Governor Mike Pence is set to sign a bipartisan bill aimed at protecting some of Indiana’s most vulnerable residents. The Senior Consumer Protection Bill was prompted by a spike in the exploitation of senior citizens, which rose by 80 percent from 2001 through 2011 according to the Indiana Division of Aging. Senator Tim Lanae hopes the measure will encourage seniors, friends and family members to seek advice from an expert.
“There may be other people who now could say we need to act, you know, go see a lawyer, get the assistance of a lawyer. It’s another way to hopefully protect people who are vulnerable,” said Lanae.
Senator Sue Landsky says many seniors are too trusting and sometimes have large amounts of money misused by family members and caregivers.
“One of the things that I thought made the bill even stronger was that when someone knowingly makes this violation that the Attorney General can increase the amount of restitution for up to three times the amount of damages,” Landsky said.
Individuals who commit financial abuse of senior citizens may have their assets frozen, could be issued an injunction and may have to pay investigation or prosecution costs. Pence has scheduled a ceremonial May 22 signing ceremony for the bill.