Released Date 1/26/16

Macon County State's Attorney Jay Scott announced today that during 2015 his office's Elderly Victims Crime Unit (EVCU) secured sentences totaling 133 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections for offenders committing crimes against Senior Citizens. The unit filed 97 felony cases during the year, a nearly 60 % increase over the number filed in 2014, and resolved 42 cases with felony convictions. Additionally, nearly $9,500 in restitution was ordered for elderly victims.

Scott established EVCU in January 2013, shortly after taking office, to combat the upward trend of crimes against Senior Citizens, who are disproportionately targeted for financial crimes. The Elder Fraud Hotline (217-615-7582), which is personally monitored by Scott and Sheriff Thomas Schneider, was subsequently put in place. During 2015 Scott and Schneider personally answered more than 900 Hotline calls. The Elder Fraud Hotline and an ongoing public awareness campaign to educate residents on scams have prevented countless Macon County residents from becoming crime victims. In 2014 EVCU received a four year, $360,000 grant providing for a full-time Investigator from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation.

Assistant State's Attorney Lindsey Shelton serves as Supervising Attorney for EVCU. Investigator David Cook and Victim Advocate Kim Tarvin are assigned to the unit to assist with prosecution.

"A big part of our effort has been encouraging Senior Citizens to contact law enforcement when they've been victimized," Scott said. "Crimes against the elderly are, nationwide, among the most underreported to law enforcement. We've tried to change that here in Macon County, which is the reason for the increase in the number of cases we're seeing. We want everyone to know that we take a dim view of people preying on the elderly, and that we'll do whatever we can to hold offenders accountable."

Jay Scott
Macon County State's Attorney