Exploitation of an Elderly Person

The Florida Second DCA released an opinion last week dealing with the criminal charge of Exploitation of an Elderly Person.  The case name is Guarscio v. State (2D08-5000) and the full opinion can be read here.

In this matter, the Court found the state’s evidence insufficient to prove Exploitation of an Elderly Person.  This case represents some of the dangers a person accepts when becoming a health care surrogate or power of attorney.  If it is discovered that the elderly person’s finances are in disarray, it is quite possible the state will look to the surrogate/power of attorney for responsibility.  In the Guarscio case, the Court found that although “the refinancings were not a good idea…that is a far cry from proof that they were accomplished by Guarscio’s deception or intimidation of her grandmother.”

This case is a good case for Florida defense attorneys because it makes the State prove its allegations, and not rely on inferences or sympathy.

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