Saturday, October 31, 2009

Sweet Freedom!

A judge gave disabled dentist Monica Yepez a reason to let out a big sigh of relief Thursday.

Probate Judge Eduardo Gamboa released Yepez from her state-mandated guardianship. He ordered her appointed guardian, El Paso lawyer Hector Phillips, to transfer her property back to her within 45 days. Phillips and Yepez are scheduled to meet today to take inventory of her jewelry.

"I wish you luck, and please watch your spending so you can have some cushion for your needs in the future," Gamboa told Yepez.

Gamboa also ordered Phillips to write a $200 check to accountant Karen Carson to complete Yepez's 2007 and 2008 tax returns, which were never filed. Gamboa appointed Carson in August to audit Yepez's estate.

Nervous before the hearing, Yepez left court with her relentless smile noticeably bigger.

"I'm satisfied," she said. "Now that I got my life back, I plan on taking advantage of it. It's exactly what I wanted."

But Yepez's family and friends worried that the court ruling was just the first step in getting her life back in order.

In 2007, her estate was valued at $1.1 million. Her three vehicles, worth a combined $140,000, were sold, as were the assets of her dental practice. The proceeds from those sales have yet to be accounted for.

Yepez's father, Alonso Yepez, said he worried that her belongings and the money would never be found.

"There's still a lot of things missing, but that's all we wanted, just to get her off the guardianship. It was draining her," Alonso Yepez said.

Full Article and Source:
Judge Releases Disabled Dentist From State-Ordered Guardianship

See Also:
Woman Wants Answers

Daniel Gross Case: Back in the News

In the case of a New York man who was wrongfully placed in a nursing home for 10 months against his will, the 2nd Circuit affirmed dismissal of the man's claims against the probate judge, the nursing home and state officials, but asked the Connecticut Supreme Court whether quasi-judicial immunity extends to court-appointed conservators and attorneys.

In 2005, octogenarian Daniel Gross had a conservatorship imposed on him and was kept in a nursing home until a Superior Court judge in Connecticut ordered him released, citing "a terrible miscarriage of justice."

Gross sued probate Judge Thomas P. Brunnock, court-appointed attorney Jonathan Newman, conservator Kathleen Donovan, Grove Manor Nursing Home, Gov. M. Jodi Rell and state ombudsman Maggie Ewald.

Gross said the defendants wrongfully kept him at Grove Manor, where he lived with a violent roommate who attacked him, and ignored his complaints about the mistreatment.

The defendants all asserted absolute or quasi-immunity, and U.S. District Judge Vanessa Bryant dismissed the complaint. She dismissed the claims against state officials for procedural reasons, but cited immunity for the rest.

"We affirm the dismissal of claims against the state officials, the tort claims against the nursing home, and the finding of absolute judicial immunity as to the judge," the New York-based appeals court ruled.

However, it found Connecticut law on quasi-immunity "unclear" and certified the following questions to the state Supreme Court:

"Under Connecticut law, does absolute quasi-judicial immunity extend to conservators appointed by the Connecticut Probate Courts?

"Under Connecticut law, does absolute quasi-judicial immunity extend to attorneys appointed to represent respondents in conservatorship proceedings or to attorneys appointed to represent conservatees?" and;

"What is the role of conservators, court-appointed attorneys for conservatees, and nursing homes in the Connecticut probate court system, in light of the six factors for determining quasi-judicial immunity outlined in Cleavinger v. Saxner, 474 U.S. 193, 201-02 (1985)?"

Full Article and Source:
Court Seeks Clarification in Conservatorship Case

Former Guardian Waives Hearing

A 53-year-old Hudsonville area woman accused of stealing more than $100,000 from her parents waived a probable cause hearing Thursday to preserve a plea deal that offers a lesser penalty.

Eloise Russo, the former guardian of Thomas and Ada Sherwin, is charged with embezzlement of more than $100,000. An Ottawa County Probate Court judge earlier determined a loss of $107,000, although Russo's attorney claims the amount is much less.

She allegedly told a court-appointed attorney in Ottawa County Probate Court that she spent at least $40,000, with $10,000 as a gift to her and the balance spent gambling.

Thomas Sherwin died recently at the age of 90 while his wife, Ada, 83, is in a nursing home. Prosecutors have offered Russo a deal to plead to embezzlement of more than $20,000.

Full Article and Source:
Daughter Charged With Embezzeling More Than $100,000 From Parents Waives Hearing

See Also:
Daughter Charged With Embezzlement

Kansas State Hospital Targeted for Closure

A Kansas commission is recommending that the state close its hospital for the mentally disabled in Topeka and move more patients into group homes.

The closure would leave the state with just the Parsons State Hospital and Training Center. Officials estimate the proposals for the Kansas Neurological Institute in Topeka and the Parsons hospital would save the state at least $5.7 million a year.

Full Article and Source:
Kansas Panel Backs Closing State Hospital in Topeka

Charged With Abducting Disabled Woman

Bail of $300,000 each was ordered for two Raleigh, N.C., men charged with abduction and interference with custody for allegedly taking a developmentally disabled woman they met on the Internet out of state without a guardian’s permission.

Thomas Steen, 29, and Kyle Cornelius, 37, also known as Richard Tharp, pleaded not guilty to the felony charges Monday, Oct. 26, in Miami County Common Pleas Court.

Sheriff’s Capt. Dave Duchak said the woman, who is 18 but functions mentally at a much younger age, was caught this summer talking with one of the men on the Internet and prohibited by family members with further communication with him. The family later learned she had continued communications and then left with the two who came to Ohio on Sept. 3, he said.

She later was located in North Carolina and returned to the county.

Pretrial hearings for both men are scheduled for Monday, Nov. 2. They remain in the county jail.

Full Article and Source:
Men Charged with Abducting Disabled Woman

Friday, October 30, 2009

National Silver Alert Act (S.557)

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that he is pushing legislation to create a nationwide network for locating missing adults and senior citizens with Alzheimer's, dementia, and other mental impairments. The Silver Alert Act would create a program, modeled after the AMBER Alert, which would provide federal coordination and assistance through the Department of Justice to local and state law enforcement to assist efforts to locate missing senior citizens across the country.

Schumer said today that a nationwide alert network is critical because missing adults can cross state and county lines.

Senator Schumer is sponsoring the National Silver Alert Act (S. 557), which will encourage and integrate systems throughout the United States to help identify and locate missing seniors with cognitive impairments. The bill will also authorize grants for these organizations. The bill has already passed the House of Representatives.

Full Article and Source:
Schumer Pushes for Nationwide Alert System to Locate Missing Adults With Alzheimer's Disease; Almost 22,000 Seniors in Rochester Finger Lakes are Affected

Georgia Court Employee Accused of Theft by Taking

A court employee in Dawson County is accused of stealing thousands of dollars paid for traffic fines.

For the past few years, anyone in Dawson County who needed to pay a traffic ticket would hand over their money to probate clerk Julie Honea. Investigators said for the past several months, Honea, 51, was actually pocketing the money.

“She was a trusted employee,” said Judge Jennifer Burt.

Burt said she is still in shock. She said an internal audit found the alleged misconduct by her 10-year employee.

“Of course you learn to trust someone that's worked for you that long,” said Burt.

Dawson County sheriff’s investigators filed theft by taking charges against Honea on Tuesday, accusing her of pocketing more than $6,400 over the past several months.

Investigators believe Honea tried to fool the system by marking the fines as suspended or waived in the computer before taking the cash.

Full Article, Video, and Source:
Court Employee Accused of Stealing Thousands Paid for Traffic Fines

Accused of Stealing More Than $560,000

A 61-year-old woman was arrested this week, accused of stealing more than $560,000 from an elderly woman by withdrawing large sums of money from the 95-year-old woman's retirement accounts between 2006 and 2009.

The victim was introduced to the suspect, Colleen A. Averill, of Beaverton, in the late 1990s by a friend whose own financial affairs was being managed by Averill, according to court papers.

Portland Officer Deanna Wesson obtained recordings of the calls Averill made to New York Life Insurance Co. in 2006, in which Averill tried to disguise her voice as an older woman, impersonating the then-92-year-old victim to ask for a dispersal from her account.

Police found Averill paid off her daughter's $21,484 car loan, spent hundreds of dollars at liquor stores and paid between $2,000 and $5,000 a month to American Express and other credit cards.

Now, Averill faces 64 felony counts, including multiple allegations of first-degree criminal mistreatment, first-degree aggravated theft, first-degree forgery and falsifying business records.

Full Article and Source:
Woman Accused of Bilking 95-Year-Old of More Than $560,000

Former Real Estate Agent Facing Prison Time

A 46-year-old former real estate agent is facing prison time after pleading guilty to improperly selling the home of an elderly Tucson resident and keeping the profit.

Ammar Dean Halloum was working as a licensed real estate agent when he misrepresented himself and obtained the title of a Gilbert home from a Tucson dementia patient, according to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.

Halloum recently pleaded guilty to one count of theft/financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult and one count of fraudulent schemes and artifices, both felonies, according to the Attorney General’s Office.

Halloum also agreed to pay over $200,000 in restitution to the victim and over $30,000 to the Attorney General’s Office for prosecution costs.

Pima County Superior Court Judge Richard Fields will sentence Halloum Dec. 1.

Full Article and Source:
Real Estate Agent Admits Defrauding Elderly Tuscan Resident

Thursday, October 29, 2009

AARP Under Scrutiny

The nation's preeminent seniors group, AARP, has put the weight of its 40 million members behind health-care reform, saying many of the proposals will lower costs and increase the quality of care for older Americans.

The group and its subsidiaries collected more than $650 million in royalties and other fees last year from the sale of insurance policies, credit cards and other products that carry the AARP name, accounting for the majority of its $1.14 billion in revenue, according to federal tax records. It does not directly sell insurance policies but lends its name to plans in exchange for a tax-exempt cut of the premiums.

The organization, formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons, also heavily markets the policies on its Web site, in mailings to its members and through ubiquitous advertising targeted at seniors.

The group's dual role as an insurance reformer and a broker has come under increasing scrutiny in recent weeks from congressional Republicans, who accuse it of having a conflict of interest in taking sides in the fierce debate over health insurance. Three House Republicans sent a letter to AARP on Monday complaining that the group was putting its "political self-interests" ahead of seniors.

Full Article and Source:
AARP: Reform Advocate and Insurance Salesman

Judge Blasts MI Dept of Human Services

An Oakland County judge blasted the Michigan Department of Human Services today for its repeated failures to take action in a 2007 case of elder neglect so severe it shocked veteran police investigators and resulted in the death of a 63-year-old Southfield woman.

Oakland Circuit Judge Nanci Grant voiced her anger, frustration and shock at the fact that DHS workers had four separate contacts over two years with Stephanie Cooper about the condition of her mother, Agnes, who was found living in squalor, sitting in her own urine and feces and ridden with bedsores, but still took no action and offered no assistance to the Cooper family.

Bedridden, Agnes Cooper was taken by ambulance from the home with flesh dropping from her body. Police reports show the home -- which was shared by Agnes, Stephanie and Stephanie's 9-year-old daughter -- was full of garbage, rotten food, maggots and feces.

Her death was ruled a homicide due to sepsis, multiple pressure sores and neglect.

Stephanie Cooper was criminally charged in the case and her daughter was removed from her custody.

Speaking at Cooper's sentencing on involuntary manslaughter charges, Grant said she spent two weeks poring over DHS reports in which case workers saw Agnes in deplorable living conditions and did nothing.

"If someone wants you to go to prison, someone from DHS would be going with you. They are equally culpable of your mother's death," Grant said Wednesday, ignoring a recommendation from probation that Cooper spend five years in prison for involuntary manslaughter and instead sentencing her to five years of probation.

"I'm astonished, embarrassed and offended by DHS who could have come into the probate court for guardianship. We don't let people die on their own," Grant said.

Full Article and Source:
Judge Blasts State Workers in Southfield Elder-Neglect Death

"It's Time to Let These People Be"

The parents of a southern Minnesota teenager who once fled the state to avoid chemotherapy went before a judge Monday and asked for the court's role in the case to end, saying they are following the advice of doctors and making sure their son gets the best medical care.

Daniel Hauser, 13, is undergoing radiation treatments for childhood Hodgkin's lymphoma. He finished chemotherapy in early September, and his father said there is no sign of cancer.

"In all reality, he's been in remission for quite some time already," Anthony Hauser said in a telephone interview Monday. "I hope he stays in remission — that's No. 1. And hopefully we can live our lives normally again."

During a hearing in Brown County District Court, Judge John Rodenberg said that as long as no new issues arise, he would close the case after Daniel completes his 12 recommended sessions of radiation — which are expected to end Nov. 6, according to Joseph Rymanowski, an attorney for the parents.

"It's time to let these people be. They've been through enough," said Rymanowski.

Full Article and Source:
Minnesota Family Wants Court Out of Son's Cancer Case

See Also:
Mom Flees With Son

Forced Chemo

Long-Term Health Care

House health care legislation expected within days is likely to include a new long-term care insurance program to help seniors and disabled people stay out of nursing homes, senior Democrats say.

The voluntary program would begin to close a gap in the social safety net overlooked in the broader health care debate, but it must overcome objections from insurance companies that sell long-term care coverage and from fiscal conservatives.

"I'm pretty confident that it will be in there," Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., a leading sponsor, said of the provision.

More than 10 million people currently need long-term care services, a number that's only expected to grow as the baby boom generation ages. But most families whose elders can no longer care for themselves have to scrape to find a solution.

The cost of nursing homes averages $70,000 a year, and a home care attendant runs about $29 an hour. Medicare only covers temporary nursing home stays. Middle-class households have to go through their savings before an elder can qualify for nursing home coverage through Medicaid.

The new proposal is called the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act, or CLASS Act, and passing it was a top priority for the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass.

Full Article and Source:
House Bill Likely to Include Long-Term Health Care

MA Lawyer Disbarred

Charles L. Lonardo, once the area's top personal injury lawyer who went to jail after being convicted for auto insurance fraud, has been barred from practicing law in Massachusetts.

Convicted of conspiracy to commit auto insurance fraud in April 2006 and sentenced to 21/2 years in jail, the Board of Bar Overseers voted to disbar Lonardo on Sept. 14.

The judgment was processed Oct. 16 by the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County.

A state Appeals Court upheld Lonardo's conviction in July.

According to state prosecutors, Lonardo, 49, of Winthrop Avenue, paid so-called runners to plan auto accidents and bring him supposed victims who would then file insurance claims.

The disbarment is retroactive to June 21, 2006, the date Lonardo's license to practice law was temporarily suspended.

Full Article and Source:
Lawyer Disbarred for Auto Insurance Fraud

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Time for Gary Harvey to Go Home

The holidays are fast approaching and Gary Harvey isn’t home yet. Why not?

The wheels of justice turn slowly? Someone needs to get out the grease because this situation has gone beyond unreasonable, illogical, irresponsible and control-freak mode. It’s unacceptable!

In review:“This is a case where a 55 year old man had a heart attack, fell down the basement stairs, and ended up severely brain damaged. It is a case where still another so-called ethics committee felt it had some sort of god-like wisdom and right to determine life or death for a stranger. It is a case where a so-called ethics committee decided, behind closed doors, that it was perfectly okay to starve and dehydrate this man — Gary Harvey — to death by termination of his Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN) feeding tube.”

In my opinion, there are players in this case that have tried to make Sara look bad, so as to take the spotlight off their inappropriate actions and/or lack of action. They have done it because they can. Sara is only one person. They are a group. Sara has limited funds. They apparently have, at least in part, the taxpayers money to fight, until Sara is broke, Gary is dead or both. That is obvious. What isn’t obvious is why they are fighting so desperately to keep Gary under their control. Just why is that?

The so-called ethics committee already wanted to put Gary to death and a DNR has been put on him. So, if they don’t care if he dies, why are they worried about Sara being alone with him? What can they possibly be worried about? That she is going to kill him? But that is what they — not Sara – tried to do and they aren’t planning on saving him if anything goes wrong. So why are they desperately fighting to keep Gary in their control? Just what is it that they are scared of?

Full Article and Source:
It's Time to Go Home: Gary Harvey's Case in Review

See Also:
Not a Typical Day in Court

Wife Seeks Rights to Comatose Husband

The Brainwashing of an Unsuspecting People: Continuing to Deny Death Panels

Behind Closed Doors: The Gary Harvey Story

Follow Up: The Gary Harvey Story

Kidd Family Freed

It’s an emotional and long awaited homecoming for an elderly Richardson couple whose battle with the state for their freedom triggered a FOX 4 Investigation. Michael and Eugenia Kidd say the State of Texas has held them captive in a nursing home for months. But after a court ruling today the Kidds are finally saying “home sweet home.”

They were all smiles as they walked up to the door of their house. It has been almost a year since the Kidds have been home. “It’s a relief, I can tell you that,” said Michael Kidd. Within minutes Michael was at his piano, one of his greatest sources of joy. But Michael admits, he’s a bit rusty.

FOX 4 reported how the Kidds were sent to the Countryside Nursing Home against their will. The Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services argued the Richardson couple was incapacitated and unable to care for themselves after Michael broke his hip and required surgery. Eugenia suffers from memory loss.

This morning, the Kidds appeared in Collin County probate court before Judge Weldon Copelend. Only this time, they had two attorneys on their side arguing that they should be allowed to go home. A new psychiatric evaluation shows Michael has the ability to make decisions for himself and his wife Eugenia doesn’t need guardianship.

“Our position is that the guardianship of the person should be lifted in regards to both Mr. and Mrs. Kidd,” attorney Ad Litem, Melinda Hartnett explained to the judge. The state’s attorney didn’t oppose and Judge Copeland was quick to rule in their favor this time. “We expected them to be able to go home and the doctor’s report was pretty clear that is what should happen and I think everyone realized that,” said the Kidds’ pro bono attorney, Tim Taylor.

Full Article and Source:
Kidds Leave Facility, Return Home

See Also:
Closer to Freedom

Elderly Couple Won't Lose House

Elderly Couple Forced Into State Custody

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

From Wealth to Welfare

The old woman sits in the corner reclining chair, as she does most of the time any more, looking at, well, nothing. The smell — a stinging mixture of urine and ammonia — doesn't seem to bother her as it does a visitor to this Phoenix nursing home. Or maybe she's just accepted the fact that this is how she will live out the rest of her life.

Are you happy? I ask her, and her eyes cloud over as she hesitates, then shakes her head.

“No,” she says softly. “Are you happy?”

Not even close, I feel like telling her as I look around. But I don't. No need to pile more worry onto the frail shoulders of an 88 year old who already has far more than her fair share.

Not even four years ago, Marie Long had $1.3 million in assets, held in trust for her final years on this earth. Sometime in the next few weeks, she'll be tossed onto the state's welfare rolls. All of her money is gone now; much of it bled off by legal fees and guardian fees.

And the court that exists to protect her?

Simply put, it didn't.

Marie has no children to watch over her. Long ago, her daughter died of cancer at age 16 and the following year, her 20-year-old son was killed in Vietnam. When her husband Cliff died in 2003, he left Marie in decent shape, having put all they owned into a trust.

Two years later, Marie suffered a stroke and the beneficiary of that trust, her niece Genevieve Olen of El Cajon, Calif., took over managing Marie's money.

Court records paint a picture of the family squabble that ensued. Olen moved her aunt to a San Diego assisted-living center, reasoning that it would be best for Marie and cheaper than round-the-clock help in her own home.

But Marie wanted to come home to Scottsdale and her sisters fought to make that happen. Marie, meanwhile, removed Olen as her beneficiary though she remained as trustee, in charge of Marie's money.

For nearly two years, Marie would live at home, her care overseen by her court-appointed guardian, Tempe-based Sun Valley Group. Early on, another company supplied 24-hour companion caregivers to Marie, at a cost of up to $9,000 a month.

In April 2006, SVG installed its own caregivers and the cost jumped to $10,000 to $15,000 a month. This, on top of the thousands SVG was charging each month for serving as her guardian and despite a Supreme Court rule that bars guardians from “self dealing or the appearance of a conflict of interest.” If such services aren't available elsewhere, the rule allows a guardian to provide them but only after getting court approval.

There is nothing in the court file to indicate SVG notified the judge that it was also collecting on the side by providing Marie's caregivers.

Full Article and Source:
From Wealth to Welfare: How Much Court "Protection" Can One Old Lady Afford?"

MI Nursing Homes: Hundreds of Care Violations

They are our most fragile and most vulnerable -- and they are not being treated right.

They are being tied down with sheets, being left unsupervised as their caretaker takes a nap, and occasionally being verbally and physically abused, state records show.

In the last two years, Genesee County’s 285 adult foster care facilities have racked up 323 reported violations of state rules, according to a Flint Journal investigation of Michigan Department of Human Services records.

One facility, Sister Love Adult Care in Flint, racked up 27 violations in one year before the state shut it down on July 11. Investigators found residents were suffering from bed sores and not getting their medicines.

And, just this month the state recommended revoking the license of another facility, Carol’s AFC in Flint’s college and cultural neighborhood, after repeated violations.

It is a nightmare come true for many who struggle to find a place where loved ones with mental illness or incapacitated by old age can get the care that family simply can no longer provide.

Full Article and Source:
Genesee County Nursing Homes Rack Up Hundreds of Care Violations

See Also:
Investigation at MI Adult Foster Care

Monday, October 26, 2009

DA Investigates Public Guardian Estate Sales

Prosecutors are investigating allegations that at least one Madera County employee broke state law by buying the property of people who died while under the county's care.

The Madera County District Attorney's Office began its investigation of the three-person Public Guardian's Office several months ago. Last month, the department's director, Dennis Blessing, resigned and the other two employees -- the chief public guardian, Colleen Nielsen, and the deputy public guardian, Heather Young -- were placed on administrative leave.

Nielsen has since returned to her job. Young, however, remains the focus of a criminal investigation, according to court records.

The Public Guardian's Office acts as a conservator for about 160 people in Madera County who are disabled or unable to care for themselves and don't have anyone else who can oversee their day-to-day activities and finances. The office also sells off the property of those clients -- called "conservatees" -- who die or must pay off debt. About a dozen such estate sales occur every year in Madera County, Blessing said.

Two search warrants issued by a judge last month gave investigators permission to search the Public Guardian's Office, Young's house and a county-owned vehicle she used. One warrant said that investigators should look for evidence "relating to sales and purchases of personal property from conservatees' estates, which Young had been entrusted with."

It went on to say authorities should look for records "which would tend to show any evidence ... that Heather Young or other members of the Public Guardian's Office were engaged in embezzling property entrusted to that office."

State law does not allow public guardian officials -- or their relatives -- to buy property from a client's estate unless it is at a public sale. Public guardians play a role in setting the value of client property and could sell it to themselves or a relative at a discounted price, thereby shortchanging the estate, said Dr. David Hadden, the Fresno County public guardian and coroner.

"There's just all kinds of ways to game the system," much like insider trading in the business world, he said.

Full Article and Source:
Probe Looks at Madera Co. Office

Annual National Adult Protective Services Conference This Week

Issues affecting the nation's senior population will be discussed next week at the 20th Annual National Adult Protective Services Conference held at the El Tropicano Riverwalk Hotel.

The conference, set for Tuesday through Friday, is co-sponsored by Texas Adult Protective Services.

Workshop speakers will discuss a range of topics including abuse and neglect, financial exploitation, elder substance abuse and animal hoarding. Karen Greenlee, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' assistant secretary for aging, is the scheduled speaker on Thursday.

Presentations are scheduled from medical experts, attorneys, academics, law enforcement, financial institutions, and APS professionals.

Workshops include how to teach seniors and caregivers about recognizing red flags of scams and how to reduce stress and burnout.

Full Article and Source:
Seniors Focus of National Conference Here

Guilty Plea

A nursing assistant from Pittsfield has pleaded guilty to felony theft for stealing more than $4,000 from an elderly resident of an assisted living facility in Franklin, the attorney general's office said yesterday.

Cynthia Glover, 50, was sentenced to 30 days in jail for stealing checks from a 90-year-old resident's room at the Peabody Home. According to the attorney general's office, Glover forged the resident's signature on several checks late last year.

The victim's bank discovered the checks and notified law enforcement. Charges were filed earlier this year. The case was handled by the Medicaid Fraud and Patient Abuse Unit, which investigates healthcare provider fraud and the possible financial exploitation and physical abuse of long-term care residents.

Glover was ordered to pay $4,250 in restitution. Eleven months of her sentence were suspended.

Full Article and Source:
Aide Charged in Theft from 90-Year-Old

SC Reaches Settlement With Eli Lilly Over Zyprexa

Attorney General Henry McMaster said Friday that South Carolina reached a $45 million settlement with pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly over the company's marketing of the anti-psychotic drug Zyprexa.

Eli Lilly confirmed it is the largest monetary settlement any state has won from the company. McMaster also said it was the second-largest state settlement in South Carolina history, behind the multibillion dollar settlement the state received from the 1998 tobacco agreement.

"This is a victory for South Carolina's taxpayers who were forced to bear the financial costs of Eli Lilly's unlawful conduct," McMaster said in a statement. "Our case was sound. The evidence we presented was overwhelming. And I am pleased to say justice has been served."

As part of the settlement, Eli Lilly didn't admit to any wrongdoing.

Spokeswoman Marni Lemons said Eli Lilly felt it was in the best interests of the company, patients and physicians "who rely on Zyprexa as a lifesaving medication to put this issue behind us."

Full Article and Source:
S.C. Reaches Settlement With Company Eli Lilly

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Investigation at MI Adult Foster Care Home

A Genesee County adult foster care home is being investigated by the state after numerous reports of abuse.

Department of Human Services officials said Carol's AFC at 1325 Beard St. is being examined by the state for mistreatment of residents, along with nine rule violations.

The violations range from confining patients to the attic and basement to taking away patient privileges for poor behavior.

Investigators also said they found bruises on some of the residents that lived inside the home.

The Department of Human Services is now determining if the operator, Victoria Chapman, should have her licenses revoked.

Chapman has denied the allegations.

Full Article and Source:
Abuse Allegations Surface at Adult Foster Home

"If It's Not Your Money, It's a Crime"

Adult Protective Services is teaming up with banks across the area to help protect our senior citizens.

The program is called "If It's Not Your Money, It's a Crime" which originated to educate the public about financial exploitation of the elderly and those with disabilities.

Full Article, Video, and Source:
Senior Citizens Have a New Program in Their Corner

Former Financial Advisor Pleads Guilty

The owner of a San Antonio investment firm once known for his extravagant lifestyle stood before a judge in shackles and a jail outfit Thursday, pleading guilty to fleecing customers out of more than $1.9 million. Jeremy McGilvrey, 32, served as CEO of Hill Country Wealth until the company went out of business in June.

Up to that point, he spent thousands at Las Vegas clubs and casinos, on expensive meals and on a fleet of cars ranging from a Porsche to a Bentley convertible, according to court documents.

The lifestyle was funded in part, investigators say, by taking advantage of at least seven clients — most of them elderly.

The besieged businessman now faces up to 30 years in prison on two first-degree felony charges involving misapplication of property.

He's expected to ask state District Judge Maria Teresa Herr for deferred adjudication probation during a sentencing hearing next month.

“All he's going to ask the judge for is a chance to pay it back,” said his attorney, Scott Hill. “He wants to make everybody whole. If he goes to jail, they're not going to get any money back.”

Full Article and Source:
Former High Roller Enters Plea of Guilty

See Also:
Fleeced Funds Reportedly Paid to Casino

Charged with Felony Exploitation

Ocean Springs police are continuing an investigation into the case of a vulnerable elderly resident being exploited for money last month.

Over the weekend, with the help of U.S. marshals, police arrested 47-year-old Dwight Cannon, of Greenville, and charged him with exploitation of a vulnerable adult.

Detectives issued a felony warrant for Cannon on Sept. 9, when a relative told police Cannon took $6,000 to $10,000 from a vulnerable adult in Ocean Springs. Cannon fled Jackson County before the warrant could be served.

Full Article and Source:
Man Accused of Exploiting Elderly Person for Money