As an elder law attorney, Kerry Peck frequently files cases involving older adults who are victims of financial abuse.

In one of those cases, a retired professional whose wife had recently died found himself sitting next to a woman who was at least 20 years younger at church. Within weeks, she took him to his accountant and stockbroker to try to access his money and moved into his home.

Peck requested an exam by a physician, who determined the man was cognitively impaired and filed for an emergency guardianship to freeze his assets.

“People are getting more sophisticated in the way they exploit older adults,” says Peck, the managing partner of Chicago law firm Peck Ritchey. “I call these cases ‘sex for signature’ cases. That’s all this is, and it’s an epidemic.”


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