U.S. Department of Justice

06/14/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 06/14/2019 15:14

Justice Department Recognizes World Elder Abuse Awareness Day with Week of Events

The Department of Justice coordinated a week of events recognizing World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) on June 15, which is dedicated to raising awareness about the millions of older adults who experience elder abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation. The Department of Justice is committed to defending the vulnerable and obtaining justice for those who have been targeted.

Attorney General William P. Barr Met with Financial Institution General Counsels to Address Elder Financial Exploitation

'Today, the General Counsels of several major banks met with Attorney General Barr and leadership of the newly formed Transnational Elder Justice Strike Force to discuss the growing problem of elder fraud. The conversation centered on how financial institutions can better collaborate with the Department to apply successful programs and protocols to identify and prevent international criminals from targeting senior Americans at home. The banks committed to building upon their already successful partnerships with law enforcement in the United States and the United Kingdom, including the Department's Consumer Protection Branch and network of U.S. Attorney's Offices, to combat transnational organized crime. In order to fight increasing international financial exploitation, the financial industry and the Department agreed to continue communication and increase collaboration efforts in order to fight this critically important issue ensnaring the most vulnerable in our society.'

'This meeting is a follow-up to the Department's largest-ever nationwide elder justice law enforcement sweep in March 2019. Attorney General Barr previously held a roundtable with leaders in the tech industry to explore ways both private and public partnerships can combat Transnational Criminal Organizations targeting America's seniors. The Attorney General remains committed to strengthening partnerships in order to better identify international fraud schemes and prosecute foreign criminals targeting our elderly.'

Victims of elder fraud and abuse should report to their local FBI office and to the FTC's Consumer Sentinel at www.ftc.gov or 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357)

Announcement of New Transnational Elder Fraud Strike Force

Attorney General Barr announced the establishment of the Transnational Elder Fraud Strike Force, a joint law enforcement effort that brings together the resources and expertise of the Department of Justice's Consumer Protection Branch, the U.S. Attorneys' Offices for six federal districts, the FBI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and other organizations.

'Fraud against the elderly is on the rise,' said Attorney General Barr. 'One of the most significant and pernicious causes for this increase is foreign-based fraud schemes. The new Transnational Elder Fraud Strike Force will bring together the expertise and resources of our prosecutors, federal and international law enforcement partners, and other government agencies to better target, investigate, and prosecute criminals abroad who prey on our elderly at home. The Department of Justice is committed to ending the victimization of elders across the country.'

Judicial Roundtable Discussion on Elder Abuse

The Department of Justice hosted a roundtable discussion hosted by Acting Director of the Office on Violence Against Women, Katharine Sullivan, with judges from around the country who shared their views and experiences from the bench presiding over elder abuse and financial exploitation cases.

The full roundtable discussion can be viewed here .

Department Engages in Local Pro Bono Activity to Commemorate World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

The Department of Justice and the Department's metro-DC Elder Justice Coordinators, in Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Virginia, are engaging in pro bono activities educating seniors on financial scams, combatting financial exploitation, and elder abuse as a way of increasing access to justice for these members of our communities.

Elder Justice Tribal Liaison Education Packet Distributed Nationwide

By WEAAD, every Tribal Liaison across the country will have this critical elder justice information to share with the tribal leaders in their Districts. Additional resources on rural and elder tribal justice can be found here.

Elder Justice Tribal Liaison Education Packet Distributed Nationwide

By WEAAD, every Tribal Liaison across the country will have this critical elder justice information to share with the tribal leaders in their Districts. Additional resources on rural and elder tribal justice can be found here.

Radio Hit and Podcast Launch on Elder Abuse Awareness

  • The Department of Justice's coordinator for elder justice, Associate Deputy Attorney General Toni Bacon, went on Hugh Hewitt's radio show to discuss awareness of elder abuse and highlight the work the Department is doing to combat those abuses.
    • You can listen to the interview here .
  • The Beat podcast recently did a series that takes an in-depth look at measures that law enforcement officers and agencies can use to effectively identify and respond to instances of elder abuse.
    • You can listen to the series here.

Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) Announces Funding Opportunity for Enhancing Elder Abuse Case Reviews

OVC announced a competitive solicitation addressing enhanced multidisciplinary teams for older victims of abuse and financial exploitation (including funding for tribal) and funding for a Multidisciplinary Team Technical Assistance Center, which will help facilitate the expansion of elder abuse case review across the nation. Applications are due on July 7.

USTelecom Forum: Turning the Tide on Illegal Robocalls

This week, Senior Counsel for Complex Litigation Rich Goldberg and Trial Attorney Daniel K. Crane-Hirsch from the Department of Justice's Consumer Protection Branch participated in USTelecom's Forum on Illegal Robocalls. Mr. Goldberg presented on the Department's elder fraud enforcement efforts and priorities, including those related to telemarketing frauds and illegal robocalls. The Consumer Protection Branch is an active participant in the National Association of Attorneys General's Do Not Call and Telemarketing Working Group and facilitates coordination between federal, state, and local law enforcement. Illegal robocalls are often used in fraud schemes targeting the elderly, which the Department is committed to disrupting and prosecuting.

Information about the Justice Department's Elder Justice Initiative can be found here.