Senate Bill 178, the Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Act, establishes requirements for the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate and prosecute elder abuse crimes and enforce elder abuse laws.
Federal officials are now authorized to go into states to investigate and prosecute unscrupulous court-appointed guardians and conservators who prey on their elderly wards. The bill also specifically targets email scam artists who prey on the elderly.
iAdvance Senior Care says in its recent article, “New elder abuse protections law,” that the new legislation says the DOJ must do the following:
- designate Elder Justice Coordinators in federal judicial districts and at the Department of Justice;
- implement comprehensive training for FBI agents; and
- establish a working group to provide policy advice.
The Department of Justice is required by the new legislation to establish best practices for data collection on elder abuse. The DOJ must also collect and publish information on elder abuse cases and investigations.
The DOJ, in coordination with the Elder Justice Coordinating Council, must provide information, training and technical assistance for state and local governments, so they can investigate, prosecute, prevent and mitigate the impact of elder abuse, exploitation and neglect.
The new law also amends the federal criminal code to include “telemarketing or email marketing fraud” and add “healthcare fraud” to the list of fraud offenses that are subject to enhanced penalties.
The Department of Health and Human Services must also deliver data on elder abuse cases referred to adult protective services, and the Federal Trade Commission must designate an Elder Justice Coordinator within its Bureau of Consumer Protection.
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Reference: iAdvance Senior Care (October 26, 2017) “New elder abuse protections law”