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Attorney General Tom Horne Announces TASA - Taskforce Against Senior Abuse

PHOENIX (Friday March 4, 2011) - Attorney General Tom Horne is pleased to announce the formation of the Attorney General Taskforce Against Senior Abuse (TASA) as an integral part of the Public Advocacy Division of the Attorney General’s Office. This is a reorganization and does not involve adding expense to the taxpayer.

Attorney General Tom Horne is committed to making elder abuse awareness, prevention and prosecution a priority. "Our seniors need to feel safe and secure in their homes. The Attorney General's Office is aware of the vulnerability of these citizens and is working to make sure older Arizonans are not victimized."

The Attorney General's Taskforce will work closely with other law enforcement offices, state and local agencies and senior-focused groups to assure an aggressive investigative and prosecutorial presence in the State. The Attorney General will convene an Advisory Panel to facilitate close cooperation with these offices and groups. These agencies and individuals are in the community on a daily basis and oftentimes are the first-responders in abusive situations. They are eyes and ears of the community. The Advisory Panel will bring together the ideas and resources of these community groups to combat elder abuse statewide.

TASA will provide statewide civil and criminal prosecution of elder abuse, neglect, exploitation and scams that target seniors. A key component of the Taskforce is the creation of an intra-office liaison with the Office's Criminal, Consumer Protection, Medicaid Fraud and Community Outreach Sections to prioritize elder abuse awareness, prevention and prosecution. Attorney General Horne's Office also initiated a dedicated telephone number through which the public, other city and county law enforcement agencies, caregivers or family members can report abusive predators who fail to carry out their responsibilities. "The vast majority of elder abuse cases are not reported to authorities. The dedicated number provides an avenue through which any suspected abuse or fraudulent activities can be reported and handled by the appropriate authorities" Horne noted.

The Taskforce Against Senior Abuse dedicated phone number is (602) 542-2124 or citizens may also email TASA at SeniorAbuse@azag.gov.