Saturday, March 23, 2013

Brooklyn Woman, 74, Suffering From Alzheimer's, Unable to Physically Sign Name, Denied NYCHA Benefit to Pay Rent

A 74-year-old Brooklyn woman suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and unable to sign paperwork has been threatened with the termination of a rent subsidy by heartless bureaucrats at the city Housing Authority, a lawsuit says.

Legal advocates for Luz Ortega have filed suit in Brooklyn Federal Court to stop the madness that could result in the elderly woman losing the apartment she’s lived in for 15 years.

“If she loses the benefits, she can’t pay for the apartment on her own,” lawyer Rebekah Diller of the Benjamin Cardozo Law School told the Daily News.

Ortega receives a federal Section 8 subsidy that covers more than half the rent for her flat in a private building in Sunset Park.

Under the aid program, which is administered by NYCHA, Ortega is required to sign an income verification form that gives the city agency permission to perform a search of Social Security records.

But Ortega’s mental and physical condition has dramatically worsened in the past year and she is no longer able to sign her name, according to the suit.

Ortega’s daughter Ada Aviles signed the verification form for her mother, but a NYCHA caseworker noticed the signature was different from the documents Ortega signed in the past. Aviles is her mother’s principal caregiver, cooking her meals, bathing her and shopping and cleaning for her mother, the suit says.

Full Article and Source:
Brooklyn Woman, 74, Suffering From Alzheimer's, Unable to Physically Sign Name, Denied NYCHA Benefit to Pay Rent

TN Couple Reportedly Exploited Elderly Residents

Two Jonesborough residents, one named as the caregiver of two elderly people, were arrested Thursday on exploitation charges after they alledgedly wrote checks without permission from both victims’ bank accounts to themselves and withdrew large amounts of money daily from local ATMs, according to a restraining order filed in court.

After a four-month Johnson City police investigation with assistance from Tennessee Adult Protective Services and the 1st Judicial District Attorney General’s Office, Jama Curtis, 39, and Tony Curtis, 40, both of Jonesborough, were indicted by a Washington County grand jury, a police news release said.

Jama Curtis was acting as the caregiver of a non-married couple, Ben A. Roberts, 85, and Billie Godwin, 82, according to Assistant District Attorney General Erin McArdle.

Jama Curtis was power of attorney for Roberts on July 13, 2012, to assist him and provide for his medical care and well-being, as he had been diagnosed with dementia.

According to McArdle, who filed the restraining order against the Curtises, from Sept. 20 to Nov. 9, Jama Curtis started withdrawing up to $1,000 daily from ATM machines in both Jonesborough and Johnson City from Roberts’ account. The total amount she withdrew is estimated at $47,014.

Full Article and Source:
Jonesborough Couple Reportedly Exploited Elderly Residents

Alleged Fraudster Charged With Bilking the Elderly

A 62-year-old man accused of bilking several people out of more than $70,000 with stories ranging from his wife’s miscarriage to a legally entangled inheritance pleaded not guilty to 13 felonies.
Prosecutors say James Keeton gained the trust of the victims, ages 51 to 88, before gaining their money. He met them through the San Mateo Horseman’s Association and St. Pius Parish in Redwood City ultimately sought personal loans between $3,000 and $23,650. He reportedly claimed his wife had recently miscarried twins and their home was at risk of foreclosure but that that they could repay the money with a pending large inheritance tied up in litigation in New York. Keeton took the loans but never repaid the money, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

The total amount taken from all the alleged victims is $73,650.

Full Article and Source:
Alleged Fraudster Charged With Bilking the Elderly

Friday, March 22, 2013

Disbarred Attorney Will Serve One Year in Prison for Stealing Nearly $900,000

A disbarred Bedford attorney who stole nearly $900,000 from several people, including an 85-year-old client, will pay restitution to her victims, serve one year in a house of correction, and an additional year-and-a-half under house arrest, prosecutors said today.

Maureen F. Pomeroy, 46, was sentenced in Middlesex Superior Court Monday, after she pleaded guilty March 4 to two counts of larceny from a person over 60, one count of larceny, and one count of embezzlement by fiduciary, Attorney General Martha Coakley said in a statement. Pomeroy was accused of stealing from two clients and one of their sons.

“This defendant took advantage of clients who entrusted her with access to their funds and believed that she would assist them with their best interests in mind. ... This defendant is being held accountable for these injustices and is no longer able to practice law,” Coakley said.

Pomeroy will be required to pay $277,292 in restitution to her victims, the statement said.
Coakley’s office said that during the summer of 2008, Pomeroy stole more than $810,000 from an 85-year-old man who had hired her to draft his will, estate planning documents, and assist him with several bank accounts.

Pomeroy embezzled some of that money for personal gain and used the rest to repay two other people whom she had previously misappropriated money from, the statement said.

Full Article & Source:
Disbarred attorney will serve one year in prison for stealing nearly $900,000

Steubenville Lawyer Will Appeal, Says Client’s ‘Brain Isn’t Fully Developed’

One day after his client, 16-year-old Ma'lik Richmond, was convicted by an Ohio judge of raping an incapacitated girl, attorney Walter Madison said on CNN's Piers Morgan Live that he plans to appeal the verdict and that Richmond should not have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

"I don't believe he should have to register as a sex offender until he dies. ... I don't believe that a person, at 75 years old, should have to explain for something they did at 16 when scientific evidence would support your brain isn't fully developed," said Madison, "when the evidence in the case would suggest you were under the influence."

Since briefly making his case last night, many people have been quick to mock Madison. Piers Morgan himself told the lawyer, "I've got 3 teenage sons and when you get to 16, 17, your brain's developed enough to know you shouldn't be raping girls."

Morgan's sons aside, Madison's brain-development complaints are not so outlandish when one considers that the Supreme Court abolished the death penalty for juvenile offenders in 2005 for a similar reason. After hearing from numerous medical practitioners who stated that young criminals' mental capacities are not yet matured, the court struck down juvenile executions, stating in its opinion "it would be misguided to equate the failings of a minor with those of an adult, for a greater possibility exists that a minor's character deficiencies will be reformed."

Full Article & Source:
Steubenville Lawyer Will Appeal, Says Client’s ‘Brain Isn’t Fully Developed’

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Hollywood Couple Found Guilty of Elderly Exploitation

A former Hollywood stockbroker and her financial-planner husband were convicted on Tuesday of tricking a 94-year-old woman with dementia into signing over her $10 million estate, according to the Broward State Attorney's Office.

Cynthia Franke, 51, and Tyrone Javellana, 47, were found guilty of financial exploitation of an elderly person after two hours of jury deliberation, prosecutors said.

They were accused of befriending Josephine Troisi and her since-deceased sister Mary Teris and then becoming their financial advisors.

Experts testified Troisi lacked the capacity to make sound decisions when Franke took her to an attorney to change her will and her trust in 2009.

Troisi's son uncovered the exploitation and investigators found several transfers of between $400 and $32,000 from the sisters to Franke and Javellana, police said.

Franke and Javellana face up to 30 years in prison for the first-degree felony conviction. Their sentencing is scheduled for April 19. Javellana also faces another charge of exploiting Teris, prosecutors said.

Hollywood Couple Found Guilty of Elderly Exploitation

Woman Charged With Stealing $423K From Elderly Uncle

A woman is in jail after allegedly stealing more than $420,000 from her 96-year-old uncle while he suffered from Alzheimer's and dementia.

The Pierce County Prosecutor's Office charged Betsey Cammon, 54, with 34 counts of theft, a crime she initially blamed on threats and extortion from an unknown person.

According to the Prosecutor's Office, Cammon was given power of attorney for her uncle in 1998. But, that would only go into effect once he was no longer able to make his own decisions regarding his financial affairs.

In May 2007, Cammon was added to her uncle's bank accounts. He was admitted to a nursing home two years later.

In March 2009, Cammon's power of attorney was finally activated when a doctor found her uncle could no longer manage his affairs. At that point, Cammon had already withdrawn nearly $200,000 from his bank accounts, according to the Prosecutor's Office.

Cammon failed to pay her uncle's nursing home bill in 2010. Rainier Guardianship Services took over guardianship of Cammon's uncle in May of that year and needed to liquidate his assets to pay his living expenses because his accounts had been almost completed depleted, according to the Prosecutor's Office.

Cammon's uncle died four months later, and his nephew was appointed as his personal representative, finding a number of discrepancies in his uncle's accounts.

Full Article and Source:
Woman Charged With Stealing $423,000 From Elderly Uncle

LA County Probate Courts Reorganized

Starting next month, new Los Angeles Superior Court probate cases will be filed in one central courthouse, instead of multiple district locations throughout the county.
Currently, there are 10 courthouses that hear probate cases.

On April 8, new cases concerning wills, trusts, estates, guardianships and conservatorships will be filed in Room 429 in the Stanley Mosk Courthouse, 111 N. Hill St. in Los Angeles, according to a news release earlier this month.

For a short time, between April 8 and June 10, district courthouses will continue to hear cases already set for hearing, said Mary Hearn, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Superior Court. But on June 10 all remaining adjudicated cases will be transferred to the Stanley Mosk Courthouse.

The Antelope Valley Courthouse, in the North District, is the only facility that will not be impacted by change.

There is one accommodation the court plans to make regarding the transferred guardianship and conservatorship cases.

"If there is some overriding hardship that prevents parties in those cases from traveling to the Stanley Mosk Courthouse, the court will consider hearing the case at an outlying location," Hearn said. "The reason is that conservatorship and guardianship cases frequently involve people with some kind of physical or mental disability that make traveling that distance especially difficult."

"They can make a motion to the court to have the matter heard in a location closer to where they reside."

The consolidation is part of an effort to save between $55 million and $85 million in the 2013-14 fiscal year.

Full Article and Source:
LA County Probate Cases Reorganized

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Beware Of Predatory Elder Law And Probate Lawyers

Few would allege that elder law and/or probate attorneys are completely unnecessary but due to causes as simple as greed and as scandalous as often times complete disregard of the Constitution in local and county probate courts, many predatory elder law and probate attorneys have begun unconscionably enriching themselves at the expense of their clients and everyone else involved, however, innocent their involvement. Abuses have become commonplace enough, one should “Beware Of Predatory Elder Law And Probate Lawyers.” A cottage industry of predatory elder law and probate attorneys make their primary incomes “living off the land,” by attaching their fees, which are often out of control, to the estates and assets whenever there is some controversy among families that causes one family member or another to “lawyer up.”

Unfortunately I have twice been victimized in such situations and I am certain that thousands, if not millions, more Americans have had similar experiences. My first experience involved the estate of my second ex-wife’s father. He had intended to give his estate, which included property in Oklahoma with at least one oil well on it, equally to his three children. He had set up a trust, but had appointed the wife of a cousin as the Trustee of the estate. The Trustee was not to be trusted and in addition to rifling through my ex’s father’s safety deposit boxes and emptying his bank accounts using a power of attorney after his death, employed the services of an attorney to keep the family at bay. The ploy was successful but resulted in the attorney selling the property in Oklahoma and using most of the proceeds to pay his own fees, giving a crumb of just $1000 or so to the Trustee.

Full Article & Source:
Beware Of Predatory Elder Law And Probate Lawyers

Eighth Annual "Terri's Day"

The Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network is delighted to announce that Archbishop Charles Chaput, Archbishop of the Diocese of Philadelphia, will celebrate "The National Memorial Mass for Terri's Day."

The International Day of Prayer and Remembrance for Terri Schindler Schiavo, and All of Our Vulnerable Brothers and Sisters ("Terri's Day") was established in 2007 and is observed each year on or around March 31st, the date of Terri's death.

The purpose of this day is to foster education, prayer, and activism regarding discrimination against the cognitively disabled, and advocacy for people in situations similar to what Terri and her family faced.

Full Article and Source:
Archbishop Chaput to Celebrate National Mass for Eighth Anniversary of Terri Schiavo's Death

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Yucaipa woman, 101, battling for home over handwritten deed

YUCAIPA - Lois Risse, 101, stands hunched over in her front yard, attacking weeds and dandelions with a hoe.

Then she bends at the waist, picks up the plants and places them in a cardboard box beside her metal walker. As she progresses west across the yard, she hooks the box with the garden tool and pulls it closer to her, straying farther and farther from her walker.

The only help she allows from her caregiver is emptying the contents of the box into a garbage bin, and bringing her walker over when it is time to go inside - into a house she no longer owns.

Risse, her neighbors and legal representatives say many people have taken advantage of the petite woman with bright blue eyes since the passing of her husband, William Risse, on Sept. 18, 1982.

"It's hard to believe there are such thieves," Risse said.

In January 1983, four months after her husband died, Risse sold the couple's ranch-style home in southeast Yucaipa via a handwritten deed. Cursive writing chronicles the sale: $60,000 for the home and $4,500 for its contents to a family friend, Glenn Neff.

Two years later, in January 1985, another paragraph was added to the deed. It said Neff paid in full with ownership to be recorded upon Risse's death. It was signed again by Risse and Neff on Jan. 1, 1985, then notarized on March 29, 1985.

Neither party can produce receipts of payment.

"He never paid me a dime," Risse said Thursday while sitting on a backless chair inside the home.

Neff had been friends with William and Lois Risse since the 1960s. Now 72, he lives nearly 400 miles from Risse in Walker, southeast of Lake Tahoe.

Risse gave him two years to pay off the house, he said in a phone interview.

"When I bought the house from Lois, I would pay her cash," Neff said. "She kept track of everything. I just sold a piece of property so I could have paid her (in full). I paid her something each month until it was paid off in two years."

He also said he orally agreed to let Risse remain in the Yucaipa home until her death, as long as she paid the taxes, utilities and insurance.

"I told Lois - and it's not on paper - but I told Lois she could live in that house as long as she wanted," Neff said.

On Wednesday night, Neff said he still plans to continue to stick to that statement, even though he broke an agreement written in the deed not to record it until after her death.

Full Article & Source:
Yucaipa woman, 101, battling for home over handwritten deed

Petition: Stop Human Trafficking of the Elderly

Many people don't know that there is an entire court system whose job it is to remove elder civil rights. Anyone can apply for guardianship over an "incapacitated" adult, and many guardians have no qualifications. Background checks aren't often performed.

The guardian has complete control over everything in the elder's life, including choice of visitors, medications, living situations. All of the elders assets are now in their control. Wills, health directives, trusts, and power of attorney established before incapacitation are routinely ignored or changed.


Attorney: Bencivengo’s depression incapacitated him

TRENTON — “The depression made him do it,” was the mitigating circumstance former Hamilton Township Mayor Bencivengo’s defense attorney offered, in the hopes of reducing the disgraced leader’s sentencing at a hearing held on Wednesday.

Defense lawyer, Jerome Ballarotto, initiated an importune examination of a criminal forensic psychologist, whose research into Bencivengo’s psyche deduced that the mayor was clinically depressed years before and severely depressed during his reign at the head of the township. “He was so severely depressed he was distracted and could not comprehend the ramifications of his actions,” said Criminal Forensic Psychologist Dr. Gerard Cooke while on the stand during the sentencing hearing.
The fallen politician, who was found guilty in November of accepting $12,400 worth of bribes in exchange for his official influence, was painted by his attorney as a victim who suffered from a debilitating disease.
According to the doctor’s testimony, Bencivengo was diagnosed by his primary care physician, in 2001, as depressed. His deep despair and symptoms worsened when he began to incur marital problems with his wife of over 30 years. The depression became even more severe when he began dating and then consequently broke up with a woman 30 years his junior.

Full Article & Source:
Attorney: Bencivengo’s depression incapacitated him

Monday, March 18, 2013

How a £5m, 3,000-acre estate fell into ruin after American heir refused to inherit property for 40 years because he didn't want to pay death tax

John Paget Figg-Hoblyn
John Westropp Figg-Hoblyn
A vast British estate that had fallen into ruin after its American heir refused to claim the land can finally be divided among relatives after 80 years of legal wrangling.

The Hoblyn estate in Cornwall, with its enormous manor house set in 3,000 acres of lush English countryside worth $7.5million, has been inherited by two elderly sisters in California.

However the women's cousin and next male heir - the only person who wanted to restore the estate to its former glory - has been left with a vastly reduced sum because of a change to the century-old will.

The estate, with its 19th-century Fir Hill manor house, belonged to the Figg-Hoblyn family who first moved to the property in 1856.

Full Article & Source:
How a £5m, 3,000-acre estate fell into ruin after American heir refused to inherit property for 40 years because he didn't want to pay death tax

See Also:
John Figg-Hoblyn

Poor People

Remember Gary Harvey in your prayers & thoughts today!

Governor Christie Ignores Complaints against Judge McVeigh


POB 001

Dear Governor Christie,

I am writing to you once again about a New Jersey Judge, Margaret Mary McVeigh, JSC, who serves as a Chancery court Judge. 71 Hamilton St., Paterson, New Jersey.

I have written to the Judicial Review Division of the court, Chief Judge Volkert in Patterson and Chief Judge Rabner in Trenton, New Jersey. I have also published rather extensively and provided specific details related to the pattern of corruption via the plundering of estates of litigants brought to probate by a consistent series of lawyers - Joseph Mecca, Esq., lawyers from the Hunziker firm in Wayne, New Jersey and others, named in my published articles.

The same protocol is consistently employed. An estate brought to probate, viewed by the Judge and the appointed trustees of the estate are removed, replaced by the same cast of characters drafted by the judge, family members are removed from contact with the recipient of an estate via restraining order. All key participants/family members who have been named as recipients of the estate are removed, replaced by McVeigh appointees who are then paid by the estate until the estate is totally denuded. The individual for whom the estate was meant to support and protect is invariably left homeless, penniless, sent to a nursing home or group home in the case of a physically impaired youth. The original estate owner is always declared to be mentally incompetent by the court appointed medical minions - or the judge herself - and the subject's physicians are removed from ministering to their patient who is then isolated from all sources of chosen support, left to the voracious appetites of the court and court appointed minions who devour the proceeds of the estate, time and time again.

Full Article & Source:
Governor Christie Ignores Complaints against Judge McVeigh

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Tonight on T.S. Radio: Elder Abuse: NM Passes "Baker Act"

Join us this evening as Leonie Rosenstiel returns to up date us on the passage of New Mexico’s version of the “Baker Act”.

This law in tandem with the new DSM 5, will enable the labeling of any individual as “mentally ill”. The DSM 5 contains 292 fictional mental disorders for which there is no medical test, no science, and no evidence that the disorders exists other than they said so.

This bill will be used to target, incarcerate and hold hostage elderly individuals with assets. The holding period will be used to create what most likely will be fictional disorders that will allow the granting of predatory guardianships and will open the doors to the looting of the estate. All to benefit the ward, of course.

B 271
Sponsor: Mary Kay Papen
This bill will facilitate the theft of estates, especially to those who are elderly w/assets, in New Mexico. The bill gives blanket access to estates via the labeling as mentally ill, those who own the estates.

5:00 PST … 6:00 MST … 7:00 CST … 8:00 EST

LISTEN LIVE or listen to the archive later

Denying suffrage to wards said ‘excessive’

Even though Japan’s adult guardianship system may be necessary to protect the assets of those who need additional attention due to their mental state, stripping them of their suffrage is an excessive infringement of rights that goes against international trends, experts said.

Thursday’s ruling that the Public Office Election Law takes away the voting rights of the disabled and the elderly with dementia is “unconstitutional” cast the spotlight on the fact Japan lags behind the global community in protecting the rights of those with certain disabilities.

The guardianship scheme was first introduced in 2000 to help people with cognitive disabilities manage their assets. It replaced a system dating from the Meiji Era that prevented those declared incompetent from having control over their own property and was often criticized as discriminatory because details of their disability was officially entered into the family registry.

Makoto Arai, a professor at Chuo University and president of the Japan Adult Guardianship Law Association, welcomed the ruling, but at the same time criticized the current system for being “behind the times.”

“Times have changed since the Meiji Era, when the old system was established, and (the adult guardianship system) was created with a new principle to respect the elderly and the disabled (to allow them) to make decisions by themselves and to create a society in which they can live normal lives,” Arai said.

Full Article & Source:
Denying suffrage to wards said ‘excessive’

"The Ultimate Ponzi"

Every region of the country has its Ponzi villain, but it's hard to imagine another who could match Fort Lauderdale's pugnacious despot Scott Rothstein for the audacity of his $1.4 billion crime against friends, neighbors, co-workers and good taste.

A web of tragedies that might give both Shakespeare and Elmore Leonard pause, Rothstein's reign played out right in front of our disbelieving eyes, as he flaunted his Bugattis and $10,000 suits on Las Olas Boulevard, leaving millionaires plundered, lives ruined and questions lingering about the mysterious deaths of two women close to him.

Fort Lauderdale public relations executive and author Chuck Malkus, who attended some of Rothstein's over-the-top social gatherings, has chronicled the now-imprisoned lawyer's rise and fall in a book, "The Ultimate Ponzi: The Scott Rothstein Story" (Pelican Publishing).

Two years in the making, the profile of this tacky, made-for-TV horror story is a spritely mix of Malkus' own memories of the "vulgar arriviste" layered with interviews with former co-workers, the duped, the adversaries and the girlfriends, as well as deposition testimony, input from forensic accountants, psychologists and local attorneys, and reporting from South Florida media, including the Sun Sentinel.

Full Article and Source:
The Ultimate Ponzi:  Scott Rothstein Books Excerpts Reveal Juicy Details