Skip to main content
Press Release

Eastern District of Kentucky Recognizes World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Kentucky
Information and vigilance remain key elements to preventing elder abuse

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Carlton S. Shier, IV, U.S. Attorney for the District of Eastern District of Kentucky joined national, state, local, and Tribal leaders today, in recognizing World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD).  Since 2006, WEAAD has been observed to promote awareness and increase understanding of the many forms of elder abuse, as well as the resources available to those at risk.

Highlighting the partnership between law enforcement and the public, U.S. Attorney Shier emphasized the importance of awareness and education.

“Elder abuse is particularly destructive, as it targets especially vulnerable victims and relies on some manner of trust, only to be accompanied by acute deception,” said U.S. Attorney Shier.  And convincingly combatting it requires more than just effective law enforcement; it requires the education and vigilance of the public, who is often in the superior position to detect and prevent it.  We must all work together to protect our vulnerable older Americans from this predatory conduct; they really deserve nothing less.”

Elder abuse is an act that knowingly, intentionally, or negligently causes or creates a serious risk of harm to an older person by a family member, caregiver, or other person in a trust relationship.  Such harm may be financial, physical, sexual, or psychological.  The Justice Department maintains a variety of programs and initiatives to combat elder abuse.

The Transnational Elder Fraud Task Force marshals federal and state agencies, working collaboratively to investigate and prosecute foreign-based schemes that target older Americans.  In addition to aggressively investigating the individuals, organizations, and networks responsible for these crimes, this initiative provides the public with information to guard against both traditional scams, like tech support fraud, as well as trending schemes, such as romance scams.

Using one scam to perpetrate or conceal another, some fraudsters rely on money mules to move the proceeds of their illegal activity.  Preying on the good will or financial vulnerability of their targets, scammers recruit people, many times older victims, to participate in schemes to move money in ways that avoid notice.  The Money Mule Initiative identifies and addresses money mule activity to disrupt these fraud schemes, and helps people to recognize and avoid participation in a perpetuating fraud.

To help older individuals and their families identify and avoid fraudulent activity, the Justice Department provides Senior Scam Alerts with information about the tactics used in specific schemes.  For example, in Social Security Administration Impostor schemes, scammers impersonate government administrators and falsely reporting suspicious activity to request that the victims provide their Social Security number for confirmation.  In Tech Support scams, fraudsters contact victims, sometimes through internet pop-up messages, to warn about non-existent computer problems, ask that the victim give them remote access to their computer, and identify a non-existent problem, then demand large sums of money for unnecessary services.  In Lottery scams, telemarketers falsely notify victims that they have won a sweepstakes and tell them they must first pay fees for shipping, insurance, customs duties, or taxes before they can claim their prizes.

To learn more about the Department’s elder justice efforts, please visit the Elder Justice Initiative page.

The Eastern District of Kentucky continues to work with federal, state, local, and Tribal law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute elder abuse crimes.  Recent examples of these prosecutions from the Eastern District of Kentucky include:

  • U.S. v. Gbadegsein et al.:  This case involved the extradition and conviction of Adedunmola Gbadegesin, 34, from Nigeria.  He was charged, along with Olatunbosun Oluwakayode Ajayi, 40, of Atlanta; Otunuya Ineh Eqwem Livingstone, 46, of Houston; and Ismaila Fafunmi, 36, of Indianapolis, with conspiracy to commit money laundering.  Gbadegesin and his co-conspirators collaborated to create fake online dating profiles that were posted to online dating websites.  As part of the conspiracy, they engaged in online chats, emails, and telephone calls with unwitting victims, who were in the United States, including one in Lexington.  The conspiracy employed others, in the United States, to receive money from the intended victims and transport that money back to Nigeria, through various means.
  • U.S. v. Glass:  Donna Sue Glass, of Greenup, Ky., was the owner of Glass Family Care Home.  She stole funds from three of her facility’s residents, while acting as their guardian and caregiver.  She used one resident’s bank account to purchase items for her personal benefit, including expenses for vacations, her daughter’s beauty pageant competitions, monthly tanning salon memberships, and veterinary care for her pets.  She also increased the rent of another resident for whom she served as guardian – to an amount well more than the resident could afford – so that the resident would owe her a debt.  She then took funds directly from the resident’s savings account to satisfy this “debt.”  When the resident moved to another facility, Glass continued to accept and spend the resident’s retirement benefits, and failed to pay her new facility, under the pretense that she was owed money.  Glass was sentenced to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay $87,700 in restitution.

To report elder fraud, contact the dedicated National Elder Fraud Hotline at 1-833-FRAUD-11 or 1-833-372-8311 and visit the FBI’s IC3 Elder Fraud Complaint Center at 



CONTACT:  Gabrielle Dudgeon

PHONE:  (859) 685-4887



Updated June 17, 2024

Elder Justice