Thursday, June 16, 2016

U.S. Attorney's Office announces new elder-abuse task force

 FRANKFORT, Ky. —The U.S. Attorney's Office unveiled a new task force Wednesday to protect seniors.

The announcement builds on the Kentucky attorney general's reporting of and protection from abuse.

The new effort will give prosecutors the opportunity to go after the strictest penalty for abusers.

"We are seeing a hidden epidemic," said John Kuhn Jr., the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Kentucky.

To combat the exploitation of seniors, Kuhn announced the Elder Justice Task Force in Frankfort on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

Kentucky will be one of only 10 states with such a task force consisting of agencies like the inspector general, FBI and Health and Human Services, as well as the Attorney General's and U.S. Attorney's offices.

It's about more than just opening lines of communication.

"I'm greatly looking forward to it, because they may get information that's more of a civil case nature where we can bring that hammer down," Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear said.

"Because we all have different tools. The state can bring, for example, recoupment actions, but they don't have a tool like the false claims act like the feds have," Kuhn said.

In March, Beshear expanded the elder-abuse hotline, taking calls around the clock.

Since that time, 65 cases have been or are being vetted, compared to just 56 all of last year.

He also instituted a scam alert email and texting system.

With more than 12,500 elder abuse and exploitation calls last year to adult protection services alone, the attorney general says more must be done.

"So what people can expect out of this partnership is that we will better protect and there will be greater consequences than we've ever seen," Beshear said.

Former Gov. Steve Beshear pushed through pieces of legislation during his time in office regarding abuse.

Andy Beshear said he intends to the same in the future, trying to close any legal loopholes.

To report elder abuse, call 1-877-ABUSE-TIP or text the words "KYOAG Scam" to GOV311.

To sign up for scam alerts through the Attorney General's Office click here.

Full Article, Video & Source:
U.S. Attorney's Office announces new elder-abuse task force

1 comment:

Debbie said...

I wonder how the 10 states were picked? And I hope it spreads nationally.