Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Recommended Website: Probate Sharks

Our mission is to expose and remedy corruption in the Probate Court of Cook County, Illinois.

We assist, educate and enlighten families of the dead, the dying, the disabled and the aged to better understand their rights in order to protect themselves from the excesses of the Probate Court of Cook County. is dedicated to networking the human element of people to people. We join together in reforming the corrupt Cook County Probate Court system.

Probate Sharks

The Lonely Death of George Bell

They found him in the living room, crumpled up on the mottled carpet. The police did. Sniffing a fetid odor, a neighbor had called 911. The apartment was in north-central Queens, in an unassertive building on 79th Street in Jackson Heights.

The apartment belonged to a George Bell. He lived alone. Thus the presumption was that the corpse also belonged to George Bell. It was a plausible supposition, but it remained just that, for the puffy body on the floor was decomposed and unrecognizable. Clearly the man had not died on July 12, the Saturday last year when he was discovered, nor the day before nor the day before that. He had lain there for a while, nothing to announce his departure to the world, while the hyperkinetic city around him hurried on with its business.

Neighbors had last seen him six days earlier, a Sunday. On Thursday, there was a break in his routine. The car he always kept out front and moved from one side of the street to the other to obey parking rules sat on the wrong side. A ticket was wedged beneath the wiper. The woman next door called Mr. Bell. His phone rang and rang.

Then the smell of death and the police and the sobering reason that George Bell did not move his car.

Each year around 50,000 people die in New York, and each year the mortality rate seems to graze a new low, with people living healthier and longer. A great majority of the deceased have relatives and friends who soon learn of their passing and tearfully assemble at their funeral. A reverent death notice appears. Sympathy cards accumulate. When the celebrated die or there is some heart-rending killing of the innocent, the entire city might weep.

A much tinier number die alone in unwatched struggles. No one collects their bodies. No one mourns the conclusion of a life. They are just a name added to the death tables. In the year 2014, George Bell, age 72, was among those names.

George Bell — a simple name, two syllables, the minimum. There were no obvious answers as to who he was or what shape his life had taken. What worries weighed on him. Whom he loved and who loved him.

Like most New Yorkers, he lived in the corners, under the pale light of obscurity.

Yet death even in such forlorn form can cause a surprising amount of activity, setting off an elaborate, lurching process that involves a hodgepodge of interlocking characters whose livelihoods flow in part or in whole from death.

With George Bell, the ripples from the process would spill improbably and seemingly by happenstance from the shadows of Queens to upstate New York and Virginia and Florida. Dozens of people who never knew him, all cogs in the city’s complicated machinery of mortality, would find themselves settling the affairs of an ordinary man who left this world without anyone in particular noticing.

In discovering a death, you find a life story and perhaps meaning. Could anything in the map of George Bell’s existence have explained his lonely end? Possibly not. But it was true that George Bell died carrying some secrets. Secrets about how he lived and secrets about who mattered most to him. Those secrets would bring sorrow. At the same time, they would deliver rewards. Death does that. It closes doors but also opens them. (Continue Reading)

Full Article & Source:
The Lonely Death of George Bell

Book: Creating Moments of Joy

Jolene Brackey has a vision. A vision that will soon look beyond the challenges of Alzheimer's disease and focus more of our energy on creating moments of joy. When a person has short-term memory loss, his life is made up of moments. But if you think about it, our memory is made up of moments, too. We are not able to create a perfectly wonderful day with someone who has dementia, but it is absolutely attainable to create a perfectly wonderful moment; a moment that puts a smile on their face, a twinkle in their eye, or triggers a memory. Five minutes later, they won't remember what you did or said, but the feeling you left them with will linger.

Available through Amazon

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Mickey Rooney Stepson Settles Elder Abuse Suit FOR MILLIONS

EXCLUSIVE 1016-mickey-rooney-tmzMickey Rooney's stepson now concedes he owes the famed actor $2.8 million for allegedly siphoning off a ton of money from Mickey's financial accounts, but there's a GIGANTIC catch.

Christopher Aber and his wife, Christina, have just settled with Mickey's conservators, after allegations they played funny with Mickey's money.There were also allegations the couple deprived Mickey of food, meds, and even blocked him from leaving his home.

The whole thing escalated when the 93-year-old actor testified before Congress on elder abuse.

So now Christopher and Christina -- who have declared bankruptcy -- have folded.  So how, you ask, can Mickey get $2.8 mil?  Well under the settlement, Christopher and Christina have a homeowner's insurance policy that arguably covers this type of wrongdoing.  So Mickey's lawyers think they can use the settlement to go after the insurance company and get their dough.

Here's the rub. The insurance company has already made it clear ... it's not paying anything because the alleged abuses were intentional, and that's not covered under the policy.

So Mickey's lawyers are now going to sue the insurance company and demand not only the $2.8 mil but also punitive damages for bad faith denial of coverage.

Full Article & Source:
Mickey Rooney Stepson Settles Elder Abuse Suit FOR MILLIONS

See Also:
Tears and Terror: The Disturbing Final Years of Mickey Rooney 

Objections to Rooney's will dropped; administrator approved 

Mickey Rooney's widow contests late actor's will

Elder Abuse Lawsuit Filed on Behalf of Mickey Rooney

Court Hears Mickey Rooney's Allegations of Elder Abuse

Judge Extends Mickey Rooney's Restraining Order

Mickey Rooney Conservatorship

Mickey Rooney Reaches Settlement With One of his Stepsons

Mickey Rooney's Estate Goes to His Caregiver Stepson

Introduction to Guardianship and Alternatives

In the summer of 2013, a young woman named Jenny Hatch won a landmark legal battle protecting her right to make her own life decisions using supported decision-making instead of being subjected to guardianship. Nationwide, people with intellectual, developmental and other disabilities continue to be placed under guardianship, losing their rights to make basic, fundamental decisions like where to live, what to do and who to see.

Supported decision-making (SDM) is an effective, less restrictive alternative to guardianship that uses trusted friends, family members and advocates to give people with disabilities the help they need and want to understand the situations they face and the choices they must make, so they can make their own decisions. SDM shows great promise for increasing self-determination and improving quality of life outcomes.
YouTube: Introduction to Guardianship and Alternatives

Woman pleads guilty to exploitation of vulnerable person

NATCHEZ — A Natchez woman will spend time in prison and have to pay nearly $44,000 in restitution for her role in the embezzlement of funds from an elderly woman under her care.

The funds were reportedly used to illicitly purchase pain medication.

Evelyn Ann Whatley, 59, pleaded guilty Monday in Adams County Circuit Court to one count of exploitation of a vulnerable person.

Judge Forrest “Al” Johnson sentenced Whatley to six years in the Mississippi Department of Corrections with a requirement that one of those years be served and the other five suspended and
served as a supervised probation.

As a condition of the supervised probation, Whatley would have to pay $43,985 in restitution to the victim’s family. The amount was determined in a previous civil judgment in Judge Walt Brown’s
county court.

Johnson’s sentence likewise required that Whatley receive drug treatment.

“I have always thought this was one of the worst things somebody could do, to steal from an elderly person, especially when it is over and over and over,” Johnson said.

The maximum penalty possible for one count exploitation of a vulnerable person is 10 years prison.

Special Attorney General Larry Baker prosecuted the case, and said the state would have proven Whatley had used Rita Holland’s Regions Bank card 35 times and Holland’s United Mississippi Bank card 79 times to obtain cash between Nov. 6, 2014, and Feb. 28, 2015.

The state had video footage of Whatley making the withdrawals, he said.

Holland, 83, died in February, and Baker said three of the withdrawals happened after the victim’s death.

“It is the state’s position that if there is any person where jail time of some sort is warranted, this would be the case,” Baker said. “She was charged with taking care of Mrs. Holland, and she did the opposite — she stole from her.”

Prior to her sentencing, Whatley’s defense attorney called two witnesses to the stand, Natchez-Adams County Metro Narcotics Commander David Lindsey and Russell Frazier, an investigator with the Mississippi Attorney General’s Vulnerable Adults Unit.

Frazier said during his investigation Whatley told him she had experienced a relapse of an addiction to pain medication and had spent the money buying pain pills.

“I asked would she be willing to put the drug dealer out of business, too, and arranged to put her in contact with the people who could do that,” Frazier said.

Lindsey testified Whatley participated as an undercover buyer of narcotics for the agency, and her help led to the arrest of someone who “wasn’t a high-level dealer.” The drug case is waiting to go before the grand jury, he said.

Frazier and Lindsey both said they made no promises about sentencing to Whatley for her participation as an undercover buyer.

Before she was sentenced, Whatley said she wanted to apologize to Holland’s family for “whatever I have done.”

“I am just so sorry,” she said.

Holland’s daughter, Rita Fuglaar, said the apology was “absolutely not” accepted.

“That was awful what she did,” Fuglaar said.

Holland’s son-in-law, James Fuglaar, said the family’s interest in pursuing the case was to make sure it could be used as an example that would serve as a deterrent against the exploitation of the elderly.

“It has been very frustrating for us, particularly for my wife, to have to deal with this at the same time she was having to mourn and deal with her mother’s death,” he said.

Whatley was immediately remanded to the custody of the Adams County Sheriff’s Office after sentencing.

Full Article & Source:
Woman pleads guilty to exploitation of vulnerable person

Monday, November 23, 2015

FOX 29 Investigates: NJ Nursing Home Abuse Allegations

- Startling allegations of abuse inside a New Jersey nursing home have family members up in arms.

FOX 29 Investigates has the pictures and talks to loved ones. Our Jeff Cole investigates these serious claims of neglect and a cover-up.

Nikki Thompson says the time she spends with her 9 year old are moments of pure joy. But the reason she's home is not.

Thompson, a licensed practical nurse, says she's been fired, forced out of her job helping the frail elderly.

"Did you like the work?" Cole asked.

"I loved it," Thompson said. Asked why, she said, "It meant a lot to me to be a part of their lives."

Thompson worked at the Voorhees Center nursing home in South Jersey. She was a charge nurse on the day shift of a long-term care unit.

She says the charge nurse makes sure things run smoothly.

Thompson claims her eight-year career at Voorhees unraveled, and she got an anonymous threat that read "snitches get stitches" when she blew the whistle on what she says are the serious problems which led to an image. It’s a picture of an elderly woman with dementia tied to her wheelchair.

Full Article & Source:
FOX 29 Investigates: NJ Nursing Home Abuse Allegations

Hannibal man charged with financial exploitation

A Hannibal man faces a charge of Financial Exploitation of the Elderly, involving a home improvement scam.

 The Marion County Sheriff's Office says the victim paid a contractor in advance for materials for a project, but the contractor never came back to perform the work, even after being called several times by the victim.

 39 year old Daniel Bennett was arrested Wednesday afternoon in the 2100 block of Gordon Street, and faces one count of Financial Exploitation of the Elderly. His first court appearance was Friday morning.

 Bennett's in the Marion County Jail on 25 thousand dollars' bond, and will be arraigned December 4th.

Full Article & Source:
Hannibal man charged with financial exploitation

Western Springs police blotter: Caregiver charged with financial exploitation

The following items were taken from area police department reports and press releases. An arrest does not constitute a finding of guilt.

Monserosa V. Santana, 43, of the 2400 block of South Keeler Avenue, Chicago, was charged Nov. 10 with financial exploitation of a disabled person, a felony. Santana was working as a person's caregiver, when she allegedly made $306 worth of fraudulent purchases using the person's money or resources between April 6 and June 11.

Full Article & Source:
Western Springs police blotter: Caregiver charged with financial exploitation