Saturday, April 20, 2013

Daughter Strapped Elderly Parents to Bed and Bilked Their Money, Police Say

Police have arrested a 65-year-old woman suspected of bilking money from her elderly parents while caging them in a room for up to 12 hours a day, the Redmond Police Department said.
Daughter Strapped Elderly Parents to Bed and Bilked Their Money, Police Say

Woman Who Was in Coma Has Her Bob Seger Concert Wish Come True

Evie Branan, 79, woke up out of a coma and her one wish was to see Bob Seger in concert. Thursday night, that wish came true.

Branan has traveled down the road less traveled, but Thursday night her final destination was a wish come true.

"We just want to jump up and down!" said Jennifer Hickey, Branan's nurse.

Hickey has been by Branan's side for six years, after Branan suffered a massive stroke. Since that day, Branan's lived at Willowbrook Manor Nursing Home in Flint. She was in a semi-coma, not able to communicate, until May 7, 2011, when Hickey said she watched a miracle unfold.
"One day, after she had fallen out of bed and hit her head, she started talking to us, like she had some sense," said Hickey.
And the first thing out of Branan's mouth is something Hickey said she'll never forget.
"My first words, and I can't figure it out, but I said 'I want to go to a Bob Seger concert,'" said Branan.

On Thursday night, nurses helped Branan powder her face and look great, because that wish, with the help of the nursing home and Bob Seger's management company, came true.

And when Bob Seger took the stage, the 79-year old showed her night moves better than a 29-year-old would. To watch Branan's face light up made the night magical.
"A dream come true," said Branan. "Never give up on yourself, and anything you think you can do, you do it."

Full Article and Source:
Woman Who Was in Coma Has Her Bob Seger Concert Wish Come True

Five Scheme to Defraud Elderly FL Woman

An 81-year-old Dania Beach woman with a history of Alzheimer's disease was exploited by five people in a scheme to repeatedly make her pay for bogus handiwork, the Broward Sheriff's Office said.
Arrested in connection with Joann Sobczak's alleged exploitation were Zachary Brinegar, 27; Jason Touchton, 33; James Burkholder, 27; Gina Guilder, 27; and William Tinnell, 65, the agency said.

Each was charged with at least one count of exploitation of the elderly. Additionally, Touchton was charged with elderly neglect without great harm. They each admitted to investigators they played a role in the scheme, the agency said.

According to a Broward sheriff's report, Brinegar confessed to helping out his co-defendants in exploiting Sobczak on Sunday, when the woman wrote them a $500 check.

Brinegar could not tell deputies what the check was for, but said that he got $50 for driving his accomplices to Sobczak's home, the agency said.

On Tuesday, he told investigators that they returned to the woman's home to fraudulently obtain another check. They told Sobczak that the $500 check she had previously given them could not be cashed even though it was.

Touchton, too, confessed to exploiting the woman and said that he and his accomplices had promised to complete handiwork for Sobczak that never was done. He received $50 for helping defraud the woman on each of two separate occasions, the report said.

Burkholder also admitted to defrauding the Alzheimer's-stricken woman multiple times and to making her believe that he would fix things around her home. He said he took a payment of $800 on Saturday for work he never did on an air-conditioning unit, the report said.

Full Article and Source:
Group Accused of Making Dania Beach Woman, 81, Pay for Bogus Handiwork

Friday, April 19, 2013

Guardian Gets Prison in $92K Theft From 12 Nursing Home Residents

A former Omaha attorney was sentenced Thursday to 18 months in federal prison for stealing $92,000 from 12 nursing home residents she was appointed to protect.

U.S. District Judge Lyle Strom sentenced Kim Erwin-Loncke, 47, to the prison term plus three years of supervised release.

Strom also ordered her to pay $92,608 in restitution. Douglas County judges had appointed Erwin-Loncke guardian of several disabled or otherwise incapacitated nursing home residents.

From August 2008 to November 2010, the then-attorney took advantage of those clients by transferring their Social Security payments to her own bank accounts, U.S. Attorney Deb Gilg said.
The Nebraska Supreme Court disbarred Erwin-Loncke in November 2010. Strom ordered Erwin-Loncke to report June 24 to begin serving her prison term.

Guardian Gets Prison in $92K Theft From 12 Nursing Home Residents

TN Lawmakers Amend Conservatorship Bill After Concern From Hospitals

A long awaited bill to rewrite the state law governing conservatorships has undergone a last minute amendment at the request of hospitals thus delaying a final House vote on the measure and forcing another Senate vote.

The amendment, which triggered a brief debate and a motion to delay further action came Wednesday as the General Assembly moved toward a planned early adjournment.

The amendment would create a new and special path for hospitals to move patients unable to make decisions for themselves into lower cost settings such as nursing homes or rehabilitation facilities.

Under the amendment, a hospital could petition the court directly for authorization to transfer a patient unable to act for him or herself to a lower level of care without going through notice and waiting periods.

Rep. Andrew Farmer, a sponsor of the original legislation, said the change provides “another avenue for hospitals to move someone out of their bed. This is a compomise.” He said he had been approached by two hospitals, including Vanderbilt University Medical Center seeking the change.

Under the version of the bill approved earlier by the state Senate, hospitals would have had to comply with newly established procedures for emergency conservatorships, which require a notice within 48 hours to the person being conserved and a hearing within 5 days.

In brief debate after adoption of the amendment, several Republican members questioned why the amendment was being offered at the last minute and why it did not go through the Civil Justice Committee which approved an earlier version of the bill.

Allan F. Ramsaur of the Tennessee Bar Association, which originally proposed a rewrite of the state conservatorship law, said he expected the Senate to go along with the amendment.

“We worked with the hospitals to find a third way of preserving rights but not requiring them to keep someone in the expensive hospital bed,” Ramsaur said in an email response to questions.

Under the amendment a hospital would petition the court for the appointment on an expedited basis of a special limited fiduciary with the authority to have the patient discharged or transferred.

“The proposed amendment allows someone to be moved to an appropriate level of care without impacting or invoking the emergency provisions component of the act,” said John Howser, assistant vice chancellor for Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “(It) is aimed as a last resort option for caregivers to be included as decision-makers for patients with no families or with families who cannot or will not be involved.”

The proposed rewrite of the conservatorship law came following statewide hearings by the bar association at which several former wards charged that their rights and property were taken away without notice or just cause.

Lawmakers Amend Conservatorship Law After Concern From Hospitals

Florida: Operation S.A.F.E. (Stop Adult Financial Exploitation)

On Friday May 10, 2013, the Department of Financial Services, overseen by Florida's Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater will present OPERATION S.A.F.E. (Stop Adult Financial Exploitation) at the South County Civic Center, Jog Rd., Delray Beach beginning at 1:00 pm. CFO Atwater's office is partnering with the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office to present this program and to ensure that our Palm Beach County residents get the latest on local frauds and scams and who to call and what to do if they are a victim.

Details on numerous scams and frauds including identity theft, insurance and health care fraud, reverse mortgage scams, investment scams, contractor fraud and lottery and sweepstakes scams will be presented and you will learn how NOT to become a victim and how to protect your information and yourself. Representatives from the Department of Financial Services and PBSO will be there to answer your questions and assist you with any problems. Also at the event will be representatives from AARP, Elder Affairs, Consumer Affairs and other senior advocacy groups and agencies.

Current statistics show that one in five seniors has been a victim of financial fraud yet only one in 44 will report it.

Operation S.A.F.E. (Stop Adult Financial Exploitation) to be Presented

Thursday, April 18, 2013

TN Attorney John E. Clemmons, Court Appointed as Conservator, Sued for Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Conversion, and More

A Nashville attorney whose law license already is under suspension for misappropriation of a ward’s funds is being accused in a civil suit of misappropriating at least $450,000 from a now-deceased elderly woman whom the courts had entrusted to his care.
In the suit filed in Davidson County Circuit Court, John E. Clemmons has been charged with breach of fiduciary duty, conversion, intentional misappropriation of more than $450,000 and repeatedly failing to account for his handling of the estate of Nannie P. Malone.

In a 16-page complaint filed Friday, Teresa A. Lyle, Malone’s daughter, charged that Clemmons had sold off at auction hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of Malone’s property but had failed to properly account for the proceeds.

The suit comes after the state Supreme Court indefinately suspended Clemmons license to practice law, citing him for misappropriation and concluding his continued practice of law “poses a threat of substantial harm to the public.”

The high court action stemmed from a Rutherford County case in which chancery court officials found that Clemmons had paid himself $50,400 without court approval from the estate of a nursing home resident who had been entrusted to his care. A review showed an additional $16,500 could not be accounted for.

In the suit filed in Davidson County, attorneys for Lyle charged that “Clemmons has not made any itemized accounting of any expense” incurred in the auction of Malone’s properties, including a 68-acre farm and four lots.

Full Article and Source:
Suspended Lawyer Faces Lawsuit in a Conservatorship Case
See Also:
TN Attorney John E. Clemmons Suspended After $50,000 Taken From Disabled Ward

TX Bar Wants Lawyer Stuart Leeds' Probation Revoked

The Texas State Bar's Commission for Lawyer Discipline has asked that lawyer Stuart Leeds' probation be revoked after 409th District Judge Sam Medrano last month held him in contempt of court.

If a visiting judge agrees with the State Bar's motion, Leeds' law license will be suspended for six months. The judge, Martin B. Muncy of Andrews, has scheduled a hearing for 9:30 a.m. on April 25.

Last year, Muncy signed off on an agreement between Leeds and the State Bar that placed his license on six months' probation after he and his frequent co-counsel Theresa Caballero, were convicted last year of contempt for their behavior in a 2011 case. Caballero's disciplinary case is ongoing.

Medrano cited Leeds for contempt for filing untrue documents with the court.

In Brief:  Bar Wants Leeds' Probation Revoked

Florida Bar Suspects Lawyer in $3M Firm Theft

The Florida Bar is seeking emergency suspension of the law license of a South Florida attorney suspected of stealing more than $3 million from his firm's accounts.

Bar officials asked the Supreme Court on Tuesday to suspend the license of Timothy McCabe of Boca Raton. Court documents show that McCabe allegedly took the money from his firm's trust accounts where clients' funds are deposited.

The documents include emails McCabe sent to his partner saying that he had committed unspecified wrongdoing and was trying to set it right. His wife told investigators she hadn't seen McCabe since April 2 and that he has not answered his cell phone. An email to her that same day said he had made bad business decisions.

A missing persons report was filed with police.

Bar:  Fla. Lawyer Suspected in $3M+ Firm Theft

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Linda Kincaid Reports: Elder Abuse: Wildwood Canyon Villa Staff Feed Narcotics to Helpless Resident

Investigations continue to find alarming  elder abuse  and egregious violations of California licensing regulations at Wildwood Canyon Villa, a San Bernardino County residential care facility for the elderly (RCFE). Documents obtained pursuant to subpoena show that resident Jean Swope was given the narcotic opioid drug oxycodone several times a day without physician instructions.

RCFEs are not medical facilities. The intent of these “assisted living” facilities is to provide residents with assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs). RCFE staff can lawfully “assist with self-administration” of medication. But they cross the line when they administer drugs to a resident that cannot determine her need for a medication.

Wildwood Canyon Villa crossed that line many times. They often crossed that line multiple times in a single day.

Nurse’s Medication Notes for Jean Swope document that Wildwood staff administered the narcotic opioid Percocet (oxycodone plus acetaminophen) forty times in just ten days from September 20 – 29, 2011.
Wildwood LVN  Candi Hull testified that Wildwood sometimes obtained instructions from a physician for administration of medication. Sometime they did not obtain instructions. On no occasion did Wildwood maintain the required written documentation of instructions from Swope’s physician.

Med Aide April Pledger, a young caregiver with no high school diploma or medical training, testified that Wildwood Med Aides sometimes check with an LVN prior to administering medications. Sometimes Med Aides administer medication with no oversight whatsoever.

Pledger testified that Med Aides crush medication with a pill crusher, mix with pudding, and then, “We feed it to them.”

Full Article and Source:
Elder Abuse:  Wildwood Canyon Villa Staff Feed Narcotics to Helpless Resident

What is the Elder Justice Coordinating Council?

The Elder Justice Act of 2009, as part of the Affordable Care Act, establishes the Elder Justice Coordinating Council to coordinate activities related to elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation across the Federal government. The Elder Justice Coordinating Council is directed by the Office of the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Secretary serves as the Chair of the Council. Secretary Sebelius assigned responsibility for implementing the Coordinating Council to the Administration on Community Living/Administration on Aging. The Administration on Aging has long been engaged in efforts to protect older individuals from elder abuse including financial exploitation, physical abuse, neglect, psychological abuse, and sexual abuse. Through the Older Americans Act, the Administration on Aging endeavors to preserve the rights of older people and protect those who may not be able to protect themselves.

The Elder Justice Act also names the Attorney General of the United States as a permanent member of the Council. In addition to the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Attorney General, the statute provides for inclusion as Council members the heads of each Federal department, agency or governmental entity identified as administering programs related to abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation.

Elder Justice Coordinating Council

See Also:
Member List

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

TN: Attorney John E. Clemmons Suspended After $50,000 Taken From Disabled Ward

A prominent Nashville attorney has been temporarily suspended from the practice of law following the discovery that he paid himself $50,440 from the estate of a ward in a nursing home without the approval of a judge.
The state Supreme Court concluded that allowing John E. Clemmons to continue practicing law “poses a threat of substantial harm to the public.”

Clemmons’ actions came when he was serving as conservator of the Rutherford County man, a legal arrangement overseen by a judge when a person is determined unable to handle their own affairs, often for medical reasons, and an outside person is given that authority.

Clemmons, who has also served as a conservator in cases in Nashville, has been ordered to inform all of his current clients of the suspension and cease any legal representation by May 2. He is barred from taking on any new cases and must return any property in his possession belonging to existing clients.

In its petition to the state Supreme Court, the Board of Professional Responsibility cited the findings of Rutherford County Chancery Court officials who discovered that Clemmons had been making regular payments to himself without submitting a request to the court as required.

The court also found that Clemmons was unable to account for an additional $16,500 expended from the ward’s estate.

The unauthorized payments were in addition to $7,780 in fees which were approved by the court. But even in the approved fees the judge questioned Clemmons request.

“The court was concerned that the conservator sought to recover compensation at the rate of $200 an hour for services which are more appropriately charged by a paralegal or untrained persons at a far less hourly rate,” court records show.

In an affidavit filed along with the complaint, Rutherford County clerk and master John A.W. Bratcher detailed conversations with Clemmons in which the Nashville attorney admitted paying himself without authorization and offered alternative ways he could pay back the money.

“Mr. Clemmons admitted that he did write checks to himself without court approval but that he had two to three proposals on how he can pay the money back,” the affidavit states.

“Mr. Clemmons, the affidavit states, “indicated that he did not wish to be removed as conservator and that he hoped that this would not be reported to anyone else. He said that he was willing to do everything that he could to get the matter corrected.”

Among the repayment plans proposed by Clemmons were the sale of 100 acres of family property in Davidson County and the use of future Social Security benefits earned by he and his wife.

Bratcher recommended that Clemmons be removed immediately and disclosed that he was reporting the matter to District Attorney General Bill Whitesell and the Board of Professional responsibility. Whitesell did not respond to a request for comment.

Chancellor Robert E. Corlew 3rd removed Clemmons as the conservator of Russell Church on March 5 of this year citing the $50,400 in unauthorized payments, the $16,500 in withdrawals “with no explanation” and Clemmons failure to obtain a bond as required by the court.

Corlew ordered that a new conservator, Mark Polk, take immediate steps to seize all the bank and investment accounts of the ward. Polk said Thursday he is still in the process of reviewing the bank and other records of the conservatorship and will be reporting his findings back to the chancery court.

Bratcher said that Clemmons had no additional cases pending in Rutherford Chancery Court. Tim Townsend, spokesman for the Davidson probate court said Judge Randy Kennedy had removed and replaced Clemmons from the four cases in which he was currently serving as a conservator or administrator. He said Kennedy also had appointed another attorney to determine whether Clemmons had any role in any other pending cases involving state Corrections Department inmates..

Full Article and Source:
Lawyer's License Suspended After $500,000 Taken From Disabled Client

Professional Discipline of Federal Prosecutors Reaches a New Low

An administrative judge has vacated suspensions of two federal prosecutors who were disciplined by the Justice Department for their flagrant misconduct in prosecuting and convicting the late Senator Ted Stevens. The two prosecutors - James Goeke and Joseph Bottini - were exoriated by the trial judge, Federal District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, for their willful and repeated acts of misconduct. (A third prosecutor, Nicholas Marsh, committed suicide after the case unraveled).

Attorney General Eric Holder believed that the misconduct was so severe that he asked that the conviction be vacated and the charges dismissed. Henry Schuelke, a private lawyer appointed by the trial judge to see if a contempt charge against the prosecutors was warranted, conducted a two-year investigation, reviewed over 128,000 documents, and issued a scathing 514-page report in which he concluded that the prosecution of Senator Stevens was "permeated by the systematic concealment of significant exculpatory evidence which would have corroborated Stevens and seriously damaged the credibility of the government's key witness." The Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) conducted its own investigation and concluded that the prosecutors had engaged in reckless misconduct and ordered them suspended for 15 and 40 days respectively.

The administrative judge has now vacated those suspensions. It is not possible to reconcile the result of the administrative judge's ruling with the conclusions of Judge Sullivan, Attorney General Holder, the Schuelke Report, and the OPR. Indeed, the Schuelke Report is probably the most extensive post mortem of a criminal trial ever in the way it analyzes the prosecutors' conduct and mindset based on their private emails, notes, memos, conversations, court filings and courtroom arguments, as well as their depositions, and which reveals quite powerfully their sordid and clandestine actions to win a criminal conviction at all costs. The Report methodically and exhaustively dissects the way the prosecutors manipulated flimsy, ambiguous, and unfavorable evidence, systematically concealed exculpatory evidence from the defense and jury, and thwarted defense attempts to locate favorable evidence. If anything, the Justice Department's imposition of the rather modest suspensions on the prosecutors was grossly inadequate and disappointing. And now even those meager suspensions have been removed. Why?

The convoluted opinion of the administrative judge provides a revealing picture of why federal discipline of prosecutors for their misconduct is so dysfunctional. The judge concluded that the disciplinary proceedings by the Professional Misconduct Review Unit (PMRU), the body responsible for disciplining prosecutors after the OPR finds misconduct, contained a "harmful procedural error" which prejudiced the prosecutors and required the suspensions to be vacated. Trying to describe this so-called "prejudicial error" requires a serious and steady grip on reality, because the judge's reasoning is unprincipled.

According to the PMRU policy, a Justice Department attorney assigned to the unit makes an initial decision on the appropriate punishment, either a reprimand, suspension, or removal. This attorney - hardly an independent decision-maker but rather a colleague of the prosecutors being reviewed - "became convinced that the prosecutors had not committed professional misconduct" and concluded that he did not have the authority to propose any discipline. Given the OPR's finding that the Stevens' prosecutors had engaged in reckless misconduct, and given the fact that the attorney assigned to propose discipline did not believe that any discipline was warranted, the Justice Department, pursuant to PMRU policy, appointed the chief of the PMRU to review the matter and impose discipline if he believed discipline was warranted, which he did - the 15 and 40 day suspensions.

But the administrative judge, in contravention of unambiguous language spelling out the policy of the PMRU which authorizes the chief of the unit to "issue or propose disciplinary action," ruled that the chief of PMRU has no authority to impose discipline after his underling has decided that no discipline is warranted when, in the opinion of the underling, the Stevens' prosecutors had done nothing wrong to warrant discipline. By ignoring the clear-cut policy that authorizes the chief of the unit to overrule his subordinate and impose discipline if he believes discipline is warranted, as well as ignoring plain common sense, the administrative judge, using Alice in Wonderland reasoning, ruled that since the initial attorney "had not made a final decision about the level of discipline" (and of course he made no final decision since he did not believe that any discipline was warranted in the first place), the chief of the unit was disabled to take any action on his own, even if he believed that misconduct had been committed (as the OPR had concluded), and discipline was warranted. In other words, the underling, not a particularly independent and unbiased decision-maker, gets the last word on official policy.
Hopefully, the Justice Department will appeal this preposterous decision, both to vindicate the soundness of its own disciplinary policy and procedures, however impotent they are, and to counteract the absurd claim of the disciplined prosecutors that they have been "vindicated" by the administrative judge's ruling.

Professional Discipline of Federal Prosecutors Reaches a New Low

Hearing Set for Suspended Judge to Challenge Accusations

Suspended District Judge Steven Jones will have a chance on June 24 to challenge accusations that he misused his office to help his lawyer-girlfriend.

The state Judicial Discipline Commission has set the date for a hearing in Las Vegas.
A 12-point complaint filed in December 2012 alleges Jones had a “close social and personal relationship” with then-Deputy District Attorney Lisa Willardson. He refused to disqualify himself in cases handled by Willardson, even though opposing parties asked him to step aside, the complaint alleges.

The complaint says the rules of judicial conduct prohibit a judge from letting his personal life influence his rulings.

Commission members to sit on the disciplinary case are Chairman Doug Jones of Lake Tahoe, Mary Lau of Dayton. District Judge Jerome Polaha of Reno, District Judge Richard Wagner of Lovelock. Wayne Chimarusti of Carson City, and Karl Armstrong and Gary Vause, both of Las Vegas.

Hearing Set for Suspended Judge to Challenge Accusations

Monday, April 15, 2013

Marti Oakley: Death Via Probate Court? I'm Not Dead!

 Across the country an American Horror Story is unfolding as massive numbers of elderly individuals who have committed the heinous crime of [aging with assets], now find themselves in probate court and officially declared dead in the law by virtue of being declared an incompetent ward of the state.
This is human trafficking sanctioned by not only the courts, but also by congresses, both state and federal who are well aware of these organized criminal activities, but who refused to acknowledge or act to defend the elderly from these predators.
This fictional declaration of death via probate court, is a careful construct patterned after the organized crime rings operating in family courts. In one court we abduct, sell and trade minor children, and in the other we abduct, sell and exploit the lives and finances of the elderly. Everyone involved, from the so-called protection agencies, judges, commercial predatory guardians, medical providers, hospitals, nursing homes and walls of unethical and immoral attorneys, line up to take a piece of the pie.
The pie can also be comprised of the monetary value in the Medicare/Medicaid system where targeted victims can be worth a million or more in inflated medical charges, padded medical billing, padded bills for doctors, insurance payments, thefts of social security benefits, VA benefits and whatever else may be out there in the way of grants, funding and subsidy.
Many times the “pie” can be comprised of liquid assets, stocks, bonds, property, valuable art and jewelry…..all of which can disappear into the accounts and pockets of the predators just as fast as the facilitating probate judge can declare the individual not only dead in the law, but incompetent as well.

Full Article and Source:
Death Via Probate Court?  I'm Not Dead!"

Elder Abuse Prevention Gets Big Boost From New York Budget

Prevention of elder abuse received a considerable boost as New York state not only restored funding but increased money for education and outreach.

The recently passed budget brought back $245,000 for existing contracts with the Office for the Aging, and allowed $500,000 for additional services.

Lifespan of Rochester will administer the contract that covers intervention, training for professionals, and education for seniors and families about the signs of abuse.

“People don’t believe elderly abuse exists,” said Ann Marie Cook, president and chief executive officer of Lifespan. “Even when it’s happening right under their nose, they don’t recognize it as abuse.”

Full Article and Source:
Elder Abuse Prevention Gets Boost From New York Budget

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Tonight on T.S. Radio: Human Trafficking of the Elderly and Defining RICO

Join us this evening as we discuss trafficking of the elderly and how RICO applies not only to this, but to the subsequent grand larceny that occurs after the elder has been abducted by state actors.

Probate court is nothing more than the legalization of grand larceny. Lives are destroyed, estates looted all under the supervision of corrupt probate judges.

Our elders who have assets are being abducted by the state and held hostage while the estate is plundered by the predators.

This is simply another form of human trafficking done for the sole purpose of profiting from the larceny perpetrated upon personal estates. The same f+, the same predatory guardians, the same attorneys, the same APS agents and Social Services personnel…..all appear time after time in hundreds of cases. This is no co-incidence………this is organized crime!

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

LISTEN LIVE or listen to the archive later

PA: Funeral Director Charged with Forging Life Insurance Policy Documents

A Schuylkill County funeral director was charged following allegations that he forged life insurance documents by appointing his business as the owner and beneficiary of the policy.
4-8-13 Oravitz250x275
Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane identified the defendant as Stephen Oravitz, 58, 135 Brandonville Road, Ringtown. Oravitz is the owner of Oravitz Home for Funerals, 40 North Jardin St., Shenandoah, which is also charged.

According to the criminal complaint, Oravitz submitted change of ownership and change of beneficiary forms to Mutual of Omaha in July of 2011, making the Oravitz Home for Funerals the new owner and beneficiary of a life insurance policy.

The charges state that the individual who owned the life insurance policy filed a complaint with the local police department and reported that she had never authorized any changes to her life insurance policy.

Kane said that the woman who owned the policy had dealt with the Oravitz Home for Funerals regarding her late husband?s arrangements and allegedly provided Oravitz with a copy of the cover page of her own $10,000 life insurance policy for informational purposes while prearranging her own services.

The charges state that the woman also provided Oravitz with the name and telephone number of the beneficiary of the policy to assure that funds existed to provide for her future burial.
Agents from the Attorney General's Office emphasized that this is an ongoing investigation.

Full Article and Source:
Schuylkill County Funeral Director Charged with Forging Life Insurance Policy Documents

Bank Worker Charged With Bilking Indiana Elderly

Federal embezzlement charges have been lodged against a bank worker in Greensburg, after two elderly customers reported that their accounts had been drained.

Michelle Wagner, a customer service manager for Fifth Third Bank  branch in Greensburg, is charged with taking money from two victims’ accounts between July 2010 and December 2011.

Federal investigators accuse Wagner of pocketing more than $344,000 from the victims’ accounts, after having promised to write checks and pay their routine living expenses using the money from their accounts. Investigators said the victims never authorized her to take money for herself.

For the first victim, agents said Wagner started issuing cashier’s checks and withdrawing cash from the account, totaling $128,404.

Agents said Wagner cashed in numerous certificates of deposit belonging to the second victim, adding up to $171,686. She is also accused of withdrawing $44,829 from the victim’s other accounts, from which she was supposed to be paying the victim’s bills.

A spokesperson for Fifth Third Bank in Indianapolis did not respond to a request for comment.

Full Article and Source:
Bank Worker Charged With Bilking Indiana Elderly

Financial Adviser Pleads No Contest to Bilking Elderly Clients

A financial advisor pleaded no contest this morning to charges that he stole more than $38,000 from two elderly former clients.
The state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs filed a criminal complaint in state Circuit Court last week charging Scott Akashi, 31, with 11 counts of second-degree theft. 
Akashi waived indictment and pleaded no contest to all 11 counts.
The state says Akashi stole $38,773 in January, February and March last year from the former clients who were 88 and 90 years old. He promised them higher returns on their investments and even drove them to the bank to get their money. Instead of investing the money, the state says Akashi pocketed it for his own use.
The state said it got word of what was going on after a relative of one of the victims noticed that her grandmother had a new checking account from which she wrote checks to Akashi.

Full Article and Source:
Financial Adviser Pleads No Contest to Bilking Elderly Clients