A NY Defense Lawyer Explains Power of Attorney Fraud
A durable or a limited power of attorney gives an agent authority to act on a principal’s behalf. While a power of attorney is an important tool used routinely in estate planning, it can also be abused when power of attorney fraud occurs.
A defendant who engages in power of attorney fraud can find himself facing criminal actions as well as civil actions. At Bukh Law Firms, PLLC, our legal defense team will work hard to help you resolve all legal problems. If you have been accused of power of attorney fraud, give us a call now to find out what we can do to help you keep your assets, avoid having accounts frozen, and avoid criminal or civil penalties including jail time. Every case is different, so let an experienced NY defense attorney help you to determine the strategy for responding to legal troubles that is the right choice for you.
Types of Power of Attorney Fraud
Those named as an agent when a power of attorney is created have a fiduciary obligation to act only in the best interests of the principal. In August of 2010, the New York legislature made some changes to the power of attorney laws that went into effect September 2010 and that applied retroactively. The changes were aimed at helping to ensure that those who created a power of attorney were protected from scams. Changes include new formatting requirements when a power of attorney is used to avoid guardianship proceedings, the exclusion of certain powers in connection with some business transactions, and limits on gifts made by agents.
Despite these safeguards, power of attorney fraud still happens. Power of attorney scams can take many different forms, but usually involve one of the following:
- A family member, family friend, or caregiver is named as the agent of someone who is elderly or disabled. The agent takes the principal’s assets and is personally enriched by them, rather than managing the assets for the benefit of the principal. For example, an adult child who is given power of attorney over her mother’s assets and who subsequently empties her mother’s bank account may be considered to have committed power of attorney fraud.
Arkady Bukh has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in NYC TOP RATED ON: SUPER LAWYERS, AVVO, NATIONAL TRIAL LAWYERS
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Arkady Bukh has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in NYC
TOP RATED ON: SUPER LAWYERS, AVVO, NATIONAL TRIAL LAWYERS
- A scam perpetrator convinces someone to give him general or limited power of attorney, and then misappropriates money and assets. These scams may involve the perpetrator posing as a financial advisor or, in the case of foreclosure scams, the perpetrator may promise he could save the house if the victim gave him power of attorney.
- A power of attorney is forged for purposes of gaining control over the assets or money of the scam victim.
In any situation where a defendant is accused of not fulfilling a fiduciary duty when acting as an agent, the defendant could face the consequences of participation in a power of attorney scam.
Penalties for Power of Attorney Fraud
Penalties for power of attorney fraud can vary. Defendants could be charged with a wide variety of federal and state crimes including exploitation, forgery, fraud, embezzlement, larceny, theft, and money laundering.
What Can a NY Defense Lawyer Do For Fraud Defendants?
A New York City criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Bukh Law Firms, PLLC can represent you in cases where you have been accused of power of attorney fraud. We work hard to help those accused of power of fraud crimes to avoid civil and criminal penalties, through strategic legal defenses. We also provide assistance in minimizing potential consequences of a conviction through the negotiation of plea agreements. To learn more and to get started building your defense, give us a call today.