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Pennsylvania Families Should Take Note of Financial Abuse Schemes in Nursing Homes

A former nursing home business office manager in California has been charged with kidnapping an 85-year-old Alzheimer’s disease patient from her Berkeley nursing home. According to the San Francisco Gate, Concepcion “Connie” Pinco Giron, 51, stole more than $50,000 from six elderly patients of the Elmwood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, including the one she kidnapped. California state Attorney General Jerry Brown said, “This is a shocking case of nursing-home abuse and a gross violation of trust.” As a Pennsylvania nursing home abuse lawyer, I urge nursing home patients and their families to watch their finances as carefully as they can.

Giron’s schemes involved opening bank accounts at Citibank in the patients’ names, according to the Department of Justice. Then she transferred their money into her own account, wrote herself checks from their accounts, and used their ATM cards. She also allegedly stole money from their trust accounts at the nursing home. Giron also told one patient’s son that he had to pay an extra $600 per month for his mother’s care, and then kept the money for herself, over the course of 18 months. And in August 2008, Giron claimed that one of the patients would be transferring to another facility, but in fact kidnapped the patient and moved her into Giron’s own home. Then Giron cashed the patient’s pension and Social Security checks.

In August 2009, the state attorney general’s Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse began investigating Giron in response to a complaint about her. That month, investigators found the kidnapping victim, 85-year-old Carnell Williams, in Giron’s home, physically unharmed. Giron has been charged in Alameda County with kidnapping to commit another crime, false imprisonment, elder abuse and six counts of theft from elder or dependent adults by a caretaker. She is being held at the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin in lieu of $365,000 bail.

A dependent, elderly nursing home resident should not have to fear that his or her lifetime’s worth of savings will be stolen by his or her caretakers, and thankfully many nursing home employees are honest. Nevertheless, financial exploitation of the elderly is all too common. Patients and their families should track their bank accounts and be alert to any unusual activity.

If you or a loved one have experienced financial abuse while in a nursing home, a Philadelphia nursing home negligence attorney at Rosenbaum & Associates may be able to help you recover your losses. To find out more and schedule a free consultation, please call us at 1-800-7-LEGAL-7 or contact us by email.

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