Seniors lose an estimated $2.9 billion every year from financial exploitation, according to the Senate Special Committee on Aging.
One North Dakota man is out a lot of money and his family wants to make sure it doesn’t happen to you.
“Back in 2012 a company came out to my house, contacted my uncle about doing work at his property,” said Danielle Levey.
That’s how the long list of charges began to add up.
Danielle Levey’s 86-year-old uncle, who asked not to be identified, got coaxed into fixing his roof, windows and adding siding on to his home.
“Family came out and saw the work that was done, saw that it was sub-par, and then when we heard the prices, we were all outraged,” said Danielle.
The sticker price was $82,000.
A family member contacted the company and told them to not contact their uncle ever again. The family would go out to check on the property periodically to make sure no one else showed up to try and scam him.
Five years later — it happened again.
“You can’t really see that they did anything but when you look at the invoice’s a lot of them were sealing the roof and installing lightning rods,” said Danielle.
Invoices of things that were never done and costing their uncle another $50,000, this time around.
She said it would still be going on if the bank hadn’t caught on.
“The bank noticed transactions of large sums coming out of his account. There were transactions in the spring and the fall. The bank called adult protective services,” she said.
Which brought them to the culprit.
Exploitation of a Vulnerable Adult and Construction Fraud are among the many charges Sean Gorman faces in McLean County, and this isn’t the first time his name has come up in construction fraud.
In 2015, Gorman was wanted for questioning in a similar incident. This time around, a warrant was issued for his arrest and earlier this week he turned himself in.
“It seems like its a couple of individuals, it’s not just this guy by himself. There’s different family members or other people that work alongside these people,” she said.
Gorman is out on bond and expected to be in court on Dec. 18. Until then Danielle wants others to be cautious.
“I just want people to know that if you see or hear of this company, or see these people around that they just need to be aware. And when it comes to an elderly person, then they aren’t going to call and see if they got a contractor’s license. They don’t know to do that,” said Danielle.
We reached out to Gorman’s attorney but did not hear back.
Danielle said she hopes her uncle can get some of his money back through restitution, but most importantly, they just want to move on.
McLean County Sheriff’s Department is also warning that there may still be others who are targeting people with the same scam.