Update on Partnership to Address Financial Exploitation
In the June 15, 2007 Board Bulletin, I advised the Board about a unique partnership formed by the Department of Social Services (DSS), the District Attorney’s Office (DA), and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD). The primary objective of this partnership is to identify and adjudicate instances where seniors and disabled adults are the victims of financial exploitation. So far, this partnership has reviewed seven cases, and the DA has filed charges in one case, which will be going to the grand jury soon.
One of the challenges involved in adjudicating financial exploitation cases is obtaining sufficient evidence, such as records of financial transactions. This often is a laborious process that extends the time it takes to prosecute a case. In addition, the victim may be unwilling to cooperate in the investigation and prosecution against a relative or friend who is suspected in the exploitation.
To strengthen efforts to identify and prosecute such cases, CMPD has assigned a detective experienced in these types of cases to work with a County staff attorney. This attorney also is experienced in welfare fraud investigations and is sworn as an assistant district attorney. Having a prosecutor serve as a liaison between DSS and the CMPD helps identify legitimate claims and prepare evidence for criminal prosecution.
Despite the challenges of addressing these cases, District Attorney Peter Gilchrist and Interim DSS Director Janice Allen Jackson assure me that these partnership efforts will evolve and develop to improve our capability and performance in protecting seniors and disabled adults from financial exploitation. We also believe this partnership will help bring light to this issue, which may encourage other victims to come forward. We will update the Board as additional results occur.
Mark Your Calendar
Tuesday, February 5:
- Dinner Meeting, 5 p.m., CH-14
- Regular Meeting, 6 p.m., Meeting Chamber
Friday, February 8:
- Board Planning Conference, Mahlon Adams Pavilion at Freedom Park.
Breakfast will be served at 8 a.m.
The conference will begin at 8:30 a.m.
- Harry L. Jones, Sr., County Manager