Nine years ago, James Gostele needed help from the Denver probate court.
He had been diagnosed as suffering from dementia and was recovering from a month-long hospitalization that left him with an unpaid $197,000 bill.
A brother in Illinois was willing to assist him. The court approved William Gostele as the guardian of James' health and conservator of his assets.
In that role, Gostele successfully negotiated a reduction of the hospital bill and paid it by refinancing his brother's house. But probate records also show a pattern of late and missing reports that persisted for five years before anyone questioned how James' money was being spent.
And after the court discovered in 2006 that much of $83,517 in expenses had paid for Gostele's flights to Colorado and reimbursements to a woman he would marry, it neglected again to collect his expense reports.
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Case Three, As Guardian Expenses $60,491 in Three Years