State law requires that cases of suspected physical abuse of the elderly must be reported to law enforcement, but there is no such requirement in cases of suspected financial abuse, legislators were told today.
Banks or other financial institutions must report those suspicions to the state office of Adult Protective Services, which is not a law enforcement agency and is not equipped to conduct a criminal investigation, said Patricia McManaman, director of the state Department of Human Services.
McManaman, whose department includes the Adult Protective Services office, said the original version of the law on elderly financial exploitation required financial institutions to report their suspicions to both APS and law enforcement.
But before the final version of the law was enacted, it was changed to remove law enforcement notification, said McManaman.
As search of the legislative history of the measure did not disclose the reasons for the deletion, she said, adding that she suspected lobbyists for the financial industry may have sought the change.
Because victims may suffer from medical and mental conditions, said the prosecutor, the sooner the cases can be investigated, the better the chances of a successful outcome.
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Lawmakers Asked to Tighten Laws on Financial Abuse of the Elderly