Certain crimes stigmatize even when the accused person has behaved in a dutiful, above-board manner. One of these is financial exploitation of vulnerable adults, often by a guardian or conservator.
If you are accused of stealing from another person you may face a theft charge. If the state accuses you with stealing from an elderly or disabled person, the charges and penalties are much more serious.
People don’t like the idea of cheating vulnerable people out of their money or property. The courts, therefore, are motivated to make examples of individuals who allegedly mishandle the finances of the elderly and disabled. Judges and juries often do not try to see the accused’s point of view.
Micromanagement of guardians and conservators
Laws against the exploitation of vulnerable adults – the elderly and people with dementia – exist in every state. Minnesota has gone one step further. Since 2010, Minnesota has been requiring that conservators account for every dollar they spend on behalf of their charges.
This mandatory online project, MyMNConservator, alerts the court to indications that a conservator has overstepped his or her bounds. The system has been responsible for greatly increasing the number of conservators investigated for or charged with exploitation.
If you are facing charges of financial exploitation of a vulnerable person, act quickly to get help with your criminal defense case.