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New Legislation Aimed at Preventing Abuse and Human Trafficking of Seniors
Published:
2/17/2014 2:51:37 PM


Lieutenant Governor Glenn McConnell
 
COLUMBIA, S. C. - Legislation will be introduced this week in the State Senate that proposes the creation of the "Senior Trafficking and Exploitation Reform of 2014" in South Carolina. On Wednesday, February 19, 2014, at 11:00 a.m., Lieutenant Governor Glenn McConnell and Senator Thomas Alexander, Chairman of the Joint Legislative Committee on Aging, will hold a press conference in the Lower Lobby of the State House to discuss specifics of the proposed legislation.

The Senior Trafficking and Exploitation Reform of 2014 seeks to deter persons who have previously manipulated the system by closing existing loopholes, increasing penalties for those who knowingly and intentionally cause harm, and by addressing new forms of abuse and exploitation that were not recognized or defined by previous law. The 1993 Omnibus Adult Protection Act did not protect all seniors and limited their protections. This legislation is a proactive approach to preparing South Carolina for a large influx of older adults, who are becoming increasingly vulnerable to new forms of clever schemes and creative tactics by scammers and predators alike.

"There have been cases reported, for instance, where unscrupulous predators trolled emergency rooms looking for elderly persons without any stable home environment to return to after being discharged from the hospital," said South Carolina's chief advocate for seniors, Lieutenant Governor Glenn McConnell. "These predators will promise a place to live and care in exchange for the elderly person’s monthly income, but in reality, this elderly person may receive sub-standard care while their money has now been handed over to a potential criminal."

While the Senior Trafficking and Exploitation Reform of 2014 legislation maintains many of the effective policies contained in the Omnibus Adult Protection Act, the proposed bill's language draws from legislation passed in other states, such as Florida and Alabama, in an effort to strengthen our own state laws and expand the protections afforded to all persons age 60 and older from the perils of abuse, neglect, exploitation, and human trafficking. The act also ensures fairness by protecting certain innocent parties intending goodwill.

"While we don't want to discourage Good Samaritans from extending a helping hand to these vulnerable adults, we want to send a clear message - South Carolina will not tolerate those of who intentionally set out to exploit or abuse seniors or adults with disabilities," added Lieutenant Governor McConnell. "We recognize the importance and urgency of toughening our state's existing laws, and that's precisely what this legislation strives to accomplish."

South Carolina is currently home to over 900,000 seniors, and that number is expected to double over the next 15 years. A publication by AARP estimates between one and two million older Americans are abused nationally each year, but research suggests that only one out of every 14 elder abuse cases is reported.

"From financial exploitation to human trafficking to children taking advantage of their parent's well-being and livelihood, we're going to continue to see more and more unfortunate situations occur if safeguards are not put into place now," summarized Senator Thomas Alexander, sponsor of the legislation.

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Submitted By: Elaine Renoire Submitted: 2/18/2014
NASGA is very appreciative of Lt. Governor McConnell's efforts. I would like to also bring his attention to another predator on the elderly and disabled which survives and thrives in the darkness, until now: unlawful and abusive guardianships and conservatorships. These unlawful proceedings financially exploit the elderly and disabled - often taking them quickly from wealth to indigence under the guise of "protection." And when these wards of the state are financially drained, their court-appointed "protectors" place them on Medicaid at taxpayer's expense, withdraw from the case, and move on to their next victim. It's a growing problem nationally and it's only getting worse as the Boomers gray. Join the national movement for reform of unlawful and abusive guardianships and conservatorships! Join NASGA.


Submitted By: Holly Peffer Submitted: 2/18/2014
This IS a rapidly growing problem and seniors definitely need protection, currently there is none! NASGA is a great source of information to learn more about this topic. Following is a true story of how my mothers golden years were stolen from her. I call it "human trafficking"! Rita Denmark was a divorcee in excellent physical health with mild/moderate dementia. Denmark domiciled and resided in Pennsylvania, she was registered and voted in Pennsylvania, she had a Pennsylvania prescription drug plan and a Pennsylvania Workers Compensation insurance policy for her personal care companions (all of which she had known for years). Denmark had her Advance Directives in place and she had a long term relationship with a favorite, local banker and an accounting advisor both of whom had assisted Denmark with her financial affairs for many, many years. Rita Denmark had everything was in place to enjoy her Golden Years with her family and friends when she took a "life changing" vacation to Florida with one of her daughters. Just DAYS after their Florida arrival a dispute between Denmark’s children ensued causing them to reach out for legal direction. Denmark’s daughter was assured that the quickest, easiest and least expensive way to get the problem resolved and to get their mother back to her home in Pennsylvania was to allow AND assist Professional Guardian, Jetta L. Getty (owner of Young at Heart Elderly Services) to sort out the disputed facts and report back to the court within 90 days as required. Jetta Getty promptly placed Denmark in a Port Orange, FL Assisted Living Facility (Summerville now called Emeritus of Port Orange) and Getty put Rita’s daughter, the vacationing companion, onto an airplane sending her back home to PA assuring her and other family members that Rita would be home soon. Rita's daughters now believe that Getty’s motive was to get that daughter out of her way & hoodwink other family members long enough to get the court behind her then, she began the process of enriching herself, converting Rita Denmark's approx. $470,000.00 estate into fees for herself, her attorney and other business associates, including another Professional Guardian, Edith Myett who has sense been arrested! In less than 5 years Getty has paid herself $93,932.75 [11/28/2007 - 08/03/2012]. That is almost $19,000 per year for …. The documentation in the Volusia County FL Court record shows very specifically that Jetta Getty CHANGED Rita Denmark's address. The Volusia County Court record also shows that several attorneys and the guardian, AKA "Officer's of the Court" knew, or should have known, that Denmark was a vulnerable senior and was a PA resident being moved by Getty. These Officer’s of the Court were ALL paid (by Getty) from Rita Denmark's approximate $470,000.00 estate. It took approx. 3 ½ years to finally obtain the documented proof that NOT ONE of those “Officer’s of the Court” ever told the Judge that Denmark was a Pennsylvania resident and domicile. This FL court record is chocked full of deceit and omissions by Getty through her attorney and others. We have reason to belief that Denmark’s entire estate has been plundered and converted into fees. We believe that Denmark is now supported by Floridians HARD EARNED tax dollars even though her family wants her home and to care for her. WHO guards the guardian? NO ONE!! Thank you for taking the time to read this, “to the best of my knowledge and belief,” real life story. For more information contact [email protected] or [email protected]


Submitted By: Lori View Submitted: 2/19/2014
This very language - "The Senior Trafficking and Exploitation Reform of 2014 seeks to deter persons who have previously manipulated the system by closing existing loopholes, increasing penalties for those who knowingly and intentionally cause harm, and by addressing new forms of abuse and exploitation that were not recognized or defined by previous law - gives me hope that SC may be leading the way to stopping the bleeding of assets of the elderly and disabled by the very individuals and entities who are supposed to be protecting them - court-appointed fiduciaries. The purpose of guardianship law was simple: Guard, Protect, and Conserve. The law has been misused; and when an unethical appointee (including banks and nonprofits) is aided and abetted by a judge (or hides the assets in a pooled trust to avoid requesting judicial blessings for fee taking) is in control, it has become "The Protection Racket"! \That's what NASGA is fighting!


Submitted By: Lori View Submitted: 2/19/2014
This very language - "The Senior Trafficking and Exploitation Reform of 2014 seeks to deter persons who have previously manipulated the system by closing existing loopholes, increasing penalties for those who knowingly and intentionally cause harm, and by addressing new forms of abuse and exploitation that were not recognized or defined by previous law - gives me hope that SC may be leading the way to stopping the bleeding of assets of the elderly and disabled by the very individuals and entities who are supposed to be protecting them - court-appointed fiduciaries. The purpose of guardianship law was simple: Guard, Protect, and Conserve. The law has been misused; and when an unethical appointee (including banks and nonprofits) is aided and abetted by a judge (or hides the assets in a pooled trust to avoid requesting judicial blessings for fee taking) is in control, it has become "The Protection Racket"! \That's what NASGA is fighting!


 
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