District 27 Queens Council Member, I. Daneek Miller, partnered with District Attorney Queens County, Melinda Katz, and District 32 Assemblywoman, Vivian Cook, to alert seniors and keep them safe from the uptick of crime that continues to threaten their livelihood.
The Senior Informational Luncheon on Sept. 23, part of the 19th Annual Senior Appreciation Month programming, at Thomasina’s Catering Hall in Jamaica, Queens, gave retirees who were required to show vaccination cards, a wealth of information from NYC Medicare Advantage Plus program regarding warning signs of scam, how to protect themselves from becoming victims, and agencies they could seek help from.
DA Katz called on the retirees to “trust but verify before they share information, or send money at the request of bogus callers who seek to defraud them of their finances by gaining their trust.”
Katz who has been district attorney for two years, said her job is to find, prosecute, and seek justice, making sure to clamp on murders, and the shooting of people on the streets, ensuring accountability for crimes.
“We have to make sure the youth don’t pick up the same guns, we just got off the streets,” said Katz. She called for mentorship programs, youth activities, violence and drug rehabilitation, and mental health care to ensure these issues do not befall future generations.
Her two-year nation-wide conversation with policing in America, and her several bureaus that address predatory lending, gang violence, elder crime, that are taking over Queens are of utmost importance in the Queens District office.
Christine Burke, section chief, Elder Fraud Unit, in the Queens DA’s office, called on the over 60 population to be vigilant, adding, ‘We are here to help.”
“Scams and frauds that target older adults, happen because maybe they isolated, home alone, or accumulated assets scammers know about.”
“Phone scams, asking for money to bail out a grandchild are some of the most popular scams that are perpetrated on even the most educated person, said Burke.
“We have more that 200 open complaints,” she said, for example, romance, lottery scams, that people do not report because they are ashamed to do so.”
“It is important to report these crimes,” urged Burke, a former prosecutor.
Moderator and Attorney at Law, Andrea S. Ogle spoke on elder abuse, domestic violence, orders of protection, identity theft and the consequences of the CARES Act. Ogle said it has been a privilege to work with the councilmember’s office for many years to bring “this program to the community that has always been, very successful.”
She thanked Council Member Miller and DA Katz and her office, as well as Assemblywoman Cook for highlighting issues relating to seniors.
“Aging issues is not something we discuss, but issues relating to the seniors come through every court in the state of NY, whether housing, family, surrogate, criminal, or the supreme court, seniors can be assisted as they grow older so they can address some of the challenges they face,” said Ogle.
The member of the bar, who is a nominee for judgeship in Queens County, and will be on the Nov. 2, ballot, said, “It is important that we talk about life planning matters elders have to deal with so these issues, don’t become a crisis, she said
Other presenters were Attorneys at Law Fearonce G. La Lande, who spoke on deeds, real estate, foreclosure, reverse mortgage, predatory lending and cash buyers. Yvonne Murphy, MA, MSW, dealt with geriatric care, home care, Medicaid, while Vivian L. Joseph, spoke on estate planning and guardianship, wills, advance directives, health care proxy, powers of attorney, surrogate’s court.
CEO Beacon Eldercare, Inc. Yvonne Murphy, MA, also made a presentation.
Courtney Heyward, community development specialist, represented Resorts World NYC, a sponsor.
Council Member Miller applauded the 19th Annual Senior Appreciation Month Informational Luncheon and thanked co-sponsors, District Attorney Melinda Katz, and Assembly Member Vivian Cook.
“I also want to take a moment to thank our generous financial sponsors, Resorts World and Connective Strategies for supporting today’s session.
“This is truly one of our most anticipated events of the year, as we’ve been able to work with some amazing legal minds to get vital information needed for estate planning, home ownership, and just about anything else,” he said
“Last year we did our best to present the information virtually, but there is really nothing that can compare to being together in-person and getting first-hand information on such timely topics,” he said, noting a special presentation on the Medicare Advantage Plus program, at the event, that was limited to municipal retirees only.
“Thanks to our partnership with the District Attorney’s office, and Christine Burke, assistant district attorney section chief of the DA’s Elder Fraud Unit,” said Miller.