Monday, December 29, 2014

Wards of indicted guardian are missing items, relatives say

Julie Crum just wants the couch, rocking chair and riding lawn mower back, because they belonged to her father before dementia and depression overtook him.

She’s fighting through Franklin County Probate Court to get them from a Columbus lawyer who was recently indicted and is accused of stealing $41,000 from people he was appointed by the court to protect.

Paul S. Kormanik was supposed to be their guardian. Guardians control nearly every aspect of the lives of people the courts call wards.

Crum’s family is one of at least two accusing Kormanik of stealing belongings, family heirlooms and cash from his wards.

The families became suspicious after they read the five-part Dispatch series “Unguarded,” which detailed a statewide probate system in which a lack of court oversight allows unscrupulous guardians to prey on people they swore to protect. The series is available online here.

Among the worst, according to prosecutors and criminal investigators, was Kormanik.

Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien said recently that Kormanik chose “to financially exploit Ohio’s vulnerable citizens.”

Kormanik had been responsible for the lives of nearly 400 people in central Ohio. He had amassed those wards through years of court appointments and a series of judges who were looking for easy answers to handle the increasing number of people who needed a guardian to make personal, medical and financial decisions for them.

Full Article & Source:
Wards of indicted guardian are missing items, relatives say


StandUp said...

It happens all the time and I'm glad a reporter is finally doing an article on this very subject.

Kathleen said...

Why can't these people just make an honest living!

Scott said...

How often do you hear of guardians who list "cash on hand" in their initial inventory?

Anonymous said...

Remember Patience Bristol? When her house was searched, they found a room or maybe even two of "things" that she had stolen from her wards. Not expensive things as I understand it. But, why did she steal them?