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News Flash • Elder Abuse on Upward Trend in Maricopa County

Cases reported to Adult Protective Services have steadily increased significantly since 2019.

(Phoenix, AZ) – World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is Saturday, June 15, 2024. To raise awareness, Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell’s office is bringing attention to this issue that often goes unreported.

“Seniors are vulnerable and easy targets, and elder-related crimes are often perpetrated by family members or those closest to the victim,” said County Attorney Rachel Mitchell. “Elder abuse denies seniors their safety at a time when they should be able to enjoy life without fear of becoming a victim.”

According to data updated last month by the Arizona Department of Economic Security, there were 17,575 individual reports of elder abuse in Maricopa County in fiscal year 2023, accounting for more than half of the statewide total. That's up from the previous year, when 14,795 cases were reported. The two cases currently being prosecuted by authorities are:

  • In July 2023, Glendale police arrested Ronnie Reed after his 76-year-old mother reported an unauthorized ATM withdrawal of $30,000 from her bank account. Reed was charged with one count of theft, a Class 6 felony.
  • In June 2019, Scottsdale Police filed a fraud case against David Volpe and Joel Sauceda. Volpe had been the victim's investment advisor since 2015, during which time he defrauded the victim out of more than $400,000 and transferred some of the funds to Sauceda. In April 2023, Volpe and Sauceda were indicted on multiple counts of theft from a vulnerable adult, a second-degree felony, in addition to other charges.

For more information or to report elder abuse, Adult Protective Services (APS) Please call 1-877-SOS-ADULT (1-877-767-2385). Submit your APS report online,or Regional Elderly Welfare Bureau 24 hour helpline: 602-264-HELP (602-264-4357).

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