C.S.H.B. 1156

By: Thierry

Criminal Jurisprudence

Committee Report (Substituted)






Reports indicate that older Americans collectively lose nearly $37 billion each year to financial scams and abuse. Concerns have been raised regarding the vulnerability of elderly Texans to these scams, as Texas has one of the largest and fastest growing populations of senior citizens in the country. The number and complexity of reports involving financial abuse of vulnerable and older adults has grown significantly over the past decade. Due to the complexities of elder financial exploitation, many of the victims are left without restitution or any other means of legal protection. The toll that these crimes places on elderly victims frequently results in financial ruin, loss of dignity, diminished health, and other negative effects. C.S.H.B. 1156 seeks to address this issue by creating an offense for the financial abuse of an elderly individual.




It is the committee's opinion that this bill expressly does one or more of the following: creates a criminal offense, increases the punishment for an existing criminal offense or category of offenses, or changes the eligibility of a person for community supervision, parole, or mandatory supervision.




It is the committee's opinion that this bill does not expressly grant any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution.




C.S.H.B. 1156 amends the Penal Code to create the offense of financial abuse of an elderly individual for a person who knowingly engages in the wrongful taking, appropriation, obtaining, retention, or use of money or other property of an elderly person or for a person who knowingly assists in such conduct, by any means, including by exerting undue influence and by financial exploitation. The bill establishes penalties for the offense ranging from a Class B misdemeanor to a first degree felony depending on the value of the property taken, appropriated, obtained, retained, or used. If the conduct constituting the offense also constitutes another Penal Code offense, the actor may be prosecuted for either offense or both offenses. The bill defines "financial exploitation," among other terms.




September 1, 2021.




While C.S.H.B. 1156 may differ from the original in minor or nonsubstantive ways, the following summarizes the substantial differences between the introduced and committee substitute versions of the bill.


Whereas the original established penalties for the offense ranging from a state jail felony to a first degree felony, the substitute establishes that range starting from a Class B misdemeanor and revises the assigned property values for each category of the original's penalty range accordingly.