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Los Angeles Priest Accused of Financial Elder Abuse

It's always a sad story when the people that hurt or take advantage of you are those very people that you turn to for help. And I can't imagine how painful it must be when that abuse comes from someone who is meant to be a spiritual guide and mentor.

In Los Angeles, a priest has been suspended by the Achdiocese over allegations that he stole almost $300,000 from a widow in his parish. 79 year old Michalena Jones filed a lawsuit earlier this week claiming that Father Joseph Valdez used his influence with the church since her husband's death in 2003 to steal the money over the last 7 years. She says he persuaded her to give him $150,000 so that he could purchase a home. And also got her to add his name to her checking account so that he could make the mortgage payments on the house from that account.

It was until 2011 that Jone's son took over her finances and discovered the alleged theft. He informed the church of the matter, but says they failed to intervene in the matter, and therefore a lawsuit had to be filed. The Archdiocese denies they knew of the matter until contacted by attorneys for Jones.

Please consult a professional Attorney for Elder Abuse if you believe that a loved one may have been financially abused by anyone, whether it be family or community members.

*This blog entry was not written by an Attorney and should not be constituted as professional legal advice.