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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that New York State will use a $300,000 federal grant to crack down on the financial exploitation of older and vulnerable adults. The funding, announced at Capital for a Day in Central New York, will support a two-year pilot program to expand Adult Protective Services in Onondaga County and Queens, while serving as a blueprint for the rest of the state.

“Today we are launching a major offensive in the fight against elder abuse and financial exploitation,” Governor Cuomo said. “This program will strengthen our ability to catch and prosecute those who prey on our seniors and vulnerable adults, and it will help us to protect New Yorkers from suffering irreparable financial harm.”

A groundbreaking study by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services finds that financial exploitation has an estimated yearly impact of $1.5 billion in stolen cash and property, benefits paid to victims, and investigative costs statewide. It is the most common form of abuse experienced by older New Yorkers, yet only one in 44 cases is reported to authorities.

The OCFS Bureau of Adult Services, which oversees Adult Protective Services in all 62 counties, work with local agencies to develop new investigative tools and templates for APS workers. The grant will also enable APS to confer with a forensic accounting consultant on complex cases, and to improve data collection systems.

Sheila J. Poole, Acting Commissioner of OCFS said, “Our study brought the scope and severity of financial exploitation into focus. Now, we’re taking action to stop it. This pilot program will have an immediate impact in Onondaga County and Queens, while helping us to develop the tools and resources we need to crack down on this kind of abuse statewide.”

The competitive grant was awarded by the federal Department of Health and Human Services. The OCFS Bureau of Adult Services will administer the funding and oversee development and implementation of the pilot program.

About OCFS

OCFS serves New York by promoting the safety, permanency, and well-being of children, families, and communities. OCFS maintains an active social media presence. “Like” the New York State Office of Children and Family Services Facebook page and follow @NYSOCFS on Twitter in English or the Spanish-language Twitter account, @NYSOCFS espanol.