AUGUSTA — Maine’s attorney general says the state needs to tighten laws that protect elderly residents from financial exploitation.

Attorney General Janet Mills’ Task Force on Financial Crimes Against the Elderly is calling for the changes in a report issued Wednesday. The report says Maine suffers from barriers to the prosecution of people who exploit the elderly. It says law enforcement agencies are not always equipped to dedicate investigators to collect and analyze financial records. The task force also cites a “pervasive” lack of training about elder exploitation among law enforcement and prosecutors.

The Mills report estimates 33,000 elderly Maine residents will be abused in 2015. The figure is based on a federal Department of Justice estimate that one in nine people over the age of 60 will be abused or exploited.

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