Edmonton (July 28, 2020) – Edmonton police laid charges against the health-care aide, Sofia Sharin Hafiz, in connection with two cases of alleged elder abuse. The Edmonton woman is accused of defrauding two seniors out of $560,000 in total. The 75-year-old man and the 86-year-old woman were both receiving care in their own homes by Hafiz. She has been charged with two counts of Fraud Over $5,000.
After a year and a half elder abuse investigation, the Edmonton police’s Senior Protection Unit laid fraud charges against Sofia Sharin Hafiz, according to a police press release. The 53-year-old health-care aide is accused of defrauding two seniors out of $560,000.
Financial elder abuse
A 75-year-old man reported in December 2018 that his health-care aide allegedly defrauded him out of $160,000. The Senior Protection Unit subsequently launched an investigation into the alleged financial elder abuse and identified a second victim.
Police said, that both victims were each in a ‘vulnerable position’ receiving care in their own homes and that they had developed a friendship with their health care attendant, who later supposedly financially exploited them.
The suspect was providing care for the second victim starting in May 2016. Until June 2019, the Edmonton health-care worker allegedly defrauded the 86-year-old woman out of approximately $400,000.
‘They were in disbelief that someone who provided care could lie to them and subsequently influence them to give her almost $500,000 of their hard-earned savings,’ said Det. Denise Zielie, EPS Senior Protection in a video release.
‘The stories that I hear can really pull out my heartstrings.’
As a result of the elder abuse investigation, Edmonton police arrested Hafiz and charged her with two counts of Fraud Over $5,000.
‘The stories that I hear can really pull out my heartstrings,’ stated Zielie. ‘But that further drives me to advocate for a group of people, seniors, who are often neglected and forgotten.’
Investigators encouraged other seniors that may have had similar experiences with the accused to contact Edmonton police at 780-423-4567 or #377. Anonymous information can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
The police also asked seniors subjected to elder abuse or their advocates with knowledge of incidents of elder abuse to contact the Senior’s Abuse Helpline 780-454-8888 or the Elder/Senior Citizen Abuse Support at 780-477-2929.
Marina Burghard writes for Canadian Fraud News about fraud-related cases, whistleblower, jurisdiction, identity theft, consumer protection, etc. – essentially about scams and how to protect yourself against this kind of fraudulent criminal behavior. She holds a Master’s degree in Political Science where her interest in criminology grew. Besides fraud, Marina’s scientific interest lies in terrorism, extremism and how to deal with it as a society.