Posted: Wednesday, 14 June 2017 @ 16:25
I am currently advising clients seeking to do a LPA investigation on suspected financial abuse.
These problems of financial abuse are understated and sadly, widespread.
While there has been a rise in the investigations into
attorneys and deputies over financial wrongdoing - from 487 in 2013, to 885 in
Ben Tyer, of GLP Solicitors, filed the data
request and should be congratulated on getting this information into the public domain) this is just the tip of the iceberg.
First of all, finding evidence of wrongdoing is not easy particularly as errant LPAs/Deputies seek to find more elaborate ways to commit the fraud and hide it.
Second, the OPG has quite a lot on its plate so cannot throw resources at everything.
Third, once the donor dies the OPG will not get involved and will not investigate. Meaning at this point to prove fraud you have to go the police(and hope they can go to the CPS) but often you do so with limited access to information.
One option we are looking to focus on post death of the donor is to focus on the probate and obtain an inventory and account application to see what information this reveals.
For example, a Lincolnshire woman commited fraud with a f lasting power of attorney and incurred unauthorised expenditure from a couple's bank account for items for her personal benefit.
This is not the norm for getting caught.