Commissioner Downing Forms Team to Combat Elder Exploitation

csimt 2022, Press Release, Securities

In recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (June 15), Commissioner Troy Downing announces the formation of the Financial Abuse Specialist Team (FAST). The mission of the CSI Financial Abuse Specialist Team is to provide a coordinated response to elder financial exploitation referrals with a time-sensitive, targeted evaluation by securities and insurance specialists.

“As a criminal justice agency charged with investigating and prosecuting financial elder exploitation, we identified a need to form a quick response team to protect victims and prosecute criminals.” Commissioner Downing said, “Montana seniors lost more than $1 billion dollars in the last four years to financial exploitation schemes. FAST will significantly increase our ability to respond to consumer complaints, prosecute crimes, and thwart the ability of criminals to take advantage of seniors.”

The goal of this team is to review referrals within 72 hours, consider feedback, investigate, present options, and take appropriate action. FAST will partner with industry stakeholders and other state agencies to provide resources to law enforcement, prosecutors, and vulnerable persons while formulating real-time remedial strategies.

CSI will dedicate a securities investigator, an insurance investigator, and at least one prosecutor to coordinate responses. The group includes:

  • Ryan Sullivan has over 17 years of investigative experience, starting in the private sector before joining the Montana Department of Justice and most recently with the Office of the Commissioner of Securities and Insurance within the Securities Division. Ryan has extensive experience advocating for Montana consumers and victims of fraud.
  • Rodney Harker is a CSI Insurance Fraud investigator. Rodney previously worked for the Medicaid Fraud Control Division in Washington State as a Senior Investigator/Analyst. Rodney’s experience consisted of working on complex Medicaid fraud, neglect, and abuse cases. Before that, Rodney spent over 17 years as a law enforcement officer.
  • CSI Deputy Chief Legal Counsel Mark Mattioli has extensive civil and criminal trial and appellate experience, including for a time as Chief Deputy Attorney General under Tim Fox and, most recently, as Chief of the Montana Office of Consumer Protection, where he led efforts to increase public awareness of elder justice issues while overseeing civil enforcement actions and criminal prosecutions involving elderly victims of financial exploitation.
  • Chris McConnell is a CSI attorney with over 12 years of prosecution experience, much of which includes prosecuting white-collar crime and elder abuse. Chris was a member of Montana’s Elder Abuse Task Force and provided trainings across Montana to law enforcement, victim service providers, county attorneys, and financial professionals.

Montanans aware of elder exploitation are urged to contact CSI at 444-2040 or by going to CSIMT.gov.