While it often goes unreported, elder financial abuse costs older Americans 2 to 3 billion dollars per year.
Eldora resident Jim Ruby lost more than $800,000 due to theft by caregiver, Pamala Hammond, leaving him with very little in the last few years of his life. On this edition of River to River, two of Ruby's close friends share his story and advocate for stricter sentencing for criminals who commit financial fraud against seniors.
Hammond pleaded guilty to first degree theft last month and was sentenced Monday in Hardin County District Court. Originally facing up to $10,000 in fines and a decade in prison, Hammond was sentenced to five years of supervised probation as a convicted felon.
"People like her that understand the laws, have no respect for the laws, and know how to outfox the laws...I consider people like her predators," says Kathy Speicher.
Bill Brauch, of the Iowa Attorney General's office, and Craig Goettsch, of the Iowa Insurance Division, also join the program to provide telltale signs of financial fraud and consumer scams, and they share what individuals and family members can do to prevent such abuse.
For complaints dealing with investment fraud or insurance fraud, Iowans can visit the Iowa Fraud Fighters' website or call (877) 955-1212. To submit a report about consumer fraud, visit the Iowa Attorney General's website or call (888) 777-4590.