Saturday, January 30, 2010

New Jersey Supreme Court Precedent-Setting Ruling

In a precedent-setting ruling, the state Supreme Court has recused a Morris Township municipal court judge from presiding over a drug case because he is an adversary of the defense attorney.

Judge Robert Nish should have recused himself because he and defense attorney Alan Albin happen to be attorneys on opposite sides of an unrelated pending probate case, the high court said in a 6-0 ruling.The decision is meant to provide guidance to New Jersey’s 318 part-time judges in 528 municipal courts, many of whom also work in private practice. In its ruling, the high court determined judges "must recuse themselves whenever they and a lawyer for a party are adversaries in some other open, unresolved matter."

"For millions of New Jerseyans each year, municipal court judges are the face of the judiciary," the court said in a ruling written by Chief Justice Stuart Rabner. "Ensuring both conflict-free, fair hearings and the appearance of impartiality in municipal courts is vital to our system of justice."

"The Supreme Court took the opportunity to send a pretty clear message to the lower courts that they don’t want even a hint of impartiality" on the bench, said Albin, who is no relation to Supreme Court Justice Barry Albin.

Full Article and Source:
N.J. Supreme Court Rules Morris Township Judge Should Be Removed From Drug Case

More Education About Guardianship Needed in MO

The question of guardianship may seem like a simple decision to be made, but being placed under guardianship can have devastating effects for a person with developmental disabilities. It's often seen as the only option when a person needs assistance or support in making decisions, but disability advocates say it can lead to a loss of freedoms.

Preliminary results from a project on guardianship in Missouri show that more work needs to be done to educate the public about the rights of people with developmental disabilities.

Five years ago, Cristal Chapman says someone filed a petition to place her under full guardianship when she began having some personal difficulties as a result of her disabilities. She says she was forced to live hours away from her husband in a locked-down facility and had to give up some of her civil and human rights, even though she had done nothing wrong.

"They took away my freedom of religion. There was one point where they wouldn't let me talk to, see or write my husband. It was pretty bad."

With assistance from Missouri Protection and Advocacy Services, through the Guardianship project, Chapman successfully petitioned the court and restored her rights. Chapman is again living independently with her husband, and making her own decisions.

Full Article and Source:
More Education Needed in MO About Guardianship

Arkansas Judge Removed From Bench

The state Supreme Court on Monday ordered Pulaski County Circuit Judge Willard Proctor removed from the bench.

The high court, acting on a recommendation from the state commission that disciplines judges, concluded Proctor violated canons of judicial conduct in his relationship with a nonprofit probation program run from his courthouse office.

The state Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission accused Proctor of improperly involving himself in the activities and finances of the Cycle Breakers program, and of breaking the law by requiring probationers to pay “civil fees” with the threat of jail time.

At a hearing last summer, Proctor admitted giving probationers rides to meetings, hosting them as his home, letting one stay at his home and baptizing some at his church.

But he argued before the high court earlier this month that running what he called a “cutting edge” probation program from his office did not warrant his removal from the bench. He asked the justices to reject the commission’s recommendation on procedural grounds.

Full Article and Source:
Supreme Court Orders Judge to be Removed

Medical Tech Arrested

A medical technician at two facilities for the elderly - one in Granite Bay and another in Citrus Heights - allegedly stole cash and jewelry from dozens of victims to feed her gambling addiction, authorities said.

Placer County Sheriff's detectives on Tuesday afternoon arrested Sasi L. Raj (left photo), 46, of Antelope, at Eskaton Lodge in Granite Bay, where she has worked since August 2007, Det. Sgt. Brian Whigam said.

Raj, who was arrested on suspicion of burglary and financial elder abuse, also worked at Merrill Gardens in Citrus Heights, Whigam said.

Whigam said Raj dispensed medication to the senior residents at the facilities and had a master key to their rooms. When they left their rooms to eat or see a doctor, she would enter the room to steal from them, Whigam said.

"They trusted her," he said.

So far, detectives say they have identified a dozen victims, but believe that more will come forward.

Full Article and Source:
Medical Tech Suspected of Stealing From Senior Residents Arrested

Friday, January 29, 2010

Recommended Website: Financial Abuse of the Elderly


In a sentence, Florida’s exploitation law (FSS 825.103) states that when someone maliciously takes the property of an “elderly person,” they are committing exploitation. That’s the essence of the law.

But there is also an important requirement: Within this law, an “elderly person” is defined as someone 60 years of age or older who is suffering from the infirmities of aging to the extent that their ability to adequately care for and protect themselves is impaired. The law states that the elderly person must suffer a physical or mental infirmity. Therefore, exploitation is based primarily on infirmities or disabilities and not deception.

This is why exploitation is not fraud and why it can be much more devastating and offensive. Fraud is generally defined as deception that is carried out for the purpose of achieving personal gain while causing injury to another party. Exploitation requires more than that. It requires that the victims suffer disabilities that make them more vulnerable. And when the victim is more vulnerable, the victim impact is far worse.


See Also:

Financial Abuse of the Elderly; A Detective's Case Files of Exploitation Crimes, by Joe Roubicek

Scott Rothstein Pleads Guilty

Scott Rothstein, the disbarred South Florida attorney accused of running a $1.2 billion investment scam, pleaded guilty to five federal counts including racketeering, fraud and money laundering.

Rothstein, who has been jailed without bail since his Dec. 1 arrest, is focused on returning as much money as possible to investors, according to his attorneys. Rothstein's seized assets -- two dozen pieces of real estate, numerous luxury cars, jewelry, bank accounts and more -- are worth between $60 million and $100 million.

Rothstein faces up to 100 years in prison, but attorney Marc Nurik says he hoped to receive a sentence of roughly 20 years in prison. Sentencing is set for May 6th.

After the hearing, Rothstein's wife Kim read a prepared statement to reporters outside the courthouse.

Full Article and Source:
Rothstein Enters Guilty Plea; His Wife Speaks Out

See Also:
Kim Rothstein's Full Statement

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Blog: Reforms Still Needed. One Group's Prescription

One of the most egregious cases in Arizona of fiduciary betrayal was the case of lawyer Wayne Legg who was once known as the “King of Probate.” Legg was accused of skimming and plundering his clients’ estates. In 1994, he was convicted on 13 counts of felony theft and fraud.

Interestingly, Wayne Legg wasn’t the first lawyer I heard about who took advantage of elderly clients. No, there’s still a prominent place in the Hall of Shame for Laguna Hills, California estate planning lawyer, James Gunderson.

Coincidentally, around the same time as Legg was up to no good in Arizona, The Los Angeles Times ran a series of stories about Gunderson and how he set himself as a beneficiary in the wills and trusts his law firm prepared for his clients.

Gunderson eluded disbarment by resigning.

But while the Legg and Gunderson cases are among the most egregious of my recent recollection, what about more recent instances of law firms as well as guardians who think nothing of gorging at the trough running up astronomically questionable fees at the expense of a vulnerable elderly client?

So its not just private and public fiduciaries as well as family members and friends that need monitoring. Lawyers can also engage in predation. The reforms must be comprehensive.

There are no shortage of stakeholders among elder advocates who have ideas on how to improve the system. One is, The National Association to Stop Guardianship Abuse...

Full Article and Source:
Reforms Still Needed. One Group's Prescription

See Also:
"An Open Letter to Congress and the White House"

Editorial: Catching Rogue Judges

Did the state's judicial watchdog agency leave hundreds of kids in jeopardy in the Luzerne County kids-for-cash scandal? And could the panel allow rogue judges to remain in power during the next scandal?

In the aftermath of the Luzerne County judicial debacle, the investigative policies of the state Judicial Conduct Board are coming under some well-warranted scrutiny.

The board's job is to prosecute rogue judges before the state's Court of Judicial Discipline, which can then recommend their discipline, including even removal from the bench.

Last week, the state's preeminent court-reform advocacy group - Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts - called on the Judicial Conduct Board to change its go-slow policy with regard to acting on certain judicial allegations.

PMC rightly challenged a Judicial Conduct Board policy under which the panel defers its own probe to an ongoing outside criminal investigation. The board says its policy is designed to assure that its inquiry doesn't derail possible criminal charges. The board reaffirmed its policy this month.

By deferring action on a 2006 tip it received about judicial corruption in the Luzerne County court, though, the Judicial Conduct Board, if nothing else, passed up a chance to come to the aid sooner of hundreds of children railroaded in an alleged $2.8 million racketeering scam run by two former judges.

Citizens watching the Luzerne County case unfold - and wondering where the next judicial scandal will emerge - have every right to demand that authorities move quickly when a sitting judge is perverting the cause of justice.

Full Editorialand Source:
Editorial: Catching Rogue Judges

Ex-Judge Resigns Law License to Avoid Discipline

A former St. Bernard Parish judge who pleaded guilty in a bribery scheme has permanently resigned his law license rather than face judicial discipline, the Louisiana Supreme Court said.

Its order said Wayne G. Cresap had asked the state Office of Disciplinary Counsel to let him do so, and the office backed his request.

Cresap resigned from the St. Bernard Parish bench in October, when he and attorneys Victor Dauterive and Nunzio Salvadore Cusimano pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Prosecutors said they took a total of up to $150,000 in kickbacks disguised as attorneys' fees to let nearly 100 inmates out of jail without paying bond.

Full Article and Source:
Ex-Judge Who Admitted Bribery Resigns Law License

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

CT: Proposed Bill to Hold Nursing Home Criminally Responsible for Abuse and Neglect

State Sen. Edith Prague said she will re-introduce a bill this year that would make it easier to hold the owners of nursing homes criminally responsible for abuse and neglect of patients in their facilities.

“You can’t sue the state, but the nursing home owners who cut back on staffing I feel should be held responsible,” she said. The bill passed the state Senate last year, but died in the House.

Prague said a public hearing will be held in front of the Select Committee on Aging on Feb. 16 in the Legislative Office Building in Hartford. The time and room have not been set yet.

Prague’s bill would require the Department of Public Health to include a notice in nursing home applications telling owners they could be held criminally accountable for abuse and neglect of residents by their employees.

Godialis said one issue is that many nursing homes in Connecticut are owned by people who live outside the state and believe they can’t be responsible for neglect if they don’t see it or participate in it.

Full Article and Source:
Bill Would Hole Nursing Home Owners Criminally Responsible for Abuse, Neglect

Pauly Shore Sues Brother for Undue Influence

One of Hollywood's most famous entertainment spots has sparked what may be a very bitter and ugly family fight in court.

Comedian Pauly Shore filed a lawsuit claiming that his brother, Peter Shore, has been using unscrupulous behavior and committing undue influence over their 79-year old mother, Mitzi Shore. Mitzi suffers from Parkinson's disease and other neurological problems. Reportedly, she's been in the care of Peter (Pauly's older brother), but Pauly has grown increasingly concerned for her well-being, according to his lawsuit filed earlier this month in the Los Angeles Superior Court.

Pauly asked Peter to turn over about three years worth of tax returns and financial records, to which Peter responded by hiring an attorney and firing Pauly from the Board of Directors. Pauly then brought the undue influence lawsuit, claiming that Peter accomplished this by taking advantage of their infirm mother. Pauly points to a letter sent to Peter from last summer, written by Mitzi's attorneys, that raised concerns about how Mitzi was being treated and her financial security.

It's interesting that Pauly took this legal path rather than filing for conservatorship (or guardianship as it is called in many states). The heirs of Brooke Astor, Peter Falk, and many others used this route when they became concerned of undue influence over their famous relatives. Protective proceedings such as guardianships and conservatorships are supposed to help elderly and vulnerable adults who are at risk of exploitation, undue influence, neglect, or otherwise need help making decisions.

Proving undue influence is never easy. Pauly's attorneys will have to show that Peter abused his position of trust and confidence with his mother and took advantage of her.

It's too bad when family squabbles over money turn into lawsuits like this one; they happen far too frequently to rich and modest families alike. But at least stories like this one can teach other families how not to end up the same way.

Full Article and Source:
Pauly Shore Sues Brother for Undue Influence

In-Home Supportive Services Probe Yields 19 Felony Cases

A task force established to ferret out fraud in Sacramento County's extensive network of In-Home Supportive Services has turned up 19 felony cases in its first four months, according to the District Attorney's Office.

Those cases account for an alleged $315,000 in overpayments among 42,000 caregivers and clients.

"We believe as long as IHSS is in existence, there will always be fraud," said Assistant Chief Deputy District Attorney Laura Green, who's in charge of the district attorney's Stop Target Offenders Program unit, which includes the multiagency task force.

A grand jury report last summer found that along with costs and enrollment increasing, fraud was growing in the county's IHSS program, which helps the disabled and frail elderly continue living independently in their own homes. The Governor's Office has claimed a 25 percent statewide fraud rate in IHSS.

Full Article and Source:
Sacramento County Probe of In-Home Care Turns up 19 Felony Cases

Foster Care Operators Charged With Theft

A Medford couple who operate a foster care home are in jail for allegedly pressuring an elderly woman to pay more than $100,000 for odd jobs done over 15 months, Medford police said.

Mineretta Logoipule Viliamu, 35, and her husband, Saolotoga Viliamu, 41, have been lodged in the Jackson County Jail on a numerous theft and criminal mistreatment charges.

Mineretta Viliamu is a licensed foster care provider and the couple operated a foster home at their house. The victim of this alleged theft lived in her own home, however, and occasionally got help from the Viliamus, police said in a news release.

Police got a report early this month of possible financial exploitation of an elderly Medford woman by the Viliamus, Detective Sgt. Scott Clauson said. A detective from the Medford Police Department's financial investigation section determined that the woman, a widow, had paid the Viliamus more than $100,000 over the last 15 months for a variety of odd jobs around her house. She told the detective that the pair, who had helped care for her husband before he died, had pressured her to pay large sums of money for small jobs. Clauson said that in December alone, she paid the pair $19,000.

Full Article and Source:
Medford Foster Care Providers Stole $100,000+, Police Say

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Woman Attempting to Recover Funds

An 88-year-old lady left destitute, a big chunk of her life savings sucked dry by people who were supposed to protect her, may yet get some of her money back.

Brian Theut, the guardian ad litem appointed to look out for Marie Long, has asked a judge to order Phoenix attorney Brenda Church to return half of the $110,000 that her law firms collected from Marie's trust between 2005 and 2008. Church was the attorney for Marie's niece, Genevieve Olen, who oversaw Marie's money until late last year, when there wasn't anything left to oversee.

Meanwhile, Church has filed paperwork seeking court approval of another $233,000, money she (or rather her law firm, Frazer, Ryan, Goldberg & Arnold) collected from Marie's dwindling account in 2009. In her court filing, Church says the old lady still owes the firm another $1,625, money it wants should any assets turn up.

It'll be up to recently retired Superior Court Commissioner Lindsay Ellis to decide whether Marie will get any of her money back. Now would be a very good time. Though she's broke, Marie has so far not been accepted into the state's long-term care program for the poor. Her nursing home hasn't been paid in several months, raising fears that she could be evicted soon, if something doesn't give.

While Ellis ponders the requests, Marie's newly appointed guardian is readying a federal racketeering lawsuit against Church, Olen, Theut, the Sun Valley Group and a host of others, alleging among other things that they breached their fiduciary duty to Marie. All the parties named have denied any wrongdoing.

By now you know the story of Marie Long. In 2005, she was worth $1.3 million. After a stroke that year left her incapacitated, her niece assumed control of her trust. By late last year, Marie's money was gone, much of it gobbled up by lawyer fees and guardian fees.

Marie's court-appointed attorney, Jon Kitchel, tried to sound to alarm in November 2008, asking Ellis to stop the hemoraging. Sadly, Ellis didn't and now Marie must live out her years on the taxpayers' dime – assuming we still have one.

Full Article and Source:
Could Old Lady Get Some of Her Money Back?

NM Judge Suspended for Two Months Without Pay

When Gov. Bill Richardson appointed Joseph Guillory to the Doña Ana County Magistrate Court in 2006, he said Guillory’s “strong law enforcement background will serve him well.”

Guillory, a retired law-enforcement officer, is now serving a 60-day suspension without pay, which will be followed by a 12-month, supervised probationary period during which he will receive training in his “obligations and responsibilities” under the state’s Code of Judicial Conduct.

Full Article, Source and Details of Filing by Judicial Standards Commission:
Judge Suspended for Two Months Without Pay

Former Colorado Businessman Pleads Guilty

The former president of Boulder-based used-car business CarFind USA could spend up to nine years in prison after pleading guilty to convincing a 79-year-old employee to loan him more than $300,000 for car payments, vacations and real estate purchases.

Larry J. Abrams, 47, was scheduled to go to trial on felony charges of theft of an at-risk adult, but he instead pleaded guilty in Boulder County District Court to felony theft and criminal attempt to commit theft.

He's scheduled to be sentenced April 30 to anywhere from probation to nine years in prison, and he must pay back as much as $403,700 to Dorothy Mannes.

"We want to encourage Mr. Abrams to pay back as much as possible before the sentencing," Deputy District Attorney Michael Foote told the judge Wednesday. "Our sentencing recommendation will depend on how much he pays back."

Full Article and Source:
Boulder Businessman Could Go to Prison for Bilking Elderly Employee

NY Law Firms Concerned About PoA Changes

Dozens of prominent New York law firms are warning that a new state power-of-attorney statute designed to discourage fraud in elder law and estate planning could create "unnecessary confusion and disruption" in several well-established areas of commercial transactions.

The firms argue in a recently released analysis that the statute's provisions for executing a power of attorney form for elder care purposes do not apply to the creation of valid proxies for the voting of shares of stock held by investors of New York corporations and non-New York corporations.

But they say that misinterpretations could occur if the new law is read "in isolation."

The statute, in the form of amendments to New York General Obligations Law §§5-1501, requires, in part, the use of a longer, more detailed power of attorney forms for those designating relatives or other agents to make decisions about the disposition of their property if the principals are not able to make the decisions themselves.

Advocates of the change said many older people needed more information about the power-of-attorney process and the rights they were potentially signing away to reduce the risks of abuse or fraud in the elder care and financial planning process.

The new form requires notarization of signatures of an agent or agents being designated as having power of attorney.

The short form for designating power of attorney in effect before Sept. 1 did not require notarization.

Full Article and Source:
N.Y. Law Firms Sound Alarm About Power-of-Attorney Changes

Monday, January 25, 2010

Florida Man Fighting Against Guardianship Attempt

Sixty-four-year-old Stewart Rosenkrantz landed in a wheelchair decades ago, after a car accident, but he hasn't let that stop him from enjoying life. His still pictures are so special he's sold them. His money management is so good he owns his home and doesn't owe anybody anything.

Edward Dinna, Attorney: "Mr. Rosenkrantz is the only fellow I know that doesn't have a debt."

Attorney Edward Dinna represents Stewart. They're fighting a move by a family member that could cost Stewart control over his life and his finances. It started with this, a petition filed in Broward County that claims Stewart is being unduly influenced by his roommate. A claim Stewart and his attorney deny. Edward Dinna: "Not only are they trying to appoint a temporary guardian, but they're trying to serve subpoenas on all his banking and financial institutions to find out just how wealthy or not he is."

Three court appointed members of a committee met with Stewart and he can own a gun, he can drive his van, but he can't manage his property. He says it's all about getting control of his money.

Full Article, Video, and Source:
Carmel on the Case: Guardians

AG Edmund Brown Recovers College Scholarship Funds Raided by Trustee

Mendocino, Calif-Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. announced a settlement with James L. Harrison, 62, of Ukiah, after he “looted college scholarship funds” from a Trust intended to benefit female graduates of Ukiah High School pursuing careers in medicine.

Brown’s office, working with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the California Department of Financial Institutions, recovered both the principal and the interest-totaling over $650,000-owed to the Trust. In the settlement, Harrison agreed to a lifetime ban from serving as a charitable trustee or officer of a public benefit corporation.

“Harrison looted college scholarship funds intended to help women graduating from high school achieve their dreams,” Brown said. “Today’s agreement makes sure that he is never in a position to steal from a non-profit again.”

Full Article and Source:
Brown Recovers College Scholarship Funds Raided by Trustee

Caretakers Will Go to Trial

Two women have been ordered to stand trial on charges they stole almost $11,000 from an 83-year-old blind woman.

Patricia Christopher, 29, and Nicole Brautigam, 26, waived their right to preliminary hearings on theft and related charges Tuesday.

The women have pleaded not guilty to draining the victim's bank account instead of using it to pay her rent and personal needs.

Police began investigating when they received complaints about dogs in the home in November and found squalid conditions, including a broken water pipe, exposed wires, damaged heaters and open garbage bags.

Full Article and Source:
Caretakers of Blind Woman, 83, Will Go to Trial

Accused of Bilking Nursing Home Resident

A 37-year-old Alhambra woman was charged Tuesday with financial exploitation of an elderly person.

Meredith A. Sharp was charged with the felony count in Madison County Circuit Court.

Officials with the Madison County Sheriff's Department said it took a report involving Sharp last Dec. 17. A representative from Hitz Memorial Home, 201 Belle St., in Alhambra, contacted the Sheriff's Department. The person making the report said Sharp had been employed at the home, and officials there suspected she may have been committing fraud against one of its residents. Sharp no longer was employed at the home, the person making the report said.

A detective with the Sheriff's Department took the investigation and looked into other accounts belonging to the resident. The investigation determined that Sharp forged a signature of the resident to remove money from at least two different bank accounts belonging to the victim. The total amount allegedly taken under fraudulent circumstances totals more than $16,000. The investigation into Sharp's activities at Hitz Memorial Home is outgoing.

Bond was set at $75,000.

Full Article and Source:
Alhambra Woman Accused of Bilking Nursing Home Resident

Sunday, January 24, 2010

"Court-Ordered Hell"

Danny Tate wasn't in court in early December to plead for the return of his constitutional rights. He couldn't be — not unless he wanted to be handcuffed and thrown into a lockdown psychiatric ward at Vanderbilt University Medical Center a third time, or shipped to some out-of-state in-patient rehab.

That's what he thought his estranged brother, David, seemed to have in mind. If that happened, Tate, a divorcee, could lose all custody of his two young daughters.

So instead of appearing in court as his fate was hashed out by opposing attorneys — both of whom, in a bizarre legal quirk, were clocking hours on his dime — Tate was at the Adventure Science Center with his little girl.

It had been a little more than two years since Tate's brother had petitioned the court for a conservatorship over him. This legal arrangement — in which the court declares someone incapacitated and a ward of the court after being presented with "clear and convincing evidence" — is akin to civil death. The ward loses control of his finances, his property, even his ability to enter into legally binding contracts.

The conservatorship allowed David to seize control of every aspect of his brother's life, from the royalty money he earns from album cuts, to the equipment at the studio where he composes talk show jingles, down to his cell phone, his car and his email account. Legally, Tate became a ghost.

How this hearing actually came about, though, is a mystery. There was no motion to set a hearing, according to court records. No process served to Tate. No police reports demanding urgent action. No one seemed to know anything about it except for Tate's brother and his attorney, Paul Housch.

And yet Judge Kennedy — with no evidence before him but David Tate's say-so, and with no notice or due process given to Tate himself so that he might contest the petition — allowed David to freeze Tate's assets in an ex parte "emergency" hearing, filings indicate. In the rap of a gavel, the ruling effectively removed every citizen's right Tate previously enjoyed.

Full Article and Source:
Court-Ordered Hell- How an Errant Judge and a Controlling Sibling Stripped Nashville Rocker Danny Tate of His Money, His Livelihood and His Legal Rights

Sentenced to Prison

Cindy Laws volunteered during much of her adult life, but she was placed into a prison program after taking money from elderly clients that she was entrusted to protect.

Laws, 48, was charged in March 2009 with felony abuse or neglect of a vulnerable adult for allegedly stealing from a 93-year-old client whom she was assigned to help by the Twin Falls County Board of Community Guardians.

On Tuesday at her sentencing hearing in Twin Falls, Laws apologized to county commissioners. The board of guardians had dissolved after her arrest.

Judge G. Richard Bevan explained this was a cost to the community, and sentenced Laws to a 180-day retained jurisdiction prison program, followed by a potential two- to six-year term of incarceration.

Laws filed an Alford plea, which in itself is not an admission of guilt. Her lawyer, George Essma, argued for probation, saying Laws was humiliated by the case and media coverage served as punishment for her.

Bevan explained that Laws has done “so many good things” in her life, but this crime, he said, has “tainted your reputation.”

Full Article and Source:
Laws Imprisoned for Stealing From Elderly

See Also:
Guardians Back in Business Soon

Ex-Pennsylvania Lawyer Charged With Theft

A former Delaware County lawyer who once admitted ripping off disabled veterans has been charged again for stealing money from his clients.

George Guyer Young III, 47, was charged with stealing funds that were due clients.

District Attorney G. Michael Green announced Young was charged with 20 counts of theft by failure to make required disposition of funds received, 20 counts of theft by unlawful taking or disposition, and 20 counts of receiving stolen property.

The charges stem from incidents that occurred between November 2005 through March 2007 in which authorities allege Young was pocketing money that was rightfully owed to his clients.

Full Article and Source:
Ex-Delco Lawyer Charged With Theft

Britney - Still Conserved

Britney Spears is getting rid of a few things. Her conservatorship isn't one of them.

Despite speculation that the 28-year-old pop star was heading to court Friday to get the ball rolling on ending her father's control over her financial and medical affairs, E! News has learned that such was not the case.

Instead, money—both to give and receive—was the order of the day.

At the request of Geraldine Wyle, attorney for the conservatorship, L.A. Superior Court Commissioner Reva Goetz agreed to seal today's proceedings because of the "medical and personal information" being discussed.

Following afternoon recess, Goetz signed off on the conservators' request regarding "the disposal of certain property" and their desire to auction off a dress Britney wore to the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards to benefit Haiti earthquake relief.

Full Article and Source:
Britney "Perfectly Satisfied" After Hearing Doesn't Free Her From Conservatorship

See Also:
Next Hearing For Britney Will Be Jan. 14