Exploitation of the Elderly

Recently, Attorney Chris Kaigle with The Umansky Law Firm represented a gentleman who was charged with exploitation of elderly and grand theft. The charge comes from a relationship that he had with an 87 year old woman who lived in veterans affairs. He had known her for about two years, and they struck up a friendship. Every day he brought her food, took her to the day room, and participated in activities with her. Although she was elderly, there was no indication whatsoever that she either wasn’t in her right mind or wasn’t competent in any way. This woman hardly had a family, and no relatives or friends visited her in over a year. This woman was actually a captain in the Air Force and had been through three wars. She was a captain in WW2, she served time in Korea, and she also did time in Vietnam. She was the head nurse of her unit, and she had extremely interesting stories, especially since she served during a time when, in the military, women were not as accepted as they are today.

Over the course of the two years, he met with her every day, they carried on conversations, and they became very, very good friends. There seemed to be nothing suspicious whatsoever. The woman was also fairly well to do and had some substantial resources. Near the end of her life, and without much family, she began to give sums of money to friends, local fire departments, and various charities and organizations around central Florida. Three times she gave him a little bit of money. Nothing ever ended up happening with that. He cashed the checks, they were never an issue.

Two years later, a distant relative found out about these transactions. Concerned about his possible inheritance, he then contacted the State attorney’s office and charges were filed against the client. They alleged that over the two years that he had known this woman, he had exploited her and essentially forced her into giving him money. This was completely not true. The case went on for over another year and a half. Various depositions were done; Mr. Kaigle did depositions of her medical doctors, he subpoenaed her medical records – over 1,000 pages of medical records had to be gone through. The case was set for trial at various times but for one reason or another was delayed. The case changed hands of the prosecutor’s office, with four different prosecutors being appointed. Ultimately, when the last prosecutor got appointed Mr. Kaigle once again got on the phone and tried to convince her there was no crime committed, and that the client had done nothing wrong. Finally, Attorney Chris Kaigle got a prosecutor who agreed with us and ultimately dropped the charges over a year and a half later.

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    Exploitation of the Elderly