Palm Beach County, West Palm Beach, Florida
The Guardianship Fraud Program and Hotline offers a best practice standard to combat elder financial abuse (fraud, waste, and financial mismanagement) in the area of guardianship and conservatorship. The program employs monitoring, education, and outreach activities providing a pro-active, consumer responsive, advocacy service for caregivers and individuals living with dementia. The program assists caregivers by investigating alleged guardianship fraud cases and since the Hotline began in 2010, over 800 guardianship cases have been audited and investigated; over $4.4 million in unsubstantiated disbursements, missing assets, and fraud identified; and 45 cases have been referred to law enforcement and other agencies resulting in two arrests. Of the population served, 60% are individuals living with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. The program is currently being replicated in 25+ counties in Florida. The Guardianship Fraud Program and Hotline tackles this difficult problem through enhanced auditing utilizing professional auditing standards, educating guardians and attorneys, offering training classes and education seminars, building relationships with community and criminal justice partners, and maintaining a consistent outreach program to educate the community.