Powers of Attorney Act AbuseHome > Letters & Reports > Powers of Attorney Act Abuse
The abuse of powers by an appointed “attorney” acting as Power of
Attorney is NOT CIVIL, IT IS CRIMINAL.
Section 331 of the Criminal Code of Canada clearly sets out the
offence: THEFT BY PERSONS HOLDING POWER OF ATTORNEY.
This section is not a charging section, but what is referred to as
a descriptive section. When someone is charged with stealing funds
from a senior, the charge is Section 336: Theft, not Section 331 CCC.
That may cause confusion. No matter how it is viewed,
THEFT IS A THEFT and an investigation needs to be undertaken by police.
Unfortunately SOME OF THE VICTIMS SUFFER FROM SOME DEGREE OF DEMENTIA.
They may be unaware of what is happening to their finances. Thus the
victims are not able to report the matter to police. It remains a HIDDEN CRIME.
Often professionals such as bankers, lawyers, and doctors say, “We can’t
report anything to the police because of privacy issues.”
Nevertheless, THEY HAVE A DUTY TO PROTECT THOSE ON WHOSE BEHALF THEY ACT.
The Privacy Act Everyone grabs hold of that much maligned and often quoted
Act as a means of DEFLECTING LIABILITY.
IN FACT, The professions mentioned above—and Notaries Public—are not
covered by the Privacy Act. The piece of legislation they are governed
under what is called Personal Information Protection of Electronic
(The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA)
is the federal privacy law for private-sector organizations. It sets out
the ground rules for how businesses must handle personal information in the
course of commercial activity.)
PIPEDA provides relief under section 7(3) for the DISCLOSURE OF CLIENT
INFORMATION TO THE POLICE IN THE EVENT ONE SUSPECTS CRIMINAL ACTIVITY.
Disclosure is voluntary. There is no criminal penalty for not disclosing.
By not disclosing, however, one may be setting oneself at risk for civil
action down the road, should the client’s estate be plundered.
Nevertheless, in Alberta it is MANDATORY to report ELDER ABUSE. Failure to
do so is deemed to be guilty of an offence and subject to a Fine under the
Protection for Persons in Care Act, SA 2009, c P-29.1.