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Washington State Tough on Elder Fraud

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Seattle, WAKing County prosecutor Page Ulrey calls the growing number of financial abuse cases “outrageous.” There are two prosecuting attorneys in her office who work on financial elder abuse but she says they need more like five prosecutors to handle the work. “We’re swamped,” says Ulrey, who recently spoke at a White House conference on the subject and is fast becoming known for her very effective work bringing perpetrators to trial.

Consider the 2009 King County case of Jasmine Kassim, now serving 75 months in prison for bilking five seniors out of more than $1 million dollars. Kassim was an annuity salesperson for Banker’s Life. She had numerous elderly clients that she systematically groomed and targeted over a period of years. The elderly victims were all between 75 and 90 years old.

“Kassim is a great example,” says Ulrey, who prosecuted Kassim. “These people trusted her, and when she told them to write a check out to her so she could reinvest the money in their annuity, they did without questioning her.”

The money went first into Kassim’s daughter’s account and then directly into Kassim’s personal bank account. Investigators later found that Kassim had spent almost all the money on herself and a lavish lifestyle.

In this case, the missing money came to light because the son of one of the victims began asking questions about large checks drawn from his father’s account. Banker’s Life refunded the money to all the victims, but it is believed that most cases of financial abuse go unreported and unprosecuted.

“We don’t know the scope of the problem because these cases are so underreported. We think we are only seeing a tiny fraction of what is actually happening,” says Ulrey. “But I can tell you anecdotally from doing this work for the last 12 years, it is getting worse and worse, and we are getting more and more cases.”

The young housekeeper who marries an aged and ailing multi-millionaire grabs the headlines but it happens regardless of income level.

“Regardless of whether they are getting $500 a month in social security or whether they have huge assets. It is usually perpetrated by people who are in some position of trust,” says Ulrey.

“For the victims, the pain is immeasurable because they are losing money they took a long time to accrue or they are depending on to survive, and secondly, because they have been betrayed by someone they trust,” she adds.

“A study done a number of years ago found that victims of abuse, neglect and exploitation are three times more likely to die a premature death. I have seen that a lot in my cases. Victims are so demoralized and devastated by financial exploitation that they often deteriorate, and many of my victims are dead before we get to trial,” says Ulrey.

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READER COMMENTS

Posted by

on
Washington state does not protect seniors in the courts and this article is bs. In 2012 I was name beneficiary in a will. The executor stole half a million and the kc courts assisted the criminal in every way. Ignoring seven contemp charges, ignoring her lieing to the court, delaying all our motions and telling my attorney he should quit. Also ignored our pleas as she stole more and more. It's 2016 and we still our fights kc corrupt court system.

Posted by

on
Our system employs more people that talk about this subject, it's all talk & no real help.

Posted by

on
My Great Grandfather was one of the victims of Jasmine Kassim, the Bankers life and casualties agent who stole over $1million dollars of several elderly citizens. At that time my husband and I were living with him and care taking for him, driving him to medical appointments and running errands, grocery shopping and giving him his meds and checking blood sugar. I also cleaned, cooked for him because he couldn't keep his blood sugar down on his own. He also had a heart attack around this time and we took him to the e.r. where they said he needed open heart surgery. I visited him everyday because if I didn't, he would cry for me to come,our family knew this was from his dementia. She saw the perfect opportunity and the perfect scape goats. Soon after my husband and I were being questioned by the police. Someone had made an anonymous call to them about us and his "mysterious " financial situation... Which we had no idea about because we thought his money was all safe inside of Bankers life.It was hell, investigators were harassing us daily and his other side of the family and friends and made them think bad of us. I was extremely upset and sadend because I loved my grandfather so much, he had taken care of me my whole life and I wanted only to return the favor. When they couldn't find any evidence on us the case was closed. Then on the news we see Jasmine Kassim in hand cuffs.. There she was.. The real cause of missing money not only from my grandfather, but from several other seniors!this doesn't just affect the victims, but they're families and caregivers as well. She should have gotten more than just six years!

Posted by

on
California is NEVER investigates elder abuse as I have reported abuse and neglect to Contra Costa County APS including my doctors who reported my abuse. My bi-polar senior elder single brother has arsenal of automatic weapons in home I was always to remain because of my disability and how I was provided. CCC APS "lied" to my doctors stating that my brother and I were the same person and that they knew and had investigated the abuse. No person ever came to investigate anything and several Martinez police officers stated the county had no money to investigate anything. State and county gov in California only pay "lip service" about elder abuse. I left that profession because of mandatory reporting that I was also told to inform family who hired my services. As soon as I politely informed them about necessary improvements their elder or stroke victim needed I was told my services were no longer needed. No job protections for mandatory care givers that lose their jobs after they discuss caring for their elder.
My best high school friend in Washington who has stroke in 2012 was left with his ill wife who also could not care for herself. The four daughters allowed them to live in filthy home without food and medicine. She dropped dead in dentist chair because her Washington doctor failed to obtain heart surgery another doctor stated was emergency. No state protects elders. I now must keep my high school friend with me at all times because his four daughters only call when they need money. I threw up when I entered his bedroom and a foot of trash was on his floor with bathroom so "gross" I was unable to enter until I was able to cover my entire body to clean. Videos were taken and will be provided to Washington but I doubt they will care about this elder stroke victim. My high school buddy's daughters hope he will drop dead so they can get the money his parents had left him. OVER MY DEAD BODY! I may be disabled by surgical mistake that was not documented as false surgical report was written but I will protect my best friend from his daughters abuse along with elder daughters mentally ill boyfriend who verbally abuses him so he is forced to retreat to his dangerous bedroom. He had no person to drive him for his diabetic medication nor his wife's medication. None of his daughters cared to drive them to medical appointments either. His daughters and his incompetent medical doctors created the horrible mess that I now must take responsibility to correct.

Posted by

on
My brother and daughter. ..2 seperate cases..
Brother broke trust set up for me by my parents and stole $1.3 million snd judge is sitting and resigned.

Posted by

on
I always had respect for the police until I received the letter of no case regarding my elder abuse complaint. See the letter in addition to over 100 pages of evidence suppressed by the Napa, California Police Department. The elder abuse investigating police officer instructed me, "Mr. Bass, do not bring any of your documents to the interview." Enter into Google Search Three Taps for Olga Elder Abuse in the USA or use this link: http://three-taps-for-olga-elder-abuse-usa.blogspot.com/

An unlicensed Home Health Aid continually talked to my mother, Olga Bass, about selling her home of 24 years, a home earning $1,000 per month rental income, a home that was fully paid for. Then after the home was sold that same Home Health Aid took over my Power of Attorney for my mother's financial estate, her accounts at Wachovia Securities and Prudential Securities. That was in 2002. Mother Olga died in 2004. It is now 2013 and that Home Health Aid still retains Power of Attorney of my mother's financial estate. I am horrified and very, very deeply sadened.

Police saw no cause to interview any of the many psychiatrists who had been treating my mother regarding her audio video hallucinations, suicide attempts, hiding and collecting pills under her pillow. The attorney who oversaw the sale of Olga's home and the signing over of Power of Attorney for Olga's financial estate stated to police that Olga took care of her own financial affairs was mentally competent to sell her home. Absolutely lies, all lies.

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