Latest Stories

Phila. man gets 16-33 years for bilking vet out of $95,000

Wednesday July 1st 2015

For much of the last four years, Shelton Thomas assumed the identity of Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams in a bizarre scheme to bilk more than $95,000 from a World War II veteran whose lawn he mowed.

On Monday, Thomas’ world could not have gotten more real – sentenced to 161/2 to 33 years in prison by a Philadelphia judge for draining the life savings of 93-year-old Raymond Campbell.

Thomas, 49, who knew Williams and his family growing up in the same Cobbs Creek neighborhood – but who looks nothing like the city’s top prosecutor – sucked in his breath as Common Pleas Court Judge Rayford A. Means imposed the maximum possible sentence.

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Emotional harm of elder financial abuse outweighs its financial damage

Wednesday July 1st 2015

Financial abuse more frequently hurts senior citizens emotionally than it does financially, according to a recent survey of CPA financial planners.

Thirty-seven percent of the 266 planners polled in the AICPA PFP Trends Survey in May rated the emotional impact of elder financial abuse as “substantial.” Yet just 5% rated the financial impact of such abuse as “substantial.”

The reason elder financial abuse causes such emotional pain may be the fact that family members are often the perpetrators. Seventy-two percent of planners said that during the last five years, they’d had elderly clients who were unable to refuse family members’ requests for gifts or loans. Fifty-seven percent said they’d had older clients who were supporting nondisabled adult children. Read more »

County task force takes aim at scams on elderly

Wednesday July 1st 2015

YORK, Pa. (WHTM) – York County’s Area Agency on Aging has launched a task force to investigate scams that target the elderly.

The agency has teamed up with the district attorney’s office to educate seniors and investigate cases, and they’ll work with banks to monitor suspicious activity on accounts.

So far, they’ve filed charges in three cases where seniors lost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“We had one person in York County that gave them over $100,000, and we’re still waiting for that car to come,” said Sue Gordon, a protective service supervisor at the Agency on Aging.

The agency receives about 500 reports of elder abuse each year. About a third involve scams, and the number is increasing. Read more »

Funeral-home owner avoids jail in theft of $300,000 and woman’s house

Monday June 22nd 2015

THE ELDERLY women who sat on their front porches on a hot June afternoon while children played in the pool at the Cecil B. Moore Recreation Center across the street found the case of Antoine Turay unbelievable.

Turay, who runs Turay Memorial Funeral Chapel, on 22nd Street near Sergeant, in North Philadelphia, had just pleaded guilty June 11 to stealing more than $300,000 – and a house – from one of their neighbors, a 91-year-old woman.

“Where’s he at now?” asked Cynthia McCoy, 86. “Is he in jail?”

Turay, 35, is on 10 years’ probation and must repay his victim.The District Attorney’s Office allowed him to plead guilty to misdemeanor theft charges rather than to the felonies he was charged with because of the victim’s age.

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Philadelphia Woman Charged With Stealing From Elderly And Deceased Bank Customers

Thursday June 18th 2015

MEDIA, Pa. (CBS) – A Philadelphia woman is accused of stealing more than $430,000 from elderly bank customers.

According to the Delaware County DA, 60-year-old Catherine Allman, of Philadelphia, stole the funds from both the elderly and the estates of the deceased over a 10-year period while she was working at Iron Workers Bank.

The thefts were reportedly first discovered in September 2014, when an attorney contacted the Chadds Ford branch manager about a transaction that had occurred on deceased victim’s account in August 2014 – when she had passed away in July. Read more »

Two brothers get 20 years for roofing scam targeting the elderly

Wednesday June 17th 2015

Two brothers have been sentenced to 20 years for preying on the elderly, charging them exorbitant fees for shoddy roof work, DeKalb County authorities said Tuesday.

Keith Ogles, 50, of Jonesboro, and Jeffrey Ogles, 52, of Griffin, who pleaded guilty to financial exploitation of the elderly and home repair fraud, must serve 10 of the years in prison and pay $100,000 in restitution.

Not only did the brothers grossly overcharge four seniors for the work they did, authorities said, they damaged their roofs. One of the victims also was threatened when he refused to make additional payments, the authorities added.

“This pair deliberately preyed on elderly victims, who were all in their eighties, and demanded payments that reached over $130,000,” DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James said. “This was a calculated scheme that targeted and exploited elderly homeowners.” Read more »

Daughter of Pa. woman who froze to death in home is charged

Tuesday June 9th 2015

This is no way for a 66-year-old woman to die: As the Associated Press reports, the thermostat of the Shamokin, Pa., home was at 56 degrees, but only because that was the lowest setting, the coroner testified. But the estimated the temperature inside the home was actually below freezing, and police later found the home’s furnace out of oil and covered in cobwebs, suggesting it hadn’t been used in some time, AP writes.

No wonder Ellen Jackson died of hypothermia on Feb. 16, as temperatures ranged from minus-9 to 9 degrees.

Now, Mary Collins of Shamokin, the 45-year-old daughter of the victim, will stand trial on charges of involuntary manslaughter and neglect of a care dependent person in her mother’s death. Read more »

Pa. group takes first steps to protect seniors

Tuesday June 9th 2015

Statewide reforms to improve protections and justice for older Pennsylvanians are in the works.

A state Supreme Court committee is examining the proposed expansion of a rule that allows the courts to preserve testimony of victims who might not be available to testify if a case languishes in the system.

The rule may be expanded to include victims whose age or illness, like dementia, might make it impossible for them to have their day in court.

The committee is also weighing the value of adding a box to a standardized arrest form that would indicate whether the victim is elderly, which could help to expedite those cases.

The state House Committee on Aging and Older Adult Services is considering a number of proposals that would enhance the safety net for seniors, including one that would mandate banks to report suspected financial exploitation of the elderly.

Another would establish a registry of people against whom allegations of elder abuse have been substantiated, to prevent known abusers from getting jobs where they would be alone with seniors.

Amendments to the Older Adults Protective Services Act could be sent to the House for consideration by fall, said Rep. Tim Hennessey, the Republican committee chairman representing Chester and Montgomery counties.

Much of the action is being driven by an advisory council that was formed about six months ago to implement recommendations made by the Supreme Court’s Elder Law Task Force. Read more »

Elder abuse: A hidden but timely topic

Tuesday June 9th 2015

LORDS VALLEY – Elder abuse can take many forms. Taking advantage of senior citizens, an issue in society in general, is no stranger in Pike County, Pennsylvania. Tackling the challenges is the Pike County Elder Task Force, a coalition of local senior citizen services, law enforcement, local legislators and other concerned parties.

Information was presented on June 2nd at the second annual Elder Justice Day, hosted by the Task Force at St. Vincent de Paul Parish Hall on Route 739. Several dozen seniors attended.

Speakers included PA Secretary of Aging Teresa Osborne; Pike County District Attorney Ray Tonkin; Katrina Boyer, the PA Department of Banking and Securities outreach liaison; Ronald Costen, Ph.D., Esq., the legal director for the Institute on Protective Services at Temple University and Mary Bach, chairwoman of the AARP Pennsylvania Consumer Issues Task Force. Topics included: Scams, bank fraud, ID theft, reverse mortgages, elder abuse, investigating and prosecuting crimes against the elderly.

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Mount Penn woman admits to stealing $41,000 from elderly man

Tuesday June 9th 2015

A Mount Penn woman admitted in Berks County Court Wednesday that she stole more than $41,000 from an 83-year-old man by convincing him she was his caretaker in 2009.

Jolyn J. Aulenbach, 52, of the first block of Pennwynn Terrace, pleaded guilty before President Judge Paul M. Yatron to theft by deception and conspiracy for the elder abuse scam.Yatron sentenced Aulenbach to nine months to two years in state prison followed by seven years of probation, as part of a negotiated agreement. Aulenbach was also ordered to pay more than $41,000 in restitution.

Her husband, Bradley Fisher, 50, who was her boyfriend at the time, is also charged in the matter. His case was rescheduled for later in June.Authorities said Aulenbach convinced the victim, who had diminished mental capacities, to issue 47 checks totaling about $22,000 to her between June and December 2009. Read more »

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