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Category Archives: Elder Exploitation News

COVID Investment Scams Strike Alabama – Alabama Reacts!

On May 21, 2020, the Alabama Securities Commission filed a cease and desist order against Johnnie Dancy, who pretended to be an investment advisor and who defrauded people through an e-mail phishing scam.  Dancy, through the rather amusing email address [email protected], solicited various investments, including penny stocks while promising a weekly profit of $5,000 per week.  He allegedly claimed that due to the COVID-19 crisis, penny stocks in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries had “HUGE SOMETIMES 1000 PERCENT RETURNS.”  Investment solicitations promising inordinately high profits and written in all-caps raised red flags, at least in Alabama.

Dancy advertised his investments by giving a few cherry-picked examples of stocks that gained value as a result of the crisis, such as Amazon.  He provided no evidence of his historical investment performance.  These scams target the vulnerable among us, notably the elderly. Dancy utilized a global pandemic to defraud the elderly and those who are struggling to make ends meet.

If it sounds too good to be true, it’s generally not true.  If you or someone you know come across investment solicitations that appear to be scams, stay away.  If you know someone who has already been victimized, they should contact an attorney.

If you have not hired an attorney and wish to discuss any securities related question, please contact David A. Weintraub, P.A., 7805 SW 6th Court, Plantation, FL  33324.  By phone: 954.693.7577 or 800.718.1422.


Son of Elderly, Disabled Couple was Arrested for Identity Theft and Exploitation of the Elderly  

On May 4, 2020, Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit together with the Tarpon Springs Police Department arrested a Pasco County resident for exploiting both of his parents under the defendant’s care.  Ronald Rose, Jr., 48, withdrew thousands of dollars from his relatives’ bank accounts without approval to spend on personal expenses such as rent, vehicle payments and phone services.

Acting on information received from a Medicaid provider, the Attorney General’s MFCU Patient Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation Team began investigating the defendant for misuse of patient funds. The investigation revealed that Rose embezzled from the accounts of his late father, a 69-year-old man who suffered from dementia, and his 77-year-old mother, who is blind, according to an arrest warrant obtained by the Florida Attorney General’s Office. The son took a total of $71,642 from his parents’ accounts, the warrant said, and took out a $19,002 loan in his mother’s name without her knowledge.  Rose is being held in the Pinellas County jail without bail.

The defendant had power of attorney over his father and was supposed to be helping his mother with her finances, the warrant said, when the fraudulent transactions took place from 2016 to 2018.  Ronald Rose Jr. was arrested on two counts of exploitation of the elderly, a third-degree felony, one count of fraudulent use of personal identification information, a second-degree felony, and violating his probation in Hillsborough County.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “My office is committed to protecting seniors. Older Floridians should not have to worry about being taken advantage of by those entrusted with their care. Thank you, to my MFCU team, for stopping this unconscionable behavior and I look forward to my Office of Statewide Prosecution now holding the defendant responsible for these crimes.”

If you believe that you or one of your relatives has been a victim of elder exploitation, please call our law office for a complimentary consultation. We can be reached at (800) 718-1422.

Florida Attorney General collaborates with Florida’s Senior Groups to Protect Older Floridians from COVID-19 Scams

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, together with leaders from the American Association of Retired Persons, Association of Mature American Citizens, American Seniors Association and the Florida Council on Aging, met virtually on April 9, 2020, to discuss emerging scams targeting older Floridians amid COVID-19 pandemic. According to Attorney General Moody, “Seniors are uniquely vulnerable to COVID-19 and to scams designed to exploit the fear surrounding the pandemic to rip off Floridians. That is why we are working with the top senior groups in Florida to make sure older Floridians have the resources necessary to avoid falling prey to these fraudsters.” During the virtual meeting, the panel discussed some of the most common COVID-19 scams victimizing elderly citizens, such as: cyber scams, telephone and text messaging scams, counterfeit product offers, bogus door to door testing offers, offers to sell fake virus cures and phony charity donation solicitations.

The report warns in reference to cyber scams that citizens should be wary of all emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization and other healthcare organizations, offering to share information about the virus. Also, be on the lookout for emails asking for the verification of personal data in exchange for receiving economic stimulus funds or other benefits from the government. Government agencies are not sending out emails asking for sensitive personal information in order to receive government funds or other official pandemic financial relief.

The panel also discussed the ongoing robocall problem. Now that many Floridians are working remotely and are home there has been an increasing volume of phone calls, making it hard to ignore unknown numbers. The panel advises that if anybody receives a robocall, just hang up! Do not press any numbers or characters on your phone. Scammers are calling with offers involving everything from COVID-19 treatments and cures to work from home schemes. Like email phishing scams, text messages from unknown sources may offer hyperlinks to what appears to be automated pandemic updates or interactive infection maps. Clicking on these links gives scammers a way of installing malware on mobile electronic devices, putting the recipient of the message at increased risk of identity theft and financial exploitation.

Other points of conversation were offers for COVID-19 vaccinations and home test kits. Currently, no vaccines, pills, lotions, medications or other prescription or over the counter products are available to treat or cure the novel coronavirus. Do not answer the door or allow inside any unknown individual or business representatives offering to sell consumer products, medical kits, vaccines, cures or in person COVID-19 testing. It is recommended that when buying consumer products that are in extreme demand, like sanitizers, personal hygiene products, and health and medical supplies that are offered online, the consumer be very cautious and confirm that the website is legitimate, additionally it is recommended that the consumer pays with a credit card rather than a debit card, and keep a record of the transaction. If you believe a company is capitalizing through prize gouging, bring your concerns to the attention of the Attorney General’s office by contacting the Price Gouging Hotline at 1.866.9NO-SCAM.

Lastly, the panel warns about phony charities and donation requests that take advantage of the good will and generosity by creating fictitious charitable organizations and seeking donations that never go to the fake charity’s stated cause and take money away from those in need. Be sure to research where a charitable donation is going. Additionally, Attorney General Moody issued a Consumer Alert warning Floridians about scammers using the new coronavirus stimulus package to target Floridians. News of the historic stimulus is providing ammo for scammers already trying to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic to rip off Floridians.

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody Announced an Arrest of a Woman for Exploiting a Senior Citizen

A Pinellas County woman was arrested for exploiting a Senior Citizen out of thousands of dollars. Anne Marie Barnes was arrested after an investigation by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit’s Patient Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation Team, acting on information received from a Medicaid provider. The investigation revealed that Barnes, who is related to the elderly person, was responsible for handling the relative’s financial affairs and had access to the elderly relative’s financial accounts. Barnes misappropriated the elderly relative’s funds for purposes other than the relative’s benefit in excess of $8,500.

Barnes is charged with one count of exploitation of an elderly person, a third-degree felony, and faces up to five years in prison and more than $13,000 in fines and restitution. The State Attorney’s Office for the Sixth Judicial Circuit will prosecute this case. In reference to the case, Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “This woman, who was entrusted with her own relative’s care and finances, abused that power to pad her own pockets. I’m disgusted, and I’m proud of my Medicaid Fraud Control Unit for their hard work in bringing this criminal to justice.”

If you believe that you or one of your relatives has been a victim of elder exploitation, please call our law office for a complimentary consultation. We can be reached at (800) 718-1422.

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody Announced More than $2 Million in Recoveries and Savings for Florida Seniors

At the US Department of Justice Summit on Fighting for Elder Justice, Attorney General Moody pointed out that “Since taking office, we have recovered more than $2 million for older Floridians through the efforts of our Senior Protection Team and Seniors vs. Crime.” According to the 2019 Senior vs. Crime Report, the office volunteers worked more than 1,900 cases of reported fraud resulting in more than $1.7 million in recoveries and savings for Florida seniors. Additionally, the newly formed Senior Protection Team has recovered more than $287,000 for Florida seniors. Members of the Team and the Senior vs. Crime volunteers attended Senior Day at the Florida Capitol to help educate older Floridians about common scams and ways they can prevent fraud.

If you believe that you or one of your relatives has been a victim of elder exploitation, please call our law office for a complimentary consultation. We can be reached at (800) 718-1422.