has to apply for Medicaid. I am sure if we hadnt known and did something about the tranfers, wouldnt Medicaid deny her or say, whats up with these transfers of chunks of money out of her account? And deny her? Or see the red flags of the transfers out and say, whats going on?

john65pennington's avatar

The question and information you have given us, should be taken to your local
District Attorney. No, you are not snitching. You are taking care of a criminal situation that is occuring with your parent.

Gather all the paperwork you have and make the trip.

Pandora's avatar

Talk to a lawyer. They can best guide you on how to resolve this. I understand your dilema. You guys aren’t 100 % sure of the status of the account and you don’t want to make things worse than can harm your mother as well. Obviously she trusted your sibling and you are concerned that this could bring about a heart attack or make her mental condition worse. You want her to have her funds but you don’t want to kill her.
I would explain to a lawyer that you wish to look into her funds and make sure that everything she is entitled to is returned and whoever has POA over her should get him excluded from ever being able to access her funds without the POA knowing about it.
I would tell my brother that you hired a lawyer and that you both will go over all the transactions and if all the money isn’t returned than there will be a law suit and crimminal charges will be filed against him. I’m sure he will want to handle it quietly before it gets to the law.
We have a similar situation in my husbands family but the parents don’t want to press charges and have their son sent to jail. So they just changed all their accounts and now make sure he doesn’t have access to anything under their name.

Nullo's avatar

Sic every dog you can find on this unprintable. Something rather like this happened to my grandmother. We tried legal action, but the culprit had worked out a way to do it legally.

john65pennington's avatar

Pandora. Going to a private attorney is going to cost them, royaly. Taking their info to their District Attorney is free. The DA has subpoena power, where a private attorney does not in criminal investigations. Several supoenas will have to be issued in order for the DA to get to the truth. A private attorney would be no help in this situation.

harple's avatar

Be careful what you decide is acceptable. It’s not so many steps away from this.

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