On March 18, the Indiana General Assembly passed Senate Enrolled Act No. 249. That Act added I.C. 35-31.5-2-235.2 which addresses the exploitation of dependent and endangered adults, and the penalties that attach thereto.
The Enrolled Act prohibits a “person in a position of trust” from engaging in self-dealing with, or exploitation of, the property of an endangered adult or a dependent person. The Act defines a “person in a position of trust” as one who has or has had the care of an endangered adult or a dependent, whether that care was assumed voluntarily or pursuant to a legal obligation. A person may also fall under this definition if they have had a professional relationship with an endangered adult or a dependent.
A person engages in “self-dealing” if they use the property of another person to gain a benefit that is “grossly disproportionate” to the benefits received by the dependent or endangered adult. Further, a person engages in “exploitation” if they exert control over an endangered adult or dependent’s personal property for their own personal gain, and not for the profit of the endangered person.
If a person engages in self-dealing or exploitation, that offense constitutes a Class A misdemeanor. The offense elevates to a Level 6 felony if the person has a prior unrelated conviction.
This article provides a brief summary of Senate Enrolled Act No. 249. The information contained herein does not constitute legal advice, nor does it establish an attorney/client relationship. If you have any questions with regard to the new law, please contact the attorneys at Hodges and Davis.
Hodges & Davis- June 2020