“Fraud & Identify Theft of Elderly Victim”

Issue:
Arxis was contacted to assist the elderly victim of abuse.  The victim reported that she had not gotten mail in a while and that a strange lady had come into her home uninvited.  The concern was that personal papers and forms of identity had been stolen thus exposing all of the cash, investments and other assets to theft. The client requested that we verify that current holdings were intact and to prevent the loss of cash and investments.

Arxis work:
The fact that all mail had apparently been diverted caused concern that identity theft and other crimes had been in process for a long time.  We immediately visited the banks and brokerage firms to discuss the activity in the accounts. It became apparent right away that our worst fears were realized.  Hundreds of thousands of dollars had been stolen from several checking accounts and a brokerage account.  We also found that serious attempts had been made to access additional accounts.

We determined that the first step was to shut down every account and consolidate all cash accounts into one bank account and all investment accounts into one.  All credit cards were closed.  The mailing address for all vendors and banks were established at a remote location under the control of a trusted caretaker of the records. Signature and password protection was established to prevent unauthorized access.  Tracing was initiated that resulted in identifying the names and physical location of the people who were operating the scheme.

Result:
Most of the stolen money was recovered through insurance claims filed by the banking institutions and our interfering with the theft that was actually in-process when we got involved.  Interrupting the scheme allowed us to stop it, rewind some of it, and identify with significant confidence who was abusing our client.  Police reports were filed – to no avail.  Apparently, elder abuse is so pervasive that the police do not have sufficient resources to pursue or prosecute crimes of this nature.  The client was restored to her financial position before the theft took place.  What took much longer was the restoration of her sense of security and personal safety.  It resulted, ultimately, in her moving from her home before she felt completely safe.