HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

691

THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2019

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

Relating to Health.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that financial exploitation is a fast-growing form of elder abuse. Financial exploitation occurs when a person misuses or takes the assets of an elderly victim for that person's own personal benefit. This frequently occurs without the explicit knowledge or consent of the elderly victim and deprives the elderly victim of vital financial resources. Assets are commonly taken via forms of deception, false pretenses, coercion, harassment, duress, and threats, and exploiters are often trusted individuals like family members, caregivers, neighbors, friends, acquaintances, attorneys, bank employees, pastors, doctors, and nurses.

The legislature further finds that, according to the National Adult Protective Services Association, recent research indicates that elder financial exploitation is widespread and sometimes even deadly. The rate of financial exploitation is high, yet vastly under-reported. One in twenty older adults indicate some form of perceived financial mistreatment occurring in the recent past, but only one in forty-four cases of elder financial abuse is reported.

The purpose of this Act is to provide additional protection to the elderly by making the financial exploitation of an elder by a caregiver a class A felony.

SECTION 2. Chapter 708, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to part IV to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"708-    Financial exploitation of an elder; caregivers. (1) A caregiver commits the offense of financial exploitation of an elder if the caregiver intentionally or knowingly:

(a) Takes, withholds, misappropriates, or uses an elder's money, real property, or personal property without authorization;

(b) Breaches a fiduciary duty to the elder, resulting in the unauthorized appropriation, sale, or transfer of property;

(c) Takes the elder's personal assets without authorization;

(d) Misappropriates, misuses, or transfers without authorization any money belonging to the elder from a personal or joint account; or

(e) Uses coercion, manipulation, threats, intimidation, misrepresentation, or undue influence to take, appropriate, sell, transfer, or withhold an elder's money, assets, real property, or personal property;

provided that the total value of the money, assets, or property taken or used exceeds $50,000.

(2) Financial exploitation of an elder is a class A felony.

(3) For the purposes of this section:

"Caregiver" means any person who has undertaken the temporary or permanent care, custody, or physical control or supervision of, or who has a legal or contractual duty to care for the health, safety, and welfare of, an elder.

"Elder" means a person who is sixty years of age or older."

SECTION 3. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun before its effective date.

SECTION 4. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2019.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

 

 


 


 

Report Title:

Penal Code; Caregivers; Financial Exploitation; Elder Abuse

 

Description:

Makes financial exploitation of an elder by a caregiver a Class A felony.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.