This is a story that any professional working with seniors finds particularly abhorrent. An investigation by the New Jersey State Police and the Division of Criminal Justice uncovered a scheme by a New Jersey woman, her sister and several others—including an attorney—to steal millions from elderly clients they were supposed to be helping.
The story was reported by New Jersey 101.5 in "NJ woman pleads guilty to scamming millions of dollars from the elderly."
A New Jersey State Police investigation led to the indictment of Sondra Steen along with her sister Jan Van Holt. The latter was the owner of a company that offered elderly clients in-home care and legal financial planning. Two other employees pleaded guilty to taking part in the scheme and stealing $125,000 from an elderly couple. Van Holt and Steen were charged with conspiring with a lawyer to steal over $2.7 million from 12 elderly clients.
Van Holt would target potential elderly clients who were known to have substantial assets with no immediate family. They would be offered help through the company with non-medical services such as running errands, managing finances, getting to appointments, and housework. Steen would then serve as the client's primary caregiver.