STATEN ISLAND — The Staten Island District Attorney's office launched a dedicated unit to prosecute cases of elder abuse as the borough has seen an increase in those crimes.
The unit, headed by Assistant District Attorney Rhiannon La Tour, also plans to raise awareness of phone scams and frauds that target seniors, District Attorney Michael McMahon announced Thursday.
"Financial and physical abuse of the elderly are serious crimes that require dedicated and increased amounts of time working with the victims," he said.
"Elder abuse, whether it is financial or physical, is unacceptable and we will continue to work diligently to hold criminals who prey on seniors accountable."
Over the past several years, the borough has seen an increase in financial crimes targeting the elderly, McMahon said.
In May, Dominic Poveromo pleaded guilty to a hate crime for stealing money from six seniors after he tricked his way into their home by giving estimates for snow removal, the Staten Island Advance reported.
The borough's opioid epidemic has also lead to an increase in assault and theft cases on seniors by addicted family members, McMahon said.