Hunterdon County Sheriff Fred W. Brown, at the March 1st County Board of Commissioners meeting, urged the Hunterdon Commissioners to join him in
supporting passage of legislation, S-1207/A-750, which protects vulnerable senior citizens and disabled residents from financial scams by setting stricter punishments for those who exploit the vulnerable populations.
Sheriff Brown told the Board that, “As a member of law enforcement, it is my duty and obligation to protect all individuals and deter crime, whether through action or the sharing of information, like with this bill. Protecting susceptible segments of the county’s population is part of my responsibility that I take very seriously.”
Sheriff Brown explained how the legislation is an additional level of protection that has not been previously available for vulnerable persons.
The Sheriff said, “Most of those who are entrusted to take care of seniors and disabled community members do their jobs well and are often viewed as angels by those in their care. But the few bad actors must be held accountable for any financial exploitation of those individuals who are in their care.”
S-1207/A750 was recently re-introduced by Senator Christopher Connor, Assemblypersons Brian Rumpf and Dianne Gove for passage for the current 2022-2023 Legislative Session.
Under S-1207/A750 the definition of a vulnerable person is a senior citizen, aged 62 or older, or anyone with mental or physical disabilities. The legislation creates a new offense, under state law, for theft by financial exploitation of a vulnerable person by someone they rely upon for their financial and personal care.
Commissioner Board Director John E. Lanza stated, “As both a Prosecutor and as an attorney who handles estate issues, I know there is a need to crack down harder on those who attempt to scam and swindle vulnerable individuals.
From my experience I also share the Sheriff’s belief that most of those who provide care
for the disabled and seniors in need are good actors, with the best of intentions. But for
those who are not, they should pay the price, as established under these bills.”
Lanza directed that a resolution in support of S-1207/A-750 be added for consideration
by the Board at the March 15th meeting.
“For many years, Sheriff Brown has warned county residents regarding several
financial related scams, most recently during the pandemic, to keep Hunterdon County
residents informed of the potential risks and losses. I know all our residents are most
appreciative of your continued vigilance in warning of the scams targeting our
citizenry,” Lanza concluded.