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Financial abuse of the elderly: Sometimes unnoticed, always predatory

from Bradenton Herald

It was only after Mariana Cooper, a widow in Seattle, found herself with strained finances that she confessed to her granddaughter that she was afraid she had been bilked out of much of her savings. Over three years, Cooper, 86, had written at least a dozen checks totaling more than $217,000 to someone she considered a friend and confidant. But the money was never paid back or used on her behalf, according to court documents, and in early November the woman who took advantage of Cooper, Janet Bauml, was convicted on nine counts of felony theft. Cooper, who lost her home and now lives in a retirement community, is one of an estimated 5 million older U.S. residents annually who are victimized to some extent by a caregiver, friend, family member, lawyer or financial adviser. more

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