Man ordered to pay $235,000 after commission rules he exploited his elderly aunt

News source from CTV News

Published Wednesday, March 20, 2019 8:20PM EDT

Last Updated Wednesday, March 20, 2019 8:22PM EDT

The Quebec Human Rights Tribunal has intervened in a case of elder exploitation, where a man cleaned out his elderly aunt’s bank account and other assets.

Charles Finklestein’s aunt Iona Davidovitz is a Romanian-born Holocaust survivor with dementia. Trusting her nephew, she granted Finklestein power of attorney.

According to a ruling this month by the tribunal, he took advantage of that, selling some of her properties in Israel.

When she invited him to accompany her on an extended day in Florida, and the tribunal stated that a friend there grew suspicious after Finklestein bought himself a Mercedes.

Finklestein is now being ordered to repay his aunt $225,000, as well as an additional $10,000 in damages. Power of attorney has been transferred over to another nephew.

Cases like these are on the rise, according to the Human Rights Commission’s chair Philippe-Andre Tessier.

“We’ve increased our inquiries here from last year to this year over 55 per cent, so we’re getting one call per business day on a yearly basis,” Tessier said in an interview with CTV News. “Obviously, we’ve got a population that’s aging and also has some wealth, and so it’s unfortunately a situation that we see on the rise here at the Human Rights Commission.”

Tessier stresses the importance of family or friends coming forward to report cases of elder abuse and exploitation by calling its hotline at 1-800-361-6477.

Watch the interview with Philippe-Andre Tessier by clicking on the video above.

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