Saturday, January 18, 2014

At Issue in 2 Wrenching Cases: What to Do After the Brain Dies

In one way, the cases are polar opposites: the parents of Jahi McMath in Oakland, Calif., have fought to keep their daughter connected to a ventilator, while the parents and husband of Marlise Muñoz in Fort Worth, Tex., want desperately to turn the machine off. In another way, the cases are identical: both families have been shocked to learn that a loved one was declared brain-dead — and that hospital officials defied the family’s wishes for treatment.

Their wrenching stories raise questions about how brain death is determined, and who has the right to decide how such patients are treated.

“These cases are quite different from those we’ve known in the past,” like Karen Ann Quinlan, Nancy Cruzan or Terri Schiavo, said Dr. Joseph J. Fins, director of the medical ethics division at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell hospital. He explained: “Those patients could all breathe without a ventilator. They were in a vegetative state, not brain-dead, and that distinction makes all the difference.”

 A person who has received a brain-death diagnosis cannot breathe on his or her own and is legally dead, in all 50 states. In two states, New York and New Jersey, hospitals must take into account the family’s religious or moral views in deciding how to proceed in such cases. In all others, including California and Texas, hospitals are not required to consult the family in how to terminate care.

Doctors at Children’s Hospital in Oakland pronounced Jahi, 13, brain-dead on Dec. 12. She developed complications after surgery for sleep apnea and lost a large amount of blood. Ms. Muñoz , 33, got the diagnosis at John Peter Smith Hospital after she collapsed from a blood clot when she was 14 weeks pregnant. The hospital, citing a state law, refuses to remove the ventilator because it would harm the fetus, now in its 20th week.
The two cases are poignant in part because of a biological quirk of the body: The patients’ hearts continue to beat. Hearts have their own pacemaker, and with ventilation, the heart can continue to beat for days, even up to a week. But with more aggressive care, it can last months and longer after brain death, experts say, depending on the health of the patient and how much treatment is provided.

That ventilation saved the fetus in the Muñoz case, and probably in the nick of time, said Dr. R. Phillips Heine, director of maternal and fetal medicine at Duke University’s medical school. The diminished blood flow to the fetus when the mother collapsed — she is thought to have been passed out for about an hour before receiving care — “may lead to adverse effects over time, but we have no way to predict that,” Dr. Heine said.

A prolonged heartbeat has created the perception of life for Jahi’s family, while for Ms. Muñoz’s relatives it represents a denial of the right to die.

Full Article and Source:
At Issue in 2 Wrenching Cases: What to Do After the Brain Dies

Waseca woman charged with exploiting $10,250 from elderly woman

Police say a Waseca woman is responsible for stealing $10,250 and then attempting to take another $13,000 from an elderly woman she'd befriended.

Michelle Rae Joslyn, 47, was charged with four counts of felony financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult after withdrawing sums of cash from the victim’s checking and savings accounts on four different occasions, totaling $10,250.

On July 21, 2011, the Waseca Police Department received a report of possible exploitation of a vulnerable adult, according to a criminal complaint filed this month in Waseca County District Court. The complaint said that the victim’s husband had died many years ago and had no children living nearby. Joslyn met the victim through her job as a volunteer for a company that makes “check-in” calls to the elderly.

On July 11, 2011, Joslyn reportedly went with the victim to a local Waseca bank and Joslyn was added as a cosigner to the victim’s checking and savings accounts. That same day, Joslyn allegedly wrote a check to herself on the victim's account in the amount of $800.

Within the next 10 days, Joslyn wrote another check and made two withdrawals from the victim's account totaling $9,450.

The complaint said that Joslyn also attempted to cash a check in the amount of $13,000, but the victim’s bank refused to honor the check.

When police asked Joslyn about the $13,000 cash attempt, Joslyn replied, “She (the victim) has a right to gift out $13,000 a year,” the complaint said.

Joslyn also said the $4,800 withdrawal was payment for providing elderly care duties. But the victim told police that she does her own cooking, cleaning and shopping and that “no one was taking care of her.”

Full Article & Source:
Waseca woman charged with exploiting $10,250 from elderly woman

Tulsa Insurance Agent Accused Of Exploitation Of Elderly

MUSKOGEE, Oklahoma -After being swindled out of nearly $300,000, an elderly couple in Muskogee shares their story of betrayal.

The man accused of the crime is someone they thought they could trust. The couple said Keith Dennis was their investment broker and shared a checking account with them.

The couple is so heartbroken and embarrassed by the crime, they asked we didn't use their names or show their faces.

They're living out their retirement in the most simple of ways.

"I'm not an extravagant person and neither is he. He likes to watch his television and I like to watch my television and I like to go to the grocery store and I love to eat," the wife said.

But while this wife was at the grocery store, she said someone her husband trusted was eating away at their life savings.

"He hurt us to the tune of $300,000," she said.

Keith Dennis was the couple's investment broker. The husband said he watched Dennis grow up.

Dennis was initially hired to invest money for the husband's mother and when she passed away, the couple let Dennis take over their money; money the husband, a Korean War vet, earned by farming and running newspaper routes.

Full Article & Source:
Tulsa Insurance Agent Accused Of Exploitation Of Elderly

Friday, January 17, 2014

Jeff Brandes' Bill Would Help Keep Unscrupulous Guardians in Check

Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, came out swinging Tuesday, filing SB 634, legislation aimed at preventing the abuse of vulnerable Floridians by unscrupulous guardians.

It's a very big deal in his neighborhood.

Brandes is tuned in to bad-apple guardians. He is a member of the Select Committee on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. More to the point, he is the senator for Pinellas Park, home of one of the most publicized Florida stories of suspected unscrupulousness by a guardian of elderly wards in recent times.
Though Brandes didn't mention the story by name, his bill comes on the heels of the ABC Action News investigation last fall of Pinellas Park City Council member Patricia Johnson. Johnson, who has more than 50 active guardianship cases, is paid $70 an hour each for the time she spends taking care of their business, and was observed by ABC's I-Team over a several-day period doing almost nothing on their behalf.

The investigators spent more than two weeks pulling hundreds of Johnson's bills from court files and entering them into a spreadsheet. They conducted interviews with family members and in assisted living facilities. They discovered that from Jan. 1, 2010 to Dec. 31, 2012, her invoices added up to $260,000. That gave her an average annual guardianship income of nearly $87,000 -- with little help to her wards to show for it.

 What's more, local judges routinely approve the sale of homes belonging to Johnson's wards  -- in most cases, the largest asset these wards have -- without obtaining appraisals from a certified appraiser.

And Johnson has used fellow Pinellas Park City Council member Richard Butler (who was her campaign manager) to conduct nearly all of the sales of her wards' homes since 2010. Many of the homes were flipped for sizable profit. Records show Butler has sold 14 of them for a total of $1,252,500.

Brandes' bill, while not a magic pill to fix the whole problem, would at least provide expanded auditing authority for clerks of court to review the practices of court-appointed guardians.

Full Article and Source:
Jeff Brandes' Bill Would Help Keep Unscrupulous Guardians in Check

Ripped Off Scions Can Go After Lawyer's Bosses

Heirs of the Alta Dena Dairy fortune can pursue claims that their lawyer milked them with his firm's support, a California appeals court ruled.

Berger Kahn began representing the Stueves in 2006 when their lifelong family friend Jay Allen joined the firm.

The Stueves claim that attorney Raymond Novell teamed up with Allen to empty the $50 million estate under the guise of limiting the family's tax liability.

Their 121-page original complaint claimed the Berger Kahn knew everything Allen and Novell were doing with their estate, and kept the family in the dark about misconduct allegations and information about three lawsuits against Allen.

Allen left Berger Kahn for Buchalter Nemer, a co-defendant in the suit, in 2007.

The Stueves allegedly discovered the Novell and Allen scheme in 2009 when one of the patriarchs died and his wife asked about the life insurance proceeds. Novell told her there was no money.

After a court removed Novell as trustee of the Stueve family's trusts in 2010, an examination of the estate revealed that Novell and Allen caused at least $25 million in losses.

In their 2010 complaint, the Stueves and their various trusts and entities claimed that Berger Kahn looked the other way and collected fees while Novell and Allen schemed, "using the family's estate as their own personal piggy bank or petty cash drawer - engaging in self dealing, lending to themselves, their own family members, sham corporations and girlfriends millions of dollars while making egregious fees and taking undisclosed and unauthorized commissions."

 The Stueves accused Novell and Allen in a 331-page second amended complaint of using the family money to operate a Ponzi scheme, based on money laundering and sham loans. Novell and Allen allegedly loaned the family's money to various entities and repaid - if at all - using more of the Stueve money.

Orange County Superior Court Judge Nancy Wieben Stock tossed the suit as untimely, however, after agreeing with Berger Kahn that, taken together, the family's entire action relied on the impossible notion that Allen had misled Novell.

A three-judge panel with California's Fourth Appellate District concluded otherwise.

Full Article and Source:
Ripped Off Scions Can Go After Lawyer's Bosses

See Also:
Read the original complaint
Read the California Fourth Appellate District's Opinion

Punishment for former Tax Court Judge George Perez stands

The Minnesota Supreme Court agreed with the Board on Judicial Standards. Former Tax Court Judge George Perez should be censured and his case should be forwarded to the Wisconsin Office of Lawyer Registration.

The Supreme Court also said it would supervise any future application Perez submits to the Minnesota Bar.

In November 2012, the BJS filed a disciplinary petition against Perez alleging that he failed to issue his opinions in a timely manner, falsified court records to show he had no cases pending, refused to accept new cases and demonstrated a “pattern of delay” in issuing decisions

Chief Justice Lorie Gildea appointed a three member panel to hear the case. That body ruled the BJS proved two of the claims by “clear and convincing evidence”, but did not prove two others.
Among other findings, the panel concluded Perez made “a substantial number of false certifications over an extended period of time.”

Full Article and Source:
Punishment for former Tax Court Judge George Perez stands

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Minnesota wants CMS to investigate Humana’s Medicare Advantage plans

Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson is asking the CMS to investigate Medicare Advantage plans offered by Humana and has presented regulators with more than 25 affidavits of complaints from beneficiaries.

The affidavits allege, for instance, that Humana denied reimbursement for services that it is required to cover for all Medicare beneficiaries—including diagnostic ultrasounds, mammograms and care in a skilled-nursing facility for a stroke patient.

The letter also said, among other complaints, that the Louisville, Ky.-based insurer created confusion by not adequately disclosing which providers were in-network and does not comply with required appeals processes.

The complaints come at a time when the popularity of Medicare Advantage plans has been escalating. And Minnesota has the highest percentage of Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in an MA plan, at 49%—compared with 28.8% of beneficiaries nationwide, the letter said. Humana has 17% of the Medicare Advantage market in Minnesota, according to Swanson’s office.

Swanson wrote that she was asking the CMS to pursue an investigation because states do not have the authority to enforce Medicare Advantage plan rules and make benefit determinations.

Full Article and Source:
Minnesota wants CMS to investigate Humana’s Medicare Advantage plans

See Also:
A Breach of Trust

Perry County coroner accused of financially exploiting 94-year-old woman

KFVS12 News 
PERRYVILLE, MO (KFVS) - The Perry County coroner is accused of financial exploitation of a 94-year-old woman.

Herbert Miller, 65, of Perryville is charged with financial exploitation of elderly/disabled person and theft/stealing.

According to the probable cause statement, Miller is accused of writing checks totaling $80,600 as a power of attorney to himself on behalf of a 94-year-old woman with dementia and other cognitive disabilities.

The woman appointed Miller as her power of attorney in 2004. The woman was admitted to a nursing home in Perryville in 2008. Her primary care physician says she has not been competent for many years.

After the woman was admitted, Miller allegedly began writing check on the woman's account payable to "cash" and to the funeral home he and his wife own, according to the probable cause statement.

Miller is accused of writing the checks from August 2011 to June 2013.

Full Article and Source:
Perry County coroner accused of financially exploiting 94-year-old woman

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Linda Kincaid Reports: Aging Family Services threatens daughter for exposing elder abuse of war hero

The National Association to Stop Guardian Abuse posted a memorial for war hero, Hugh Johnson. NASGA honored Johnson’s service in World War II and recounted the horrors of being a German prisoner of war. The memorial also recounted the greater horrors of Johnson’s last months in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Horrors of war and POW camps did not prepare Hugh for the horrors of guardianship in Wake County, North Carolina. A healthy active man who still enjoyed golf at 95, Hugh deteriorated rapidly under Guardian Cheryl Theriault of Raleigh based Aging Family Services.
Aging Family Services’ cautions “the last thing you want is for them to end up in a nursing home.” Family never imagined the nightmare Theriault’s guardianship would bring.
 Theriault immediately removed Hugh from his upscale home, isolated him from family, and chemically restrained him with the anti-psychotic drug Seroquel. Five months after being taken from home, Hugh was frail, bedridden, and incontinent. His legs and feet were covered with sores that would not heal.
Denied the personal care of a loving daughter, Hugh languished at The Covington. The facility advertises “truly affordable assisted living.” Our Parents website gives The Covington 2 out of 5 stars. Daughter Ginny Johnson called it, "NASTY. NASTY."
Comparing The Covington to his time as a POW, Hugh said, “My German captors kept me better.” Meals were missed. Rooms were filthy. Hugh suffered 28 falls, a broken rib, and his partial plate was lost.
Theriault responded by moving Hugh to Blue Ridge Nursing Home. That facility lost its eligibility for federal funding and was assessed a $4,550-a-day civil penalty for 6-weeks in spring 2012.
Geriatric Care Manager Heather Joyner of Aging Family Services so neglected Hugh that she was removed from his case. Geriatric Adult Guardianship Social Worker Karen Johnson replaced Joyner. Ginny described both Joyner and Johnson as “so, so, so HATEFUL.”
Ginny complained to Theriault over and over. She emphasized that Seroquel is not approved for use in elderly patients, and Hugh was having severe adverse reactions. Theriault ignored Ginny’s complaints, just as she ignored Hugh’s welfare and his wishes.
 On January 9, 2014, attorney A. Justin Eldreth sent Ginny Johnson a cease and desist letter. The letter threatens that Cheryl Theriault and Aging Family Services will sue Ginny for defamation if Hugh Johnson’s memorial is not removed from the NASGA website.
Accordingly, we demand that you (a) immediately cease and desist your unlawful defamation of Cheryl Theriault and Aging Family Services, Inc., by writing to the National Association to Stop Guardian Abuse to request that they remove any mention of either Cheryl Theriault or Aging Family Services, Inc. from their website, specifically, the information located at; (b) provide this office with a copy of your written request; and (c) provide this office with prompt written assurance that you will cease and desist from further defamation of the character and reputation of Cheryl Theriault and Aging Family Services, Inc. All this must be done within ten (10) days from the date of this letter.
If you do not comply with the cease and desist demand within this time period, Cheryl Theriault and Aging Family Services, Inc. is entitled to seek monetary damages and equitable relief for your defamation. In the event that you fail to meet this demand, please be informed that Cheryl Theriault and Aging Family Services. Inc. has asked us to communicate to you that she will pursue all available remedies, including seeking monetary damages, injunctive relief, and an order that you pay court costs and attorney’s fees. Your liability and exposure under such legal action could be considerable.
Ginny did not compose the memorial on the NASGA website. Ginny has no control over the NASGA website. Ginny has no ability to delete content from NASGA’s website.

Readers may express their concerns to Cheryl Theriault at Aging Family Services.

Aging Family Services
Cheryl Hawkins Theriault
4812 Six Fork Roads, Suite 110
Raleigh, North Carolina 27609

 Full Article and Source:
Aging Family Services threatens daughter for exposing elder abuse of war hero

Federal Court in Ciavarella “Kids For Cash” Case Issues Groundbreaking Ruling: State Court Judge’s Acts Not Immune from Conspiracy and RICO

January 13, 2014–A Federal District Court Judge in Pennsylvania has ruled that “Kids for Cash” Pennsylvania State Juvenile Court Judge Mark Ciavarella’s actions in using his courtroom to sentence juveniles under a “zero tolerance” policy to further a civil conspiracy are not protected by judicial immunity.  United States District Judge A. Richard Caputo on Thursday issued a decision in favor of plaintiffs in that case, holding that Judge Mark Ciavarella’s acts in participating in a conspiracy to deprive children of a right to a fair trial in order to send the children to juvenile detention facilities which Ciavarella helped develop are not “judicial acts” entitled to judicial immunity.  ”This decision will profoundly impact parents’ ability to pursue Family Court judges for civil rights violations based on judicial conduct occurring outside of the courtroom, which causes injury inside the courtroom.” says Colbern Stuart, President of California Coalition for Families and Children.

Full Article and Source:
Federal Court in Ciavarella “Kids For Cash” Case Issues Groundbreaking Ruling: State Court Judge’s Acts Not Immune from Conspiracy and RICO

Commission Says Judge Violated Some Rules

LAS VEGAS -- The Judicial Discipline Commission has found that Judge Steve Jones did violate some judicial conduct rules during his relationship with a former prosecutor; however, the commission also found he did not violate some rules.

The commission will go public with its findings in the next few days.

According to Jones' attorney, Jim Jimmerson, the commission ruled that the judge violated the ethics count of an appearance of impropriety with his relationship with former prosecutor Lisa Willardson. He says the commission also found the judge violated conduct rules when he canceled court Dec. 15, 2011.

The commission ruled Judge Jones did not violate the ethics count of barring a number of prosecutors from his court, Jimmerson said.

"Judge Jones is appreciative of the time and effort the Judicial Discipline Commission put into hearing this case. He is disappointed at some of their conclusions. He looks forward to display his remorse and dedicate himself to the people of Clark County." Jimmerson said.

Full Article and Source:
Commission Says Judge Violated Some Rules

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Kansas lawmakers to introduce elder abuse legislation

WICHITA, Kan. -- Kansas lawmakers returning to Topeka next week plan to take a look at legislation some hope will help protect senior citizens and other vulnerable Kansans from financial crimes.

Prosecutors say financial crimes targeting the elderly are serious enough to warrant prison time, so they are urging legislators to change state law to provide that option. Many lawmakers already agree.
"Financial abuse cases against senior citizens in this state happen every day, happen every hour to hundreds and hundreds of vulnerable Kansans," Sen. Jeff King, R-Independence, said during a Wichita news conference Thursday.

Protecting those vulnerable Kansans is why a group of prosecutors and advocates for the elderly are encouraging lawmakers to tighten state law and increase penalties and prison time for those who commit financial crimes against citizens who are 60 or older.

"It's important for us to let Kansans know that these crimes are going on, to be on the lookout for them and then, unfortunately, when they happen, to make sure prosecutors are able to bring the criminals to justice," King said.

If a bill pushed by Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt becomes law, will increase prison time for anyone convicted of medicaid fraud. He said the crime has two groups of victims: Taxpayers and program recipients.

"Not only do you have a financial loss, you have somebody who was entitled to and expected to receive services who never got them," Schmidt said.

Full Article and Source:
Kansas lawmakers to introduce elder abuse legislation

State Bar considers discipline for Whittemore; closing arguments Jan. 22

 Lawyers representing Harvey Whittemore, convicted of making illegal campaign contributions to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, told a Nevada State Bar disciplinary panel on Friday that he deserves leniency because he did not know his actions were illegal.

Whittemore also had the support of retired U.S. District Judge David Hagen and retired Nevada Supreme Court Justice Bob Rose, who both said he was a highly regarded lawyer and a hard worker.

“I’ve had the same opinion of Mr. Whittemore as a lawyer right up to this very moment,” said Hagen, who was appointed to the federal bench in Reno by Democratic President Bill Clinton and retired in 2005. “I knew Mr. Whittemore was always supporting political candidates and, I don’t mean to be pejorative, but I’m sure Harry Reid was always out there with his hand out.”

Full Article and Source:
State Bar considers discipline for Whittemore; closing arguments Jan. 22

Former lawyer for Peterson faces new discipline charge

A onetime attorney for Drew Peterson whose law license was suspended in October faces a new disciplinary charge from the state for allegedly mismanaging a client's criminal appeal.

David Peilet joined Peterson's defense team after the former Bolingbrook police sergeant was convicted in 2012 of drowning Kathleen Savio, his third wife. Peilet said Friday he has not been involved in the case since Peterson was sentenced last February to 38 years in prison.

 Peterson's attorneys are expected to file an appeal Monday or Tuesday arguing for a new trial based on alleged ineffective assistance of council from Peterson's former lead attorney, Joel Brodsky.

The new charges against Peilet involve a matter before the 3rd District Appellate Court. The court filed a complaint with the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission after finding Peilet had repeatedly ignored its orders and missed deadlines for an appeal he was handling.

The court eventually removed him from the case for those violations.

Full Article and Source:
Former lawyer for Peterson faces new discipline charge

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Fraternity: Lawyers and Judges in Collusion

When I began practicing law in 1946, justice was much simpler. I joined a small Tucson practice at a salary of $250 a month, excellent compensation for a beginning lawyer. There was no paralegal staff or expensive artwork on the walls.

In those days, the judicial system was straightforward and efficient. Decisions were handed down by judges who applied the law as outlined by the Constitution and state legislatures. Cases went to trial in a month or two, not years. In the courtroom, the focus was on uncovering and determining truth and fact.

I charged clients by what I was able to accomplish for them. The clock did not start ticking the minute they walked through the door.

Looking back
The legal profession has evolved dramatically during my 87 years. I am a second-generation lawyer from an Irish immigrant family that settled in Yuma. My father, who passed the Bar with a fifth-grade education, ended up arguing a case before the U.S. Supreme Court during his career.

The law changed dramatically during my years in the profession. For example, when I accepted my first appointment as a Pima County judge in 1957, I saw that lawyers expected me to act more as a referee than a judge. The county court I presided over resembled a gladiator arena, with dueling lawyers jockeying for points and one-upping each other with calculated and ingenuous briefs.
That was just the beginning.

By the time I ended my 50-year career as a trial attorney, judge and president of southern Arizona's largest law firm, I no longer had confidence in the legal fraternity I had participated in and, yes, profited from.

I was the ultimate insider, but as I looked back, I felt I had to write a book about serious issues in the legal profession and the implications for clients and society as a whole. The Fraternity: Lawyers and Judges in Collusion was 10 years in the making and has become my call to action for legal reform.

Full Article and Source:
The Fraternity:  Lawyers and Judges in Collusion

Woman accused of selling $30,000 worth of art belonging to legally blind man

A legally blind man's caretaker is accused of selling more than $30,000 worth artwork belonging to him, then attempting to bribe him after he asked for the works' safe return, a Broward Sheriff's Office report said.

Maureen Stuteville, 46, was charged with exploitation of a disabled elderly adult and ordered held on a $10,000 bond during her first-appearance court hearing Wednesday.

Sometime between Dec. 1 and Dec. 12, Gilbert Jackson, 67, discovered that his Victor Vasarely painting was missing from the living room of his Dania Beach home, authorities said.
Jackson described the painting as an optical illusion of squares and a sphere, which had an estimated value of $30,000 to $35,000.

According to the report, when Jackson asked Stuteville where his painting was, she said the artwork was "somewhere in Boca," and later said it was in an art gallery.

Stuteville then allegedly said she would give Jackson his artwork back if he gave her $3,000 and a car, the report said. Jackson then sought help from friends who found an invoice to an antiques gallery in Dania Beach that led authorities to the place where Stuteville had sold Jackson's items, BSO said.

The gallery owner told detectives that Stuteville was a "regular" and came weekly to sell items. Stuteville told the gallery owner that she needed the money to place her father in a retirement home and for medical treatment of her mouth cancer, the report said.

Full Article and Source:
Woman accused of selling $30,000 worth of art belonging to legally blind man

Guardian ad Litem volunteers sought to help in abuse cases

The growing number of child abuse and neglect cases in the Upstate is driving a need for more Guardian ad Litem volunteers.

Last year, 768 families, for a total of 1,494 children, were served by Guardian ad Litem program in the Greenville area alone, said Wendi Rodgers, a public awareness specialist and trainer for Guardian ad Litem (GAL).

The program saw 399 new cases here last year, she said.

“With the amount of cases coming in, it’s hard to keep up with having enough volunteers to serve each case,” Rodgers said.

GAL volunteers speak on behalf of children in the family court system and foster care.

“When cases are brought into family court, people are focusing on the parents and what needs to be done for them to get their children back,” Rodgers said. “Sometimes the children are left out there without a voice. That’s where we step in.”

At least 100 of volunteers are needed in Greenville County to help ease the case loads being carried by other volunteers, said.

“We appreciate the work that they do, but we never want to overload a volunteer though they do it out of the compassion of their hearts and a desire to serve children,” Rodgers said. “We don’t want to burn anyone out. That’s why we’re asking the community to step up, even if you have a just slight concern for children.”

Full Article and Source:
Guardian ad Litem volunteers sought to help in abuse cases

Sunday, January 12, 2014

A Closer Look at Bendigo Bank

The Bendigo Bank has been at it again with the 78 year old elderly couple Steve and Iris Karamihos, despite what the Main Stream Media may or mores the point have NOT reported there has NOT been a happy ending YET..!!

In one of the worst cases of Institutional Seniors Financial Abuse that I have seen, the Bendigo Bank has appealed last years decision when a Supreme Court Judge slammed Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, the Elderly Couple won there case against the Bendigo Bank.

The Karamihos have had to go it alone with the help of their Daughter, who should be nominated "Daughter of the Year" and a PRIVATE Legal Team that have taken the case on as a matter of principle.

There is no doubt that what we are witnessing is in fact, a Bank perpetrating Elderly Financial Abuse and also continuing it to the point when it is becoming Elderly Emotional Abuse or Psychological Abuse being perpetrated against Senior Citizens by the Bank..!!

We have been closely watching and have been investigating the Bendigo Bank, now with the help of a Financial Analyst we have also been delving into who really owns the Bendigo Bank and the roads do lead to some very Interesting Places.

This report will becoming out shortly and will be posted soon, as it is a serious issue that all Americans should be aware of and a total revolution to the Australian Public also....!!!

I suspect that the Bendigo Banks Board of Directors and its CEO Mike Hirst will not be too happy;but then the truth really HIRST"S when it comes out, opps I mean Hurts...

LaClaire sentenced for thefts, but prison time already served

BRATTLEBORO --A former caretaker at a Brattleboro care home was sentenced to prison time on Friday for stealing thousands of dollars from an elderly resident's credit-card account. 

Jodi LaClaire, 39, of Bennington, N.H., received a mostly suspended jail sentence in favor of probation. And, because she had been charged and later acquitted of murdering the same resident, LaClaire already has served all or most of the two years of mandatory jail time ordered by Judge David Suntag for the thefts.

The sentence disappointed the family of the 83-year-old victim, Nita Lowery. But Suntag said he could not -- in spite of continuing argument to the contrary from prosecutors -- consider evidence of Lowery's death when sentencing LaClaire for financial exploitation.

"I don't believe the evidence in this case, frankly, established ... that Ms. LaClaire was criminally responsible for the death of Ms. Lowery," Suntag said.

Jurors who heard LaClaire's case in September agreed with that assessment, acquitting her of second-degree murder and abuse of a vulnerable adult in connection with Lowery's death on April 1, 2009.

Full Article and Source:
LaClaire sentenced for thefts, but prison time already served

Judge Orders West Hartford Girl To Remain In Mass. State Custody

A fifteen-year-old West Hartford girl, Justina Pelletier, will remain in Massachusetts State custody, for now.

Sources indicate that based largely on the recommendation of a court-appointed guardian-ad-Litem assigned on December 20, Judge Joseph Johnston, ruled that Pelletier will not return home to Connecticut right now, but could be returned soon.

Sources say the next court hearing will be February.

A Judge-issued gag order placed on Nov. 7 remains in place.

Permanent custody has not been determined yet but sources indicate that if Pelletier’s parents follow strict court-ordered guidelines, Justina could be returned home to West Hartford within weeks.

Today marks 11 months since Justina Pelletier was admitted to Boston Children’s Hospital in February 2013.

Full Article and Source:
Judge Orders West Hartford Girl To Remain In Mass. State Custody