Saturday, May 2, 2015

Was an 81-Year-Old Wife, Mother and Grandmother, Abducted by Her Own Daughter or Rescued from a Bad Situation?

Fourough Bakhtiar is wearing a magenta cardigan and a beige springtime hat in the Lorain County Justice Center in early April. Looking across the courtroom from behind big, thick-framed glasses, the 81-year-old wife, mother and grandmother is the center of her family's universe, though none of them, except her son-in-law Phillip Presutto, are here this morning. There's a good reason for that.

She is, however, joined by her attorney, Stephen Wolf, and her current legal guardian, Zachary Simonoff, who was appointed to manage Bakhtiar's affairs last year after much legal wrangling.

"I've probably had no other case that has been as contentious as this one and that has spurred as much litigation as this one," says Probate Court Judge James Walther.

He is not being hyperbolic. The fate of Bakhtiar's guardianship and sizable estate has been the gravitational center of a lengthy legal battle that's torn her family apart.

Since April 2013, for example, she has not lived with her husband, Mehdi Saghafi, in their Seven Hills home, and no one can agree whether that's a good thing for her or not. Saddled with signs of dementia, according to three physicians, and "vulnerable to exploitation," according to court records, even Fourough herself doesn't seem to be sure.

Five months ago, Judge Walther issued final orders to settle the legal war, the gist of which was this: Fourough, deemed incompetent by the court, was in need of a guardian. Her daughter, Jaleh Presutto, long estranged from the family, had brought her mother to live with her and her husband, Phillip Presutto, in Amherst and fought for the guardianship and initiated a divorce against Fourough's husband. The other family members, Fourough's husband and sons, fought back and claimed that Fourough was being corrupted, cajoled in her weak state to make decisions she wouldn't otherwise make, intentionally separated from her family.

But there's hardly an end in sight, and so up for debate this morning, as always in this probate case, is Fourough's money: Jaleh is seeking $20,000 from her mother's bank accounts to help her legal defense for allegedly abducting her mother. She was once Fourough's legal guardian; she's recently been indicted on five felony counts in Cuyahoga County for the elderly woman's kidnapping and abduction.

Full Article and Source:
Was an 81-Year-Old Wife, Mother and Grandmother, Abducted by Her Own Daughter or Rescued from a Bad Situation?


Denny said...

We don't know the answer to the question - perhaps it's a bit of both?

StandUp said...

Here we go. This family is fighting about everything and including the money issues, and who is going to benefit from all of this? THE LAWYERS.

Knock it off family. Sit down and talk to each other and settle this for your Mother's sake.

NASGA Member said...

These family feuds quickly get out of hand and the result is the person the feud is about suffers.

I'm with Stand Up, this family needs to quit fighting and talk to each other with open ears.