Pa. Dept. of Aging funds task force to fight financial crimes against seniors

In response to an increase in financial elder abuse, the Pennsylvania Department of Aging has funded a four-member task force to assist in probing complex cases against older Pennsylvanians.

As one of the fastest-growing forms of elder abuse, financial exploitation requires the work of many state and local agencies to investigate. Last week, the Department of Aging announced plans to form a dedicated investigative unit to support probes into complex financial exploitation cases.

The Department of Aging won $666,000 in federal grant funding for the unit.

“Based on a sample of 22 cases where we exercised enhanced coordination and early intervention, nearly $3 million in assets were protected from further exploitation,” Secretary of Aging Robert Torres said in a statement.

“We have federal funding for the next two years” to assist in investigating and resolving cases, Torres said.

The Financial Abuse Specialist Team, or FAST, consists of a supervisor, two analysts, and an attorney to assist police, social workers and other agencies.

The task force evolved from a two-year pilot program run by David Aiello, a retired state trooper with expertise in financial investigations who served as a resource for 52 county agencies. The Department of Aging grant funds another two years.

Financial exploitation ranks among the top three types of elder abuse reported to the Pennsylvania Department of Aging. In a June 2021 report, the department found the most prevalent types of financial…

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