Saturday, September 12, 2009

Insurer Accused of Cheating Old Timers

Unified Life Insurance cheated thousands of nursing home residents by charging them $720 a year for dental coverage they almost surely won't need, and for which they can receive only $2,000 in benefits, according to a federal class action.

Unified Life Insurance Co. and third-party administrator Sterling Health Services are accused of scheming to "illegally bilk thousands of aged Oklahoma nursing home residents receiving Medicaid assistance out of their personal funds, under the guise of providing them dental insurance,"

The class claims that most nursing home residents do not need extensive dental care because most have "few or no teeth, and quite often utilize dentures."

Named plaintiff Carla Childs says the defendants charged her late mother $720 a year for a mere $2,000 in coverage, including denture-related coverage that Oklahoma nursing home residents get free through Medicaid.

Childs says the plan is illegal because premiums are collected from the residents' personal funds, not from the nursing facility's "daily rate for routine services."

Childs says Oklahoma Medicaid regulations prohibit charging residents' personal accounts for "routine services," including "dentures and related services," and require nursing facilities to pay for such services, or for insurance for such services, out of the "daily rate for routine services."
Federal Medicaid regulations prohibit use of a long-term-care resident's personal funds for any item or service that Medicaid or Medicare pays for, according to the complaint.

Full Article and Source:
Insurer Accused of Cheating Old Timers

Former Broker Pleads Not Guilty to Ponzi Scheme

Former Rock Hill investment broker Gene Sullivan, accused of bilking dozens of elderly investors, including many people he'd known for decades, out of more than $2 million in a Ponzi scheme, pleaded not guilty in federal court Tuesday.

Sullivan, 63, a New York Life insurance agent for more than 30 years, until he was fired after the insurance company learned of the alleged scheme, did not talk about his case in his first court appearance since he was indicted in August.

Sullivan signed a court document stating he was pleading not guilty and was released after posting a $100,000 unsecured bond — meaning Sullivan did not have to post any money or property to make bail before trial.

In seven counts of mail fraud, federal authorities accuse Sullivan of taking money from about 35 investors from 1995 through November. Sullivan entered into agreements with people, calling the financial products “private placement,” “promissory note” and other names, then promised money would be paid to the investors as interest, according to the indictments.

However, federal authorities claim Sullivan deposited more than $2.5 million into his personal bank account.

Full Article and Source:
Former Broker Pleads Not Guilty to Ponzi Scheme

Adult Guardians Help Wards Make Decisions

Ervin Ripp visits the developmentally disabled man he helps with legal and medical decisions at least once a month. Sometimes they talk over lunch at McDonald's."There's a satisfaction in helping these people," Ripp said. "You actually become pretty good friends with them."

Ripp is one of more than 100 people in Brown County who volunteer their time to represent a variety of people in legal or medical situations.

The county is home to one of the most active volunteer adult guardianship programs in the state, said Glen Tilot, a social worker and volunteer coordinator for the Brown County Human Services Department.

They don't physically care for their wards, but help them make legal, medical or housing decisions. Program participants are the developmentally disabled, the elderly or those suffering from a developmental illness, deemed "incompetent" in court.

They may have family members around, but only their legal guardians have authority to make decisions.

Full Article and Source:
Adult Guardians Help Wards Make Decisions

Closure Eludes Victim's Family

More than three years after the shocking broad-daylight murder of Tammy Lynn Texiera at a Roseville gas station, family members say they are still waiting for justice.

Declared mentally incompetent to stand trial, the accused killer, Erik Minchak, remains at Atascadero State Hospital. But the time is fast approaching when a judge must decide whether to place Minchak, 30, under a civil conservatorship that Texiera’s family members worry will remove any possibility he will ever have to answer to his charges.“He could still be functioning and enjoying his life and watching TV and reading books, while Tammy’s gone,” said Bryan West, whose son is married to Tammy’s daughter. “That’s kind of hard to swallow.”

Full Article and Source:
Closure Eludes Victim's Family

Improving Our Community by Protecting Our Seniors

Far too often, we hear about one of our neighbors or friends who has been neglected or harmed by a family member or mistreated while in some type of nursing care facility.

The problem of abuse of the elderly and adults with disabilities has become more widely recognized in recent times, and there are estimates that it may be as common as child abuse.

We all need to be aware of the care needs and well-being of the senior citizens in our community. Fortunately, the Adult Protective Services (APS) Section of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services is available to help us do exactly that.

Their charge is to investigate the abuse, neglect, and exploitation of an elderly or disabled person and to provide protective services for that person.

Their mission is to respond to suspected abuse by investigating those situations and providing or arranging for whatever services are needed to alleviate or prevent any further maltreatment. I know first-hand of the caring and professional attitude that the APS employees bring to work every day.

Annually, Adult Protective Services receives as many as 60,000 reports of abuse, neglect or exploitation of adults in Texas. Approximately two-thirds of those reports are confirmed.

Full Article and Source:
Viewpoint: Improving Our Community by Protecting Our Seniors

Friday, September 11, 2009

Why Exploitation Crimes Are Misunderstood by Government and the Public

Perspectives of Financial Exploitation of the Elderly: As stated, special training on how the police can recognize exploitation and interact with elderly victims is often insufficient. Yet even a trained and timely response can still be hindered by inherent investigative pitfalls. The elderly are referred to as "silent victims," not only because their victimization goes unreported,but also because they are unable or unwilling to provide witness to the crime to complete a criminal investigation.

States have many regulatory and criminal laws that are designed to protect the elderly population. For example, Florida law makes it a felony to abuse, neglect, or exploit an elderly or disabled person; a special law automatically upgrades the criminal penalty for anyone who commits battery on a person 65-years of age or older. Besides mandatory reporting laws, there are state agencies that license, regulate and enforce all the professions that provide services to the elderly.

Public Perception: Because exploitation is misunderstood, those who witness it either do the wrong thing or nothing at all to prevent it.

Full Article and Source:
Why Exploitation Crimes Are Misunderstood by Government and the Public

See also:
Guardian Abuse: Keeping It In The Family

The OPPAGA Report

The Immoralities of Jennifer Smith

Financial Abuse of the Elderly

Nursing Home Couple Battles the System

When someone makes enough noise it's bound to be heard.

That is what has hopefully happened in the case of Tom Davis who has been chained to the justice system while fighting for his right to be free of his court appointed public fiduciary.

Although he has been battling the system for over three years, he has been consistently ignored - until recently. Davis and the new wife he met in a nursing home decided to make some noise and contacted the Gazette to help expose their situation, in hopes that it would elicit some help.

On Aug. 19, the Gazette ran an article entitled, "Nursing home romance stifled by system," and it proved to be effective for the Davis family. After the article ran, we received numerous messages conveying outrage directed at the system, along with offers of hope and support for Mr. and Mrs. Davis. In fact, more that 12 pages of responses have come in containing valuable suggestions, and heartbreaking commiserations for the Davis family.

In a continuing effort to have his case resolved, Davis contacted the county attorney's office and is considering meeting with the American Civil Liberties Union.

Gila County Public Fiduciary Tiffany Poarch, who is Davis' legal guardian and oversees all financial aspects of his life, recently offered to petition the courts with her request to terminate guardianship over Davis.

Though the couple rejoiced at the news, they remain skeptical, and continue to suffer from what can only be described as a "once bitten, twice shy" attitude. They will believe it when they see it, and meanwhile they continue to feel battered by the system.

Full Article and Source:
Nursing Home Couple Battles the System

See also:
Hostage to the System

Tiffany Poarsh, Gila County Public Guardian, is registered with the National Guardianship Association

Brunswick County Seminar Focuses on Preventing Elder Abuse

Elder abuse doesn't look like many think it does, say those who deal with it in Brunswick County.

More often than not, it doesn't involve bruises and broken bones from beatings or spirits shattered by constant verbal assaults. Those things do happen, but it's more common to find that relatives or caregivers have depleted bank accounts of hard-earned savings meant as a cushion for one's last years.

"Financial exploitation now is probably the biggest threat," said Jim Roach, a member of the grassroots Elder Abuse Prevention network organized by the Cape Fear Area Agency on Aging.

Full Article and Source:
County Seminar Focuses on Preventing Elder Abuse

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Criminal Charges Filed Against Former Nursing Home Admin.

Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. announced that Kern Valley Hospital administrator Pamela Ott was charged on eight felony counts of elder abuse Tuesday, for allowing staff to forcibly administer psychotropic medications to patients for their own convenience, rather than for their patients' therapeutic interests. These actions are alleged to have resulted in the deaths of three nursing home residents.

"As hospital administrator, Pamela Ott, was ultimately responsible for safeguarding the welfare of her patients," Brown said. "Instead, Ott abdicated her responsibility and allowed the staff of the Kern Valley Hospital to foricibly sedate patients who questioned their care."

Brown the charges against Ott in Kern County Superior Court. She surrendered herself in court this morning and pled not guilty. She was released on her own recognizance on the condition that she not run a skilled nursing facility.

A preliminary hearing is set for November 4, 2009. Tuesday's charges are in addition to those filed in February 2009 against:

•Gwen Hughes, the former Director of Nursing at the skilled nursing facility of the Kern Valley Healthcare District in Lake Isabella, Kern County on charges of elder abuse and assault with a deadly weapon.

•Debbi Hayes, the former pharmacist at the Valley Healthcare District, on charges of elder abuse and assault with a deadly weapon. On August 14, 2009, Hayes pled no contest to a felony charge of conspiracy to commit an act injurious to public health. She is a cooperating witness for the people.

•Dr. Hoshang Pormir, a staff physician at Kern Valley Healthcare District, who was serving as the medical director of the skilled nursing facility, on charges of elder abuse.

As the Administrator of the Kern Valley Health Care District, Ott hired and supervised Director of Nursing Gwen Hughes.

Upon taking over in Sept. 2006, Hughes ordered that Alzheimer's and other dementia patients be given high doses of psychotropic medications to make them more tranquil and easy to control. She ordered the administration of these medications to patients who argued with her, were noisy, or who were otherwise disruptive. Two patients who resisted were held down and forcibly given injections. Ms. Ott was informed of these actions and allowed them to continue.

Hughes is also alleged to have directed Debbi Hayes, the hospital pharmacist, to fill prescriptions for psychotropic medications. Hayes wrote and filled these prescriptions without first obtaining a doctor's approval.

Dr. Pormir approved these psychotropic medications only some time after they had been administered and without examining the patients first and determining whether these psychotropic medications were medically necessary.

Several of these patients are alleged to have had medical complications as a result of being given these psychotropic medications, including lethargy and the inability to eat or drink properly. It is believed that three patients died and one patient suffered great bodily injury as a result.

Full Article and Source:
Charges Filed Against Former Nursing Home Admin.

King City Woman Gets Prison Time for Bilking Elderly Mother

A King City woman convicted of taking her elderly mother's money was sentenced Tuesday in Clackamas County Circuit Court to 16 months in prison and ordered to pay more than $441,000 in restitution.

Gayla Ross, 56, was convicted last month of aggravated theft and several counts of first-degree criminal mistreatment for paying personal debts and buying an $870,000 luxury home with her mother's money. Ross held power of attorney for her 87-year-old mother, Clara Philpot, who has Alzheimer's disease.

Ross engineered real estate deals that left Philpot deeply in dept and gave Ross and her husband, Jeff, half interest in the new house, which has been lost to foreclosure.

Philpot moved back to the now heavily mortgaged Molalla home she and her late husband purchased more than 40 years ago.

Philpot's monthly bills exceed her income by $2,900, and the Molalla home also faces foreclosure.

About 30 supporters of the Rosses attended the sentencing. The Rosses contended they were using Philpot's money to provide her comfortable, loving care and made major financial decisions with her approval.

Circuit Judge Kathie F. Steele said the facts showed the Rosses -- despite their professed love for Philpot -- acted to benefit themselves. "It wasn't your money," Steele said.

Full Article and Source:
King City Woman Gets Prison Time for Bilking Elderly Mother

See also:
Stealing From Mom and Dad in Oregon

How Do We Decide the Fate of Another?

MARY is an elderly woman with Alzheimer's disease and some other minor health problems. She lives alone and gets by with the help of the local council's ''meals on wheels'' and her neighbours. Her cognitive abilities are declining, and some mild delusional thoughts have led her to make occasional threatening outbursts. After an admission to hospital, Mary's doctor decides to make a guardianship application, taking the view that Mary is no longer able to look after herself or make significant decisions. With no close friends or relatives, the Public Advocate is appointed as Mary's guardian, removing Mary's right to decide where, and with whom, she lives.

Mary's guardian has to balance up several considerations in working out where Mary should live. Foremost among these are her wishes and wellbeing, two factors that ordinarily run together but, where cognitive decline is concerned, sometimes don't. Mary wants to stay in her own home with her dog, but her health is clearly deteriorating.

Full Article and Source:
How Do We Decide the Fate of Another?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

County Aims for Dispute Resolution System

Hays County residents may soon have quicker, less expensive and more flexible means of resolving family and civil disputes, even if the change isn’t universally embraced in the local legal profession.

Hays County Commissioners voted 4-1 last week to create an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) system, whereby interested parties would be provided with trained mediators to facilitate mutually agreed upon settlements out of court. The ADR system will be funded with fees collected from everyone who files a case in district, county or justice of the peace (JP) courts, whether or not they use the mediation service.

Full Article and Source:
County Aims for Dispute Resolution System

2 Charged With Abuse, Exploitation of Elderly Woman

A West Valley City couple is charged with abusing and exploiting the man's elderly mother, who developed bedsores as a result of the alleged neglect.

Corin Lynn Barker is charged with second-degree felony exploiting a disabled or elder adult. His wife, Nadine Barker, is charged with second-degree felony aggravated abuse of a disabled or elder adult.

Beatrice Barker died in June at age 90. West Valley City police started investigating after receiving a neglect complaint from a hospital.

Police served a search warrant on Beatrice Barker's home, where charges say they found mold growing in the refrigerator with no food available. Charges say the woman's prescription bottles were empty.

Charges say police later determined that Corin Barker allegedly drained his mother's bank accounts of thousands of dollars.

Full Article and Source:
2 Charged With Abuse, Exploitation of Elderly Woman

Judges Seek Advocates for Elderly

As Douglas County senior citizen population increases, district court judges Michael Gibbons and Dave Gamble have created a new program to protect the elderly and disabled from abuse and exploitation.

The judges are seeking volunteers for Special Advocates For the Elderly. Under the direction of program coordinator John Giomi of Topaz, volunteers will be trained to visit and monitor referred cases and provide the courts with information.

The program is modeled after the county's CASA program for children and a Washoe County program that serves the elderly.

Volunteer training is to begin this month.

“The elderly and the disabled face unique challenges,” Giomi said. “They have the right to make decisions about their lives, but they may also be dependent upon others. They can be easily be exploited, neglected or abused. Dishonest people may earn their trust only to squander their precious resources.”

Full Article and Source:
Judges Seek Advocates for Elderly

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Seniors Found Living in Dire Conditions in San Bernardino

Authorities in San Bernardino uncovered what are described as prison camp conditions at a group home. Investigators say seniors, some mentally disabled, were abused, crammed into chicken coops and forced to go to the bathroom in buckets.

Authorities say the facility was an illegal adult group home that was not licensed by the city or the state.

The home owner, 61-year-old Pensri Sophar Dalton, was arrested Friday. She's accused of forcing mentally ill adults to live in prison camp-like conditions; housing them in converted chicken coops with razor wire fences surrounding the facility and padlocked gates.

City Attorney James Penman says 22 people were living in three dilapidated buildings - none of them with indoor plumbing. He says residents used buckets as toilets.

"The house has been converted. We believe there may be some illegal conversions in the bedrooms. People were living in rooms as small as 6 to 15 feet, two beds and a mattress to the room," said Penman.

He says the conditions were amongst the worst he's ever seen.

Full Article, Source and Video:
Alleged Elder Abuse in San Bernardino

Pet Trusts Revealed

Eminent legal scholars such as Harvard Law School professors Alan Dershowitz and Laurence Tribe and others support animal rights. Activist groups have evolved from loose organizations of like-minded advocates to national and international associations with considerable clout. This concept is gaining acceptance in this country and throughout the world. In fact, in 2008, Spain granted legal rights to great apes.

Whatever we feel about the work of animal activists, it can’t be denied that we care about animals. Approximately 65 million households in the United States include cats and dogs. An additional 11 to 12 million households include small pets like ferrets, rabbits, fish, hamsters and snakes. And, significantly, most pet owners consider their pets to be members of the family.

So it’s not surprising that in April of 2000, Michigan enacted a new probate code, the Estates and Protected Individuals Code (EPIC), which makes Michigan one of 40 states that has some sort of statutory provisions for “pet trusts” for domestic or pet animals.

Nancy Little, an attorney with Foster Zack Little Pasteur & Manning, PC, says, “My area of practice focuses on trusts and estates which would include estate planning and administering trusts and probate estates after a person has died.

“The EPIC legislation permits an individual to leave a trust for a domestic animal. Prior to that, pet animals were considered property, and an individual couldn’t leave a gift to property. But since this legislation, a person can establish a trust to provide for the care of an animal.”

Full Article and Source:
Pet Trusts Revealed

Monday, September 7, 2009

Jury Finds Former NY Judge Guilty in Bribery Case

A federal jury convicted a former New York state judge Thursday of attempted extortion and attempted soliciting of a bribe for pressuring a lawyer to give $10,000 to his defense fund.

Federal prosecutors said Thomas Spargo pressured the lawyer, who had cases pending before Spargo when he was a state Supreme Court justice in 2003, to help the judge cover legal bills from an ongoing battle with the state's judicial discipline committee.

"The jury system works whether you like it or not," said Spargo, who had a long career as a Republican expert on New York elections law before becoming a judge. In 2000, he was part of GOP team that went to Florida to help battle for George W. Bush during the presidential election recount.

Spargo, who was elected to the state's trial level court in 2001, could face up to 30 years in federal prison when he is sentenced Dec. 21.

He was removed from the bench in 2006 on the recommendation of the state Commission on Judicial Conduct, which cited the pressure he put on lawyers and which criticized some of his earlier actions as a town justice in suburban Albany.

Full Artilce and Source:
Jury Finds Former NY Judge Guilty in Bribery Case

Fleeced Funds Reportedly Paid to Casino

While extracting hundreds of thousands of dollars from an elderly San Antonio couple last year, financial adviser Jeremy McGilvrey allegedly used their money to pay Las Vegas casino debts and huge personal credit card bills and to buy a Mercedes.

McGilvrey, 32, who remains in Bexar County Jail in lieu of posting $500,000 bail, also apparently used the funds invested by Thomas and Dorothy Crouch to open large brokerage accounts in his own name, according to the Texas State Securities Board.

“We see a lot of cases, but this one appears to be particularly egregious because of the age of the victims, the amount of money involved and the uses to which the money was apparently put,” said Benette Zivley, director of inspections and compliance for the securities agency.

Thomas Crouch, 94, who has Alzheimer's disease and dementia, and his wife, Dorothy, 89, who suffers from paranoia and depression, had conservatively invested assets of about $6.7 million before they crossed paths with McGilvrey in 2008.

Thomas Crouch is a retired general and former commander of Wilford Hall Medical Center.

Both now are legally incapacitated and have a court-appointed guardian.

But according to a lawsuit filed in Bexar County Probate Court, they were helpless against McGilvrey and two others, losing about $2 million after being steered into dubious investments, including stock purchases in McGilvrey's company and giving him a huge loan.

McGilvrey's investment strategy for the elderly pair was to “charge them exorbitant fees; plunder their monetary assets; convert their money for the defendant's use; and place those assets in investments that would earn the most money for the defendants and without regard to the risks to the plaintiffs,” according to the suit.

“I hope they end up in the penitentiary and I want these guys to have really rude roommates,” said James Crouch, their son and court-appointed guardian.

Full Article and Source:
Fleeced Funds Reportedly Paid to Casino

Man Accused of Cheating Disabled Victim

A 36-year-old St. Petersburg man is accused of cheating a developmentally disabled man out of almost $10,000 on the pretext of helping the man get his car repaired.

James Alan Nicholson was arrested Wednesday on a charge of financial exploitation of a disabled adult. He was being held on $10,000 bail at the Pinellas County Jail.

Between February and April, according to an arrest report, Nicholson took 14 checks totaling $9,400 from the 57-year-old victim, who often needs help managing his finances.

Full Article and Source:
Man Accused of Cheating Disabled Victim

What the End-of-Life Conversation Can Bring

Ed and Catherine Pratt are fierce rivals. Their battlefield is a cribbage board, and competition is in full swing this summer, though Ed is nearing the end of his life. The couple faces off in Ed’s bedroom, on the ground floor of their North Plymouth home, where the Pratts’ daughter and her family live in a second-floor apartment. Most evenings Ed and Catherine listen to the pitter-patter of their 3-year-old granddaughter, Caleigh, running across her living room and down the stairs before she bursts in to ask for chocolate milk.

“I asked the doctor if he could give me a ballpark number,’’ Catherine recalls. “He looked at me and said, ‘Four months. Six if you’re lucky. Let’s get Ed comfortable.’ ’’

With those words Vera initiated what many doctors, patients, and families never get around to having: a conversation about the end of life. The very idea of it is so loaded that a provision of the Obama administration’s health care overhaul to reimburse physicians for advance-care planning consultations with Medicare beneficiaries ignited a furor, with critics predicting the formation of “death panels’’ and the rise of government-backed euthanasia.

“Everybody is afraid of death; it’s part of being a human being. But this regressive thing happens when there’s a big public conversation,’’ said Don Schumacher, president of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. “This legislation is an opportunity to begin. Between 2011 and 2028, 70 million people are going to die. That’s a lot of people to care for, and we need to have these conversations.’’

Full Article and Source:
What the End-of-Life Conversation Can Bring

NJ Judge Seeks More Info on Billionaire's Fortune

A New Jersey tax court judge being asked to help split the fortune of one of the world's richest men has asked for more information to help him decide whether the case even belongs in his courtroom.

At issue is how to divide plastic magnate Wang Yung-ching's fortune, estimated at nearly $7 billion, among at least nine children he fathered with women other than his wife — and whether U.S. or Taiwanese courts will have ultimate jurisdiction over it.

Wang rose from an impoverished tea farmer's son in Taiwan to build the Formosa Plastics Group into a multinational conglomerate with U.S. headquarters in Livingston, just northwest of Newark. He was among Forbes' 200 richest people in the world when he died last year in New Jersey. He left no will, but a complex family tree of potential heirs who are now arguing over his money.

Full Article and Source:
NJ Judge Seeks More Info on Billionaire's Fortune

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Clemson City Councilwoman Arrested

Thirteenth Circuit Solicitor, Bob Ariail, announced today that following an investigation by his office with the assistance of SLED, Clemson City Councilwoman, Elouise James, has been arrested on criminal charges in both Greenville and Pickens counties.

The charges allege that, in an effort to help her daughter, Kristen James, avoid legal problems she misrepresented that her daughter had cancer and collected money on her daughter’s behalf, forged a statement from the Cancer Centers of the Carolinas to avoid her daughter’s prosecution; and Mrs. James used her power of attorney to obtain a reverse mortgage on her mother’s home in order to pay restitution and probation fees for her daughter.

If convicted of all charges Councilwoman James face 21 years in prison. “Mrs. James is in an elected position of trust which she has abused by these actions,” said Ariail.

James has been released on personal recognizance bonds for all charges.

Full Article and Source:
Clemson City Council Woman Arrested on Multiple Charges

Virginia Police Investigating Elder Abuse

A criminal investigation is under way after state health officials released a report about abuse at an assisted living facility on Minnesota's Iron Range.

Virginia Police Chief Dana Waldron said Thursday that police are looking at the report by the state Office of Health Facility Complaints.

According to the report, three nursing aides pinched, slapped and threw rubber balls at a resident with Alzheimer's disease and told another resident to "shut up" while calling him names.

The employees no longer work at Edgewood Vista in Virginia.

Virginia Police Investigating Elder Abuse

NASGA Poll Results Are In!

If a person becomes completely incapacitated and has no advanced directives regarding his/her healthcare, should the law presume that the person wants to live, even if being kept alive through a feeding tube?

Yes, wants to live
41 (51%)

Yes, family members should decide
49 (62%)

No, wants to die
9 (11%)

No, the court should decide
5 (6%)

3 (3%)

Thank you for voting!

$100,000 Bond Set for Elderly Exploitation Case

An Ottawa woman, out on bond for allegedly exploiting the elderly, is now accused of a similar but separate crime against an aged Ottawa couple.

Her new bond was set at $100,000.

Susan K. Anderson, 3103 E. 1951st Road, is charged with financial exploitation of an elderly person, a Class 3 felony, for theft of more than $300 and less than $5,000.

She had been out of custody on a $15,000 bond on a similar charge filed earlier this year.

Full Article and Source:
$100,000 Bond Set for Elderly Exploitation Case

Bitter L'Oréal Family Feud Set to Get Court Airing

Last June L’Oréal celebrated its centenary as one of the world’s most successful cosmetics companies with a lavish party at its headquarters near Paris.

As Liliane Bettencourt, daughter of the company’s founder and majority shareholder, entered the room, thousands of employees rose to give her a standing ovation. Minutes later, her daughter, Françoise Bettencourt-Meyers entered, to a second standing ovation.

However, the two women had not been on speaking terms for months, and today their acrimonious dispute is being played out in front of a court in Nanterre, near Paris.

The case will call into question the mental health of Bettencourt (86), whose estimated worth of €17 billion makes her the richest woman in Europe.

Named on Vanity Fair’s best-dressed list earlier this year, Bettencourt is known as much for her philanthropy as her elegance.

Her daughter now claims her generosity has gone a step too far, citing almost €1 billion worth of gifts which the elderly widow has given to François-Marie Banier, a photographer and artist 20 years her junior. The two met when Banier photographed Bettencourt for a French glossy magazine, Egoïste , in 1987, and discovered a shared love of art.

Bettencourt-Meyers (56) is now suing Banier for abus de faiblesse, or exploitation of frailty, claiming he took advantage of her mother’s allegedly fragile mental state to make her sign over seven life insurance policies to his name, along with numerous other gifts.

Full Article and Source:
Bitter L'Oréal Family Feud Set to Get Court Airing