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Financial Exploitation: Determination Of Probable Cause

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Describe about the Financial Exploitation for Determination of Probable Cause?.




The case is about the crime of Theft in the first degree, committed by Derek Clint Yates in the City of Auburn, King Country, Washington. Eleanor H. Ludwig taught in the school for over thirty years in Kent. Later in 1981, she became involved in the investment business of real estate with her husband. They maintained 10 to 15 rental properties throughout South King Country. After the death of her husband, she began exhibiting short term memory changes and the signs of depression had increased. However, she employed Derek Yates for maintaining the work on various properties owned by her.
In June 2011, Eleanor Ludwig hired Wilson and Sons, who was owned by Derek Yates' father. Eleanor and Yates developed the personal relationship and Ludwig shared the information related to her properties. She usually makes the payment in cheques but Yates refused to take cheques because he didn't have any bank account. She relied on him to help her in maintaining the properties and was loyal to him. He would manipulate her in giving him a large amount of money for the purchase of supplies and never provided receipts back to her. Therefore, no financial transactions could be made and due to this Eleanor Ludwig had been financially exploited by him (Anon., 2016).

Areas Examined

In the late August 2011, Eleanor Ludwig and Derek Yates decided to buy an additional property.  Eleanor purchased a condominium along with Yates as the co-owner of the property but there was no record that he contributed any money to the transaction. All the documents were misfiled and the expenditures were unrecorded. We examined the financial records and related documents through the issuance of a search warrant and bank records of both Eleanor Ludwig and Derek Yates and suspect during the period between September, 2011 to August, 2012 in order to determine the total amount of cheques made payable to Derek Yates to purchase the supplies needed for maintaining and remodeling the various properties.

Findings of the Investigation

Through the investigation, it was found that Eleanor Ludwig wrote 103 cheques between 29th August 2011 to 5th September 2012 payable to Derek Yates with the total amount of $ 250,830. However, there is no indication from the written cheques by Eleanor Ludwig that Yates was paid a regular monthly fee for the work he performed on the properties. Ludwig also wrote the cheques to All City Bail Bonds for Yates amounted to $ 14,248 in March, 2012. An additional cheques were made payable by the Ludwig to Yates's family members (his mother, stepfather and girlfriend) for $ 4,251.


Cause of Condition

Eleanor Ludwig was living alone having the age of 84 years was financially exploited by Yates because she did not have the mental ability to handle the complex financial and property decisions. Her cognitive capacity to consent to release her property, income, resources or trust funds was failing significantly. She owns many properties with the limited means to care. To the great extent, Derek Yates had gained the trust of Eleanor Ludwig and obtained her consent to provide the money in advance for the purchase of supplies and never receive a refund. However, Ludwig's granddaughter Breanna Drennan tried to talk her about Yates, how he was unkind and yelled on her but Eleanor always came to his defense (Napsa-now.org, 2016).

Effect of Condition

The financial exploitation of the elder member is the increasing threat in the nation. They are less able to survive with their finances due to their income. In the financial exploitation most of the adults lose their savings along with their possession (Healthlinkbc.ca, 2016). It is the huge concern for the adults as it affects them badly and hinders their ability in maintaining their finances.  However, the mental stability of Eleanor was significantly falling and this irregularity led to major financial losses to her. The trust among the members of the family is negatively impacted and their actions are abused. If these problems are not detected by anyone on time may cause a financial threat to the victim (Giaging.org, 2016).


Eleanor Ludwig was vulnerable to the financial exploitation by Derek C. Yates. She was maintaining the properties herself only and employed Yates to look after the properties owned by her. In the meanwhile, she had a hard time in maintaining the paperwork and keeping the records of the property and began to misplace the things related to the property. During this time period, Derek Yates had started taking the advantage of Ludwig. This leads to the state of dishonest tactics, undue influence and illegal means to exploit her (Justice.gov, 2016).

However, Breanna Drennan granddaughter of Eleanor had initiated a Vulnerable Adult Protection Order against Derek Yates in order to protect her grandmother. After the investigation, the financial records of both Eleanor and Yates has been analyzed and found that in the beginning Yates was depositing the cheques written to him into his personal account and there was no record in the bank about the purpose of using the money him. Instead, it was spent on his daily activities. In addition, it was believed that she become fearful and had financial burden and stress which in turn resulted into the dramatic change in the emotional well being and lifestyle. Therefore, it was believed that Yates had committed the crime of Theft by Deception against Eleanor Ludwig (Justice.gov, 2016).


Financial exploitation arises when the person misuses the assets of the adult for his personal benefit. It is the fastest growing form of abusing the adults or the seniors, depriving them of the financial resources for their personal needs. There are many ways to address this financial exploitation. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau had founded various financial institutions considering the best way to serve the solution for the problems faced by the people (Consumerfinance, 2016)

According to the jurisprudence and rules of law, the proper medical treatment of Eleanor Ludwig should be done. And the evidence should be collected to make Derek Yates accused of the crime of financial exploitation. The strict action should be taken against him and recover the amount he had spent during the period of maintaining the properties and the financial advisor should be hired for maintaining the accounts of Eleanor Ludwig (Usa.gov, 2016).

To prevent the elder abuse, Eleanor should live with her family members and develop the frameworks to prevent, address and punish the culprit. There should be a joint account of the Eleanor and her family member in the bank to ensure the financial security and the power of attorney should be monitored. However, the State Legislatures and other agencies have taken major steps towards combating the financial abuse.



Anon., 2016. Yates Certification for Determination of Probable Cause.

Consumerfinance, 2016. Recommendations and report for financial institutions on preventing and responding to elder financial exploitation.

Giaging.org, 2016. Financial Exploitation. [Online] Available at: https://www.giaging.org/issues/financial-exploitation/ [Accessed 26 May 2016].

Healthlinkbc.ca, 2016. Financial Abuse of Older Adults. [Online] Available at: https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthfiles/hfile93d.stm [Accessed 26 May 2016].

Justice.gov, 2016. The United States Department of Justice. [Online] Available at: https://www.justice.gov/elderjustice/financial/faq.html#what-is-a-financial-management-plan [Accessed 25 May 2016].

Justice.gov, 2016. The United States Department of Justice. [Online] Available at: https://www.justice.gov/elderjustice/financial/faq.html#why-do-some-older-adults-fall-victim-to-financial-exploitation [Accessed 26 May 2016].

Napsa-now.org, 2016. Elder Financial Exploitation. [Online] Available at: https://www.napsa-now.org/policy-advocacy/exploitation/ [Accessed 25 May 2016].

Usa.gov, 2016. Popular Federal Laws and Regulations. [Online] Available at: https://www.usa.gov/laws-and-regulations [Accessed 26 May 2016].


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