2024 Elder Abuse Conference Logo

Elder Abuse in the Digital Age

The 2024 Annual Elder Abuse Conference covers a range of topics, prevention strategies, and cases related to scams and fraud using digital devices.

We welcome seniors, and professionals who assist seniors with the prevention of elder abuse.

Join us to learn how to better assist seniors and to further your education.

Annual Elder Abuse Conference


Thursday, June 6, 2024
8:45 AM – 3:30 PM

Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center
Abingdon, VA

Organized and Planned by the
Southwest Virginia Elder Justice Task Force

$40 FEE

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


Magistrates/ClerksMagistrates/Clerks will submit their credit hours electronically through the e-Registration system after the conference.  Their supervisors will then review and approve those credit hours.
Attorneys6.0 credit hours approved for Attorneys
Guardian Ad LitemApproved for 5.0 credit hours
Law EnforcementPending Approval for 5.0 hours Career Development
Adult Protection ServicesAPS workers will receive a certificate of attendance after the conference (with hours attended) to submit to their supervisor for approval of continuing education hours up to 5.0 credit hours.

A Special Thank You to Our Sponsors:

Virginia Law Foundation Logo
Bank of Marion Logo
Lee Bank Logo
Anthem Logo

For more information, please contact:

Southwest Virginia Legal Aid Society
Director of Development
email: gcody@svlas.org
phone: 276.783.8300, ext. 2011

About Our Presenters

John Schwartz

John Schwartz
Founder & President
Center for Combating Elder Financial Abuse

John Schwartz, a retired FBI Special Agent and US Army veteran, founded the Center for Combating Elder Financial Abuse, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, on February 8, 2021.  The Center is based in Haymarket Virginia. The mission of the Center is to provide education on how to detect financial predators that target vulnerable elders for financial exploitation and abuse.

Marnie Stewart

Marnie Stewart
Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation

Marnie is a passionate and dedicated leader with over 25 years of experience in operations, event coordination, and fundraising. Throughout her career, she has consistently demonstrated a commitment to public service and making a positive impact in her community.

She currently serves as the President of the Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating safe and secure communities for seniors.

Prior to her work with the foundation, Marnie served in various public service roles, including local government positions in Memphis, Tennessee, and statewide political positions in Texas. Her experience in the public sector has equipped her with an understanding of the needs and challenges facing communities, and a strong commitment to serving the public good.

Travis Howard

Travis Howard
Special Agent
Virginia State Police

Special Agent Travis Howard has been with the Virginia State Police since 2007 and has been assigned to the High-Tech Crimes Section for the last 7 years. During his time in the High-Tech Crimes Section, he has worked on a variety of investigations, such as Child Exploitation, Financial Crimes, Murder, and Ransomware. His passion is sharing his information with our most vulnerable populations to protect them from online exploitation and abuse.

Eric Camden

Dr. Eric Camden
Assistant Professor, Department of Counselor Education & Family Studies
Liberty University

Dr. Camden began his clinical career working in various capacities with adolescents at the local Community Services Board. After earning his master’s degree, Dr. Camden served adolescents at a state acute hospital. Dr. Camden then provided individual, group, and family counseling to adolescent males with intellectual disabilities within a residential treatment center for seven years; and he supervised the clinical team for almost two years. Currently, Dr. Camden enjoys his faculty-position at Liberty University, while researching topics of burnout, attachment, self-efficacy, digital deception, and advocacy efforts for adolescents with autism and/or intellectual disability.  He has presented at over thirty professional conferences and contributes scholarly newsletters, articles, and book chapters. Dr. Camden also works part-time at a local Christian Counseling private practice. 

Rick Miller
Special Agent
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

Rick Miller is currently assigned to the FBI’s Richmond Division where he primarily works financial crimes.   Prior to that, he was in the FBI’s Miami Division for fifteen years primarily working gang and counter-terrorism investigations.   During this time, he completed a tour in Iraq for the FBI and was an instructor at the FBI’s academy in Quantico, Virginia.  Before being transferred to Miami, SA Miller was assigned to the FBI’s office in Lexington, Kentucky, where he worked primarily financial crimes and counter-terrorism investigations.  He is a Certified Public Accountant, has an MBA in business systems, and before his time with the FBI worked as a division controller of a multi-national chemical company based in Chicago.

Dee Amundson

Dee Amundson
Director of People & Culture
MJ Housing & Services

Dee Amundson is a dedicated professional with nearly 15 years of experience in social services, specializing in low-income and affordable housing communities. Recognized as a national presenter, she shares insights and strategies to address unique challenges faced by these communities. Now serving as the Director of People & Culture at MJ Housing & Services, she leverages her expertise to drive positive change and make a lasting impact on those in need.

8:45 amWelcome Grand Hall
Daronda Combs, Managing Attorney, Southwest Virginia Legal Aid Society
8:55 amConference Sponsor & Introduction – Grand Hall
Misty Lee, Community Relations Consultant, Anthem HealthKeepers Plus
9:00 amOpening: KEYNOTE
“Introduction into Elder Financial Abuse – Predator Perspective” – Grand Hall
John Schwartz, Founder and President of the Center for Combating Elder Financial Abuse
Learn from case studies of financial exploitation centered around predator fundamental principles.
10:15 amBreak & Session Change
10:30 amBreakout Sessions (Choose 1 Room)

“Safe & Secure Seniors: Protecting Seniors in the Digital Age” – Grand Hall
Marnie Steward, President, Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation
Exploring the challenges and solutions for keeping seniors safe in the digital age, covering social media, online scams, and fraud.

“Protecting Older Citizens Online” – Room 103/104
Travis Howard, Special Agent, Virginia State Police
An overview of common scams that target older citizens and best practices to avoid them.
11:45 amLunch Break – Grand Hall
12:30 pmBreakout Sessions (Choose 1 Room)

“How to Identify and Avoid Financial and Relational Manipulation” – Grand Hall
 Dr. Eric Camden, Assistant Professor, Department of Counselor Education & Family Studies, Liberty University
Digital deception (i.e., Catfishing) is a relatively new phenomenon which can be difficult to identify. Across the country, individuals, including elderly persons, report increasing instances of financial and relational manipulation. This presentation is designed to help participants identify and avoid such manipulation from others.

“Elder Fraud” – Room 103/104
Rick Miller, Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
Presentation and case studies on frauds targeting or involving the elderly.
1:45 pmBreak
2:00 pmCLOSING: “The Dark Side of Self-Determination” – Grand Hall
Dee Amundson, Director of People & Culture, MJ Housing & Services
This comprehensive training will explore the concept of self-determination, withexamples of when self-determinations are successful and when it is not. Participants will gain insight into best practices for supporting individuals, and learn when to involve external agencies, especially in cases of elder abuse, self-neglect, and other critical situations.
3:15 pmCall to Action – Grand Hall
Gary Cody, Director of Development, Southwest Virginia Legal Aid Society