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Rutgers School of Social Work Co-Sponsors Conference to Prevent Post-Disaster Financial Exploitation
September 10, 2014

WHAT: “Preventing Post-disaster Financial Exploitation: Lessons Learned from Superstorm Sandy,” a free public conference to help vulnerable adults from falling prey to financial exploitation in the aftermath of natural and man-made disasters. The program, co-sponsored by the Rutgers School of Social Work (SSW), is intended for individuals in fields including behavioral and public health; business; criminal justice/law enforcement; emergency management/disaster response; finance, and government/human services.

WHO: Keynote speakers: (10 a.m.) Paul Greenwood, deputy district attorney, head of Elder Abuse Prosecution Unit, San Diego District Attorney’s Office; (1:30 p.m.) Steve Crimando, training director, Disaster and Terrorism Branch, New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services.Additional speakers (9 a.m.): Jennifer Velez, commissioner, state Department of Human Services (DHS), Steve C. Lee, acting director, Division of Consumer Affairs, Office of the Attorney General; John Hoffman, acting New Jersey attorney general.

WHEN: Friday, Sept. 19, 2014, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Preregistration online is required to attend at Concurrent workshops at 11:15 a.m. on topics including: the economic impact of catastrophe fraud; Better Business Bureau Serving New Jersey (BBBNJ) resources and tips for avoiding “storm chasers”; and outreach to the elderly. Panel discussion, 2:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m., with Greenwood; Melissa Companick, BBBNJ; Helen C. Dodick, Office of the Public Guardian and Elder Rights; Maria La Face, Ocean-Monmouth Legal Services; John Loughrey, assistant Monmouth County prosecutor; and Michael Weston, disaster consultant.

WHERE: Busch Campus Center, 604 Bartholomew Road, Piscataway

BACKGROUND: Two years after Superstorm Sandy, thousands of New Jerseyans still haven’t recovered. Many have been victimized by unscrupulous vendors and businesses. The National Center for Disaster Fraud reports receiving more than 1,400 fraud complaints in the first year after Sandy. Thirty percent came from New Jersey, more than any other state.

The event is co-sponsored by the New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Aging Services Adult Protective Services. The program is funded by the Federal Superstorm Sandy Social Services Block Grant. Five Continuing Education Units are available for social workers and licensed professional counselors.

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