“COLLECTING THE EVIDENCE”

by OPOVV, ©2020

Photo by Alexander Mils on Unsplash, Free Use License

(March 7, 2020) — “Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to another fact-finding episode of ‘The Pulse of the Nation.’ Today we’re broadcasting from Minnesota, ‘The Land of a Thousand Retirement Homes’ that brings in hundreds of millions of dollars, and many of those dollars end up in the hands of those who least deserve it: thieves.

“We are joined by a young lady who wishes to remain anonymous, off-camera, and we have disguised her voice. For the purpose of this show, we’ll call her Miss X.

“Welcome to ‘Pulse,’ and, as you can see, you’re not being filmed and your voice is disguised: you’ve got the floor.”

“I’m a nurse at one of the ‘homes for the elderly’ here in Alexandria, a small town northwest of the Twin Cities. There are quite a number of retirement residences, from the very small – single-family homes that rent out a single room or a ‘mother-in-law’ apartment – to the very large buildings with over a hundred rooms.”

“So I guess you could say you’ve seen it all, and when I say, ‘seen it all,’ I’m talking about theft.”

“Yes, I’ve seen quite a bit, so much so that I have some rather good advice to give to any future resident of any retirement home.”

“Really? Why do you say that?”

“Because, at least here in Minnesota, there are laws that protect thieves, that’s why. I don’t know about the other states, but here everyone benefits from the theft of the elderly.”

“Even law enforcement?”

“Let me put it to you this way: if it weren’t for the full cooperation of law enforcement to go along with the theft of the elderly, there wouldn’t be any theft of the elderly.”

“Now how does that work?”

“By having the family living far away, even out of state. The parents get old and the kids put Mom or Pop in a home, sometimes both. Oh, I know what you’re going to say: we have phones and faxes, email and overnight snail mail, let alone the interstate where anyone a thousand miles away can be here in a day.”

“So what’s the problem?”

“The ‘problem,’ as you say, is one of secrecy, or as one might say, omission. To put it another way, even though you may be on the call list, they don’t call, even to the point of death.”

“You mean they don’t even call the family when Mom or Pop passes? Why?”

“No, they don’t call and their excuse is, ‘Oh, but you’re not on the call list,’ when I know they are, or were. And as far as the ‘Why?’ it’s to give everybody time to disperse of as much property as possible before the loved ones come to town to take care of the funeral arrangements and to take possession of the property; I mean, whatever’s left after it’s all been picked over.”

“And you’ve seen theft firsthand?”

“I’ve seen help rummage through purses and dressers, even while the elderly resident was sleeping.”

“Why didn’t you say anything?”

“Now who in the heck would I report the theft to? I’d just get fired. They’re all in on it, from the directors to the janitor; from the police to the banks. ”

“You got to be kidding.”

“I wish I were, believe me. These ‘assisted living homes’ are nothing more than a den of thieves: friends, relatives and the employees steal them blind, and that’s the truth.”

“But surely there must be laws to prevent such theft.”

“Oh, there’s laws alright, but the laws protect the guilty. Having the Power of Attorney is an excuse to add their name to a joint bank account and then drain all the money, so an elderly lady who was worth a million in May is penniless broke when death occurs in August. Happens every day. Everybody has their hand out, and in many cases even before the elderly person has passed on.”

“What about the banks; can’t you ask them for help?”

“No can do, and if you persist, the cops come knocking on your door. Ever notice what a big deal the press makes when someone is actually arrested for elderly theft? It’s like the cops making a big drug bust: it’s for publicity as in, ‘Look at us for doing such a fine job.’”

“But aren’t there government agencies that protect theft from the elderly?”

“Plenty, in name only: ‘Center for Fraud of the Elderly’; ‘Investigative Services for Fraud’; ‘Elder Abuse Hotline.’”

“But don’t they do anything?”

“Besides take your name and give worthless meaningless platitudes, as in ‘We’ll look into it and get back to you,’ when they never ‘look into it’ and ‘never get back’ to you. These agencies are nothing more than sleight-of-hand agencies that give meaningless jobs to lazy people who collect welfare payments in the guise of a paycheck. The title sounds good but they don’t do anything.”

“So what do you suggest?”

“Well, first of all, when a person goes into a retirement home, have everything of either monetary or sentimental value disposed of properly. Do everything possible to keep the valuables – including cash – out of the reach of the thieves that surround the helpless.”

“Any more advice?”

“Yes: stop any and all automatic withdrawals from any account. Better yet, close all accounts and have a designated heir as Power of Attorney to disperse any and all payments. Never, but never, have a friend or relative have the POA. And do this the very day that the individual is moved in to the assisted living facility; don’t wait.”

“Have you written to the newspapers or tried in any other way to bring the widespread theft of the elderly to the attention of the public?”

“Yes I’ve tried, and if they knew who the whistleblower was I’d lose my job, or maybe even my life. Look, Roving, just because it’s not, as far as I can tell, an organized ring of thieves, they’re organized enough to steal with, basically, impunity. And that’s all I’m prepared to say at this time.”

“You mean there may be another time?”

“Yes, and I’ll not only name the specific institutions, but reveal the names as well and offer proof. As an example, I’ve actually been in the room when the old person died and the director of the facility walked off with a painting from the wall that was hanging right above the dead person. I filmed it with my phone and this painting was worth well over six figures. And that’s it for me so if you keep your word — and I believe you will since I’m putting my life is in your hands — the next time we meet I’ll reveal the names and give you the evidence that I’ve collected over the last few years.”

“You got a date, Miss X, and so, on behalf of the crew, this is your Roving Reporter (RR) wishing you all a goodnight: Goodnight.

“Good show. Miss X just left. Okay, then, it’s burger time: my treat.”

Money Honey” (2:36)

OPOVV

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