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The National Center for Victims of Crime Unites Experts to Address Elder Financial Exploitation


November 20, 2014
Contact: Tara Ballesteros

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Center for Victims of Crime hosted an unprecedented Roundtable on Elder Financial Exploitation November 18 and 19.  The event was supported by a generous grant from the Huguette Clark Family Fund for Protection of Elders, a Donor-Advised Fund of the New York Community Trust, and brought together more than 30 of the nation’s leaders from a diverse group of stakeholders to address the issue and provide innovative solutions to prevent and combat elder financial abuse. 

The Roundtable included presentations on best practices, shared innovative programs serving elder victims of financial abuse and explored opportunities for increased collaboration.  Working groups were established to develop long-term strategies and victim-centered projects in the areas of policy, justice and services.   The Roundtable was designed to produce tangible outcomes to be acted upon and implemented in the near future. 

“The purpose of the Roundtable is to elevate the issue of elder financial exploitation.  As our population ages, more and more people are being targeted.  This type of crime receives far less attention than violent crime, however it can be equally as devastating.  Our goal is to facilitate increased collaboration in this area to better serve victims,” commented Mai Fernandez, Executive Director of the National Center for Victims of Crime.

The initial gathering of experts provided the foundation for effective partnerships, encouraged additional dialogue on the issue and emphasized the importance of research- based practice and multidisciplinary approaches to combat elder financial exploitation.

Roundtable attendees included representatives from the financial services industry, government agencies, elder victims’ rights organizations, academics, and civil attorneys among others.  “It was a privilege to participate in such a dynamic forum with individuals who are not only extremely knowledgeable but also passionate about the issue.  Their commitment to protecting elders from financial abuse gives us a glimmer of hope as we continue to confront the serious and dark world of exploitation often committed by people of trust,” said Ian Clark Devine, Advisor to the Huguette Clark Family Fund for Protection of Elders.

Additional information and resources on this issue including Taking Action: An Advocates Guide to Assisting Victims of Financial Fraud is available on the National Center for Victims of Crime website http://www.victimsofcrime.org.

The National Center for Victims of Crime, established in 1985, is the nation’s leading resource and advocacy organization for crime victims and those who serve them.  For more than 25 years, the National Center has led this nation’s struggle to provide crime victims with the rights, protections, and services they need to rebuild their lives. 

The Huguette Clark Family Fund for Protection of Elders is a donor advised fund created by members of the Clark Family to honor their aunt, who died in 2011. The Fund is operated by The New York Community Trust, one of the oldest and largest community foundations in the United States.  The Fund supports innovative organizations and programs that seek new strategies to fight the financial abuse of elders, which frequently includes emotional and psychological manipulation by the professionals and institutions entrusted with their care. The Clark Family seeks to make grants to organizations that address immediate needs overlooked by traditional programs, or develop effective models to fight elder abuse that can be replicated nationwide.