Attorney General to Testify at Hearing of Bills that Would Protect Vulnerable Adults

Press Conference Held Prior to Meeting in Annapolis

March 13, 2000

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. will be joined by supporters of bills that will help protect vulnerable adults from being financially exploited, at a press conference Tuesday, March 14, 2000, at 11 a.m., at Lawyer's Mall, Annapolis. Also at the press conference will be Valerie Richardson and Laurie Stewart, who will be testifying from personal experience about cases of financial exploitation of vulnerable adults, at the 1 p.m. hearing of Senate Bill 816, entitled Fiduciary Institutions -Disclosure of a Customer's Financial Records to Adult Protective Services.

The bills will facilitate the creation of a program that already exists in Massachusetts, Oregon, Utah, and Maine. The program is a training partnership between Adult Protective Services and banks. The training teaches tellers and customer representatives how to recognize telltale signs of financial exploitation and see that a case is properly reported to Adult Protective Services.

"Predators prey upon the weak," Attorney General Curran said. "This bill would go a long way toward protecting these poor people who no longer have the physical or mental strength to resist or even recognize the predators who are out there."

The press conference will feature bank surveillance photos that show an employee of an assisted living facility stealing money from a mentally handicapped man in her care. The employee brought the man to the bank to do his weekly banking, but instead closed his account, emptying it of $1,396, and cashed his Social Security check, which was usually deposited to pay his rent. The employee also stole the life savings of three other vulnerable adults in her care.

Joining General Curran will be: Senator Thomas L. Bromwell (sponsor of the Senate Bill), Delegate Maggie L. McIntosh (sponsor of the House Bill, HB736), and Delegates Clagett, DeCarlo, Dypski, Malone and Sophocleus (co-sponsors of House Bill).

Media inquiries: Sean Caine (410) 576-6357
All other inquiries: Jeffrey Myers (410) 576-1110