Reporting Financial Abuse of the Elderly in Colorado
To report financial abuse of the elderly in Colorado:
- Make a report to Adult Protective Services.
- Use the intake number for your county to make the report.
- In addition, contact your local police department, who can investigate whether a crime has occurred.
In addition to reporting financial abuse of the elderly in Colorado, you may take action in court to appoint or challenge guardianship for the individual.
Places To Report Financial Abuse of the Elderly in Colorado
Here are places to report financial abuse of the elderly in Colorado:
1. Adult Protective Services
Colorado’s Adult Protective Services investigates reports of abuse and neglect against seniors and vulnerable adults. They have the authority to investigate physical, emotional and financial abuse. An investigation begins with a call to the local county APS intake number. Provide as much information as you can include the name and location of the person that you expect is being abused.
Be sure to provide information in as much detail and as clearly as possible. Financial abuse can be subtle, and it can be complex—the people investigating need to understand what is going on and evaluate the situation quickly.
Remember that some individuals are mandatory reporters of suspected elder abuse. A person may be a mandatory reporter because of their relationship to the senior, assumption of care or their employment for pay as a caretaker. It is a crime to fail to report elder abuse when required. It is also a crime to make a false report of financial exploitation.
When a person makes a report to Adult Protective Services, they hope that the action is sufficient to protect their loved one. However, if APS fails to intervene sufficiently, there are still things that you can do. You can make a report to law enforcement and take your own legal action regardless of what happens through APS.
2. Local Police
You can report financial abuse of the elderly to the local police. Financial abuse is a crime. Theft, embezzlement and criminal exploitation of an elder are some of the charges that may be appropriate. Colorado criminal law 18-6.5-103(5)¹ penalizes theft against a vulnerable person, including while acting as a fiduciary, as a class five felony if the amount involved is under $500. It is a class three felony if the amount involved is more than $500.
Criminal charges must begin by making a report through the local police. The police can investigate, and they have the power to subpoena records and work with financial institutions. The police create a police report and submit it to the prosecuting attorney for consideration of charges. When you make the report, be prepared to provide details, including any written records that you think will help the investigating officers clarify the issues.
3. Denver Trauma & Resilience, Formerly the Denver Center for Crime Victims – Elderly and Disabled Services
The Trauma & Resilience center provides help for individuals in response to trauma. Individuals and their families can access resources to help them with responding to financial exploitation and other crimes. The intake number for Trauma & Resilience is (303) 894-8000.
4. Court actions for guardianship
It may be necessary to take legal action in Denver Probate Court. You may ask the court to appoint a guardian to manage financial affairs for the elder. Unfortunately, it may also be an appointed guardian that is responsible for financial abuse. You may take court action in order to address guardianship of your loved one in response to financial abuse.
5. Civil Claim for Financial Compensation
You may bring a claim for financial compensation through civil legal action. Financial exploitation is a civil legal wrong. The victim or someone acting on their behalf may take action to expose the exploitation and demand monetary compensation for the funds improperly handled. Through civil legal action, you have the opportunity to conduct depositions and demand the production of records to prove what happened.
6. Internet Crime Complaint Center
The Internet Crime Complaint Center is a wing of the FBI that investigates crimes that involve the internet. Many elder financial abuse cases fall into this category. You may make a report to the Internet Crime Complaint Center to investigate elder financial abuse.
7. Commissioner of Securities Reports
Certain licensed securities professionals must report suspected elder financial abuse under the Protection of Vulnerable Adults from Financial Exploitation Act. The professional must make a report to the Commissioner of Securities. In addition, they may take action to alert third parties, like family members, if they suspect abuse.
What Happens When You Report Financial Abuse of the Elderly?
When you report financial abuse of the elderly, those with authority may investigate. Their investigation may be short or long, depending on the circumstances. If they believe that financial abuse has occurred, they may take action through the courts. They may also prepare a police report for criminal charges. If an offender is convicted of a crime, they may have to pay restitution to a victim.
Attorneys for Financial Exploitation of the Elderly
As you make reports of financial exploitation of the elderly, remember it may be necessary for you to take action on your own. Our attorneys are here to help. If you suspect that a loved one has been the victim of financial exploitation, contact our Colorado personal injury attorneys to talk about your case.
Reporting Elder Abuse 3- Resources
What is the Adult Protective Services reporting number for Denver County, Colorado?
The Adult Protective Services reporting number for Denver County, Colorado, is (720) 944-2994.
What is the Adult Protective Services reporting number for Adams County, Colorado?
The Adult Protective Services reporting number for Adams County, Colorado, is (720) 523-2057.
What is the Adult Protective Services reporting number for Jefferson County, Colorado?
The Adult Protective Services reporting number for Jefferson County, Colorado, is (303) 271-4673.