MA4 Supports Bill To Strengthen Penalties For Elder Abuse
On April 4, 2012, the House Committee on Crime Prevention and Public Safety heard SS/SCS/SB689, a bill to strengthen laws against elder abuse and financial exploitation of Missouri seniors. This bill is supported by ma4. The bill in its current form was passed by the Senate, and was approved by the Missouri House on May 15.
The bill now goes to Governor Jay Nixon for his approval and signature.
A short summary of the bill follows.
SS/SCS/SB 689 – Under current law, a person who recklessly and purposely causes serious injury to an elderly person commits the crime of second degree elder abuse. This act makes it so a person who recklessly or purposely causes such injury has committed the crime.
This act adds undue influence to the types of acts that, when committed against an elderly or disabled person, constitute the crime of financial exploitation.
Undue influence is defined under the act to mean influence by a person who has authority over the elderly or disabled person in order to take unfair advantage of the person’s vulnerable state of mind, neediness, pain, or agony. It includes improper use of various types of fiduciary authority.
This act makes it an unlawful violation of the financial exploitation statute to fail to remit to a nursing facility in which a Medicaid eligible person resides all money owing the facility resident from any source.
This act allows the Department of Social Services to release records regarding the income or assets of a resident of a facility licensed under Chapter 198 to prosecuting attorneys who are investigating or prosecuting an offense of financial exploitation.
If a person admits to or is found guilty of failing to remit money owed to a facility licensed under Chapter 198, the court can order the offender to make restitution to the facility as a condition of sentence and/or probation. Any order or agreement for restitution must allow the prosecuting attorney to receive ten percent of each payment toward the restitution as reimbursement for the cost of enforcement.
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