oversight

Elder Justice: National Strategy Needed to Effectively Combat Elder Financial Exploitation

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 2012-11-15.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                United States Government Accountability Office

GAO             Report to Congressional Requesters




                ELDER JUSTICE
November 2012




                National Strategy
                Needed to Effectively
                Combat Elder
                Financial Exploitation




GAO-13-110
                                                November 2012

                                                ELDER JUSTICE
                                                National Strategy Needed to Effectively Combat
                                                Elder Financial Exploitation
Highlights of GAO-13-110, a report to
congressional requesters




Why GAO Did This Study                          What GAO Found
Elder financial exploitation is the illegal     Officials in each of the four states GAO contacted identified the need for more
or improper use of an older adult’s             safeguards and public awareness activities to help prevent elder financial
funds or property. It has been                  exploitation. They also noted that it is difficult to prevent exploitation by
described as an epidemic with society-          individuals such as financial services providers, power of attorney agents,
wide repercussions. While combating             guardians, and paid in-home caregivers. Although states have primary
elder financial exploitation is largely the     responsibility for combating elder financial exploitation, the federal government
responsibility of state and local social        could disseminate information on model power of attorney legislation, for
service, criminal justice, and consumer         example, to help states better safeguard against power of attorney abuse—one
protection agencies, the federal
                                                type of federal activity authorized under the Older Americans Act of 1965. In
government has a role to play in this
                                                addition, experts and state and local officials told GAO that many older adults
area as well. GAO was asked to review
issues related to elder financial
                                                need more information about what constitutes elder financial exploitation in order
exploitation. This report describes the         to report and avoid it. The seven federal agencies GAO reviewed have
challenges states face in (1) preventing        undertaken activities to increase public awareness of elder financial exploitation.
and (2) responding to elder financial           While some experts observed that a nationwide approach to educating the public
exploitation, as well as the actions            is needed, federal public awareness activities are not currently conducted as part
some federal agencies have taken to             of a broader coordinated approach, which GAO believes could help ensure the
help states address these challenges.           effective use of federal resources. The Elder Justice Coordinating Council, which
                                                held its first meeting in 2012, could be the vehicle for developing and
To obtain this information, GAO                 implementing a coordinated national strategy. The Council is composed of
interviewed state and local social
                                                officials from federal agencies and is charged with developing national priorities
service, criminal justice, and consumer
                                                and coordinating federal elder justice activities.
protection officials in California, Illinois,
New York, and Pennsylvania—states               Experts and officials in each state GAO reviewed indicated that difficulty 1)
with large elderly populations; officials       gaining expertise, 2) sustaining collaboration between law enforcement and adult
in seven federal agencies; and various          protective services agencies, and 3) obtaining data hinders their response to
elder abuse experts. GAO also                   elder financial exploitation. As with prevention, many federal agencies have
analyzed federal strategic plans and            individually taken steps to address these challenges that are in line with their own
other documents and reviewed                    missions. For example, the Department of Justice (Justice) has begun to
relevant research, federal laws and
                                                construct a website that contains training and other materials prosecutors can
regulations, and state laws.
                                                use to build their expertise in investigating and prosecuting elder abuse, which
What GAO Recommends                             includes elder financial exploitation. However, there are gaps in federal support
                                                in some areas. For example, law enforcement officials in each of the four states
Federal agencies should develop a               GAO reviewed indicated that it is not clear how they should obtain the federal
written national strategy addressing            support they need to respond to interstate and international cases. Justice can
challenges GAO identified, facilitate           provide this information, in keeping with its priority to strengthen its relationship
case investigation and prosecution,
                                                with state and local law enforcement. Similarly, the Federal Trade Commission’s
and improve data, among other things.
                                                (FTC) Consumer Sentinel Network database compiles incidents of financial
The Consumer Financial Protection
Bureau and the Department of Health             exploitation reported to it by many sources around the country but receives
and Human Services supported GAO’s              incidents from state government agencies in only 12 states. The database would
recommendations. FTC did not believe            be of greater use if FTC obtained incidents from more of the states and
it is necessary to examine the                  contained an indicator that the incident involved an older adult.
feasibility of requiring victim’s age in
complaints. GAO maintains the
importance of its recommendation.

View GAO-13-110. For more information,
contact Kay Brown at (202) 512-7215 or
brownke@gao.gov.

                                                                                         United States Government Accountability Office
Contents


Letter                                                                                       1
                Background                                                                   4
                States Identified the Need for More Safeguards and Public
                  Awareness Activities to Prevent Elder Financial Exploitation              12
                Difficulty Gaining Expertise, Sustaining Collaboration, and
                  Obtaining Data Hinders States’ Responses to Elder Financial
                  Exploitation                                                              22
                Conclusions                                                                 38
                Recommendations for Executive Action                                        39
                Response to Agency Comments                                                 41

Appendix I      Administration on Aging                                                     44



Appendix II     Consumer Financial Protection Bureau                                        45



Appendix III    Federal Trade Commission                                                    46



Appendix IV     Financial Crimes Enforcement Network                                        47



Appendix V      Department of Justice                                                       48



Appendix VI     Federal Bureau of Investigation                                             49



Appendix VII    U.S. Attorneys                                                              50



Appendix VIII   U.S. Postal Inspection Service                                              51




                Page i                                   GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
Appendix IX      Securities and Exchange Commission                                      52



Appendix X       Examples of State and Local Activities to Prevent and
                 Respond to Elder Financial Exploitation                                 53



Appendix XI      Examples of Non-Governmental Organization Activities to
                 Prevent and Respond to Elder Financial Exploitation                     58



Appendix XII     Criminal Background Check Requirements for In-home
                 Caregivers in Selected States                                           63



Appendix XIII    Resource Centers Supported by the Administration on Aging               64



Appendix XIV     Example of a Letter Promoting a Fraudulent Sweepstakes
                 Scheme                                                                  65



Appendix XV      Total Number of FTC Consumer Sentinel Network
                 Complaints by Source, CY 2011                                           66



Appendix XVI     Comments from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau                  67



Appendix XVII    Comments from the Department of Health and Human
                 Services                                                                70



Appendix XVIII   GAO Contacts and Staff Acknowledgements                                 72




                 Page ii                              GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
Related GAO Products                                                                              73



Tables
                       Table 1: Examples of Forms of Elder Financial Exploitation by
                                Type of Perpetrator                                                4
                       Table 2: Selected Public Awareness Efforts of Federal Agencies
                                Related to Elder Financial Exploitation                           21
                       Table 3: Examples of AoA and Justice Resources That Could Be
                                Used to Increase State and Local Expertise about Elder
                                Financial Exploitation                                            24
                       Table 4: Examples of Federal Grants That Encourage Collaboration
                                among State Agencies That Respond to Elder Abuse                  27
                       Table 5: Federal Administrative Data Systems That Collect
                                Incidents of Elder Financial Exploitation                         36


Figures
                       Figure 1: State and Federal Systems and Agencies Positioned to
                                Combat Elder Financial Exploitationa                               6
                       Figure 2: Federal Agencies with Missions That Involve Combating
                                Elder Financial Exploitation                                       8
                       Figure 3: Federal Agencies’ Responsibilities in Combating
                                International and Interstate Financial Crimes                     30




                       Page iii                                GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
Abbreviations

AoA                        Administration on Aging
APS                        Adult protective services
CFPB                       Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection
                            (commonly referred to as the Consumer Financial
                            Protection Bureau)
CDAA                       California District Attorneys Association
Consumer Sentinel          Consumer Sentinel Network database
HHS                        Department of Health and Human Services
Justice                    Department of Justice
EFPN                       Elder Financial Protection Network
EJA                        Elder Justice Act of 2009
EJCC                       Elder Justice Coordinating Council
FTC                        Federal Trade Commission
FinCEN                     Financial Crimes Enforcement Network
FINRA                      Financial Industry Regulatory Authority
NASAA                      North American Securities Administrators
NCEA                       National Center on Elder Abuse
Office for Older           Office for the Financial Protection of Older
 Americans                   Americans
OAA                        Older Americans Act of 1965
RFPA                       Right to Financial Privacy Act of 1978
SEC                        Securities and Exchange Commission
SAR                        Suspicious Activity Report



This is a work of the U.S. government and is not subject to copyright protection in the
United States. The published product may be reproduced and distributed in its entirety
without further permission from GAO. However, because this work may contain
copyrighted images or other material, permission from the copyright holder may be
necessary if you wish to reproduce this material separately.




Page iv                                            GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
United States Government Accountability Office
Washington, DC 20548




                                   November 15, 2012

                                   Congressional Requesters

                                   Elder financial exploitation is the illegal or improper use of an older adult’s
                                   funds, property, or assets. 1 Experts have described it as an epidemic with
                                   society-wide repercussions. Perpetrators may be family members; paid
                                   home care workers; those with fiduciary responsibilities, such as financial
                                   advisors or legal guardians; or strangers who inundate older adults with
                                   mail, telephone, or Internet scams. Older adults are particularly
                                   vulnerable to financial exploitation because, as research has shown,
                                   financial decision-making ability decreases with age. Moreover, older
                                   adults are often ashamed to report exploitation or even admit that they
                                   have been exploited because they are afraid of losing their
                                   independence. As a result, existing data on elder financial exploitation
                                   may substantially underestimate its extent.

                                   Elder financial exploitation has far-reaching effects on its victims in
                                   particular and society in general. A study of media reports from April to
                                   June 2010 estimated that financial exploitation cost older adults at least
                                   $2.9 billion in 2010. 2 The money that older adults lose in these cases is
                                   rarely recovered, and the loss can undermine both the health of older
                                   adults and their ability to support or care for themselves. Consequently,
                                   the burden of caring for exploited older adults may fall on various state
                                   and federal programs. For example, a review of 80 elder financial
                                   exploitation cases in Utah in 2010 found the state’s Medicaid program
                                   would potentially have to pay about $900,000 to cover the cost of care for
                                   older adults in that state who had suffered substantial losses. 3



                                   1
                                     See GAO, Elder Justice: Stronger Federal Leadership Could Enhance National
                                   Response to Elder Abuse, GAO-11-208 (Washington, D.C.: March 2, 2011).
                                   2
                                     MetLife Mature Market Institute et. al., The MetLife Study of Elder Financial Abuse:
                                   Crimes of Occasion, Desperation, and Predation against America’s Elders (2011). The
                                   study assumed that the approximately $530 million in loss from all forms of elder financial
                                   abuse occurred at the same rate for the other 9 months of the year. It further assumed
                                   that this loss would be the same for the 36 percent of articles about elder financial abuse
                                   that the study identified but did not cite a specific dollar figure for.
                                   3
                                    Gunther, Jilenne, The 2010 Utah Cost of Financial Exploitation, Utah Division of Aging
                                   and Adult Services (2012).




                                   Page 1                                              GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
As the U.S. population ages, growing numbers of older adults could be at
risk of financial exploitation, so its potential impact on society is likely to
increase. Combating elder financial exploitation is primarily the
responsibility of state and local agencies. At the same time, however,
multiple federal agencies have a role to play in supporting state and local
efforts. In light of these growing concerns, we were asked to provide
information on elder financial exploitation issues. Specifically, this report
addresses the challenges states face in (1) preventing and (2) responding
to elder financial exploitation, as well as the actions some federal
agencies have taken to help states address these challenges.

To address these objectives, we interviewed officials from agencies that
included state and local social services, criminal justice, and consumer
protection agencies in California, Illinois, New York, and Pennsylvania.
We selected these states to achieve variation in location, because of the
large size of their elder population, and because each state had a number
of initiatives to combat elder financial exploitation. Across the four states,
we held interviews with representatives from entities such as state and
local adult protective services (APS) agencies; offices of attorneys
general; police and sheriffs’ departments; local district attorneys and
courts; and state banking, securities, and insurance regulators. In three of
the four states we also spoke with private organizations that work on
issues related to elder financial exploitation, such as a university research
center, elder abuse forensic center, and state banking association. In
Pennsylvania, we met with experts from the Institute on Protective
Services at Temple University and also attended an elder financial
exploitation training for APS workers that was hosted by the Institute. We
focused only on financial exploitation of older adults living at home, not on
older adults in long-term care facilities.

We also interviewed experts in the field of elder abuse—including
academics and practitioners—and representatives from a variety of non-
profit and private sector organizations, such as the AARP, American Bar
Association, and American Bankers Association. We interviewed
representatives from University of California at Irvine’s Center of
Excellence on Elder Abuse and Neglect and the University of Kentucky’s
Justice Center for Elders and Vulnerable Adults. In addition, in order to
gain the perspectives of large national and small community banks, we
interviewed officials at six financial institutions. These banks are not,
however, representative of banks nationwide.

Furthermore, we interviewed officials and analyzed strategic plans and
other documents from seven federal agencies—including the


Page 2                                       GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
Administration on Aging (AoA) within the Department of Health and
Human Services (HHS), Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection
(commonly referred to as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or
CFPB), Department of Justice (Justice), Federal Trade Commission
(FTC), Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) within the
Department of the Treasury, Postal Inspection Service, and Securities
and Exchange Commission (SEC). In total, we held dozens of interviews
with experts and officials from federal, state, local, and non-governmental
organizations.

We also reviewed relevant federal laws and regulations, as well as
selected state laws. Moreover, we attended the initial meeting of
members of the Elder Justice Coordinating Council (EJCC), which
includes officials from 11 federal agencies with an interest in elder abuse.
We also attended several conferences related to elder financial
exploitation, including the American Society on Aging’s 2012 Aging in
America Conference, California District Attorneys Association’s (CDAA)
2011 Elder Abuse Symposium, Stanford Center on Longevity and the
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) 2011 State and Future
of Financial Fraud Conference, Elder Financial Protection Network’s
(EFPN) 2012 Call to Action Conference, and a 2011 webcast on elder
issues hosted by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human
Services and State Bar Association’s 2011 Elder Issues Webcast. At the
CDAA Symposium, we held small group meetings with district attorneys
and investigators from various counties in California. And at the EFPN
Conference we held a small group meeting with local district attorneys,
advocates, a state insurance agency official, and a financial institution.

To illustrate the complexities of combating elder exploitation, we met with
a social service agency, several criminal justice agencies, and, in one
case, a family member to develop detailed case histories on six
prosecuted cases of elder financial exploitation. The perpetrators in these
cases were family members, financial services providers, or telephone
scammers. We identified cases from news stories and internet searches.
We selected six cases because they (1) occurred in three of our four
review states (California, New York, and Pennsylvania), (2) involved each
of the different types of elder financial exploitation (exploitation by family
or trusted others, exploitation by financial services providers, and
exploitation by strangers), and (3) included instances where more than
one agency or system was involved. The cases we selected are a non-
generalizable sample of elder financial exploitation cases.




Page 3                                      GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
                                          Lastly, we identified and reviewed research published from 2000 onward
                                          on elder financial abuse or elder financial exploitation by searching
                                          numerous bibliographic databases and reviewing materials cited by elder
                                          abuse experts or published by federal, state, and non-governmental
                                          organizations. We focused our review on published research on the
                                          extent, impact, cost, and nature of elder financial exploitation. We also
                                          interviewed an official from the Utah Division of Aging and Adult Services
                                          to discuss the state’s study on the cost of elder financial exploitation.

                                          We conducted this performance audit from November 2011 to November
                                          2012 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing
                                          standards. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to
                                          obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for
                                          our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe
                                          that the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings
                                          and conclusions based on our audit objectives. Our investigative activities
                                          were conducted in accordance with standards prescribed by the Council
                                          of the Inspectors General for Integrity and Efficiency.


                                          Elder financial exploitation, one type of elder abuse, can occur in
Background                                conjunction with, and might lead to other types of elder abuse. 4 Financial
                                          exploitation of older adults can take many forms and perpetrators can
                                          include family members, friends, legal guardians, paid caregivers, and
                                          strangers. Table 1 provides some examples.

Table 1: Examples of Forms of Elder Financial Exploitation by Type of Perpetrator

Perpetrators                                    Forms
Family members, friends, in-home caregivers, —Theft of cash or other valuables
                                      a
legal guardians, representative payees , etc. —Withdrawals from bank accounts or use of credit cards
                                              —Transfer of deeds
                                              —Misuse of an older adult’s power of attorney
                                              —Misappropriation of an incapacitated older adult’s income or assets
                                              —Identity theft




                                          4
                                            Other types of elder abuse include physical, psychological, and sexual abuse, as well as
                                          neglect and self-neglect.




                                          Page 4                                             GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
Perpetrators                                          Forms
Financial services providers (brokers,                —Sale of fraudulent investments (Ponzi or pyramid schemes)
financial advisors, insurance agents, or              —Sale of financial products or services unsuitable for an older adult’s
others in the financial services industry)            circumstances, such as long-term annuities
Strangers                                             —Lottery, mail, telephone, or Internet scams
                                                      —Door-to-door home repair scams
                                                      —Identity theft
                                             Source: GAO analysis of published research.
                                             a
                                              Representative payees are persons who receive Social Security benefits on behalf of recipients who
                                             are determined to be incapable of managing their finances. 20 C.F.R. §§ 416.601 and 416.2001.


                                             Older adults are particularly attractive targets for financial exploitation by
                                             unscrupulous individuals. As a group, older adults tend to possess more
                                             wealth than those who are younger because they have had a longer time
                                             to acquire it. In addition, the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease and other
                                             dementias that undermine judgment increases with age. 5 Moreover,
                                             financial capacity—the capacity to manage money and financial assets in
                                             ways that meet one’s needs—generally declines with age, and this
                                             decline may go unaddressed until it is too late. 6

                                             State and local agencies in the social services, criminal justice, and
                                             consumer protection systems in each state are at the forefront of efforts
                                             to prevent, detect, and respond to elder financial exploitation. Seven
                                             federal agencies whose missions correspond to the state and local social
                                             service, criminal justice, and consumer protection systems are positioned
                                             to contribute to state and local efforts in this area: AoA, CFPB, Justice,
                                             FTC, FinCEN, SEC, and the Postal Inspection Service (see fig. 1). 7




                                             5
                                               Hebert et al., “Alzheimer Disease in the US Population,” Archives of Neurology, 60
                                             (August 2003): 1119-1122.
                                             6
                                               Agarwal et al., “The Age of Reason: Financial Decisions over the Life Cycle with
                                             Implications for Regulation,” Brookings Papers on Economic Activity 2 (Washington, D.C.:
                                             2009): 51-117.
                                             7
                                              See appendixes I through IX for additional information on each of these agencies. The
                                             Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) also functions as a federal
                                             consumer protection agency in that they administer the Home Equity Conversion
                                             Mortgage Program, the nation’s largest reverse mortgage program for older adults.




                                             Page 5                                                  GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
                                                                                                                  a
Figure 1: State and Federal Systems and Agencies Positioned to Combat Elder Financial Exploitation




                                        a
                                            The relationship between the federal and the state and local agencies in a given system varies.
                                        b
                                            State attorneys general also play a consumer protection role.
                                        c
                                            Justice also plays a consumer protection role.




                                        Page 6                                                      GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
At the state and local level, APS agencies investigate and substantiate
reports of suspected elder abuse, including financial exploitation and, if
the client agrees to accept help, can arrange for services to secure their
safety and meet their basic needs. APS can also refer cases to law
enforcement agencies or district attorneys for criminal investigation and
prosecution. Whether an elder financial exploitation case comes to the
attention of criminal justice authorities through referral from APS or some
other means, law enforcement agencies and district attorneys can
exercise broad discretion when deciding if a case warrants any action on
their part.

State-level consumer protection agencies—such as banking, securities,
and insurance regulators—conduct examinations to ensure that rules to
protect consumers are followed and take enforcement actions against
institutions that break the rules. State attorneys general may also
prosecute cases or respond to consumer protection inquiries.

Although combating elder financial abuse is explicitly included in the
mission of only one federal agency, CFPB’s Office for the Financial
Protection of Older Americans (Office for Older Americans), it is implicit in
the mission of others that work to combat elder abuse, protect consumers
or investors, or prevent fraud (see fig. 2).




Page 7                                      GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
Figure 2: Federal Agencies with Missions That Involve Combating Elder Financial Exploitation




                                         a
                                          Justice also plays a consumer protection role. Specifically, two of Justice’s strategic objectives are to
                                         (1) prevent and intervene in crimes against vulnerable populations; uphold the rights of, and improve
                                         services to, America’s crime victims; and (2) combat corruption, economic crimes, and international
                                         organized crime.


                                         Federal legislation has established a foundation for the federal
                                         government to assume a leadership role in combating elder abuse,
                                         including elder financial exploitation, and basis for greater coordination




                                         Page 8                                                      GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
across federal agencies in this area. The Older Americans Act of 1965
(OAA) 8 requires AoA to develop objectives, priorities, policy, and a long-
term plan for

•      facilitating the development, implementation, and continuous
       improvement of a coordinated, multidisciplinary elder justice system in
       the United States;

•      promoting collaborative efforts and diminishing duplicative efforts in
       the development and carrying out of elder justice programs at the
       federal, state, and local levels;

•      establishing an information clearinghouse to collect, maintain, and
       disseminate information concerning best practices and resources for
       training, technical assistance, and other activities to assist states and
       communities to carry out evidence-based programs to prevent and
       address elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation;

•      working with states, Justice, and other federal agencies to annually
       collect, maintain, and disseminate data on elder abuse, neglect, and
       exploitation, to the extent practicable;

•      establishing federal guidelines and disseminating best practices for
       uniform data collection and reporting by states;

•      conducting research on elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation; and

•      carrying out a study to determine the extent of elder abuse, neglect,
       and exploitation in all settings. 9

The Elder Justice Act of 2009 (EJA) 10 contains provisions pertaining to
APS as well as elder justice, in general. It authorizes funding for




8
     Pub. L. 89-73, 79 Stat. 218 (codified as amended at 42 U.S.C. §§ 3001-3058ff).
9
    42 U.S.C. § 3011(e)(2).
10
  Pub. L. No. 111-148, tit. VI, subtit. H, 124 Stat. 119, 782-804 (2010) (codified at 42
U.S.C. §§ 1320b-25, 1395i-3a, and 1397j-1397m-5). The EJA was enacted as part of the
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which was signed into law on March 23, 2010.




Page 9                                               GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
      •    HHS to

           o    annually collect and disseminate data regarding elder abuse,
                neglect, and exploitation of elders in coordination with
                Justice; 11

           o    develop and disseminate information on best practices and
                provide training for carrying out adult protective services; 12

           o    conduct research related to the provision of adult protective
                services; 13

           o    provide technical assistance to states and others that provide
                or fund the provision of adult protective services; 14 and

           o    establish 10 elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation forensic
                centers, in consultation with Justice, that would (1) conduct
                research on forensic markers for elder abuse, neglect, or
                exploitation, and methodologies for determining when and how
                health care, emergency, social and protective, and legal
                service providers should intervene and when these cases
                should be reported to law enforcement; (2) develop forensic
                expertise regarding elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation; and
                (3) use the data they have collected to develop, in coordination
                with Justice, the capacity of geriatric health care professionals
                and law enforcement authorities to collect forensic evidence,
                including evidence needed to determine if elder abuse,
                neglect, or exploitation has occurred. 15




11
   § 2042(a)(1)(B) and (2), 124 Stat. 794 (codified at 42 U.S.C. § 1397m-1(a)(1)(B) and
(2)).
12
     § 2042(a)(1)(C), 124 Stat. 794 (codified at 42 U.S.C. § 1397m-1(a)(1)(C)).
13
     § 2042(a)(1)(D), 124 Stat. 794 (codified at 42 U.S.C. § 1397m-1(a)(1)(D)).
14
     § 2042(a)(1)(E), 124 Stat. 794 (codified at 42 U.S.C. § 1397m-1(a)(1)(E)).
15
     § 2031, 124 Stat. 790-91 (codified at 42 U.S.C. § 1397l).




Page 10                                               GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
•      Grants to state and local governments for demonstration projects that
       test methods and training to detect or prevent elder abuse or financial
       exploitation; 16 and

•      An Elder Justice Coordinating Council and an Advisory Board on
       Elder Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation to develop priorities for the
       elder justice field, coordinate federal activities, and provide
       recommendations to Congress. 17

Currently, the Elder Justice Coordinating Council consists of the following
federal agencies: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Corporation for
National and Community Service, 18 Department of Health and Human
Services, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of
Justice, Department of Labor, Department of the Treasury, Department of
Veterans Affairs, Federal Trade Commission, Postal Inspection Service,
and Social Security Administration.

Coordination among federal agencies is also a feature of the Dodd-Frank
Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which established
CFPB, requiring it to coordinate its consumer protection efforts of older
adults with other federal agencies. 19 CFPB’s Office for Older Americans is
charged with facilitating the financial literacy of seniors on protection from
unfair, deceptive, and abusive practices and on current and future
financial choices. 20




16
     § 2042(c), 124 Stat. 795 (codified at 42 U.S.C. 1397m-1(c)).
17
     §§ 2021 and 2022, 124 Stat. 786-89 (codified at 42 U.S.C. §§ 1397k and 1397k-1).
18
  The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages
Americans in service through Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and the Social Innovation Fund.
42 U.S.C. § 12651.
19
  Pub. L. No. 111-203, § 1015, 124 Stat. 1376, 1974 (2010) (codified at 12 U.S.C. §
5495).
20
     § 1013(g)(1), 124 Stat. 1973 (codified at 12 U.S.C. § 5493(g)(1)).




Page 11                                               GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
States Identified the
Need for More
Safeguards and Public
Awareness Activities
to Prevent Elder
Financial Exploitation

States Cited Need for More     According to officials in the four states we visited, financial exploitation of
Safeguards to Prevent          older adults by financial services providers, power of attorney agents, and
Elder Financial                in-home caregivers is particularly difficult to prevent. 21
Exploitation

Financial Services Providers   Older adults may consult with a variety of financial professionals, such as
                               financial planners, 22 broker-dealers, 23 and insurance agents. 24 However,


                               21
                                 See appendix X for examples of activities undertaken by APS, criminal justice, and
                               consumer protection agencies in California, Illinois, New York, and Pennsylvania to
                               prevent elder financial exploitation by financial services providers, power of attorney
                               agents, and in-home caregivers. See appendix XI for examples of these activities
                               undertaken by private organizations.
                               22
                                  Financial planners can provide a variety of services, including preparing financial plans
                               for clients based on their financial circumstances and objectives and making
                               recommendations for specific actions clients may take. In many cases, financial planners
                               also help implement these recommendations by, for example, selling investment products,
                               such as insurance, securities, or other investments. Financial planners are subject to
                               federal and state regulation pertaining to investment advisers, broker-dealers, and
                               insurance agents, depending on the services they provide. See GAO, Consumer Finance:
                               Regulatory Coverage Generally Exists for Financial Planners, but Consumer Protection
                               Issues Remain, GAO-11-235 (Washington, D.C.: January 18, 2011).
                               23
                                  Broker-dealers handle trades between the buyers and sellers of securities and charge a
                               fee to do so. Broker-dealers may buy securities from customers or sell from their own
                               inventory. Most are also members of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
                               FINRA is a self-regulatory organization with oversight of all broker-dealers doing business
                               with the public in the United States.
                               24
                                  Insurance agents sell products, such as life insurance or annuities. They must be
                               licensed by the states to sell these products and are subject to state insurance regulation.
                               The sale of variable insurance products, such as variable life insurance or variable
                               annuities, is subject to both state insurance regulation and broker-dealer regulation. See
                               GAO-11-235.




                               Page 12                                             GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
older adults, similar to other consumers, may lack the information to make
sound decisions about choosing a financial services provider and
protecting their assets from exploitation. As a result, they may
unknowingly put themselves at risk of financial exploitation.

Individuals who present themselves as financial planners may adopt a
variety of titles and designations. In some cases, privately conferred
designations—such as Certified Financial Planner®—require formal
certification procedures, including examinations and continuing
professional education credits, while other designations may merely
signify that membership dues have been paid. Designations that imply
expertise in advising older adults have been a source of particular
concern among state securities regulators, according to the North
American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA). 25 Older adults
may lack information to distinguish among the various senior specific
designations. Indeed, in 2011, we reported that there is some confusion
about what these titles mean and the level of skill required to obtain
them. 26

     Exploitation by “Senior Specialist”

     Calling himself a senior financial advisor, an insurance agent licensed in California met
     an 89-year-old partially blind, intermittently confused man at a senior center. The
     agent persuaded him to invest about $250,000 in a flexible premium deferred annuity,
     warning him not to let anyone talk him out of it. As a result, the man was left with no
     penalty-free access to his entire life savings for the next 11 years, while the agent
     earned a commission on this transaction. To earn about $16,000 more in
     commissions, the agent then convinced the man to move half the amount invested in
     the annuity into unregistered stock, which cost the man a surrender fee of about
     $10,000. The stock turned out to be worthless, leaving the man with a fraction of what
     he had when he met the agent. Attempts by the man’s nephew to retrieve his uncle’s
     money were unsuccessful. The nephew reported the insurance agent to the California
     Department of Insurance, which eventually revoked the agent’s license, but local
     police did not pursue the older adult’s case. While the insurance agent faced no
     criminal charges in this case, he was later sentenced to 3 years in prison for
     defrauding another older adult.


Another concern is that older adults may be fooled by investment
professionals who use questionable tactics to market financial products,



25
     NASAA is a national membership organization for state securities regulators.
26
     See GAO-11-235.




Page 13                                                GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
such as “free lunch seminars” at which financial professionals seek to sell
financial products to older adults during a free meal. SEC, the Financial
Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and NASAA examined 110 firms
that sponsored free lunch seminars from April 2006 to June 2007 offered
in seven states and found that 63 seminars used misleading advertising
and sales materials, 25 seminars resulted in unsuitable
recommendations, and in 14 seminars there were fraudulent practices
used, such as selling fictitious investments. 27

Preventing the sale of unsuitable or fraudulent investments to older adults
is difficult. 28 An investment can be unsuitable for an older adult if it has
features that might not provide its intended benefit during the investor’s
lifetime. Older adults also can be sold what they believe to be legitimate
investments, but are actually completely fraudulent products that hold
little or no value.

     Investment Fraud Using a “Ponzi” Scheme

     The founder and president of a real estate and financial consulting firm convinced
     around 200 individuals—about one-third of whom were older adults—to invest in real
     estate projects that failed to generate any significant revenue. He also convinced them
     to obtain reverse mortgages on their homes, and to invest the proceeds with his firm.
     The investments turned out to be a “Ponzi” scheme. Specifically, the perpetrator paid
     distributions to some investors from others’ deposits; misled investors with false
     amortization schedules; and used investors’ money to pay for his Porsche, mortgage,
     and other personal expenses. The scheme was reported to FINRA, investigated by the
     FBI, and prosecuted by the Eastern District of New York U.S. Attorney’s Office, which
     sought sentencing enhancements for targeting the elderly. Victims lost over $12
     million. They also reported irreplaceable financial losses, emotional distress, feelings
     of betrayal and disbelief, and various physical symptoms as a result.


SEC has developed some educational materials and SEC and CFPB
have conducted research related to investment fraud that targets older
adults. For example, SEC has published a guide for older adults that
counsels them to check their investment adviser’s disciplinary history,
lists warning signs of fraud, and provides information on where to go for



27
  SEC, FINRA, and NASAA, Protecting Senior Investors: Report on Examinations of
Securities Firms Providing “Free Lunch” Sales Seminars (2007).
28
  SEC, Guide for Seniors: Protect Yourself Against Investment Fraud; SEC, FINRA, and
NASAA, Investor Alert, Investment Products and Sales Practices Commonly Used to
Defraud Seniors: Stories from the Frontline.




Page 14                                                GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
                    help. 29 SEC also provides a link to a FINRA website that provides
                    consumers with the required qualifications, including educational
                    requirements, of the designations used by securities professionals. In
                    August 2012, SEC released a study on financial literacy among investors
                    and stated the agency’s desire to develop a strategy for increasing the
                    financial literacy of certain groups, including older adults. CFPB plans to
                    issue a report in early 2013 to Congress and the SEC that will address
                    providing information to older adults about financial advisors and their
                    credentials. In June 2012, the CFPB issued a public inquiry for
                    information about elder financial exploitation, including a question on what
                    resources older adults have to determine the legitimacy, value, and
                    authenticity of credentials held by investment professionals. 30 CFPB
                    expects to share its results in 2013.

Power of Attorney   Older adults can use a legal document referred to as a financial power of
                    attorney to appoint another person (an agent) to manage their finances
                    should they become incapable of doing so. Having a financial power of
                    attorney enables an older adult (a principal) to choose the person who
                    can legally make these decisions for them, when needed. Powers of
                    attorney are easy for anyone to create, can vary in specificity and format,
                    and do not require legal assistance or a court for execution. Each of the
                    four states we contacted has a law that helps prevent misuse of powers
                    of attorney by specifying the responsibilities of agents and, in at least one,
                    penalties for misuse. However, powers of attorney can be forged or
                    perhaps otherwise improperly obtained without a principal’s knowledge or
                    consent and an agent can easily use the principal’s money for his or her
                    own benefit. For this reason, many state and local officials we interviewed
                    in the four states were concerned about misuse of these instruments. For
                    example, one Pennsylvania official described power of attorney
                    documents as a “powerful, simple, and dangerous tool.”




                    29
                         SEC, Guide for Seniors: Protect Yourself Against Investment Fraud.
                    30
                       CFPB, “Request for Information Regarding Senior Financial Exploitation,” 77 Fed. Reg.
                    36,491 (June 19, 2012).




                    Page 15                                             GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
  Power of Attorney Abuse

  A month after an elderly man with dementia and his wife agreed to add their
  daughter’s name to their bank account, the daughter convinced her mother to sign a
  document providing her financial power of attorney. When the woman signed, she
  was in the hospital for a broken hip and a stroke and later claimed she was heavily
  medicated. Over the next 3 months, the daughter placed the deed to her parent’s
  home in her name, wrote checks on their account totaling nearly $600,000 that were
  never questioned by the bank, and attempted to withdraw about $500,000 more.
  When the woman’s son discovered what had been happening, he had the bank stop
  payment on the $500,000 and asked the local district attorney to investigate. The
  daughter was charged with numerous counts of theft, pled guilty, and was sentenced
  to 3 years probation. The deed was transferred back to the woman and although the
  prosecutor sought restitution, the $600,000 was not recoverable—it had been used to
  pay off the daughter’s mortgage, country club membership, and other bills.


Some APS and criminal justice officials we spoke to indicated that
stronger state power of attorney laws could help prevent elder financial
exploitation by agents. For example, Pennsylvania officials said that
current state laws have been ineffective at (1) creating practices to
monitor the activities of power of attorney agents and (2) encouraging
banks to question power of attorney documents they find questionable. In
California, law enforcement officials noted that notaries were not always
held accountable for their role in signing power of attorney documents.

To help strengthen state laws designed to prevent misuse of financial
powers of attorney, the Uniform Law Commission 31 has developed the
Uniform Power of Attorney Act, which

    •     explicitly defines the duties of the power of attorney agent,
          including fiduciary duties such as acting in good faith and keeping
          careful records;
    •     allows a third party to refuse to honor a power of attorney
          agreement if there is a good faith belief that the principal may be
          subject to abuse, and requires the third party to report to APS;
    •     allows co-agents to be appointed for additional third-party
          oversight; and
    •     imposes liability on agents who violate the law.




31
   The Uniform Law Commission is a state-supported organization that drafts model
legislation to promote clarity and stability to critical areas of state statutory law.




Page 16                                             GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
            According to the Uniform Law Commission, 13 states have adopted the
            entire Uniform Power of Attorney Act. 32 Others have enacted various
            other power of attorney laws. For example, New York requires an agent
            to provide a full accounting to APS when it is investigating a report that
            the principal may be in need of protective or other services or the victim of
            abuse or neglect. If it is not provided within 15 days, APS can commence
            a special proceeding to compel the production of the information. Illinois
            has added safeguards for principals to its law and created additional court
            remedies for violations of the law. However, according to the Uniform Law
            Commission, a number of states have made no changes to laws
            governing powers of attorney since the Uniform Power of Attorney Act
            was published.

            Powers of attorney are generally regulated under state, not federal, law;
            however, AoA and CFPB are providing some information to states and
            power of attorney agents to help prevent power of attorney abuse. The
            AoA-supported National Legal Resource Center co-sponsors trainings for
            states on the adoption of the Uniform Power of Attorney Act. Furthermore,
            the CFPB is developing a guide to educate “lay fiduciaries”—including
            guardians and agents under powers of attorney—about their
            responsibilities, and is planning to develop several state-specific lay
            fiduciary guides, scheduled for release in 2013.

Guardians   There are limited safeguards to protect older adults from abuse by
            guardians, who are granted authority by a state court to make decisions
            in the best interest of an incapacitated individual concerning his or her
            person or property. While guardians can play a key role in managing the
            assets of these older adults, we have noted in past reports that guardians
            are only subject to limited safeguards that could protect these older adults
            from financial exploitation. For example, local officials in California noted
            that it can be hard to determine whether a person applying to be a
            guardian is doing so to further his ward’s best interests. We have also
            reported that few states conduct criminal background checks on potential
            guardians. Moreover, we have noted concerns with weak court oversight
            of appointed guardians, as well as poor communication between the




            32
             According to the Uniform Law Commission, Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho,
            Maine, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, and
            Wisconsin have adopted the Uniform Power of Attorney Act.




            Page 17                                         GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
             courts and federal agencies that have enabled guardians to chronically
             abuse their wards and/or others. 33

Caregivers   Exploitation by in-home caregivers was also cited by local APS officials,
             police, and district attorneys we spoke to as a type of abuse that is
             difficult to prevent. These caregivers range from personal care aides who
             provide non-medical assistance such as helping with laundry and
             cooking, to home health aides who check an older adult’s vital signs or
             assist with medical equipment. In-home caregivers may be employed by
             a private company approved to provide services via a state’s OAA 34
             program or independently hired by older adults or their families. Caregiver
             services may also be covered under a state Medicaid program if the
             individual is eligible for Medicaid. 35

             Older adults may rely on and trust in-home caregivers, and some
             caregivers have used that relationship to exploit their clients. 36 For
             example, a caregiver may be given access to an older adult’s ATM or
             credit card to help with banking or grocery shopping and later be found
             withdrawing money or purchasing items for themselves. As the population
             ages and public policies encourage older adults to remain in their homes
             for as long as practical, there will be an increased need for in-home
             caregivers.

             States are responsible for protecting older adults from exploitation by in-
             home caregivers, and safeguards vary by state. Police and district
             attorneys we interviewed were concerned that in-home caregivers are



             33
               See GAO, Guardianships: Cases of Financial Exploitation, Abuse, and Neglect of
             Seniors, GAO-10-1046 (Washington, D.C.: September 30, 2010), and GAO, Incapacitated
             Adults: Oversight of Federal Fiduciaries and Court-Appointed Guardians Needs
             Improvement, GAO-11-678 (Washington, D.C.: July 22, 2011).
             34
                OAA Title III-B provides funding for in-home services, such as personal care, chore,
             and homemaker assistance.

             35
               42 U.S.C. § 1396d(a)(7). Medicaid is a joint federal-state financing program for health
             care services for certain low-income individuals. State Medicaid programs may cover
             home-based care, such as personal care and homemaker services, for Medicaid
             beneficiaries who need help with self-care due to disabilities or health conditions.
             36
               According to AoA, many of those who exploit older adults are informal or family
             caregivers who are not employed or subject to background checks and this may be a
             more difficult type of exploitation to prevent.




             Page 18                                             GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
subject to limited, if any, background checks. A California law
enforcement official told us that caregivers suspected of exploiting older
adults sometimes have a history of theft. While the Medicaid program
requires states to develop and implement home care provider
qualification standards, there is no federal Medicaid requirement for
criminal background checks. 37 According to the National Conference of
State Legislatures, while many states have required agencies to conduct
background checks before employing in-home caregivers who are paid by
Medicaid or with other state funds, these laws vary greatly in their breadth
and scope and the amount of flexibility afforded the agencies when they
use the checks to make hiring decisions. 38 Napa County, California
recently initiated an innovative paid in-home caregiver screening initiative.
Before in-home caregivers can work in that county, they must submit to a
background check and obtain a permit annually. 39

While background checks for in-home caregivers help flag potential
abusers, an AARP study has found that states do not always use all
available federal, state, and local criminal data systems. For one, the
implementation cost may discourage their use. Moreover, their
effectiveness in reducing elder abuse, in general, is unproven. 40 As
required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, 41 the
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services implemented the National
Background Check Program that encourages states to adopt safeguards
to protect clients of in-home caregivers. This voluntary program provides
grants to states to conduct background checks for employees of long-
term care facilities and providers, such as home health agencies and


37
   States must enact standards for provider participation to ensure that providers are
qualified, effective, and cost-efficient, and to protect program beneficiaries. At the same
time, these requirements must not unfairly restrict participation in the Medicaid program.
As long as states meet these criteria, they have significant latitude in specifying their
provider qualification requirements. AARP Public Policy Institute, Safe at Home?
Developing Effective Criminal Background Checks and Other Screening Policies for Home
Care Workers (September 2010).
38
  National Conference of State Legislatures, State Policies on Criminal Background
Checks for Medicaid-Supported In-Home Direct Care Workers (December 18, 2008).
39
  See appendix XII for examples of background check requirements for in-home
caregivers in the four states we reviewed.
40
     See AARP Public Policy Institute, Safe at Home?
41
     Pub. L. No. 111-148, tit. VI, subtit. C, § 6201, 124 Stat. 119, 721.




Page 19                                                 GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
                              personal care service providers. As of November 2012, 19 states were
                              participating. The results of this program could provide data on the
                              effectiveness of background checks in preventing elder abuse, including
                              elder financial exploitation. 42

                              State and local authorities in the four states we visited told us current
                              safeguards are not always sufficient to prevent exploitation by those older
                              adults depend on for assistance. Although states are generally
                              responsible for laws and regulations regarding these issues, the OAA
                              directs the federal government to disseminate information about best
                              practices to prevent elder abuse, including elder financial exploitation.
                              According to our analysis, there is a role for the federal government to
                              provide more information and guidance to prevent these types of elder
                              financial exploitation.


State and Federal Officials   Experts and federal, state, and local officials told us that older adults need
Called for Greater Focus      more information about what constitutes elder financial exploitation in
                              order to know how to avoid it. 43 However, APS and law enforcement
on Public Awareness
                              officials told us that it is difficult for them to reach many older adults with
                              this message and that they have little funding to promote public
                              awareness. For example, in one California county officials reported that
                              due to budget cuts, they had lost many positions that involved educating
                              the public about elder financial exploitation.

                              Each of the seven federal agencies we reviewed independently produces
                              and disseminates public information on elder financial exploitation that is
                              tailored to its own mission. For example, SEC produces information to
                              educate investors about fraud prevention, including an investment guide
                              for older adults. FTC publishes information to protect consumers, and
                              AoA disseminates information to help reduce elder abuse, including elder
                              financial exploitation. (See table 2 for examples of the types of
                              information provided by each of these agencies.) These seven agencies


                              42
                                 In addition to criminal background checks, APS agencies in several states maintain a
                              registry of elder abuse offenders that can be used to flag in-home caregivers who might
                              financially exploit older adults.
                              43
                                See appendix X for examples of activities undertaken by APS, criminal justice, and
                              consumer protection agencies in California, Illinois, New York, and Pennsylvania to
                              educate and inform older adults about elder financial exploitation. See appendix XI for
                              examples of these activities undertaken by private organizations.




                              Page 20                                             GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
                                           have also worked together at times to increase public awareness of elder
                                           financial exploitation. For example, each year FTC and the Postal
                                           Inspection Service collaborate on community presentations during
                                           National Consumer Protection Week.

Table 2: Selected Public Awareness Efforts of Federal Agencies Related to Elder Financial Exploitation

Agency                 Public Awareness Efforts
CFPB                   Office for Older Americans provides information for the public on its website about how to avoid being
                       exploited.
                       Published a guide for consumers about reverse mortgages.
FTC                    Produces publications, pamphlets, and videos on a range of consumer protection issues, such as
                       telemarketing fraud, and distributes them via its website, the media, and partnering organizations.
                       Piloted a partnership with the AARP Foundation that funds peer counseling for older adults or their relatives
                       who think they have been victimized.
                       Works with AoA’s Senior Medicare Patrols to distribute educational materials to older adults and collect
                       complaints.
AoA                    Distributes an e-newsletter discussing elder abuse, including financial exploitation.
                       Maintains Senior Legal Helplines.
                       Provides elder abuse prevention grants.
                       Collaborates with nonprofit Women’s Center for a Secure Retirement to provide a gateway for financial
                       information for women.
Justice                Provides grants to states, localities, and nonprofits for elder abuse prevention activities, including education
                       and public awareness campaigns.
                       Provides information through its public websites on how individuals can protect themselves from and report
                       various types of financial fraud.
SEC                    Distributes investor information that may relate to elder financial exploitation via its website, hotline,
                       pamphlets, and regional events.
                       Provides an investment fraud guide for older adults.
                       Produces investor alert bulletins.
                       Works with AARP, FINRA, and state securities regulators on the Outsmarting Investment Fraud campaign.
FinCEN                 Provides the public with information via its website on scams and resources for victims of fraud or identity
                       theft.
Postal Inspection      Deployed FakeChecks.org Campaign in 2007 to target international fraud schemes that are often directed
Service                toward older adults.
                       In 2010, sent a postcard containing information about preventing fraud, including elder financial exploitation,
                       to every U.S. household.
                       Participated in AARP Town Hall meeting in 2011.
                       Conducts ongoing fraud prevention messaging on its website.
                       Makes community presentations on how to avoid scams during National Consumer Protection Week each
                       March (with FTC).
                                           Source: GAO analysis of agency documents and interviews.




                                           Page 21                                                    GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
                         However, although the OAA calls for a coordinated federal elder justice
                         system, 44 which includes educating the public, the seven agencies we
                         reviewed do not conduct these activities as part of a broader coordinated
                         approach. In previous work, we found that agencies can use limited
                         funding more efficiently by coordinating their activities and can strengthen
                         their collaboration by establishing joint strategies. 45 Similar calls for
                         coordination were raised when the EJCC held its first meeting on October
                         11, 2012, to begin implementing its mandate to coordinate federal elder
                         justice activities and develop national priorities. As EJCC Chairman, the
                         Secretary of HHS stated that combating elder abuse—which includes
                         elder financial exploitation—is an “all-of-government” effort and that
                         federal programs are not organized in a strategic way, which decreases
                         their effectiveness. One expert noted that there is a clear need for a
                         strategic, multi-faceted public awareness campaign on elder abuse. An
                         official from the Financial Services Roundtable 46 added that many
                         agencies are trying to focus on awareness and education, but their efforts
                         appear unorganized and uncoordinated.



Difficulty Gaining
Expertise, Sustaining
Collaboration, and
Obtaining Data
Hinders States’
Responses to Elder
Financial Exploitation



                         44
                              42 U.S.C. § 3011(e)(2).
                         45
                           See GAO, Results-Oriented Government: Practices that Can Help Enhance and
                         Sustain Collaboration Among Federal Agencies, GAO-06-15, (Washington, D.C.: October
                         21, 2005).
                         46
                           The Financial Services Roundtable is an advocacy group with members from the
                         banking, securities, investment, and insurance sectors. It aims to protect and promote the
                         economic vitality and integrity of its members and the U.S. financial system.




                         Page 22                                            GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
Special Knowledge and        According to state and local officials we spoke with in four states,
Skills Are Needed to         effectively investigating and prosecuting elder financial exploitation
Respond to Elder Financial   requires special skills and knowledge, which APS workers, law
                             enforcement officers, and district attorneys sometimes lack. For example,
Exploitation                 APS officials noted that some case workers have little background or
                             training in investigating financial crimes, and would find it difficult to
                             respond to these cases. Local law enforcement officials also noted that
                             they receive little training on elder financial exploitation and need
                             additional training to build expertise. In addition, we were told that some
                             prosecutors and judges are reluctant to take on cases of suspected elder
                             financial exploitation because of competing priorities and limited
                             resources, a continuing belief that elder financial exploitation is primarily a
                             civil issue, or a view of older adult victims as unreliable witnesses.

                             State and local officials in the four states we reviewed are attempting to
                             increase their expertise. 47 For example, some state and local officials told
                             us they attempt to acquire investigative expertise through formal and on-
                             the-job training, by dedicating units or staff to investigate suspected cases
                             of elder financial exploitation, or by contracting for assistance from
                             certified fraud examiners or other forensic accountants. 48 However, state
                             and local officials also told us that funding constraints limited their ability
                             to build this additional expertise. Moreover, officials and experts told us
                             that in order to more effectively allocate their limited resources, state and
                             local entities would need more information about which practices have
                             proven to be most effective for investigating, as well as preventing, elder
                             financial exploitation.

                             AoA and Justice have developed some resources that could be used to
                             help state and local agencies build expertise in identifying, investigating,
                             and prosecuting elder financial exploitation (see table 3).




                             47
                                See appendix X for examples of activities undertaken by APS, criminal justice, and
                             consumer protection agencies in California, Illinois, New York, and Pennsylvania to build
                             additional expertise. See appendix XI for examples of these activities undertaken by
                             private organizations.
                             48
                               Forensic accountants specialize in investigating financial crimes. The Certified Fraud
                             Examiner credential is one professional designation that a forensic accountant may hold.




                             Page 23                                            GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
Table 3: Examples of AoA and Justice Resources That Could Be Used to Increase State and Local Expertise about Elder
Financial Exploitation

Agency       Resource
AoA          National Center on Elder Abuse website has materials on elder abuse, including elder financial exploitation.
             AoA makes formula grants to states and territories under Title VII of the Older Americans Act that are used to fund
                       a
             training.
             National Adult Protective Services Resource Center provides information and technical assistance aimed at APS
             professionals.
             National Legal Resource Center provides training and information on legal issues affecting older adults.
             Model Approaches to Statewide Legal Assistance Systems demonstration program includes two elder abuse projects
             that focus on elder financial exploitation.
Justice      Funding the development of APS elder abuse training modules.
             Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women, Office for Victims of Crime, and Bureau of Justice Assistance fund a
             number of trainings—including some material devoted to elder financial exploitation—to law enforcement and others in
             the field each year.
             Prosecutors in the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section have provided training at national conferences on elder fraud.
             Created an elder financial exploitation guide for police officers.
             Plans to fund the development of online training for legal aid attorneys on identifying and responding to elder abuse,
             including financial exploitation.
             Developing strategies and best practices for financial fraud and identity theft investigations.
                                           Source: GAO analysis of HHS and Justice materials and interviews.
                                           a
                                               42 U.S.C. §§ 3058b and 3058i.


                                           Under the EJA, HHS is authorized to develop and disseminate best
                                           practices and provide training for APS workers, 49 and AoA-supported
                                           resource centers compile information about elder abuse in general for
                                           easy access. However, information pertaining specifically to elder
                                           financial exploitation topics—such as mass marketing fraud, power of
                                           attorney abuse, or investment fraud—may be dated or more difficult to
                                           find because it is intermingled with other materials. 50 For example, AoA’s
                                           National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) has compiled a list of elder
                                           abuse training materials from a variety of sources, but we could find no
                                           quick and clear way to identify which trainings cover financial exploitation.

                                           Additionally, Justice officials told us that it would be beneficial for more
                                           training to be available to prosecutors of elder abuse. Justice has
                                           identified providing training and resources to combat elder abuse as a


                                           49
                                                § 2042(a)(1)(C), 124 Stat. 794, 1397m-1(a)(1)(C).
                                           50
                                                See appendix XIII for more information on AoA resource centers.




                                           Page 24                                                             GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
                               strategy to achieve its objective of preventing and intervening in crimes
                               against vulnerable populations. Justice officials indicated that they are
                               developing an elder justice prosecution website that could serve as a
                               resource and help build expertise. The website is expected to consolidate
                               training materials in use across the country, primary litigation materials
                               from local district attorneys, and information from relevant academic
                               centers, such as the University of California at Irvine and Stanford
                               University. However, it is unclear when this project will be completed, as
                               Justice officials are waiting for materials from local district attorneys. As a
                               result, prosecutors and other law enforcement officials currently do not
                               have access to these materials.


States Identified
Additional Federal Support
Needed to Sustain Crucial
Collaborations across
Systems and Levels of
Government
Collaboration between APS      The OAA requires AoA to develop a plan for promoting collaborative
and Criminal Justice Systems   efforts to support elder justice programs at all levels. 51 Officials we met
                               from state and local social service and criminal justice agencies in three
                               of the four states we reviewed said that while collaboration between their
                               systems is important for combating elder financial exploitation,
                               collaborating can sometimes be difficult because the two systems differ in
                               the way they respond to exploitation and carry out their work. Specifically,
                               APS focuses on protecting and supporting the victim, and criminal justice
                               focuses on prosecuting and convicting exploiters. However, according to
                               experts, by working together, APS, the criminal justice system, and other
                               partners can more easily accomplish both of these goals. 52 Experts have
                               noted that some type of multidisciplinary response to elder abuse—
                               including elder financial exploitation—is prudent because of the complex




                               51
                                    42 U.S.C. § 3011(e)(2)(a)(ix).
                               52
                                  See Adria E. Navarro et al., “Holding Abusers Accountable: An Elder Abuse Forensic
                               Center Increases Criminal Prosecution of Financial Exploitation” (funded by Justice), The
                               Gerontologist, vol. 0, (May 15, 2012). This study was funded by Justice.




                               Page 25                                            GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
nature of the problems faced by victims and the wide variety of responses
required to help them and to prosecute exploiters.

In each of the four states we reviewed, local initiatives helped bridge the
gap between APS and criminal justice agencies. 53 In some locations APS,
criminal justice agencies, and other public and private entities have
formed groups that meet periodically to develop awareness activities,
foster information sharing, and discuss and resolve individual cases.
Some multidisciplinary groups discuss elder abuse broadly, such as elder
abuse task forces in some Pennsylvania counties and multidisciplinary
groups in New York City. Others concentrate on financial exploitation
specifically, such as the Philadelphia Financial Exploitation Task Force,
and Financial Abuse Specialist Teams in some California counties.

Although multidisciplinary groups responding to elder financial
exploitation already exist in each of the four states we visited and
elsewhere, forming and sustaining these groups continues to be
challenging, according to law enforcement officials in one state we visited
and experts. Busy schedules and competing priorities make it difficult for
some participants to attend meetings regularly, and a group’s focus
influences how extensively members are willing to participate. For
example, in one location officials told us that when the primary focus of
their group shifted from prosecuting cases to providing services,
participation by law enforcement officials declined. Collaborative efforts
can also be undermined by a history of poor interaction between member
organizations, differences in systemic understanding of elder financial
exploitation, difficulties communicating across disciplines, different
understandings of limits on information sharing, unclear roles, and failure
to address the group’s long-term survival. 54 However, information on
relevant promising practices in this area could help promote creation of
such groups—particularly when resources are limited—and ensure their
success.




53
   See appendix X for examples of activities undertaken by APS, criminal justice, and
consumer protection agencies in California, Illinois, New York, and Pennsylvania to
support collaboration. See appendix XI for examples of these activities undertaken by
private organizations.
54
     Brandl et al., Elder Abuse Detection and Intervention (New York: 2007).




Page 26                                              GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
                                           Federal agencies have made some efforts to promote and inform
                                           collaboration between the APS and criminal justice systems in states.
                                           However, agencies have taken few steps to compile or disseminate
                                           promising practices in creating or sustaining multidisciplinary groups
                                           responding to elder financial exploitation, even though the OAA requires
                                           AoA to develop and disseminate information on best practices for adult
                                           protective services. AoA and Justice have offered a small number of
                                           grants to states to combat elder abuse or other crimes that require or
                                           encourage collaborative efforts such as multidisciplinary teams (see
                                           Table 4).

Table 4: Examples of Federal Grants That Encourage Collaboration among State Agencies That Respond to Elder Abuse

Agency                        Grant
AoA                           Elder Abuse Prevention Interventions Program: Requires grantees to have a partnership that includes
                              at least the APS and criminal justice systems. AoA expected to award between $625,000 and $1.02
                              million each to 5-8 grantees in 2012.
                              Elder Justice Community Collaborations: Relatively small ($10,000) grants specifically for setting up
                              elder justice coalitions were awarded to over 40 grantees from 2007 to 2010.
                              Prevention of Elder Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation (OAA Title VII-A3), formula grants to all states
                              and territories that broadly require collaboration between social services and criminal justice systems.
                              Attorneys funded by Title IIIB of the Older Americans Act may work with APS in various situations,
                              including situations dealing with guardianship issues.
                              Funding from AoA’s Model Approaches to Statewide Legal Assistance Systems demonstration grants
                              may be used to support projects that address financial fraud in a collaborative fashion.
Justice (Office on Violence   Enhanced Training and Services to End Violence Against and Abuse of Women Later in Life Program:
Against Women)                Requires a partnership of criminal justice agencies, prosecutors, and nonprofits.
                                           Source: GAO analysis of HHS and Justice documents and interviews.



                                           AoA’s Elder Justice Community Collaborations program offered over 40
                                           $10,000 grants, along with technical assistance and training, from 2007 to
                                           2010 for the purpose of setting up elder justice coalitions. These
                                           coalitions, which included members across a broad range of disciplines,
                                           were required to create an elder justice strategic plan for their community,
                                           including plans for continuation beyond the grant period. This program
                                           was the only one we identified that was created specifically for the
                                           purpose of setting up new coalitions; other grants either allowed funds to
                                           be used for that purpose or required a coalition to be in place to
                                           implement the grant-funded initiative.

Collaboration on International             Interstate or international mass marketing scams include “grandparent
and Interstate Financial Crimes            scams,” which persuade victims to wire money to bail “grandchildren” out
                                           of jail or pay their expenses, and foreign lottery scams that require victims



                                           Page 27                                                             GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
to pay sizeable sums before they can receive their winnings. 55 In 2011,
the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center 56 received over 300,000
complaints from victims of all ages about online fraud alone, with reported
losses of about $485 million.

     International Mass Marketing Scam

     From 2005 to 2009, about 100 older adults wired or mailed millions of dollars to scam
     artists working out of “boiler rooms” in a Middle Eastern country, in response to a
     phone call from “an attorney” claiming they had won a lottery or sweepstakes but had
     to first pay several thousand dollars in “taxes” or “fees” to receive their winnings. The
     perpetrators used information individuals had provided on sweepstakes entry forms to
     target older adults with some savings or assets, in particular. Many of the victims, who
     ranged in age from 70 to 80, suffered from debilitating conditions including Alzheimer’s
     or some other form of dementia. Once the perpetrators received a payment, they re-
     contacted victims to inform them that they needed to send more. Victims typically did
     as they were told, continuing to send tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars.
     To lend legitimacy to this elaborate scheme, victims were sent fake documents that
     appeared to come from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service or another government
     agency, and received calls from perpetrators impersonating public officials. In addition
     to losing their life savings, victims of this scam suffered emotional distress and
     declining health. The FBI was the lead U.S. investigating agency in this case. Six
     suspects pled guilty to conspiracy charges filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office involving
     wire and mail fraud through telemarketing. Several were sentenced to between 40 and
     150 months in prison. Four more have been extradited to the United States and are


Local law enforcement authorities in the four states we visited indicated
that investigating and prosecuting the growing number of cases involving
interstate and international mass marketing fraud, which often target older
adults, is particularly difficult for them. For example, coordinating with law
enforcement authorities in other jurisdictions is labor intensive, 57 so state


55
   Mass-marketing fraud refers generally to any type of fraud scheme that uses one or
more mass communication techniques and technologies—such as the Internet,
telephones, the mail, and even mass meetings in person—to contact, solicit, and obtain
funds or other items of value from multiple victims in one or more jurisdictions. See
appendix XIV for an example of a letter promoting a sweepstakes scam.
56
   The Internet Crime Complaint Center is an online system that collects complaints of
suspected criminal or civil Internet-related violations and develops referrals to law
enforcement and regulatory agencies at the federal, state, local, tribal, and international
levels. It is a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center, a
nonprofit that supports the investigation and prosecution of economic and high-tech crime.
57
  According to the Fraud Section of Justice’s Criminal Division, lottery scam perpetrators
are operating from a growing number of countries, including Costa Rica, the Dominican
Republic, Jamaica, the Netherlands, Nigeria, and Spain.




Page 28                                                GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
and local officials are often unable to pursue these cases themselves.
Furthermore, even though various federal agencies have the authority to
investigate and prosecute interstate and international scams (see fig. 3), 58
local law enforcement officials told us there is not enough information
available on whom they should contact when they need to refer a case to
the federal level. They indicated that the lines of communication between
local and federal agencies tend to be informal, based on whom local law
enforcement officers know in a federal agency. Providing accurate
contact information is consistent with Justice’s strategic objective for fiscal
years 2012-2016 to strengthen its relationships with state and local law
enforcement. Justice officials told us they believe that local officials know
which federal officials to contact about international and interstate cases,
but state and local law enforcement officials told us that it would be
helpful to have more specific information. Cases that local officials do not
refer to a federal agency due to a lack of correct contact information may
not be investigated or prosecuted by either federal or local authorities.




58
   In addition to the work of individual agencies, the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task
Force—a broad coalition of more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices,
and state and local partners—was created by executive order to (1) investigate and
prosecute significant financial crimes and other violations related to the current financial
crisis and economic recovery efforts, (2) recover the proceeds of such crimes and
violations, and (3) ensure just and effective punishment of those who perpetrate such
crimes and violations. Exec. Order No. 13,519, 74 Fed. Reg. 60,123 (Nov. 19, 2009). The
Consumer Protection Working Group formed under the Task Force in early 2012 focuses
on strengthening the government’s collective efforts to address consumer-related scams
targeting vulnerable populations.




Page 29                                             GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
Figure 3: Federal Agencies’ Responsibilities in Combating International and Interstate Financial Crimes




                                         a
                                          U.S. Attorneys also participate in the investigation of cases, either alone or in cooperation with other
                                         agencies.


                                         In addition to not knowing whom to contact, state and local law
                                         enforcement officials in the four states we reviewed told us that they are
                                         concerned that federal agencies do not take enough of the cases that are
                                         referred to them. For example, a law enforcement official from California
                                         described a case of widespread interstate check fraud, expressing
                                         frustration with federal agencies that would not provide any support when
                                         he requested it. Federal officials, on the other hand, told us that they
                                         cannot take all cases referred to them by state and local law enforcement
                                         and that they must prioritize their caseload to make the best use of their
                                         limited resources. Justice and FTC officials said they tend to focus on
                                         larger cases in which many victims were affected or a significant amount



                                         Page 30                                                     GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
                             of money was lost, and Justice’s U.S. Attorneys also apply regional
                             priorities, such as the vulnerability (including age) of the victim, when
                             determining which cases to take.

                             Even if federal agencies choose not to take a case a state or local agency
                             refers to them, officials told us that consistent referrals of cases by state
                             and local authorities allow them to identify patterns or combine several
                             complaints against the same individual into one case. FTC’s Consumer
                             Sentinel Network database (Consumer Sentinel) collects consumer
                             complaint data and aims to be an information-sharing tool to enable state
                             and local law enforcement to become more effective. 59 Justice officials
                             said they encourage individuals and state and local authorities to file a
                             complaint of suspected fraud to either the Consumer Sentinel or the FBI’s
                             Internet Crime Complaint Center. However, while some state Attorneys
                             General were familiar with the FTC database, local law enforcement
                             officials we spoke with did not say that they reported cases to it or used
                             its data. One official said he did not find the Consumer Sentinel database
                             useful because law enforcement officials are not familiar with it.

                             FTC officials explained that while they have made attempts to get state-
                             level offices to contribute to the Consumer Sentinel, barriers such as
                             reservations about data sharing, obsolete technological infrastructure,
                             and severe budgetary cutbacks have kept the numbers of contributors
                             low. When state officials do not contribute to the Consumer Sentinel, the
                             information in the database does not give a national picture of the extent
                             of cross-border scams. As a result of this—in addition to the impact of
                             some law enforcement officials not using the system—it may be more
                             difficult to combat these scams, and officials at all levels may not have the
                             information they need to target their resources appropriately.

Working Cooperatively with   According to state and local officials, banks are important partners in
Banks                        combating elder financial exploitation because they are well-positioned to
                             recognize, report, and provide evidence in these cases. Indeed, frontline
                             bank staff are able to observe elder financial exploitation firsthand. For



                             59
                                FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network is an online database that houses millions of
                             consumer complaints available to law enforcement. Sentinel’s roster of 28 current data
                             contributors includes 12 state attorneys general, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint
                             Center, and the Council of Better Business Bureaus. More than 2,600 users from over
                             2,000 law enforcement agencies worldwide use the system to share information,
                             prosecute cases, conduct investigations, and pursue leads.




                             Page 31                                            GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
example, a bank teller who sees an older adult regularly is likely to notice
if that individual is accompanied by someone new and seems pressured
to withdraw money or if the older adult suddenly begins to wire large
sums of money internationally.

There are state efforts and bank policies to help bank employees
recognize exploitation. In Illinois, all state-chartered banks are required to
train their employees on what constitutes elder financial exploitation. 60
State and local agencies in California and Pennsylvania provide
information and training to banks to help them recognize elder financial
exploitation. Most of the six banks we spoke with had a policy for
periodically training employees on identifying elder financial exploitation.
In addition, these banks had a system in place that routinely monitors
bank transactions for unusual activity and can help identify exploitation.

Banks may also help report suspected elder financial exploitation to local
authorities. Training initiatives, such as Illinois’ program, encourage bank
employees to report exploitation. Most of the six banks we spoke with had
procedures in place for frontline employees to report suspected elder
financial exploitation to bank management. Some of these banks also had
internal units that are dedicated to receiving staff reports of elder financial
exploitation and referring them to the proper authorities.

Notwithstanding such efforts, APS and criminal justice officials told us
elder financial exploitation is generally underreported by banks. 61 Despite
the training they receive, bank staff may not be aware of the signs of
elder financial exploitation or know how to report it. In addition, in five of
the six prosecuted cases we reviewed in depth, there were missed
opportunities for banks to raise questions about transactions. For
example, in one case, bank officials did not take any action in response to
repeated withdrawals of large amounts of money that were not typical for



60
   The Illinois Department on Aging designed and administered the training protocol and
the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation certifies compliance with
the training requirement.
61
   Most states require some classes of professionals or organizations to report suspected
elder abuse, which may include financial exploitation of older individuals, to state
authorities. Some states, including California—a state we contacted—specifically include
banks as mandatory reporters. Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15630.1 (2012). Some states
immunize individuals who make such reports in good faith from civil and/or criminal liability
under state law.




Page 32                                              GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
that customer. Bank officials said they do report suspected elder financial
exploitation, but also emphasized that banks are not law enforcement
agencies. Officials said their primary responsibility is to protect customer
assets and privacy and ensure customers have access to their funds. In
addition, a banking association representative told us that even though
federal privacy laws do not prohibit banks from reporting suspected
abuse, banks are concerned that they will be held liable if they report
suspected exploitation that is not later substantiated.

Three federal agencies—CFPB, AoA, and FinCEN—are positioned to
encourage banks to identify and report elder financial exploitation, either
due to the agency’s mission or via proposed or existing activities. The
CFPB is the primary federal consumer protection regulator with respect to
a variety of financial institutions, including banks. The Dodd-Frank Act
authorizes the CFPB to protect consumers, including older adults, from
abusive practices committed in connection with the offering or provision of
consumer financial products or services. 62 In a November 2011
congressional testimony, the Assistant Director of CFPB’s Office for Older
Americans said the agency has a unique opportunity to help enhance,
coordinate, and promote efforts of a variety of groups, including financial
services providers. 63

While the federal government generally requires banks to train employees
on a variety of issues, such as money laundering, physical bank security,
and information security, 64 we could find no similar requirements for
banks to train employees to recognize and report elder financial
exploitation. However, AoA is considering collaborating with one large
national bank on a project to encourage bank training on elder financial
exploitation.

Banks are also required to file Suspicious Activity Reports (SAR) with
FinCEN to alert them of potentially illegal bank transactions that involve,
individually or in the aggregate, at least $5,000, which could include elder



62
     § 1031, 124 Stat. 1979-80 (12 U.S.C. § 5531).
63
   Testimony before the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection
United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs (Washington,
D.C., November 15, 2011).
64
     31 U.S.C. § 5318(h)(1)(C), 12 C.F.R. § 21.3(a)(3), and pt. 30, app. B (2012).




Page 33                                               GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
financial exploitation. 65 In February 2011, FinCEN issued an advisory to
banks that described elder financial exploitation, provided potential
indicators of elder financial exploitation, and requested the use of a
specific term (“elder financial exploitation”) when applicable in SAR
narratives related to this activity. 66

Bank records can help investigators track an older adult’s use of funds
over time and detect irregularities. APS officials in Pennsylvania told us
that although Pennsylvania state law grants APS access to bank records,
they are often denied access on the basis of federal privacy laws or the
bank’s policies. APS officials from California, Illinois, and New York also
reported that they are denied access to bank records for the same
reasons. 67 As a result, investigators are unable to obtain the information
necessary to investigate suspected exploitation, identify perpetrators,
stop further exploitation from occurring, or obtain restitution for victims.
Bank officials told us the federal government could help clarify bank roles
and responsibilities related to privacy and financial exploitation of older
adults. 68

There are two federal laws that generally protect the privacy of consumer
banking records: the Right to Financial Privacy Act of 1978 (RFPA) 69 and


65
   31 C.F.R. § 1020.320(a) (2012). If a financial institution knows, suspects, or has reason
to suspect, for example, that transactions have no business or apparent lawful purpose or
are not the sort in which a particular customer would normally be expected to engage, and
the financial institution knows of no reasonable explanation for the transaction after
examining the available facts, including the background and possible purpose of the
transaction, the financial institution must file a SAR.
66
   FinCEN stores SARs in a database and each state has a law enforcement point-of-
contact with access to the database. Local police and district attorneys rely on their state’s
FinCEN point-of-contact to obtain SAR information. While SARs could contain leads on
elder financial exploitation cases, local officials we spoke with said they did not use SARs
often to build criminal cases and SARs are not a vehicle for fast action.
67
  Local criminal justice agencies said that they are able to obtain bank records with a
subpoena or search warrant, but banks sometimes take a long time to provide the
records. This, in turn, extends already time-intensive investigations.
68
   The American Bar Association completed a report on this issue and concluded that
federal privacy laws do not prohibit banks from sharing information in suspected cases of
elder financial exploitation. American Bar Association, Can Bank Tellers Tell? Legal
Issues Relating to Banks Reporting Financial Abuse of the Elderly (2003).
69
  Pub. L. No. 95-630, tit. XI, 92 Stat. 3641, 3697-3710 (codified as amended at 12 U.S.C.
§§ 3401-3422).




Page 34                                              GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
                          the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. 70 Each establishes standards that banks
                          must meet to safeguard customer banking information. The RFPA
                          generally prohibits financial institutions, including banks, from providing
                          any federal governmental authority with access to copies of information in
                          any customer’s records without first providing notice to the customer.
                          Because a government authority is defined in RFPA to include only
                          federal agencies and officials, however, it should not prevent banks from
                          reporting possible financial exploitation of older adults—or providing bank
                          records to—state APS.

                          The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act generally prohibits financial institutions,
                          including banks, from disclosing nonpublic personal information to third
                          parties including, but not limited to, federal governmental authorities.
                          Nonetheless, the act has a number of general exceptions permitting
                          disclosure, such as: to protect against or prevent actual or potential fraud,
                          unauthorized transactions, claims, or other liability; consistent with the
                          RFPA, for an investigation on a matter related to public safety; or to
                          comply with a properly authorized civil, criminal, or regulatory
                          investigation, subpoena, or summons by federal, state, or local
                          authorities.


Incomplete Data Hinder    The NCEA and experts have called for more data on the cost of elder
Efforts to Combat Elder   financial exploitation to public programs and for trend data on its extent.
Financial Exploitation    According to our analysis, these data could help determine what
                          government resources to allocate and how best to prevent and respond to
                          this problem. According to one Utah official, quantifying the impact of
                          elder financial exploitation in that state helped that state’s legislators
                          understand the importance of combating this problem and convinced
                          them to simply decrease, rather than eliminate, state APS funding
                          altogether. 71 However, according to our analysis, no other state has
                          undertaken such a study.

                          Similarly, data on the extent of elder financial exploitation over time could
                          help state and local APS, as well as law enforcement agencies, assess



                          70
                            Pub. L. No. 106-102, §§ 501-510, 113 Stat. 1338, 1436-1445 (codified as amended at
                          15 U.S.C. §§ 6801-6809).
                          71
                               See Gunther, “The 2010 Utah Cost of Financial Exploitation.”




                          Page 35                                              GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
                                           the effectiveness of their efforts to combat it. The OAA 72 and EJA both
                                           require the federal government to take steps to collect and disseminate
                                           data on all types of elder abuse, 73 yet the studies federal agencies have
                                           funded in this area have produced little data on its extent over time, as we
                                           previously reported, 74 or on its cost.

                                           Several federal agencies do collect administrative data on the number of
                                           complaints submitted by consumers or criminal cases that sometimes
                                           involve elder financial exploitation (see table 5)—data that could help
                                           state and local APS and law enforcement authorities determine what
                                           resources to allocate and how best to prevent and respond to this
                                           problem. Each agency publishes material containing a range of
                                           administrative data from its system that is available to the public. FTC, for
                                           example, publishes statistics from the Consumer Sentinel on the number
                                           and types of complaints, amount of losses, and characteristics of
                                           victims. 75

Table 5: Federal Administrative Data Systems That Collect Incidents of Elder Financial Exploitation

Data System/Agency      Information Collected                              Identifies Age of Victim?        Contributors
FTC’s Consumer          Information on consumer complaints,           Optional. Less than half of           Some state and local law
Sentinel Network        including investment and mass marketing       complaints currently include          enforcement agencies, federal
                        fraud, and identity theft. The FTC adds cases age.                                  agencies, nongovernmental
                        from the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint                                             and private entities, and
                        Center to the Consumer Sentinel.                                                    individuals.
FinCEN’s SAR Data       Information on suspicious financial                Option to identify suspected Banks and other financial
                                                                                                        a
                        transactions, both actual and attempted.           elder financial exploitation   institutions.
                                                                           and age of victim.
FBI’s Internet Crime    Complaints about cyber-crime, including            Age is a required field.         State and local law
Complaint Center        online fraud.                                                                       enforcement agencies, as well
                                                                                                            as individuals.
Justice’s National      Each single incident of and arrest for 46       Age is a required field for         State and local law
Incident-Based          crimes collected from state, local, and federal individual victims.                 enforcement agencies.
Reporting System        law enforcement agencies that participate in
                        the system.




                                           72
                                                42 U.S.C. § 3012(e)(2)(A)(iii) and (iv), and (16).
                                           73
                                                § 2042(a)(1)(B), 124 Stat. 794 (codified at 42 U.S.C. 1397m-1(a)(1)(B)).
                                           74
                                                See GAO-11-208.
                                           75
                                                FTC (2012) Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book for January - December 2011.




                                           Page 36                                                    GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
Data System/Agency   Information Collected                                     Identifies Age of Victim?                 Contributors
SEC’s Tips,          Complaints about investments or financial                 Information about age is                  All sources, including individual
Complaints, and      professionals.                                            not required.                             investors.
Referrals Portal
                                       Source: GAO analysis of documents provided and interviews granted by FTC, FinCEN, Justice, and SEC.
                                       a
                                        In 2012, FinCEN released a revised SAR that includes a check box that enables filers to indicate
                                       clearly that they are reporting suspected elder financial exploitation. The revised SAR is currently
                                       available for use, and will become mandatory at the end of March 2013, according to FinCEN
                                       officials.


                                       While the number of reported incidents of elder financial exploitation in
                                       each agency’s system represents only a portion of all cases that actually
                                       occur in a given period and geographic area, the number over time could
                                       provide an indication of fluctuations in the extent of certain types of elder
                                       financial exploitation.

                                       Data from the Consumer Sentinel could be of particular interest to state
                                       and local APS and law enforcement authorities, because over half of the
                                       consumer complaints reported to this system involve financial exploitation
                                       through fraud. Individual complaints can be directly reported to the
                                       Consumer Sentinel by victims or others on their behalf. Cases reported to
                                       the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center and non-governmental
                                       organizations, such as the Council of Better Business Bureaus, are also
                                       added to the complaints in the Consumer Sentinel. Currently, however,
                                       the Consumer Sentinel does not receive any of the complaints reported to
                                       any of the law enforcement or consumer protection agencies in 38 states.
                                       Moreover, less than half the complaints in the Consumer Sentinel contain
                                       the age of the victim because FTC does not require complaints to include
                                       this information or other indicators of whether the case involved elder
                                       financial exploitation. 76 FTC officials told us the agency does not require
                                       complaints to include the age of the victim because of concerns regarding
                                       privacy and the potential burden this might place on individual
                                       complainants. In contrast, SARs in the FinCEN system will soon all be
                                       clearly identified when a filing institution reports suspected elder financial
                                       exploitation.

                                       In 2011, we found that state-level APS data could provide useful
                                       information on the extent of elder abuse, including elder financial
                                       exploitation, over time. We recommended that AoA work with states to


                                       76
                                         See appendix XV for additional information on the data in the Consumer Sentinel
                                       Network.




                                       Page 37                                                                 GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
              develop a nationwide system to collect and compile these data. 77 AoA
              officials told us they have initiated discussions with states about
              establishing such a system, but have been unable to develop a
              comprehensive plan for implementing one due to a lack of funding.


              Elder financial exploitation is a multi-faceted problem spanning social
Conclusions   service, criminal justice and consumer protection systems of government.
              As a result, combating it is challenging and requires action on the part of
              not only many state and local agencies, but also multiple agencies at the
              federal level. Each of the seven federal agencies we reviewed is working
              to solve this problem in ways that are consistent with its own mission.
              However, the problem is large and growing. It calls for a more cohesive
              and deliberate approach governmentwide that, at a minimum, identifies
              gaps in efforts nationwide, ensures that federal resources are effectively
              allocated, establishes federal agency responsibilities, and holds agencies
              accountable for meeting them.

              The EJCC has recognized that combating elder abuse, including elder
              financial exploitation, is an effort that requires federal agencies to work
              together. A clearly articulated national strategy is needed to coordinate
              and optimize such federal efforts to effectively prevent and respond to
              elder financial exploitation, and the EJCC can be the vehicle for defining
              and implementing this strategy. In the current economic climate, state and
              local APS and law enforcement agencies will find it increasingly difficult to
              cope with growing numbers of cases without a national strategy attuned
              to their need for information and guidance on preventing and responding
              to elder financial exploitation, as well as additional data on its extent and
              impact.

              In addition to working together to build a national strategy to combat elder
              financial exploitation, there are a number of ways individual federal
              agencies could better support state and local APS and law enforcement
              agencies. For example, Justice has identified providing training and
              resources to combat elder abuse as a strategy to achieve its objectives of
              preventing and intervening in crimes against vulnerable populations.
              Without easily accessible information and guidance tailored to the needs
              of prosecutors nationwide, they may continue, given limited resources, to



              77
                   See GAO-11-208.




              Page 38                                    GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
                      make such cases a low priority. Similarly, many cases cross jurisdictions
                      and could involve multiple victims or have perpetrators located in other
                      countries. These cases may not be investigated or prosecuted unless
                      state and local law enforcement have better information on the process
                      for contacting the federal government regarding these cases or the ways
                      in which the federal government could provide support.

                      Without information to correct banks’ misconceptions about the impact of
                      federal privacy laws on their ability to release bank records, APS and law
                      enforcement agencies will continue to find it difficult to obtain the
                      information they need from banks to investigate suspected cases of elder
                      financial exploitation. Moreover, without educating bank employees
                      nationwide on how to identify and report suspected elder financial
                      exploitation, many cases will continue to go unreported, uninvestigated,
                      and unprosecuted. The CPFB is positioned to provide additional
                      information to banks, as part of the agency’s consumer protection
                      regulatory function and dedication to protecting the financial health of
                      older Americans.

                      Finally, to fulfill its mission of protecting consumers against unfair,
                      deceptive, or fraudulent practices, the FTC established the Consumer
                      Sentinel Network database to enhance information-sharing and support
                      law enforcement at all levels. The Consumer Sentinel could serve as a
                      valuable source of data on the extent of some types of elder financial
                      exploitation nationwide and as an important resource for law enforcement
                      authorities as they identify, investigate, and prosecute cases. The
                      Consumer Sentinel’s usefulness in this area, however, will continue to be
                      limited until the number of contributors to it is increased and complaints
                      are required to include the age of the victim or other indicators of whether
                      the case involved elder financial exploitation. In the absence of the latter,
                      it is difficult to determine the number of financial exploitation complaints
                      that involve older adults, which in turn makes any Consumer Sentinel
                      data contributed less useful to state and local APS and law enforcement
                      agencies.


                      To coordinate and optimize federal efforts to prevent and respond to elder
Recommendations for   financial exploitation, we recommend the Secretary of HHS, as chairman
Executive Action      of the Elder Justice Coordinating Council, direct the Council to develop a
                      written national strategy for combating this problem. This strategy should
                      include a clear statement of its purpose and goals and indicate the roles
                      and responsibilities particular federal agencies should have in



                      Page 39                                     GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
implementing it. The strategy could address, among other things, the
need to

    •     identify and disseminate promising practices and other information
          nationwide that can be used by state and local agencies to
          prevent exploitation, educate the public, and help state and local
          agencies collaborate, investigate, and prosecute elder financial
          exploitation;
    •     ensure coordination of public awareness activities across federal
          agencies; and
    •     collect and disseminate better data nationwide to inform federal,
          state, and local decisions regarding prevention of and response to
          elder financial exploitation.

To develop expertise among prosecutors and other criminal justice
officials, we recommend the Attorney General establish timeframes for
and take the steps necessary to launch the elder justice prosecution
website that Justice has begun to construct.

To facilitate investigation and prosecution of interstate and international
elder financial exploitation, we recommend the Attorney General conduct
outreach to state and local law enforcement agencies to clarify the
process for contacting the federal government regarding these cases and
the ways in which the federal government could provide support.

To encourage banks to identify and report suspected elder financial
exploitation and to facilitate release of bank records to APS and law
enforcement authorities for investigating this activity, we recommend the
Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

    •     develop a plan to educate banks nationwide on how to identify
          and report possible elder financial exploitation; and
    •     develop and disseminate information for banks on the
          circumstances under which they are permitted, under federal
          privacy laws, to release relevant bank records to law enforcement
          and APS agencies.

To increase the usefulness of data from the Consumer Sentinel Network
database for federal, state, and local investigation and prosecution of
elder financial exploitation, we recommend the Chairman of the Federal
Trade Commission:




Page 40                                     GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
                         •     take additional steps to encourage more state and local law
                               enforcement authorities nationwide to report to the Consumer
                               Sentinel relevant individual complaints they receive of elder
                               financial exploitation and to encourage and enable these
                               authorities to query the system; and
                         •     study the feasibility of requiring that all complaints to the
                               Consumer Sentinel include either the victim’s age or an indication
                               of whether the complaint involves elder financial exploitation

                     We provided a draft of this report to the seven federal agencies that we
Response to Agency   reviewed for their comments. CFPB concurred with our recommendations
Comments             and agreed that a collaborative and coordinated effort by federal agencies
                     can help optimize strategies to combat elder financial exploitation (see
                     appendix XVI). CFPB further noted that financial institutions can play a
                     key role in preventing and detecting elder financial exploitation, and that
                     CFPB is collecting information on financial institution training programs
                     and considering how best to help institutions that request this information.
                     HHS indicated in its general comments that our recommendations are
                     consistent with what it heard during the inaugural meeting of the EJCC,
                     and added that it looks forward to working with Congress to continue
                     implementing the EJA (see appendix XVII).

                     In an e-mailed response, FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection noted
                     that the Consumer Sentinel database provides law enforcement with
                     access to millions of consumer complaints. FTC added that the database
                     has no required fields, and expressed its belief that if consumers were
                     required to provide detailed personal information as a condition to filing a
                     complaint, they might refuse to do so, thereby decreasing the overall
                     effectiveness of the system. FTC explained that almost 48 percent of all
                     fraud complaints in 2011 included the voluntary submission of age, and
                     that nearly half of its non-individual data contributors do not submit age
                     information in the data they provide to FTC. Given the potential for the
                     Consumer Sentinel database to support and enhance state and local law
                     enforcement agencies’ response to elder financial exploitation,
                     particularly interstate and international cases, we continue to believe that
                     FTC should study the feasibility of requiring that all complaints to the
                     Consumer Sentinel database include the victim’s age or another indicator
                     of whether the complaint involves elder financial exploitation. In doing so,
                     FTC can examine different options, including the use of a check box
                     similar to the one that FinCEN has included in its SARs.




                     Page 41                                     GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
We are sending copies of this report to the seven agencies we reviewed,
relevant congressional committees, and other interested parties. We will
also make copies available to others upon request. The report is available
at no charge on GAO’s website at http://www.gao.gov.

If you or your staff have any questions about this report, please contact
me at (202) 512-7215 or brownke@gao.gov. Contact points for our
Offices of Congressional Relations and Public Affairs may be found on
the last page of this report. GAO staff who made key contributions to this
report are listed in appendix XVIII.




Kay E. Brown, Director
Education, Workforce, and Income Security Issues




Page 42                                   GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
List of Requesters

The Honorable Herb Kohl
Chairman
Special Committee on Aging
United States Senate

The Honorable Bernard Sanders
Chairman
Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging
Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
United States Senate

The Honorable Richard Blumenthal
United States Senate

The Honorable Jeff Merkley
United States Senate

The Honorable Bill Nelson
United States Senate

The Honorable Sheldon Whitehouse
United States Senate




Page 43                                GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
                                                         Appendix I: Administration on Aging

                                                         Administration on Aging (HHS)1



Mission                                                  Relevant agency divisions
To develop a comprehensive,                              Assistant Secretary for Aging: Assists the Secretary with activities that
coordinated, and cost-effective                          address challenges and opportunities for older adults
system of home- and community-
based services that helps elderly                        Office of Elder Rights: Administers the provisions of the Older
individuals maintain their health                        Americans Act related to elder abuse prevention
and independence.
How agency prioritizes                                   Selected activities
elder financial exploitation                             •   Funds and oversees the National Center for Elder Abuse (NCEA;
Strategic goal of ensuring the rights                        www.ncea.aoa.gov), a national resource center dedicated to
of older people and preventing their                         preventing elder abuse
abuse, neglect, and exploitation.                        •   Funded the National Adult Protective Services Resource Center,
Agency’s role in combating                                   which provides information and technical assistance to APS officials
elder financial exploitation                             •   Provides formula grants to State Units on Aging in each state to
The Older Americans Act                                      prevent elder abuse
Amendments of 1965 calls for AoA                         •   Provides funds to local legal services providers, which may use the
to develop objectives, priorities,
                                                             funds to assist elder financial exploitation victims
policy, and a long-term plan for
facilitating the development of a                        •   AoA’s Model Approaches to Statewide Legal Assistance Systems
coordinated, multidisciplinary elder                         program funds demonstration grants, which aim to strengthen states’
justice system in the United States                          legal services networks, may be used to support projects that address
The Elder Justice Act of 2009                                elder financial exploitation
(EJA) calls for HHS to, among
other things:
                                                         Coordination with other agencies
•     collect and disseminate data
      related to exploitation,                           •   Works with state aging agencies to help them develop statewide plans
                                                             to combat elder abuse
•     conduct research on and
      develop information on best                        •   Through NCEA, partnered with Treasury on its Go Direct financial
      practices for Adult Protective                         literacy campaign
      Services (APS),                                    •   Partnered with Treasury and the Financial Services Roundtable on a
•     provide technical assistance to                        toolkit for training financial institutions on elder financial exploitation
      APS, and                                           •   Worked with the SEC on several Seniors Summits that brought
•     establish centers to conduct                           agencies together to discuss elder financial exploitation
      research, develop expertise,
                                                         •   Chairs the Elder Justice Coordinating Council, a collaborative body of
      and improve law enforcement’s
                                                             federal agencies created under the EJA to recommend federal policies
      ability to combat elder financial
      exploitation
                                                             to combat elder abuse and ways federal agencies should coordinate to
                                                             implement these policies.
Contact information
                                                         •   Co-leads an informal interagency workgroup that helps facilitate
Call: (202) 619-0724                                         federal elder justice activities.
Email: aoainfo@aoa.hhs.gov
Source: GAO analysis of AoA documents and interviews.   1
                                                          On April 16, 2012, AoA became part of the Administration for Community Living, which also includes HHS’s Office
                                                        on Disability and Administration on Developmental Disabilities.




                                                        Page 44                                                        GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
                                                          Appendix II: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

                                                          Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
                                                          (CFPB)


Mission                                                   Organization
To implement and enforce federal
consumer financial law consistently
for the purpose of ensuring that all
consumers have access to markets
for consumer financial products
and services and that markets for
consumer financial products and
services are fair, transparent, and
competitive


How agency prioritizes
elder financial exploitation
Agency’s organizing statute
requires emphasis on older
Americans and protecting them
from financial exploitation


Agency’s role in combating
elder financial exploitation
Leadership: Office for Older
Americans is the first federal office
                                                          Selected activities
dedicated to the financial health of                      •   Posts information for older adults on website
older Americans                                           •   Conducts research on issues affecting older Americans, such as
Information dissemination:                                    reverse mortgages, financial advisors and their credentials, and
Provides information to consumers                             fiduciaries
and to others who assist them in
                                                          •   Gathering information from the public on elder financial exploitation to
combating elder financial
exploitation                                                  learn more about the ways in which older adults are financially
                                                              exploited and best practices for elder financial management. CFPB
Supervision and Enforcement:                                  expects to share its results in 2013.
Supervises certain banks and
nonbanks and brings enforcement
actions when appropriate                                  Coordination with other agencies
Rulemaking: Issues rules, orders,                         •   Member of the Elder Justice Coordinating Council
and guidance
                                                          •   Member of Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, which brings
                                                              numerous federal agencies together to prevent, investigate, and
Contact information                                           prosecute financial crime
Call: (855) 411-2372
                                                          •   Works with AoA, Justice, Department of Labor, and SEC on various
General Information:
                                                              projects related to protecting older Americans
www.consumerfinance.gov

Source: GAO analysis of CFPB documents and interviews.




                                                         Page 45                                     GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
                                                         Appendix III: Federal Trade Commission

                                                         Federal Trade Commission (FTC)



Mission                                                  Relevant agency divisions
To prevent business practices that                      Bureau of Consumer Protection: Works to protect consumers against
are anticompetitive, deceptive, or                      unfair, deceptive, or fraudulent practices in the marketplace. The Bureau
unfair to consumers; to enhance                         conducts investigations, sues companies and people who violate the law,
informed consumer choice and                            develops rules to protect consumers, and educates consumers and
public understanding of the                             businesses about their rights and responsibilities. The Bureau also
competitive process; and to                             collects complaints about consumer fraud and identity theft and makes
accomplish this without unduly                          them available to law enforcement agencies across the country.
burdening legitimate business
activity                                                 •   The Divisions of Advertising Practices, Enforcement, Financial
                                                             Practices, Marketing Practices, and Privacy and Identity
                                                             Protection, and FTC Regional Offices are involved to some extent in
How agency prioritizes                                       the Bureau’s elder financial exploitation activities.
elder financial exploitation
                                                         •   The Division of Consumer and Business Education’s mission is to
FTC identifies older adults as a
                                                             give consumers the tools they need to make informed decisions and to
target population for its consumer
                                                             give businesses the tools they need to comply with law. The Division
education efforts. Elder financial
exploitation is included as part of                          produces, promotes, and disseminates information that is timely,
the Bureau of Consumer                                       targeted, objective, actionable, and in plain language.
Protection’s responsibility to protect
all consumers.                                           Selected activities
                                                         •   The Enforcement Division, as part of its overall mission, has dedicated
Agency’s role in combating                                   resources to investigating misrepresentations aimed at the “oldest old”
elder financial exploitation                                 and their caretakers. In 2012, the Division settled two administrative
Legal action: Investigates and                               cases with companies that misrepresented the services they provide
prosecutes large-scale fraud cases                           when referring seniors to long-term care facilities.
Information dissemination:                               •   In April 2012, the Division of Privacy and Identity Protection gathered
Provides educational materials to                            information on the types of senior identity theft, how it happens, and
consumers                                                    possible solutions.
Data collection: FTC’s Consumer                          •   FTC actively prosecutes fraudulent telemarketers, online and direct
Sentinel database stores individual                          mail merchants engaged in a wide variety of deceptive scams.
fraud complaints; other federal,
state, and local agencies use and                        Coordination with other agencies
submit information to the database                       •   Member of Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, which brings
                                                             numerous federal agencies together to prevent, investigate, and
                                                             prosecute financial crime
Contact information                                      •   May work with international, federal, state, and local law enforcement
                                                             officials to investigate cases and bring enforcement actions against
1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357)                              scammers
General information:                                     •   Hosts Common Ground Conferences that bring federal, state, local
www.ftc.gov                                                  agencies and non-profit organizations together to share information on
To submit a complaint online:                                scams
www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/
Source: GAO analysis of FTC documents and interviews.




                                                        Page 46                                    GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
                                                            Appendix IV: Financial Crimes Enforcement Network

                                                            Financial Crimes Enforcement Network
                                                            (FinCEN)


Mission                                                     Organization
To enhance the integrity of
financial systems by facilitating the
detection and deterrence of
financial crime


How agency prioritizes
elder financial exploitation
FinCEN does not specifically
identify protecting older adults in its
agency priorities; however, it
recently released a new Suspicious
Activity Report form that enables
financial institutions specifically to
identify suspected elder financial
exploitation


Agency’s role in combating
                                                            Selected activities
elder financial exploitation
                                                            •   Provides analytical support to law enforcement investigations and
Law enforcement: FinCEN
supports financial criminal
                                                                access to Suspicious Activity Reports collected from financial
investigations, most often those                                institutions under the Bank Secrecy Act of 1970
involving money laundering                                  •   Regulates financial institutions, requiring them to have anti-money
Data collection: FinCEN                                         laundering programs and to report suspicious activity, including elder
aggregates data reported by                                     financial exploitation
financial institutions on suspicious                        •   Issued advisory to financial institutions with information about how to
activity reports, including reports of                          identify and report elder financial exploitation
suspected elder financial
exploitation
Rulemaking: FinCEN can issue                                Coordination with other agencies
rules and regulations implementing                          •   Member of Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, which brings
the Bank Secrecy Act of 1970a                                   numerous federal agencies together to prevent, investigate, and
(anti-money laundering), as                                     prosecute financial crime
amended by the USA PATRIOT
Actb


Contact information
Regulatory Helpline :
(800) 949-2732
General information:                                        a
                                                             Pub. L. No. 91-508, 84 Stat. 1114 (codified as amended at 12 U.S.C. §§ 1829(b), 1951-1959; 31
http://www.fincen.gov                                       U.S.C. §§ 5311-5330).
                                                            b
                                                              The Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and
Source: GAO analysis of FinCEN documents and interviews.    Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT ACT) Act of 2001, Pub. L. No. 107-56, 115 Stat 272 (2001). We
                                                            refer to this act as the USA PATRIOT Act.



                                                           Page 47                                                GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
                                                             Appendix V: Department of Justice

                                                             Department of Justice



Mission                                                      Organization
To enforce the law and defend the
interests of the United States
according to the law; to ensure
public safety against threats foreign
and domestic; to provide federal
leadership in preventing and
controlling crime; to seek just
punishment for those guilty of
unlawful behavior; and to ensure
fair and impartial administration of
justice for all Americans


How agency prioritizes
elder financial exploitation
Priority goal of protecting
vulnerable populations, including
the elderly


Agency’s role in combating
elder financial exploitation
Assistance to victims: Provided
as part of the Victims of Crime Act
Crime Victims Fund and Violence
Against Women Act of 1994, as
amended
Research, technical assistance,                              Selected activities
and training: Funds research in                              •   Prosecutes perpetrators of elder financial exploitation
the field of elder abuse and
technical assistance and training to                         •   Conducts public awareness activities on elder financial exploitation
those in the field
                                                             •   Office on Violence Against Women and Office for Victims of Crime
Law enforcement: Investigates                                    both provide grants for training that includes elder financial exploitation
fraud crimes and makes arrests
                                                             •   Bureau of Justice Statistics and National Institute of Justice both fund
Legal action: Prosecutes fraud                                   or conduct studies on elder financial exploitation
cases
                                                             •   See FBI and U.S. Attorney pages for details on those agencies

Contact information
                                                             Coordination with other agencies
Main number:
202-514-2000                                                 •   Mandated member of Elder Justice Coordinating Council
On the web:                                                  •   Member of Elder Justice Working Group
www.justice.gov                                              •   Coordinates the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, which
Source: GAO analysis of Justice documents and interviews.        brings numerous federal agencies together to prevent, investigate, and
                                                                 prosecute financial crime


                                                            Page 48                                     GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
                                                         Appendix VI: Federal Bureau of Investigation

                                                         Department of Justice
                                                         Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)


Mission                                                  Organization
To protect and defend the United                         56 field offices located in major metropolitan areas and in Puerto Rico, as
States against terrorist and foreign                     well as legal attaches in U.S. embassies around the world
intelligence threats, to uphold and
enforce the criminal laws of the
United States; and to provide                            Selected activities
leadership and criminal justice                          •   Responds to complaints from victims of crime
services to federal, state,
municipal, and international                             •   Investigates selected cases of potential elder financial exploitation.
agencies and partners                                    •   Internet Crime Complaint Center receives complaints about internet-
                                                             related crime and shares them with the Federal Trade Commission
How agency prioritizes                                       (FTC) Consumer Sentinel Network database and federal, state, and
                                                             local law enforcement offices as appropriate
elder financial exploitation
Priority goal of combating                               •   Conducts outreach about elder financial exploitation to local entities
financial/white collar crime. Mass                           such as nursing homes and financial institutions
marketing fraud, which may include
elder financial exploitation, ranks
                                                         Coordination with other agencies
fourth among the FBI’s financial
crime priorities                                         •   Works with local U.S. Attorneys’ offices to make determinations about
                                                             whether to open or continue investigations of potential elder financial
                                                             exploitation cases
Agency’s role in combating
elder financial exploitation                             •   Works with other federal and state agencies, such as the U.S. Postal
                                                             Inspection Service, to conduct investigations
Law enforcement: Investigates
fraud crimes and makes arrests                           •   May work jointly with foreign law enforcement agencies to investigate
                                                             international mass marketing fraud cases
Contact information                                      •   Coordinates with the National White Collar Crime Center to run the
Main number:                                                 Internet Crime Complaint Center (see above)
202-324-3000                                             •   Maintains Memorandum of Understanding with the FTC to get access
On the web:                                                  to FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network database
www.fbi.gov                                              •   Participates in regional task forces on financial crime
To find your field office:                               •   Member of Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, which brings
www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field                                 numerous federal agencies together to prevent, investigate, and
                                                             prosecute financial crime
Source: GAO analysis of FBI documents and interviews.




                                                        Page 49                                         GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
                                                             Appendix VII: U.S. Attorneys

                                                             Department of Justice
                                                             U.S. Attorneys


Mission                                                      Organization
As the nation’s principal litigators,                        94 offices across the country and in U.S. territories
U.S. Attorneys prosecute criminal
cases brought by the federal
government; prosecute and defend                             Selected activities
civil cases in which the United                              •   Prosecutes perpetrators of elder financial exploitation
States is a party; and collect
certain debts owed to the federal                            •   Provides assistance to elder financial exploitation victims
government

                                                             Coordination with other agencies
How agency prioritizes                                       •   May receive cases from other federal agencies, such as the FBI, the
elder financial exploitation                                     Postal Inspectors, and the SEC, as well as from state and local
Each U.S. Attorney exercises wide                                agencies
discretion in determining which                              •   May pursue cases in conjunction with partner agencies
cases to pursue to best use the
office’s resources to further the                            •   Participates in regional task forces on financial crime
priorities and needs of their                                •   Member of the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, which brings
jurisdiction. Offices may prioritize                             numerous federal agencies together to prevent, investigate, and
investment and securities fraud                                  prosecute financial crime


Agency’s role in combating
elder financial exploitation
Law enforcement: Investigates
fraud crimes and makes arrests
Legal action: Prosecutes fraud
cases


Contact information
On the web:
www.justice.gov/usao
To find your field office:
http://www.justice.gov/usao/about/
offices.html


Source: GAO analysis of Justice documents and interviews.




                                                            Page 50                                     GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
                                                            Appendix VIII: U.S. Postal Inspection Service

                                                            United States Postal Inspection Service



Mission                                                     Organization
To support and protect the U.S.
Postal Service and its employees,
infrastructure, and customers;
enforce the laws that defend the
nation’s mail system from illegal or
dangerous use; and ensure public
trust in the mail


How agency prioritizes
elder financial exploitation
The Postal Inspection Service does
not specifically identify protecting                        Selected activities
older adults in its agency priorities;                      •   2010 mass mailing to every U.S. household on fraud, including elder
however, older adults are often                                 financial exploitation
victimized in the mail fraud
schemes it investigates                                     •   Community presentations about scams during National Consumer
                                                                Protection Week
                                                            •   Participates in community discussions about mail fraud, such as an
Agency’s role in combating                                      AARP Town Hall meeting and a panel discussion hosted by Stanford
elder financial exploitation                                    Research Center on the Prevention of Financial Fraud
Law enforcement: Investigates
mail fraud crimes and makes                                 •   Plans to have a campaign in 2013 on preventing fraudulent lottery
arrests and has administrative                                  schemes, focusing on older adults
authority to shut down addresses
used for fraud                                              Coordination with other agencies
Information dissemination:                                  •   Member of the Elder Justice Coordinating Council
Provides information to the public
about mail fraud                                            •   Member of the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, which brings
                                                                numerous federal agencies together to prevent, investigate, and
Data collection: Tracks data on its                             prosecute financial crime
cases, mines data for trends, and
shares this data with FTC’s                                 •   Collaborates with Canadian and Jamaican criminal justice systems on
Consumer Sentinel Network                                       international fraud
database
                                                            •   Collaborates with FTC on National Consumer Protection Week

Contact information
Main number:
1-877-876-2445
On the web:
postalinspectors.uspis.gov

Source: GAO analysis of agency documents and interviews.




                                                           Page 51                                          GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
                                                         Appendix IX: Securities and Exchange Commission

                                                         Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)



Mission                                                  Relevant agency divisions
To protect investors; maintain fair,                     Office of Investor Education and Advocacy: Carries out SEC’s investor
orderly, and efficient markets; and                      education program; responds to questions and complaints from members
facilitate capital formation                             of the public; and reviews agency rulemaking from the perspective of the
                                                         individual investor
How agency prioritizes                                   Division of Enforcement: Conducts investigations into possible violations
elder financial exploitation                             of the federal securities laws, and prosecutes cases in civil suits in the
SEC does not specifically identify                       federal courts, and in administrative proceedings before an administrative
elder financial exploitation as a                        law judge
priority, but it does identify older                     Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations: Administers the
adults as a target population for its                    SEC’s nationwide examination and inspection program and conducts
investor education, enforcement,                         inspections to foster compliance with securities laws and to detect
and industry-compliance related                          violations of the laws
efforts
                                                         Division of Trading and Markets: Assists the Commission in executing
                                                         its responsibility for maintaining fair, orderly, and efficient markets,
Agency’s role in combating                               including day-to-day oversight of major securities market participants
elder financial exploitation
Supervision of investment
professionals: Conducts exams                            Selected activities
and inspections of investment                            •   Published A Guide for Seniors: Protect Yourself Against Investment
professionals, such as broker-                               Fraud
dealers, investment companies,
and investment advisors                                  •   Produced reports on free lunch seminars and promising practices that
                                                             businesses can undertake to prevent and detect fraud against older
Legal action: Conducts                                       adults
investigations and prosecutes
violations of the federal securities                     •   Maintains a website that allows investors are able to research
laws                                                         investment advisor firms, and provides a link to a similar website for
                                                             brokers on the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA)
Information dissemination:                                   website
Provides educational materials to
investors                                                •   Issues approximately 25 investor alerts and bulletins per year
Rulemaking: Establishes rules on                         •   Works with FINRA, AARP, and state securities regulators on the
matters affecting the operations of                          Outsmarting Investment Fraud campaign, which is designed to reduce
securities markets                                           investment fraud among older adults


Contact information                                      Coordination with other agencies
Investor Information Service:                            •   Member of Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, which brings
1-800-SEC-0330                                               numerous federal agencies together to prevent, investigate, and
www.sec.gov                                                  prosecute financial crime
www.investor.gov                                         •   Participates in the multi-agency Financial Literacy and Education
                                                             Commission, which coordinates federal financial education efforts and
                                                             developed a national strategy for financial literacy
Source: GAO analysis of SEC documents and interviews.




                                                        Page 52                                    GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
Appendix X: Examples of State and Local
                                          Appendix X: Examples of State and Local
                                          Activities to Prevent and Respond to Elder
                                          Financial Exploitation


Activities to Prevent and Respond to Elder
Financial Exploitation

             Efforts to Prevent                                           Efforts to Provide
             Exploitation by Financial                                    Information to and
             Services Providers,                                          Enhance Expertise for            Efforts to Foster
             Power-of-Attorney         Efforts to Educate and             Professionals                    Collaboration among
             Agents, and Paid in-Home Inform Older Adults and             Responding to                    Institutions Responding
State        Caregivers                the General Public                 Exploitation                     to Exploitation
California   Napa County                  San Bernardino County          Institute on Aging                San Francisco Elder
             •  Caregiver Ordinance –     APS                            •     Houses the San              Financial Abuse
                all in-home caregivers    •    Scam blasts are sent            Francisco Elder Abuse       Collaboration
                must submit to and             to senior centers and           Forensic Center, which      •   Participants from
                pass a background              law enforcement                 works to improve                across local
                check and obtain a             agencies to alert older         coordination among              government and the
                permit to provide              adults of potential             those responding to             private sector. Goal is
                services                       scams.                          elder abuse cases;              to conduct innovative
                                          •    “It’s not your fault”           assists victims; and            and comprehensive
             State Law                                                         educates professionals          research and to bring
                                               publication —campaign
             •   Mandatory elder abuse         to reduce elder                 and the general public          stakeholders together
                 reporting for health          financial exploitation          on preventing,                  to advocate for
                 care professionals,           stigma among older              reporting, and stopping         improved responses to
                 social workers, nursing       adults                          elder abuse                     elder financial abuse.
                 home workers, and
                 employees of banks       San Joaquin District           San Bernardino County             San Francisco
                 and credit unions        Attorneys Offices              APS                               •   Multidisciplinary Teams
             •   Discretionary                                           •     Shift change briefings          —representatives from
                                          Communities Against                  and pocket guide to             the fields of aging, civil
                 background checks for Senior Exploitation—
                 paid in-home                                                  elder abuse penal               law, adult protective
                                          representatives from the             codes for local law             services, mental health,
                 caregivers               District Attorney’s office           enforcement                     social work, law
             Department of Corporations provide examples of                                                    enforcement, and other
                                          financial fraud and tips for   Center of Excellence on               disciplines meet to
             •   Seniors Against          personal safety and            Elder Abuse and Neglect at
                 Investment Fraud—                                                                             review complex abuse
                                          protecting personal            UC Irvine                             cases and to learn
                 older adults are able to information
                 check the licensing                                     •     Central source of               about service
                 status of financial      San Francisco District               technical assistance,           resources and
                 services professionals Attorney’s Office                      multidisciplinary               intervention techniques.
                                                                               training, research, and
                                          •    “Elder Financial Abuse          policy issues in CA and     San Bernardino County
                                               the Invisible Crime” —          nationally                  •   Multidisciplinary
                                               outreach/public                                                 Teams—a variety of
                                               awareness campaign        Stanford Center for                   groups exist, and they
                                               with posters in different Longevity                             discuss issues ranging
                                               languages urging          •     Conducts research on            from those specific to
                                               individuals to report           financial fraud and             the District Attorney
                                               suspected elder                 older adults                    population to limited
                                               financial abuse to APS                                          capacity. Teams also
                                                                         •     Created a financial
                                          Department of Corporations           fraud research center           work on training and
                                                                               In collaboration with the       discuss individual
                                          •    Seniors Against
                                                                               Financial Industry              cases.
                                               Investment Fraud—
                                               alerts and educates             Regulatory Authority        State Law
                                               Californians over the                                       •   CA Financial Abuse
                                               age of 50 about           California District Attorneys         Reporting Act—
                                               financial and             Association                           employees of banks
                                               investment fraud,



                                          Page 53                                              GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
                                       Appendix X: Examples of State and Local
                                       Activities to Prevent and Respond to Elder
                                       Financial Exploitation




           Efforts to Prevent                                          Efforts to Provide
           Exploitation by Financial                                   Information to and
           Services Providers,                                         Enhance Expertise for           Efforts to Foster
           Power-of-Attorney         Efforts to Educate and            Professionals                   Collaboration among
           Agents, and Paid in-Home Inform Older Adults and            Responding to                   Institutions Responding
State      Caregivers                the General Public                Exploitation                    to Exploitation
                                             common scams, and         •    Provides training for          and credit unions are
                                             unscrupulous sales             police investigators           required to report
                                             practices that                                                suspected financial
                                             specifically target       San Francisco District              elder abuse to APS or
                                             seniors                   Attorney                            law enforcement
                                                                       •    Provides training for          authorities
                                         Department of Financial            CA mandated reporters
                                         Institutions                                                  Financial Elder Abuse
                                         •     Website: provides         Elder Financial Protection    Roundtable
                                               information for           Network                       •   Consists of
                                               consumers on              •   Events and training for       Departments of
                                               preventing and                financial professionals       Corporations,
                                               reporting elder financial                                   Insurance, Attorney
                                               exploitation,as well as                                     General, and Aging.
                                               information for banks                                       The roundtable hears
                                               on reporting                                                from local members
                                               requirements                                                about issues that are of
                                                                                                           concern and
                                                                                                           determines how the
                                                                                                           state might help.

Illinois   Department on Aging            Department on Aging            Department on Aging           Department on Aging
           •  Volunteer Money             •    “Be a Savvy Senior” — •      B*SAFE program to          •  Multidisciplinary
              Management Program               publications designed        train bank personnel on       Teams—
              —a protective service            to raise older adults’       how to prevent, detect,       representatives from
              for limited income               awareness of financial       and report financial          law enforcement,
              seniors who need help            exploitation and to          exploitation                  medical, legal, clergy,
              managing their                   teach them to look for •     “Protocol for Law             financial, and mental
              finances                         the warning signs            Enforcement:                  health sectors consult
                                                                            Responding to Victims         on complex cases,
           State Law                      Attorney General                                                support case workers,
                                                                            of Elder Abuse, Neglect,
           •   Mandatory elder abuse •         Fraud alerts —               and Exploitation”             and improve
               reporting for social            information on the            - provides model             networking among
               services and health             most common scams            guidelines and                group members
               care professionals              perpetrated against          investigation
                                               seniors                                                 Suburban Elder Justice
           •   Power-of-attorney law                                        procedures for law         Coalition
               enhanced to create         •    “When in Doubt, Check        enforcement responding
               liability for the agent in      it Out”—consumer             to elder abuse. Protocol   •   Led by AgeOptions,
               cases of abuse. If an           fraud hotline to learn of    was created in                 suburban Chicago AAA,
               agent violates the law,         any complaints filed         collaboration with the         the coalition works to
               they will be required to        against a company            Illinois Family Violence       improve coordination
               repay what was stolen.          before doing business        Coordinating Councils          and cooperation
                                               with them                                                   between elder abuse
           •   Mandatory background                                      •  “Reporting Elder               provider agencies and
               checks for paid in-        •    “Every Cent Counts” —        Abuse: What                    law enforcement.
               home caregivers                 tips for protecting          Professionals Need to
                                               finances of senior           Know” —pamphlet to         Statewide
                                               citizens                     raise awareness about      •   TRIAD programs—law
                                                                            elder abuse and                enforcement officials,




                                       Page 54                                              GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
                                       Appendix X: Examples of State and Local
                                       Activities to Prevent and Respond to Elder
                                       Financial Exploitation




           Efforts to Prevent                                            Efforts to Provide
           Exploitation by Financial                                     Information to and
           Services Providers,                                           Enhance Expertise for           Efforts to Foster
           Power-of-Attorney         Efforts to Educate and              Professionals                   Collaboration among
           Agents, and Paid in-Home Inform Older Adults and              Responding to                   Institutions Responding
State      Caregivers                the General Public                  Exploitation                    to Exploitation
                                                                              reporting requirements         as well as senior
                                         •   “Just Hang Up” —to          Attorney General                    community advocates
                                             warn seniors about                                              and other community
                                                                         •    Elderly Service Officer        activists. TRIAD
                                             telephone scams                  Program—40 hours of            activities help
                                         Cook County Sheriff’s                elder abuse training for       implement crime
                                         Department                           law enforcement                prevention, education
                                                                              officers                       and volunteer programs
                                         •  Senior Law
                                            Enforcement Academy Department of Financial                      for older citizens.
                                            —trains older adults on and Professional Regulation
                                            crime prevention        and Department on Aging
                                                                    •   Training for state-
                                                                        chartered bank
                                                                        employees—a training
                                                                        was developed to
                                                                        identify the indicators of
                                                                        financial exploitation, as
                                                                        well as how to report.
                                                                        Compliance will be
                                                                        checked for during bank
                                                                        examinations.

New York   NY APS                        NYC Department for Aging        NY State Office of Children     NYC Elder Abuse Center
           •   Financial management •         “It’s my Money” game       and Family Services,            •  Goal is to improve
               —APS receives the              created a tool —in         Bureau of Adult Services           professional,
               older adult’s monthly          collaboration with the     •   Training on                    organizational and
               income, pays their bills,      Department of                  investigating financial        system responses to
               and provides money to          Consumer Affairs—              exploitation for               elder abuse, neglect
               the older adult for            that can be used to            protective services            and exploitation
               incidentals                    help older adults avoid        caseworkers                    through collaboration
           •   Power-of-attorney              financial fraud and                                           and coordination
                                              scams                      Weill Cornell Medical              among agencies
               controls—APS can                                          College Division of
               require an accounting •        Study of prevalence of     Geriatrics and Gerontology      •  Multidisciplinary
               of funds from older            elder abuse in NY                                             Teams—
               adult’s power-of-              state, in conjunction      •   Project on Elder Abuse         representatives from the
               attorney agent                 with LifeSpan and Weill        and Neglect—conducts           health, mental health,
                                              Cornell Medical college        research and provides          public safety, legal,
           Brookdale Center for                                              training on elder abuse,       victim assistance, and
           Healthy Aging and             Attorney General                    including financial            social services sectors
           Longevity at Hunter College •      “Smart Seniors”                exploitation                   review, discuss, and
           •   Daily Money                    publication —a guide       Brookdale Center for               coordinate cases of
               Management Services            for older adults to help   Healthy Aging and                  elder abuse; identify
               —helps older adults            guard against scams        Longevity at Hunter College        problems that can be
               make financial                 and prevent elder                                             brought to the attention
               decisions or make              abuse                      •   Primary trainer of APS
                                                                                                            of others for strategizing
               financial decisions on                                        workers in NY state
                                                                                                            and intervention; and
               behalf of older adults                                                                       identify research needs
               who are no longer able




                                       Page 55                                                GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
                                          Appendix X: Examples of State and Local
                                          Activities to Prevent and Respond to Elder
                                          Financial Exploitation




               Efforts to Prevent                                         Efforts to Provide
               Exploitation by Financial                                  Information to and
               Services Providers,                                        Enhance Expertise for         Efforts to Foster
               Power-of-Attorney         Efforts to Educate and           Professionals                 Collaboration among
               Agents, and Paid in-Home Inform Older Adults and           Responding to                 Institutions Responding
State          Caregivers                the General Public               Exploitation                  to Exploitation

               State Law                NYPD                                                            NYC Elder Abuse Network
               •   Revised Power-of-    •  Community outreach at                                        •  Brings police, district
                   attorney form           senior centers                                                  attorneys’ offices,
                                                                                                           social service agencies,
               •   Mandatory background NYC Department of                                                  and others together to
                   checks for paid in-  Consumer Affairs                                                   discuss legislation,
                   home caregivers      •  “Be a Savvy Senior” —                                           policy, research, and
                                           guide for older adults                                          program planning
                                                                                                        Weinberg Center for Elder
                                                                                                        Abuse Prevention
                                                                                                        •  Emergency shelter for
                                                                                                           victims of elder abuse
                                                                                                        District Attorney’s Offices
                                                                                                        •    Elder Abuse or
                                                                                                             Financial Crimes units
                                                                                                             with staff working
                                                                                                             specifically on elder
                                                                                                             financial exploitation

Pennsylvania   State Law                    Attorney General              Institute on Protective        Philadelphia Financial
               •   Mandatory reporting for •     Senior Consumer          Services at Temple             Exploitation Task Force
                   healthcare                    Reference Guide —        University                     •    Collaboration between
                   professionals                 information on how to    •     Staff at the Institute,       APS, law enforcement,
               •   Mandatory background          avoid scams and fraud          including a financial         and private sector, with
                   checks for paid in-      •    Senior Crime                   accountant, provide           the goal of promoting
                   home caregivers               Prevention University          investigative assistance      awareness and
                                                 — outreach program to          to APS and law                prevention campaigns,
               PA Securities Commission          make older adults              enforcement for elder         delivering training, and
               •   Investor alerts – a           aware of common                financial exploitation        increasing their joint
                   collection of tips,           scams, to teach them           cases                         capacity to conduct
                   techniques, and               how to avoid becoming    •     Develops curriculum           focused investigations
                   advisories for investors      a victim, and to know          and provides training to      and effectively
                                                 whom to alert when             APS                           prosecute cases
                                                 they are concerned
                                                 about their safety and   Philadelphia Corporation for Statewide
                                                 well-being               the Aging                      •    Elder Abuse Task
                                                                          •     Staff member who only         Forces - task forces
                                            •    “Safe Seniors”                                               review elder abuse
                                                 Pamphlet —                     works on financial
                                                                                exploitation cases            cases on a regular
                                                 information for older                                        basis and membership
                                                 adults on how to         •     Training to bank              may include APS, law
                                                 protect themselves             employees, local              enforcement, judges,
                                                 from abuse, including          prosecutors, and other        clergy, bankers,
                                                 financial exploitation         professionals on elder        healthcare providers, or
                                            •    Toll-free senior help          financial exploitation        others
                                                 line




                                          Page 56                                             GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
                                Appendix X: Examples of State and Local
                                Activities to Prevent and Respond to Elder
                                Financial Exploitation




        Efforts to Prevent                                                   Efforts to Provide
        Exploitation by Financial                                            Information to and
        Services Providers,                                                  Enhance Expertise for                       Efforts to Foster
        Power-of-Attorney         Efforts to Educate and                     Professionals                               Collaboration among
        Agents, and Paid in-Home Inform Older Adults and                     Responding to                               Institutions Responding
State   Caregivers                the General Public                         Exploitation                                to Exploitation
                                                                             Adult Protective Services
                                  Philadelphia Police                        Agencies
                                  Department                                 •   State law grants APS
                                  •    Outreach at senior                        access to bank records
                                       centers                                   for elder financial
                                                                                 exploitation
                                  PA Securities Commission                       investigations
                                  •   Elder Investment Fraud                 PA Securities Commission
                                      and Financial
                                      Exploitation Prevention                •   ABCs for APS
                                      Program (EIFFE)—                           Professionals—
                                      educates medical                           information for APS
                                      professionals about                        workers on how to
                                      how to spot older                          identify investment
                                      adults who may be                          fraud
                                      particularly vulnerable                Attorney General
                                      to financial abuse and
                                      then to refer suspected                •    Elder Abuse Unit—
                                      investment fraud                            investigates and
                                      involving these at-risk                     prosecutes elder
                                      patients to state                           financial exploitation
                                      securities regulators                  Philadelphia Police
                                      and/or to APS                          Department
                                  •   “Confessions of a                      •    Crimes Against Retired
                                      Scam Artist”                                and Elderly Unit—
                                      publication—                                investigates crimes
                                      information to raise                        affecting older adults
                                      awareness
                                                                             SeniorLAW Center
                                  Department of Banking
                                                                             •   Provides legal
                                  •  “Protect Yourself,                          assistance to senior
                                     Protect Your Money”—                        crime victims
                                     publication includes
                                     information on
                                     common scams and
                                     tips on avoiding scams
                                Source: GAO interviews and review of documents from California, Illinois, New York, and Pennsylvania.




                                Page 57                                                                    GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
Appendix XI: Examples of Non-Governmental
                                            Appendix XI: Examples of Non-Governmental
                                            Organization Activities to Prevent and
                                            Respond to Elder Financial Exploitation


Organization Activities to Prevent and Respond
to Elder Financial Exploitation

                           Efforts to Prevent
                           Exploitation by                                            Efforts to Provide
                           Financial Services                                         Information to and        Efforts to Foster
                           Providers, Power-of-                                       Enhance Expertise for     Collaboration among
                           Attorney Agents, and       Efforts to Educate and          Professionals             Institutions
                           Paid in-Home               Inform Older Adults and         Responding to             Responding to
                           Caregivers                 the General Public              Exploitation              Exploitation
AARP                       Free Lunch Monitor         Protecting Your Assets          MoSafe Program
AARP is a nonprofit,       Program                    Project                         •  In conjunction with
nonpartisan organization, •    AARP asks              •   Project provides basic         the Missouri
with a membership of           members to send            tips on avoiding fraud         Bankers
more than 37 million, that     them invitations           to AARP members,               Association, the
helps people age 50 and        they receive to free       including email blasts         AARP Missouri
above have                     lunch seminars that        and website links for          state office
independence, choice,          sell investment            additional information         developed a training
and control in ways that       products. Members                                         program for bank
are beneficial to them         also attend and        No Free Lunch Program              clerks on financial
and society as a whole.        report back to         •   Provides information           exploitation
                               AARP on the                on responding to high
                               specific investment        pressure sales tactics
                               offers. AARP has           on AARP’s website, as
                               compiled                   well as information on
                               information on the         senior financial advisor
                               trustworthiness of         designations
                               these investment
                                                      Research Projects Related
                               sales pitches.
                                                      to Elder Financial
                                                      Exploitation
                                                      •    AARP has conducted
                                                           several research
                                                           projects related to
                                                           elder financial
                                                           exploitation including
                                                           studies of:
                                                      •    personality traits of
                                                           fraud victims and
                                                           effective prevention
                                                           messages,
                                                      •    effective outreach
                                                           activities for investor
                                                           fraud victims,
                                                      •    diminished financial
                                                           capacity of older adults
                                                           and implications for the
                                                           financial services
                                                           industry,
                                                      •    preventing the use of
                                                           misleading senior
                                                           designations,
                                                      •    power-of-attorney
                                                           abuse and what states
                                                           can do about it,



                                            Page 58                                               GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
                                            Appendix XI: Examples of Non-Governmental
                                            Organization Activities to Prevent and
                                            Respond to Elder Financial Exploitation




                             Efforts to Prevent
                             Exploitation by                                       Efforts to Provide
                             Financial Services                                    Information to and           Efforts to Foster
                             Providers, Power-of-                                  Enhance Expertise for        Collaboration among
                             Attorney Agents, and     Efforts to Educate and       Professionals                Institutions
                             Paid in-Home             Inform Older Adults and      Responding to                Responding to
                             Caregivers               the General Public           Exploitation                 Exploitation
                                                          and
                                                      •   background checks
                                                          and other screenings
                                                          for home care
                                                          providers
American Bar                                          Research Projects Related Continuing Legal
Association                                           to Elder Financial           Education Seminars
A voluntary professional                              Exploitation                 •  Webinars on topics
organization. The mission                             •    Several research           related to elder
of the American Bar                                        projects related to        abuse
Association Commission                                     elder financial
on Law and Aging is to                                     exploitation have been
strengthen and secure                                      conducted, including
the legal rights, dignity,                                 studies of:
autonomy, quality of life,                            •    state APS laws and
and quality of care of                                     types of elder abuse,
elders.
                                                      •    bank employees and
                                                           their ability to report
                                                           elder financial
                                                           exploitation,
                                                      •    court-focused elder
                                                           abuse initiatives, and
                                                      •    elder abuse registries
American Bankers                                      Protecting the Elderly From Information for members
Association                                           Financial Abuse Pamphlet •       Shares information
Represents banks of all                               •   Pamphlet is designed         with members on
sizes and types and is                                    for older adults and the     how to identify elder
the voice for the nation’s                                general public. It           financial exploitation
banking industry and its                                  includes information on •    Provides information
employees                                                 signs of financial           via conferences and
                                                          abuse, protecting from       phone briefings to
                                                          financial abuse, and         its members on
                                                          what to do if someone        federal bank privacy
                                                          suspects financial           laws, encouraging
                                                          abuse.                       members to report
                                                                                       suspicious activity

                                                                                   Frontline Training for
                                                                                   Bank Employees
                                                                                   •   Consumer
                                                                                       protection and
                                                                                       privacy training is
                                                                                       intended for frontline




                                            Page 59                                              GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
                                              Appendix XI: Examples of Non-Governmental
                                              Organization Activities to Prevent and
                                              Respond to Elder Financial Exploitation




                               Efforts to Prevent
                               Exploitation by                                        Efforts to Provide
                               Financial Services                                     Information to and          Efforts to Foster
                               Providers, Power-of-                                   Enhance Expertise for       Collaboration among
                               Attorney Agents, and     Efforts to Educate and        Professionals               Institutions
                               Paid in-Home             Inform Older Adults and       Responding to               Responding to
                               Caregivers               the General Public            Exploitation                Exploitation
                                                                                          bank employees.
                                                                                          Training includes
                                                                                          various aspects of
                                                                                          consumer
                                                                                          protection, including
                                                                                          elder financial
                                                                                          exploitation.
                                                                                      Bank Compliance
                                                                                      Magazine article July-
                                                                                      August 2011 edition
                                                                                      •  In a magazine
                                                                                         distributed to banks,
                                                                                         types of elder
                                                                                         financial
                                                                                         exploitation, why
                                                                                         older adults are
                                                                                         particularly
                                                                                         vulnerable, the role
                                                                                         of banks, and
                                                                                         relevant state and
                                                                                         federal laws were
                                                                                         described
National Adult                                          Research Projects Related     National Adult Protective
Protective Services                                     to Elder Financial            Services Resource
Association                                             Exploitation                  Center
A national non-profit with                              •    Currently conducting a   •   Runs the Resource
over 500 members in all                                      baseline survey of           Center, which is
fifty states. Provides state                                 state APS programs           funded by the
and local Adult Protective                              •    Report on state APS          Administration on
Services program                                             responses to financial       Aging
administrators and staff                                     exploitation of          National Conference
with a forum for sharing                                     vulnerable adults
information, solving                                                                  •   Hosts a conference
problems, and improving                                                                   for APS
the quality of services for                                                               professionals and
victims of elder and                                                                      several sessions are
vulnerable adult abuse.                                                                   usually dedicated to
                                                                                          elder financial
                                                                                          exploitation


                                                                                      Webinars
                                                                                      •  Hosts webinars on
                                                                                         various topics
                                                                                         related to elder
                                                                                         abuse for APS



                                              Page 60                                              GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
                                              Appendix XI: Examples of Non-Governmental
                                              Organization Activities to Prevent and
                                              Respond to Elder Financial Exploitation




                            Efforts to Prevent
                            Exploitation by                                            Efforts to Provide
                            Financial Services                                         Information to and            Efforts to Foster
                            Providers, Power-of-                                       Enhance Expertise for         Collaboration among
                            Attorney Agents, and        Efforts to Educate and         Professionals                 Institutions
                            Paid in-Home                Inform Older Adults and        Responding to                 Responding to
                            Caregivers                  the General Public             Exploitation                  Exploitation
                                                                                           professionals
                                                                                       Creating APS Core
                                                                                       Training
                                                                                       •   Working with
                                                                                           California officials to
                                                                                           create core
                                                                                           competencies for
                                                                                           APS workers, which
                                                                                           would include
                                                                                           financial
                                                                                           exploitation, with a
                                                                                           goal of creating
                                                                                           national core
                                                                                           training for APS
                                                                                           workers
Financial Industry           Collects investor          Investor Alerts                                              Collaboration with
Regulatory Authority         complaints                 •   Disseminates                                             federal and state
The largest independent •        Investors are able         information about                                        regulators
regulator for all securities     to make complaints         scams, trends, or new                                    • Works closely with
firms doing business in          via its website,           financial products                                          the Securities and
the United States. Its           phone, fax, or mail.                                                                   Exchange
                                                        Research Projects Related                                       Commission on
mission is to protect
                                                        to Elder Financial                                              investor education
America’s investors by
                                                        Exploitation                                                    and examinations
making sure the
securities industry                                     •    Conducted several                                       • Works with state
operates fairly and                                          research projects                                          securities regulators
honestly.                                                    related to elder                                           on investor education
                                                             financial exploitation,                                    campaigns
                                                             including studies of:
                                                        •    Investment fraud                                        Collaboration with other
                                                                                                                     non-governmental
                                                        •    National Financial                                      organization
                                                             Capability Study
                                                                                                                     Together with the
                                                        •    Senior Investor                                         Stanford Center on
                                                             Literacy and Fraud                                      Longevity, founded a
                                                             Susceptibility                                          financial fraud research
                                                        •    Senior Fraud Risk                                       center
                                                        •    Senior Financial
                                                             Advisor Designations
Investor Protection         Elder Investment Fraud Research Projects Related
Trust                       and Financial           to Elder Financial
A nonprofit organization    Exploitation Prevention Exploitation
devoted to investor         Program                 •    Surveyed older adults
education. The primary      •   The program              and their families about
mission is to provide           educates medical         handling personal



                                              Page 61                                                 GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
                                            Appendix XI: Examples of Non-Governmental
                                            Organization Activities to Prevent and
                                            Respond to Elder Financial Exploitation




                             Efforts to Prevent
                             Exploitation by                                                      Efforts to Provide
                             Financial Services                                                   Information to and                 Efforts to Foster
                             Providers, Power-of-                                                 Enhance Expertise for              Collaboration among
                             Attorney Agents, and       Efforts to Educate and                    Professionals                      Institutions
                             Paid in-Home               Inform Older Adults and                   Responding to                      Responding to
                             Caregivers                 the General Public                        Exploitation                       Exploitation
independent, objective          professionals on         finances, current
information needed by           how to spot older        financial conditions,
consumers to make               Americans who            and experiences with
informed investment             may be particularly      financial fraud or
decisions.                      vulnerable to            abuse.
                                financial abuse,     •   Surveyed experts
                                particularly those       about elder financial
                                with mild cognitive      exploitation.
                                impairment, and
                                then to refer        National Call-in Day:
                                suspected            Protecting Elders from
                                investment fraud     Financial Abuse
                                involving these at- •    Hosted a call-in day, in
                                risk patients to         collaboration with other
                                state securities         organizations, for older
                                regulators and/or to     adults and their
                                local APS                families to receive free
                                professionals.           advice and guidance
                                                         on protecting against
                                                         investment swindles
                                                         and financial abuse
Financial Services                                      Older Americans Financial                 BITS Fraud Prevention              Collaboration with state
Roundtable, BITS                                        Abuse Prevention Working                  Toolkit                            and local governments
The mission of the                                      Group Pamphlet                            •   Information for                and other non-
Financial Services                                      •   Contains fraud                            banks on the role of           governmental
Roundtable is to protect                                    prevention tips for                       financial institutions         organizations
and promote the                                             consumers and for                         in preventing and              Older Americans
economic vitality and                                       organizations working                     responding to elder            Financial Abuse
integrity of its members                                    with older adults                         financial                      Prevention Working
and the United States                                                                                 exploitation, red              Group
financial system. BITS                                                                                flags and types of
addresses issues at the                                                                               offenders and
intersection of financial                                                                             scams, and the role
services, technology and                                                                              of APS
public policy, such as
critical infrastructure
protection, fraud
prevention, and the safety
of financial services.
                                            Source: GAO interviews and information collected on organization websites.




                                            Page 62                                                                      GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
Appendix XII: Criminal Background Check
                                        Appendix XII: Criminal Background Check
                                        Requirements for In-home Caregivers in
                                        Selected States


Requirements for In-home Caregivers in
Selected States

                                   Checks for Publicly
               Criminal Background Funded Care Only or                 Type of                     Conditional
               Checks Mandatory    Publicly and Privately              Background                  Employment
                                                                                                            a
State          or Discretionary?   Funded Care?                        Check                       Allowed?                     Disqualifying Offenses
California     Discretionary        Publicly & privately               State and federal           State does not               Offenses that are against
                                    funded care                                                    specify                      dependent or vulnerable
                                                                                                                                individuals or fraud-related
Illinois       Mandatory            Publicly & privately               State only                  Yes                          Homicide; other violent,
                                    funded care                                                                                 sex-related, drug-related,
                                                                                                                                fraud-related; and property
                                                                                                                                offenses
New York       Mandatory            Publicly & privately               State and                   Yes                          Homicide; other violent,
                                    funded care                        sometimes                                                sex-related, drug-related,
                                                                       federal                                                  and fraud-related offenses;
                                                                                                                                and offenses against
                                                                                                                                dependent or vulnerable
                                                                                                                                individuals
Pennsylvania   Mandatory            Publicly & privately               State and                   Yes                          Homicide; other violent,
                                    funded care                        sometimes                                                sex-related , drug-related,
                                                                       federal                                                  and fraud-related offenses;
                                                                                                                                and offenses against
                                                                                                                                dependent or vulnerable
                                                                                                                                individuals
                                        Source: AARP Public Policy Institute. (September 2010) Safe at Home? Developing Effective Criminal Background Checks and Other
                                        Screening Policies for Home Care Workers

                                        Note: Information is as of December 2008.

                                        a
                                         Conditional employment occurs when in-home caregivers are allowed to begin working before
                                        background checks are complete.




                                        Page 63                                                                 GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
Appendix XIII: Resource Centers Supported
                                             Appendix XIII: Resource Centers Supported by
                                             the Administration on Aging



by the Administration on Aging


Name                  Intended Users                                                       Information and Services
National Center on    National, state, and local professionals working with                Disseminates news items related to elder abuse
Elder Abuse           victims of elder mistreatment, including APS                         Operates a listserv for professionals
                      professionals, state and federal agencies, law
                      enforcement, legal professionals, health care                        Provides information about promising practices and
                      professionals, domestic violence networks,                           interventions
                      community-based organizations, elder rights                          Provides a training library
                      advocates                                                            Funds research
                      Public policymakers
                      Researchers
                      General public
National Adult        Adult Protective Services professionals nationwide                   Disseminates a monthly newsletter
Protective Services                                                                        Maintains an APS-specific listserv
Resource Center
                                                                                           Publishes brief descriptions of recent applicable research
                                                                                           Holds regular webcasts
                                                                                           Collects and compiles detailed information about APS
                                                                                           throughout the country
                                                                                           Provides information to state and local APS programs to
                                                                                           facilitate implementation of identified best practices and
                                                                                           research findings
National Legal        Professionals involved in protecting the rights of                   Disseminates information on a wide range of legal issues
Resource Center       older persons, including:                                            affecting older adults
                      Providers of legal assistance, including senior legal                Training on legal issues
                      helplines                                                            Technical assistance on the provision of legal services to
                      State and local APS professionals                                    older adults
                      Elder rights advocates                                               Case consultation, including on elder financial
                                                                                           exploitation cases

                                             Source: GAO analysis of information provided by NCEA, National Adult Protective Services Resource Center, and National Legal
                                             Resource Center.




                                             Page 64                                                                   GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
Appendix XIV: Example of a Letter
             Appendix XIV: Example of a Letter Promoting a
             Fraudulent Sweepstakes Scheme



Promoting a Fraudulent Sweepstakes
Scheme




             Page 65                                         GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
Appendix XV: Total Number of FTC
                                           Appendix XV: Total Number of FTC Consumer
                                           Sentinel Network Complaints by Source, CY
                                           2011


Consumer Sentinel Network Complaints by
Source, CY 2011

Source                                                                            Number of Complaints                       Percent of Total
                                                                 a
Complaints made directly to the FTC, by individuals and others                                       788,576                                43%
Better Business Bureaus                                                                              416,520                                23%
                                b
Internet Crime Complaint Center                                                                      302,381                                17%
Western Union Money Transfer                                                                          54,657                                 3%
Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre                                                                            39,260                                 2%
Publisher’s Clearinghouse                                                                             37,311                                 2%
Others (such as state and local agencies and U.S. Postal Inspectors)                                 174,375                                10%
TOTAL                                                                                              1,813,080                              100%
                                           Source: FTC
                                           a
                                            These complaints may be made by phone, mail, or on the FTC’s website.

                                           b
                                            The Internet Crime Complaint Center, co-sponsored by the FBI and the National White Collar Crime
                                           Center, collects internet-related criminal complaints and aims to further research, develop, and refer
                                           these complaints to appropriate federal, state, local, and international agencies.




                                           Page 66                                                   GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
Appendix XVI: Comments from the
              Appendix XVI: Comments from the Consumer
              Financial Protection Bureau



Consumer Financial Protection Bureau




              Page 67                                    GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
Appendix XVI: Comments from the Consumer
Financial Protection Bureau




Page 68                                    GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
Appendix XVI: Comments from the Consumer
Financial Protection Bureau




Page 69                                    GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
Appendix XVII: Comments from the
             Appendix XVII: Comments from the
             Department of Health and Human Services



Department of Health and Human Services




             Page 70                                   GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
Appendix XVII: Comments from the
Department of Health and Human Services




Page 71                                   GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
Appendix XVIII: GAO Contacts and Staff
                    Appendix XVIII: GAO Contacts and Staff
                    Acknowledgements



Acknowledgements

                    Kay E. Brown, (202) 512-7215 or brownke@gao.gov.
GAO Contacts:
                    In addition to the contacts named above, Clarita Mrena, Eve Weisberg,
Staff               Andrea Dawson, and Brittni Milam made significant contributions to this
Acknowledgements:   report, in all aspects of the work. Also contributing to the report were
                    James Bennett, Gary Bianchi, Jason Bromberg, Alicia Cackley, Paul
                    Desaulniers, Holly Dye, Eileen Larence, Jean McSween, Chris
                    Morehouse, Claudine Pauselli, Almeta Spencer, Kate Van Gelder, and
                    Craig Winslow.




                    Page 72                                   GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
Related GAO Products
             Related GAO Products




             Incapacitated Adults: Oversight of Federal Fiduciaries and Court-
             Appointed Guardians Needs Improvement. GAO-11-678. Washington,
             D.C.: July 22, 2011.

             Elder Justice: Stronger Federal Leadership Could Help Improve
             Response to Elder Abuse. GAO-11-384T. Washington, D.C.: March 2,
             2011

             Elder Justice: Stronger Federal Leadership Could Enhance National
             Response to Elder Abuse. GAO-11-208, Washington, D.C.: March 2,
             2011

             Older Americans Act: More Should Be Done to Measure the Extent of
             Unmet Need for Services. GAO-11-237. Washington, D.C.: February 28,
             2011.

             Consumer Finance: Regulatory Coverage Generally Exists for Financial
             Planners, but Consumer Protection Issues Remain. GAO-11-235.
             Washington, D.C.: January 18, 2011.

             Guardianships: Cases of Financial Exploitation, Neglect, and Abuse of
             Seniors. GAO-10-1046. Washington, D.C.: September 30, 2010.

             Guardianships: Little Progress in Ensuring Protection for Incapacitated
             Elderly People. GAO-06-1086T. Washington, D.C.: September 7, 2006.

             Results-Oriented Government: Practices That Can Help Enhance and
             Sustain Collaboration among Federal Agencies. GAO-06-15. Washington,
             D.C.: October 21, 2005.

             Guardianships: Collaboration Needed to Protect Incapacitated Elderly
             People. GAO-04-655. Washington, D.C.: July 13, 2004.




(131134)
             Page 73                                  GAO-13-110 Elder Financial Exploitation
                      The Government Accountability Office, the audit, evaluation, and
GAO’s Mission         investigative arm of Congress, exists to support Congress in meeting its
                      constitutional responsibilities and to help improve the performance and
                      accountability of the federal government for the American people. GAO
                      examines the use of public funds; evaluates federal programs and
                      policies; and provides analyses, recommendations, and other assistance
                      to help Congress make informed oversight, policy, and funding decisions.
                      GAO’s commitment to good government is reflected in its core values of
                      accountability, integrity, and reliability.

                      The fastest and easiest way to obtain copies of GAO documents at no
Obtaining Copies of   cost is through GAO’s website (http://www.gao.gov). Each weekday
GAO Reports and       afternoon, GAO posts on its website newly released reports, testimony,
                      and correspondence. To have GAO e-mail you a list of newly posted
Testimony             products, go to http://www.gao.gov and select “E-mail Updates.”

Order by Phone        The price of each GAO publication reflects GAO’s actual cost of
                      production and distribution and depends on the number of pages in the
                      publication and whether the publication is printed in color or black and
                      white. Pricing and ordering information is posted on GAO’s website,
                      http://www.gao.gov/ordering.htm.
                      Place orders by calling (202) 512-6000, toll free (866) 801-7077, or
                      TDD (202) 512-2537.
                      Orders may be paid for using American Express, Discover Card,
                      MasterCard, Visa, check, or money order. Call for additional information.
                      Connect with GAO on Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, and YouTube.
Connect with GAO      Subscribe to our RSS Feeds or E-mail Updates. Listen to our Podcasts.
                      Visit GAO on the web at www.gao.gov.
                      Contact:
To Report Fraud,
                      Website: http://www.gao.gov/fraudnet/fraudnet.htm
Waste, and Abuse in   E-mail: fraudnet@gao.gov
Federal Programs      Automated answering system: (800) 424-5454 or (202) 512-7470

                      Katherine Siggerud, Managing Director, siggerudk@gao.gov, (202) 512-
Congressional         4400, U.S. Government Accountability Office, 441 G Street NW, Room
Relations             7125, Washington, DC 20548

                      Chuck Young, Managing Director, youngc1@gao.gov, (202) 512-4800
Public Affairs        U.S. Government Accountability Office, 441 G Street NW, Room 7149
                      Washington, DC 20548




                        Please Print on Recycled Paper.