Timothy Zink. Photo/McHenry County Sheriff's Office.
Updated: November 9, 2011 1:34AM
Two northwest suburban residents were charged with financially exploitating a 96-year-old after they allegedly t approximately $140,000 from the victim’s bank account.
The investigation began in July when a 96-year-old resident of McHenry County was transported to a local hospital, a release from McHenry County Sheriff Keith Nygren’s office said.
At the hospital, it was determined that this resident was in need of hearing aids. When they were discharged from the hospital, they went to their bank to obtain money for the purchase of the hearing aids. At that time it was determined that the account balance was approximately $30 and that someone had unlawfully and without permission removed approximately $140,000 from the bank account during the past year, the release said.
During the course of the investigation, several records were obtained by investigators which led to the identification of the offenders, Timothy Zink, 59, and Rosemary Zink, 58. On November 3, the two were taken into custody at their residence in the 2800 block of East Chestnut Drive in Wonder Lake, charged with unlawful financial exploitation of an elderly person, and transported to the McHenry County Jail. Their bonds have been set at $40,000, the sheriff’s office said. Their next court date has been set for Friday at 9 a.m. in Woodstock.
Nygren reminds residents that elder abuse does not always involve physical harm. It can also involve the person’s finances including their personal property, investments, cash, and real estate. Quite often the offenders in these investigations turn out to be complete strangers, newly developed “friends” who take a sudden interest in the elderly subject, caretakers, and even relatives.
Family, friends, and trusted others are encouraged to look for things that may indicate that a problem is occurring. These indications may include unfamiliar signatures on checks and other documents, changes in banks, large or unexplained withdrawals from bank accounts and a lack of bank statements or canceled checks being sent to the elder’s residence.
Certain steps can be taken to protect elders from such abuse. These steps include but are not limited to protecting their identity and property, checking credit reports, getting caller identification, arranging for a second pair of eyes to review financial statements, and arranging for a stipulation in power-of-attorney documents to have a third party review the appointed person’s actions.
To report elder abuse, contact the Illinois Department on Aging at (866)-800-1409 or www.state.il.us/aging .