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Elder Abuse and Elder Financial Exploitation Statutes

The federal government, states, commonwealths, territories and the District of Columbia all have laws designed to protect older adults from elder abuse and guide the practice of adult protective services agencies, law enforcement agencies, and others. These laws vary considerably from state to state.
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Citation Statute
Civil Financial Exploitation
22 M.R.S. § 3472 (2016)






§ 3472.  Definitions

9. EXPLOITATION. "Exploitation" means the illegal or improper use of an incapacitated or dependent adult or that adult's resources for another's profit or advantage.

  6. DEPENDENT ADULT. "Dependent adult" means an adult who has a physical or mental condition that substantially impairs the adult's ability to adequately provide for that adult's daily needs. "Dependent adult" includes, but is not limited to, any of the following:

     A. A resident of a nursing home licensed or required to be licensed under section 1817;

     B. A resident of a facility providing assisted living services licensed or required to be licensed pursuant to section 7801;

     C. A person considered a dependent person under Title 17-A, section 555; or

     D. A person, regardless of where that person resides, who is wholly or partially dependent upon one or more other persons for care or support, either emotional or physical, because the person suffers from a significant limitation in mobility, vision, hearing or emotional or mental functioning.

10. INCAPACITATED ADULT. "Incapacitated adult" means any adult who is impaired by reason of mental illness, mental deficiency, physical illness or disability to the extent that that individual lacks sufficient understanding or capacity to make or communicate responsible decisions concerning that individual's person, or to the extent the adult can not effectively manage or apply that individual's estate to necessary ends.

Civil Elder Abuse
22 M.R.S. §§ 3470 through § 3493  (2017)

22 M.R.S. § 3472  (2017)

Title 22.  Health and Welfare  Subtitle 3.  Income Supplementation  Part 2.  Aged, Blind, Disabled or Medically Indigent Persons  Chapter 958-A.  Adult Protective Services Act Subchapter 1.  General Provisions

 1. Abuse.   "Abuse" means the infliction of injury, unreasonable confinement, intimidation or cruel punishment that causes or is likely to cause physical harm or pain or mental anguish; sexual abuse or sexual exploitation; financial exploitation; or the intentional, knowing or reckless deprivation of essential needs. "Abuse" includes acts and omissions.

 9. Exploitation.  "Exploitation" means the illegal or improper use of an incapacitated or dependent adult or that adult's resources for another's profit or advantage.

  9-A. Financial exploitation.  "Financial exploitation" means the use of deception, intimidation, undue influence, force or other unlawful means to obtain control over the property of a dependent adult for another's profit or advantage.

  11. Neglect.  "Neglect" means a threat to an adult's health or welfare by physical or mental injury or impairment, deprivation of essential needs or lack of protection from these.

15. Sexual abuse or sexual exploitation.  "Sexual abuse or sexual exploitation" means contact or interaction of a sexual nature involving an incapacitated or dependent adult without that adult's informed consent.

Criminal Elder Abuse
17-A Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 903.

1. A person is guilty of misuse of entrusted property if that person deals with property that has been entrusted to that person as a fiduciary, or property of the government or of a financial institution, in a manner that that person knows is a violation of that person's duty and that involves a substantial risk of loss to the owner or to a person for whose benefit the property was entrusted. [ 2013, c. 414, §5 (AMD) .]

2. As used in this section "fiduciary" includes any person carrying on fiduciary functions on behalf of an organization that is a fiduciary. [ 2013, c. 414, §5 (AMD) .]

3. Except as provided in subsection 4, misuse of entrusted property is a Class D crime. [ 2013, c. 414, §5 (AMD) .] 4. If a misuse of entrusted property results in the loss of a vulnerable person's property or the loss of property entrusted to a person for the benefit of a vulnerable person and, at the time of the offense, the owner or the beneficiary of the property is a vulnerable person: A. If the value of the property is more than $1,000 but not more than $10,000, the misuse of entrusted property is a Class C crime; and [2013, c. 414, §5 (NEW).] B. If the value of the property is more than $10,000, the misuse of entrusted property is a Class B crime. [2013, c. 414, §5 (NEW).] As used in this subsection, "vulnerable person" means an incapacitated adult as defined in Title 22, section 3472, subsection 10 or a dependent adult as defined in Title 22, section 3472, subsection 6. [ 2013, c. 414, §5 (NEW) .] SECTION HISTORY 1975, c. 499, §1 (NEW). 2013, c. 414, §5 (AMD).