Senior citizens in Minnesota are being financially abused and exploited at an alarming rate by their own family members. 5 INVESTIGATES analyzed court records in 232 cases involving financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult and found the suspect was related to the victim in two-thirds of all cases. In one case, a son withdrew thousands of dollars from his aging mother’s bank account. He described his actions as an “addiction” when he admitted to family members he took the money without her consent. 5 INVESTIGATES’ analysis of convictions between 2013 and 2018 provide the first in-depth look at how senior citizens are exploited in Minnesota. Victim advocates and legal experts say the true scope of the problem had previously been limited to national statistics, citing a lack of funding in this field for research. According to national data gathered by the U.S. Department of Justice, roughly 50% of all elder exploitation cases in the United States involve family members. However, in Minnesota, that number is closer to 69%. The defendants included sons, daughters, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, as well as in-laws and other distant relatives.
If you suspect someone you know is the victim of financial exploitation, call the statewide hotline number to report it: 1-844-880-1574