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Press Release

U.S. Attorney Attends Rural and Tribal Elder Justice Summit

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Dakota

Des Moines, IA – United States Attorney Ron Parsons attended the Rural and Tribal Elder Justice Summit in Des Moines, IA, on November 14-15, 2018.  The Summit highlighted innovative practices, available resources, and ongoing initiatives to enhance the ability of elder justice professionals to more robustly respond to elder abuse and support victims in rural and tribal communities. The Summit opened with remarks from Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and Antoinette Bacon, National Elder Justice Coordinator and Associate Deputy Attorney General.

As part of the event, U.S. Attorney Parsons moderated a panel discussion entitled Showcasing the Strength of Tribal Communities, which featured promising practices used by elder justice professionals in responding to elder abuse in tribal communities.  Panel members included Robert Blancato, National Coordinator of the Elder Justice Coalition; Jacque Gray, Director of the National Indigenous Elder Justice Initiative; Marcia Hall, Adult Protection Services Representative for the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes; Cynthia LaCounte, Director of the Office for American Indian, Alaska Native & Native Hawaiian Programs, Administration for Community Living/Administration on Aging, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; and Wilson Wewa, Jr., Senior Wellness Coordinator for the Warm Springs Tribe in Oregon.

Elder justice refers to a society’s response to elder abuse, which includes physical abuse, caregiver neglect, financial exploitation, psychological abuse, sexual abuse, and abandonment.  Since President Trump signed the bipartisan Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Act (EAPPA) into law, the Department of Justice has participated in hundreds of enforcement actions in criminal and civil cases that targeted or disproportionately affected seniors.  In particular, this past February the Attorney General announced the largest elder fraud enforcement action in American history, charging more than 200 defendants in a nationwide elder fraud sweep.  The Department has likewise conducted hundreds of trainings and outreach sessions across the country since the passage of the Act.    

Elder fraud complaints may be filed with the FTC at or at 877-FTC-HELP.   The Department of Justice provides a variety of resources relating to elder fraud victimization through its Office of Victims of Crime, which can be reached at  Additional elder justice resources, training, and outreach materials can be found at the Elder Justice Website (at 

Updated November 29, 2018

Elder Justice