Washington, DCA government investigation into hundreds of allegations of elder abuse has found that court appointed guardians of incapacitated seniors are not screened or monitored, with serious, if not life threatening consequences.
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The investigation, by the Government Accountability Office looked into review practices in 45 states, revealed that in 20 cases which involved criminal or civil penalties guardians has stolen at least $5.4 million in assets from some 158 seniors. Worse, in some cases physical abuse and neglect were evident. According to a report on CNN.com
a case in Missouri involved a convicted bank robber who had been appointed guardian of an elderly man who developed Alzheimer's disease. As the senior's condition deteriorated, the guardian was able to steal over $640,000 from him by writing checks out of the senior's estate to pay for exotic dancers and a new Hummer.
A full report on the findings of the investigation is due out Wednesday. The committee is considering legislation to help reduce the likelihood of fraud.