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Prosecutors file criminal charges, present cases in criminal court, and pursue restitution and other legal remedies for crime victims.

Prosecutor responsibilities

State Attorney General's Office

The state attorney general’s office is responsible for the implementation of the Elder Justice Act and for prosecuting, or assisting in the prosecution of, elder abuse cases. They also conduct public outreach and awareness activities relating to elder abuse.

Federal elder justice coordinators (U.S. Attorney’s Office)

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in each federal judicial district has a designated attorney to serve as the elder justice coordinator.. This person:

  • Serves as the legal counsel for the federal judicial district on matters related to elder abuse
  • Prosecutes, or assists in the prosecution of, elder abuse cases
  • Conducts public outreach and awareness activities relating to elder abuse
  • Has access to Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) information and data from Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs)

District (or state's) attorneys

In the United States, a district (or state's) attorney is the chief prosecutor for a local government area, typically a county. The name of the office varies by state. Except in the smallest counties, a district attorney typically leads a staff of prosecutors known as deputy district attorneys.

How they can contribute to working groups


Prosecutors can:

  • Establish, lead or participate in a suspicious activity report (SAR) review team for SARs filed on elder financial exploitation
  • Lead or serve as key members of a multidisciplinary case review team
  • Provide legal expertise to law enforcement and Adult Protective Services staff to develop cases for prosecutorial review
  • Inform network members about recent elder fraud cases and any important outcomes or trends

Local or regional protocols and response

In cases of elder financial exploitation, prosecutors can help develop regional protocols for:

  • Sharing information
  • Cross-reporting and interagency referral
  • Gathering evidence including BSA Suspicious Activity Report data and referenced documentation
  • Obtaining and preserving victim and witness interviews and testimony

Potential challenges

Prosecutors may have issues contributing to network needs due to multiple factors:

  • Some prosecutors may classify elder financial exploitation as a civil matter rather than criminal
  • Prosecutors may need to maintain client confidentiality in case consultations
  • Prosecutors may have limited resources to dedicate to elder fraud and exploitation
  • Prosecutors may have limited resources to dedicate to elder fraud and exploitation

Additionally, victims of abuse may be reluctant to cooperate in the prosecution of family due to the relationship or fear of retaliation.

Types of contacts to include in your network

  • State Attorney General's Office
  • U.S. Attorney's Office, Elder Justice Coordinator
  • District Attorney or Deputy District Attorneys
  • City or County Attorney
  • Financial crimes prosecutors
  • Fraud/cybercrime prosecutors
  • Consumer fraud prosecutors
  • Elder abuse prosecutors

Learn how to partner with a prosecutor