State senator wants changes made to financial exploitation laws for elderly, disabled
4/22/2016, 11:32 a.m.
Under current law, prosecution for financial exploitation of an elderly person or a person with a disability must occur within three years of the offense being committed.
State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) is trying to extend the statute of limitations for this type of offense.
“Seniors and the disabled aren’t always able to promptly recognize and report when they are being financially exploited, which is why it’s important to increase the timeframe when someone can be prosecuted for these crimes,” Bertino-Tarrant said.
In general, most states allow individuals to be prosecuted for financial exploitation of a senior or disabled person longer than three years after the offense occurred.
Alabama has a statute of limitations of seven years, and in Oregon the statute of limitations is six years. Minnesota recently extended the time period for when someone can be prosecuted for financially exploiting a senior or disabled person.
The plan supported by the senator would increase the statute of limitations for financial exploitation of an elderly person or a person with a disability to seven years in Illinois. This would align with banking laws and regulations that require banks to maintain financial records for seven years.
The proposal Bertino-Tarrant is backing also allows for defendants to be prosecuted for financial exploitation in any county where a victim over 60 or with a mental disability resides. This is important because suspects often live in a different county or state than their victim. Many seniors who have been financially exploited end up being placed in care facilities.
Bertino-Tarrant is the chief co-sponsor of Senate Bill 3180, which passed out of the Illinois Senate today. The legislation will now have to be approved by the Illinois House.