House passes financial exploitation of vulnerable adult changes

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The county where a victim resides could become an eligible venue for cases when a vulnerable adult is financially exploited. So could the county where they lived at the time of the exploitation.

Currently, the criminal case must be tried in the county the offense was committed.

“In many instances the vulnerable adult is moved to another county and we need to make certain we have the ability to prosecute where the vulnerable adult is,” said Rep. Debra Hilstrom (DFL-Brooklyn Center), who sponsors HF90.

Passed 122-0 by the House Monday, it now goes to the Senate where Sen. Barb Goodwin (DFL-Columbia Heights) is the sponsor.

The bill would also allow such offenses to be aggregated over a six-month period.

The aggregation is needed to demonstrate the extent of the crime, Hilstrom said, because financial exploitation generally occurs over time, such as misuse of a vulnerable adult’s financial transaction card.

The Vulnerable Adults Justice Project brought forth the bill as a way for investigators and prosecutors to have the proper tools to address such offense.