“It is gratifying to read that prosecutor Andrew Doherty brought criminal charges against someone he believes exploited two elderly siblings, leaving them homeless (“Alleged scam preyed on siblings,” Metro, Nov. 6). Usually these exploitation cases are buried in civil court, if the abuse ever surfaces at all, where many parties may feed at the trough until the assets are gone or the elders die.
Abusers tend to target elders who occupy land they want or have assets under $500,000, and, through undue influence, coercion, intimidation, isolation, or misrepresentation, gain control over the elders and their assets. This often happens under the radar through powers of attorney, often family members, and sometimes, as in the case alleged here, through a personal representative.
Don’t expect Massachusetts Protective Services to help; a year ago, a report of a special state commission investigating elder protective services found workers lacked training in financial exploitation of elders. Abusers know this, and little has changed since the report was issued last October.”