When considering types of elder abuse, neglect and abandonment often come to mind. It is an unpleasant fact however, that elder abuse can and does take many different forms. Financial abuse, for example, can often be just as devastating to a victim as neglect or even physical abuse is. When a person on a fixed income is taken advantage of financially, these victims typically have little to no means of recovering their assets. This is particularly true of elders in Southern California, who are often defenseless or unaware of potential threats— making them easy prey for scammers.
In a case that’s garnered a lot of media attention, two convicted felons were recently charged with holding an 84-year-old woman against her will along with stealing money from the woman and her husband. Here’s an overview of that story:
In August of 2015, 53-year-old Wayne Kim Golden, and his girlfriend, 52, made an agreement with the 84-year-old victim to house her 94-year-old husband with Alzheimer’s, who needed full time in-home care. At some point, Shillings showed up at the female victim’s home in Menifee where the victim still lived independently, and took her back to the residence in Perris where Shillings and Golden cared for her husband. Once at the home, Shilling confiscated the 84-year-old’s car keys and check book, and held her hostage in her home for two weeks.
The 84-year-old victim was eventually able to contact Riverside County Adult Protective Services and persuade a case worker to pick her up and take her back to her home. When the victim returned home, she discovered her home had been ransacked for valuables and the accused had tried to drain her bank accounts. Authorities also found evidence that the accused couple had gone as far as to forge documents for Social Security in an attempt to pilfer the victim’s retirement income. Golden and Shillings had apparently taken the elderly couple hostage in order to take advantage of them and steal their assets.
Fortunately, the two were taken into custody and are currently facing charges. But justice comes slowly, and the victims who remain unnamed, are undoubtedly still picking up the pieces after this financial and emotional devastation.
As technology advances and criminals find new and more cunning ways to take advantage of their victims, it is crucial we remain vigilant and proactive in preserving our own assets as well as those of our elder loved ones. If you or someone you know has been a victim of financial elder abuse, or you suspect financial mistreatment of an elder in San Diego, contact us today.
Walton Law, APC is a San Diego boutique law firm dedicated exclusively to representing injured parties in the areas of personal injury, nursing home abuse and neglect, and financial elder abuse. We only represent people – not insurance companies – and take pride in our reputation for obtaining full and fair compensation for our clients while providing personalized client service. If you believe somebody you know has been a victim of elder abuse in San Diego, CA, please call (866) 338-7079 for a free and confidential consultation.