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DA Targeting Financial Elder Abuse

The DA's office is stepping up efforts to crack down on financial elder abuse.

The Santa Barbara District Attorney’s Office is stepping up efforts to ensure financial institutions abide by a nearly year-old law requiring them to report financial elder abuse whenever they suspect it, the office announced Wednesday.

Senate Bill 1018, which took effect in January, requires financial institutions to report suspected abuse immediately to local law enforcement or adult protective services. A written report must be filed within two days.

On Wednesday, District Attorney Christie Stanley sent out a statement saying the department is working with financial institutions to “educate them” about their requirements and to “encourage” full compliance. It made no mention as to why the department is embarking on the campaign.

“We need to ensure that we are taking all appropriate actions to prevent financial abuse of our elders and dependent adults and that all mandated reporters are in full compliance with this law,” Stanley said in the statement. “Santa Barbara County has a large elderly population and their financial security is paramount to the well-being of our community. Through timely and diligent reporting by financial institutions of suspected financial abuse of elders and dependent adults we hope to put an end to their days of financial abuse.”

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