Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2321367
 


 



Preying on the Graying: A Statutory Presumption to Prosecute Elder Financial Exploitation


Andrew Jay McClurg


University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law

September 5, 2013

Hastings Law Journal, Vol. 65, No. 4, 2014
University of Memphis Legal Studies Research Paper No. 128

Abstract:     
Already widespread and with seventy-eight million baby boomers in or nearing retirement, elder financial exploitation has been labeled “The Crime of the 21st Century,” yet little is being done to address the problem. While states and the federal government have passed hundreds of laws protecting children based on the assumption they are vulnerable and unable to protect themselves, older at-risk adults have been comparatively ignored despite extensive research showing they too are vulnerable.

A substantial roadblock to prosecuting elder financial predators is the inability to prove the financial transfers at issue were the result of exploitation rather than legitimate transactions. By their nature, most elder exploitation cases do not involve taking property by force or even stealth. Many victims “voluntarily” part with their assets. To outsiders, the transfers may look like gifts or loans, when in fact they occur because of undue influence, psychological manipulation, and misrepresentation.

Arising from a Florida criminal case involving the financial exploitation of the author’s 93-year-old father in a “sweetheart scam,” this Article proposes an aid to prosecuting elder exploitation in the form of state criminal statutes creating a permissive presumption of exploitation with regard to certain financial transfers from elders. The Article offers a specific statute and explains that it would be workable and constitutional. Preliminarily, the Article explores the scope of elder financial exploitation, discusses why it is grossly underreported and under-prosecuted, and analyzes practical, cognitive, and psychological reasons older adults are vulnerable, focusing on emerging research showing that even elders who lack obvious impairments are at risk.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 47

Accepted Paper Series


Download This Paper

Date posted: September 7, 2013 ; Last revised: June 25, 2014

Suggested Citation

McClurg, Andrew Jay, Preying on the Graying: A Statutory Presumption to Prosecute Elder Financial Exploitation (September 5, 2013). Hastings Law Journal, Vol. 65, No. 4, 2014; University of Memphis Legal Studies Research Paper No. 128. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2321367

Contact Information

Andrew Jay McClurg (Contact Author)
University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law ( email )
1 Front Street
Memphis, TN 38103
United States

Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 493
Downloads: 100
Download Rank: 155,335

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo7 in 0.250 seconds