Kansas elder abuse measure becomes law

Attorney General Derek Schmidt presented the Outstanding Victim Service Organization Award to the Wichita Children's Home and Exploited and Missing Children's Unit Wednesday, May 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
Attorney General Derek Schmidt presented the Outstanding Victim Service Organization Award to the Wichita Children's Home and Exploited and Missing Children's Unit Wednesday, May 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt says elderly residents will have new protections against fraud and financial abuse under a new state law.

Legislation creating the crime of mistreatment of an elder person was signed by Gov. Sam Brownback last week.

The law is aimed at protecting people 70 and older who are victims of financial abuse. People convicted of large-scale abuse could be sentenced to more than 40 years in prison.

Schmidt said Monday the law adds protections against misusing a financial trust or power of attorney for the purpose of misappropriating a person’s life savings.

The measure was sponsored by Senate Vice President Jeff King of Independence and Sen. Michael O’Donnell, both Republicans. King and O’Donnell say it gives law enforcement another tool to protect older residents.

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