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SB 221 FINANCIAL CRIMES AGAINST THE VULNERABLE

Current Location: SJC
Referrals: SHPAC/SJC/SFC

[3] SHPAC/SJC/SFC-SHPAC [6] DP-SJC

SB 221 PDF  |  SB 221 FIR


Scheduled on - Date:  Time:   Location:

2/18/2021 [6]SHPAC - Do Pass Senate Judiciary (SJC)
2/01/2021 [3] - Sent to location Senate Health & Public Affairs (SHPAC)
Synopsis:

 Relating to crime by enacting the Financial Crimes Against Elderly Disabled or Vulnerable Adults Act, creating the Crimes of Financial Exploitation of an elderly disabled or vulnerable adult and unlawful use of a power of attorney, and providing penalties.

Analysis:

 SB 221 creates the Financial Crimes Against Elderly, Disabled or Vulnerable Adults Act. 
The Act outlines various actions considered to be taking advantage of those listed above in the Act. They include: Financial exploitation of an elderly, disabled or vulnerable adult which consists of any of the following actions by a person with a fiduciary relationship with an elderly, disabled or vulnerable adult if that person acts intentionally for the person's own profit or advantage or the profit or advantage of someone else:(1) depriving the elderly, disabled or vulnerable adult of that adult's own real or personal property or other financial resources, resulting in neglect of that adult; or(2) temporary or permanent deprivation, use or taking of real or personal property or other financial resources of the elderly, disabled or vulnerable adult. In the absence of a fiduciary relationship, financial exploitation of an elderly, disabled or vulnerable adult consists of any of the following actions by a person who uses undue influence, deceit, trickery, harassment, duress, force, compulsion or coercion to:(1) acquire possession or control of an interest in real or personal property or other financial resources of an elderly, disabled or vulnerable adult;(2) induce an elderly, disabled or vulnerable adult against the adult's will to perform services for the profit or advantage of another; or(3) establish a fiduciary relationship with an elderly, disabled or vulnerable adult that gives the person control of an interest in real or personal property or other financial resources of an elderly, disabled or vulnerable adult. 
Who ever commits this exploitation is guilty of a third degree felony for the first offense and a second degree felony for the second offense. Consent by the elderly disabled or vulnerable person is not a means for defense. Certain actions are waived if provided in good faith, acts to take care of the above, or who carries out the request of those persons mentioned above. 
A Section is devoted to the unlawful use of powers of attorney, as it pertains to the Power of Attorney Act. Again, exploitation of the persons above is subject to a third-degree felony for the first offense and second-degree felony for the second offense. 
Consent by the aforementioned adults is not a defense under SB 221. Criminal liability shall not be imposed on a person who makes a good faith effort to assist an elderly, disabled or vulnerable adult in the management of funds, assets or property, which effort fails through no fault of the person.
State law enforcement including the Attorney General has jurisdiction to investigate allegations of financial exploitation of elderly, disabled and vulnerable adults or unlawful use of powers of attorney. 
Nothing in this Act is intended to alter or limit the duties and responsibilities of the Attorney General, the Department of Health, the Human Services Department and the Aging and Long-term Services Department to investigate reports of abuse, neglect, self-neglect or exploitation of elderly, disabled or vulnerable adults. 
An additional penalty of restitution for those convicted of exploitation of elderly, disabled or vulnerable adults is provided in SB 221. 

Amendments:

Current Law:The Power of Attorney Act

Bill Comments:
Position: Support   Priority: Moderate
ICBA/NM supports SB 221 and the efforts to protect Elderly, Disabled or Vulnerable Adults through adoption of this bill.  New and Enhanced penalties are, we believe, called for when some of our most vulnerable members are taken advantage of.