Saturday, August 2, 2014

TN: Metro Sued in Probate Court Scandal Involving Now-Jailed Former Attorney John E. Clemmons

The court-appointed attorney for victims of a probate court scandal is suing Metro government for nearly $700,000, charging that a court official failed to monitor two cases and did not require the filing of mandatory annual reports.

John E. Clemmons
The two suits filed in Circuit Court by Paul Gontarek charge that Probate Master Robert H. Bradshaw was negligent in the handling of reports that were supposed to be filed by John E. Clemmons, the now-jailed Nashville attorney who served as a conservator in cases in Davidson and Rutherford counties.

“The Probate Court clerk’s office failed to ensure proper accountings were filed as required,” Gontarek said in one of the complaints.

In one case in which he served as an administrator, Clemmons filed just one annual report in a decade, according to the suit.

“Each failure to require an annual accounting is a separate negligent act or omission.”

Clemmons, 66, was jailed after entering guilty pleas to charges that he stole over $1 million from four clients. He is serving a sentence of up to 18 years.

Initially, Gontarek also filed suits against Bradshaw as an individual but records show he subsequently dropped those cases and consolidated all of the claims against Metro government, which employs the probate master.

Bradshaw declined to comment on the litigation. Lawyers for Metro have asked that the suits be dismissed, contending that the government is immune from such claims.

“The complaints contain no allegations of intent, malice or reckless misconduct,” Metro lawyers wrote in asking for the cases to be dismissed. “Because the duty owed is a public duty, the Metropolitan Government is immune.”

Conservator appointments
Clemmons was first appointed as the conservator for William Link and as the administrator of his estate after Link died in 2003. He also served as a conservator for Donald Griggs, 68, of Nashville. In Link’s case the missing money was supposed to go to his disabled daughter, who also is in a conservatorship.

The complaints charge that Clemmons stole $771,009 from the Link estate and $172,506 from Griggs. Clemmons was removed from both in April of last year after disciplinary proceedings were initiated against him.

Due to legal limitations the suits seek only $672,957 — $515,907 for Link’s estate and $157,050 for Griggs.

Gontarek’s complaint also charges that Bradshaw should have initiated contempt charges against Clemmons due to the failure to file the required reports.

“A reasonable person in the Probate Clerk’s position would have discovered Mr. Clemmons’ improper distributions,” the suit states. “The negligent acts and omission by the employees within the Probate Clerk’s office resulted in financial losses to the estate of William Link of at least $771,009.”
Gontarek did not respond to a request for comment.

Family’s motion
Members of the Link family, meanwhile, have filed a motion charging that Gontarek’s complaint does not go far enough and that additional criminal charges should be brought in the case.
“Both my family and I feel the actions of the circuit court clerk and probate master go beyond just negligent acts but are criminal in nature and for personal gain,” the motion by Elaine Dismang states.

Metro Sued in Probate Court Scandal

Woman Cleared of Elder Abuse Charge After Mother's Death

A 72-year-old Kernersville woman has been cleared on charges that she neglected her 92-year-old mother.

A Forsyth County jury concluded that Nannie Ballard Kollar did not neglect her mother to the point that bed sores contributed to her death.
Kollar was charged with abuse of a disabled or elderly person causing serious injury and neglect of a disabled or elderly person causing serious injury.
Kernersville police arrested Kollar April 21, 2011, the day after her mother died.
Prosecutors contended that neglect led to the bed sores that contributed to the death of  Mildred McGee Ballard.
But Kollar's attorney said she had spent more than 30 years caring for her mother and there was no sign of neglect.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Illinois "Petition of the Month" July 2014: Ditkowsky v. The Illinois Attorney Disciplinary Review Committee (IARDC)

The Supreme Court Press “Petition of the Month”TM for July 2014 is Ditkowsky v. The Illinois Attorney Disciplinary Review Committee (IARDC) Supreme Court Dkt. No. 13-1473, an appeal coming out of the State of Illinois. The petition was filed pro se by the petitioner Kenneth K. Ditkowsky.

Question Presented: (two of four questions presented by Petitioner)
1. Does the First Amendment provide protection to an attorney who reports criminal conduct to law enforcement?

2. Does the Illinois Attorney Disciplinary code nullify the moral and common law obligation of requiring citizens to object to elder abuse and financial exploitation of the elderly?
Many lawyers take up the law for idealistic reasons - to fight for the weak, to correct injustices, and preserve the rule of law. Upholding these values requires action be taken - action that can be lauded as crusading and exemplary by some, but reckless and inconvenient by others. However, when the lawyer takes on corruption whose seed might be planted within the legal system itself, the system sometimes retaliates with a fury with the ultimate punishment for an attorney - a referral to the bar's disciplinary committee and long term suspension or disbarment.

In the case of Ditkowsky v. The Illinois Attorney Disciplinary Review Committee (IARDC), Supreme Court, Dkt. No. 13-1473, Kenneth Ditkowsky was suspended from the bar for four years due to his investigation of what he believed to be the looting of an elderly woman, Mary Sykes. He believed that her attorney-guardian may have gone so far as to have stripped her bank safe deposit box and gold teeth fillings.. When he pursued the investigation, he was referred to the IARDC which recommended and ultimately achieved Ditkowsky's bar suspension. The IARDC took little account of Ditkowsky's past role in ferreting out corruption, notably helping the feds uncover judicial bribe taking in the Operation Greylord scandal of thirty years ago.

The Ditkowsky petition asks the Court to consider whether a lawyer's action to protect a potential abuse victim is Constitutionally protected speech.

As I dug into the Sykes case, I discovered that I had stepped into a quagmire. What was going was unbelievable! The family of Alice Gore reported that their mother was isolated, stripped of her assets, abused and Attorney Miriam Solo had orchestrated the removal of 29 teeth from Ms. Gore's mouth so as to mine her gold fillings!"
~Kenneth K. Ditkowsky

In my humble opinion it is dishonest for a lawyer to  shirk his responsibility to the Bill of Rights and the core value of Americans.  No one asked any individual to be a lawyer!  The taking of the oath meant taking the responsibility to stand up when Americana is threatened and be counted even if it means personal loss.  This may be flag waving – but, we have something special and it must be preserved.,"
~Kenneth K. Ditkowsky

Full Article and Source:
Petition of the Month, July 2014:  Ditkowsky v. The Illinois Attorney Disciplinary Review Committee (IARDC)

See Also:
NASGA:  Mary Sykes, Illinois Victim
NASGA:  Alice Gore, Illinois Victim

Breach of Trust Lawsuit in Florida Still Going Strong

Jeffrey H. Skatoff
What is believed to be the longest and nastiest breach of trust lawsuit in State of Florida history is still going strong, after over a decade, many appeals, and several weeks of trial.  The latest trial of the case was completed earlier this year and is once again going to appeal.  The probate court, after a two week trial, handed JP Morgan a complete and total victory over the beneficiaries of the estate and trust.  

Dorothy Rautbord died in 2002, survived by three adult children.  She lived an opulent Palm Beach lifestyle, collecting art, frequenting Palm Beach charity galas, and making significant charitable gifts.  She also had a history of making significant gifts to her various family members, staff, and friends.

In 1990, Ms. Rautbord executed a Revocable Trust, which was amended a number of times.  At all times relevant, JP Morgan Chase ("JPMorgan"), or its predecessors, was the corporate trustee.

During Ms. Rautbord's lifetime, the 1990 Trust provided that the Trustee shall distribute income and principal for Ms. Rautbord's support, maintenance, health, comfort and general welfare, as determined by the Trustee "in its sole discretion."

Upon her death, the 1990 Trust was to be distributed to her three children, Simon, Judy, and Dan.

In 1991, Ms. Rautbord made Judy her attorney in fact pursuant to a power of attorney.  The power of attorney was very broad.  The 1990 Trust, however, contained a limitation which stated that all "powers of amendment, modification, and revocation shall be personal to [Ms. Ratbord] and shall not vest in or be exercisable by any person or corporation acting in any fiduciary or like relationship ***"

Dan and Simon challenged a number of actions undertaken by JPMorgan and/or Judith regarding distributions, disbursements and gifts made from the Trust, including support and maintenance for Ms. Rautbord, creating new trusts from the corpus of the existing 1990 Trust, and making significant gifts to third parties during Ms. Rautbord's lifetime. Some of the withdrawals were made with a series of revocation letters executed by Judith, pursuant to which amounts were withdrawn from the 1990 Trust.

2006 Appellate Opinion - Standing
JPMorgan issued an accounting to Dan and Simon.  JPMorgan filed a trust complaint seeking to ratify the accounting and specifically to ratify the principal distributions made under the alleged authority of the revocation letters executed by Judith.

The trial court granted summary judgment to JPMorgan Chase on the grounds that Dan and Simon had no standing to challenge the withdrawals from the 1990 Trust, because the trust was revocable at that time.  The trial court reasoned that the brothers had "no present interest in the trust during the time that the decedent was alive."

In Siegel v. Novak, 920 So.2d 89 (4th DCA 2006), the appellate court reversed, holding that the brothers did have adequate standing.

The first issue was whether New York or Florida law applied.

The Court held that the concept of "standing" was one of substantive law, as opposed to procedural law.  As such, the standard for determining choice of law is decided under the "significant relationship" test.  Under the significant relationship test, the Court held that New York law applied because the trust from 1995 to 2002 was a New York trust governed by New York law.

The Court noted some New York law under which beneficiaries of revocable trusts do not have standing to challenge actions made by the settlor/trustee during the settlor/trustee's lifetime.

 Full Article and Source: 
Breach of Trust Lawsuit in Florida Still Going Strong

PA Lawyer, John Biondi, Disbarred for Abandoning Support Clients, Ignoring Discipline

A western Pennsylvania attorney has been disbarred after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's Office of Disciplinary Counsel determined he abandoned three clients in domestic relations cases and didn't respond to attempts to discipline him.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports 46-year-old John Biondi, of Beaver County, was first disciplined when a judge in neighboring Butler County removed him from three cases for failing to respond to court notices in three cases. The Office of Disciplinary Counsel initially sought only to censure or reprimand Biondi, but moved forward with disbarment after he repeatedly failed to respond to disciplinary notices or appear at hearings.

Western Pennsylvania Attorney Disbarred For Abandoning Support Clients, Ignoring Discipline

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Casey Kasem's Daughter Battles "Silent Epidemic"

Kerri Kasem, the daughter of famed radio disc jockey Casey Kasem, is getting a crash course in lobbying.

She is crafting and proposing a bill in California that would allow adult children to petition probate courts to obtain an order granting visitation rights to ailing parents. Now, she wants to take her fight straight to Capitol Hill.

“This is a silent epidemic,” Kasem says in a phone interview.

Kasem and her siblings were involved in a bitter court battle with their stepmother to gain control of their father’s medical decisions when the “American Top 40” host died last month at age 82. Kasem claims, along with some of her siblings, her father’s family and best friends were all “kept away” from him. Although things have “settled down” since her dad’s death, Kasem acknowledges there was “so much drama” in the radio veteran’s final months.

“It’s not just a celebrity cause,” Kasem says, “This is happening to people all over the country. … I’m receiving hundreds of letters. … The letters keep coming in with stories, horrific stories, of people that have been blocked from their loved ones.”

The current laws in states across the country are “kind of working against the person who’s ill, and working against the family, and working against the person’s wishes,” she argues.

“There’s nothing right now on the books that allows a judge to say, ‘Let’s send a court-appointed attorney out to the ailing individual and ask if they want to see their kids.’

Full Article and Source:
Kasem's Daughter Goes After "Silent Epidemic"

California Senate Launches Aging and Long Term Care Committee

The California Senate has launched a new five-member Select Committee on Aging and Long-Term Care, HealthyCal reports.

California has the largest population of residents over age 65 in the U.S., according to HealthyCal. Further, about one in five Californians by 2030 is expected to be age 65 or older.

The state Assembly has a committee dedicated to aging and long-term care issues, but a similar Senate committee was disbanded in 2012.

Details of the Committee:
The new Senate committee will be chaired by Sen. Carol Liu (D-Glendale), who pushed to create the panel.

HealthyCal, the committee will focus on addressing:
Elder justice;
Mental health; and

Liu said her goals for the committee include:
Streamlining California's long-term care systems;
Educating the public about issues related to the state's aging services; and
Creating programs to address California's diverse aging population.

A joint hearing of the new committee and the Assembly's Aging and Long-Term Care Committee will be held on Aug. 12.

California Senate Launches Aging and Long Term Care Committee

Sacramento County to Revive Team to Examine Financial Elder Abuse

Sacramento County will reopen a financial fraud unit in January after reports of scams against the elderly have gone up dramatically since Adult Protective Services eliminated the unit several years ago.

From 2010 to 2013, annual reports of financial abuse rose from 873 to 1,330, a 52 percent increase.

The county disbanded the unit in 2009 because of recessionary budget problems, but supervisors this year responded to senior advocates and social service managers who urged them to address the rise in reports of financial crimes.

Adult Protective Services estimates the revived unit will have an annual cost of $660,000 for five investigators and a supervisor, and an unknown amount for administrative costs. Supervisors approved funding last month but delayed the start date until January because they said the county could not afford to fund a full year.

Supervisor Don Nottoli said he wants to increase funding for the unit if the county’s financial situation has improved when the board takes a final budget vote in September. “It’s a priority – a very high one,” he said.

Full Article and Source: 
Sacramento County to Revive Team to Examine Financial Elder Abuse

Read more here:

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

MA Jury Hands Down $14m Negligent Care Verdict to "Send Message" to Nursing Homes!

A Massachusetts jury has awarded $14 million to the family of a nursing home resident who died due to a pressure ulcer, dehydration and other conditions linked to negligent care, according to local news reports.

The majority of the award — $12.5 million — is for punitive damages. Superior Court Judge Peter B. Krupp told the jury that punitive damages could be awarded to send a message to the nursing home industry as a whole, the Boston Globe reported Thursday.

Krupp's jury instruction is a point of contention in a forthcoming appeal, defense attorney Lawrence Kenney told the Globe.

Kenney represented Radius HealthCare Center, a nursing home in the town of Danvers, the newspaper stated. Radius resident Genevieve Calandro's multiple health problems — which also included uncontrolled diabetes and a urinary tract infection that had invaded her bloodstream — were discovered after the 90-year-old fell out of a wheelchair and was hospitalized in July 2008. She died the next month.

Radius, which now has closed, admitted Calandro received substandard care but denied this resulted in her death.

Full Article and Source:
Jury Hands Down $14m Negligent Care Verdict to "Send Message" to Nursing Homes

Alabama County Creates Task Force to Combat Elderly Abuse

Research shows seniors who experience abuse have a 300% higher risk of death and are more likely to have psychological issues. Sadly, elderly abuse is the fastest growing crime in Montgomery County.

Montgomery County law enforcement and the district attorney's office are hoping to change that.
District Attorney Darryl Bailey announced on Wednesday the creation of the Montgomery County Elder Justice Task Force.

Bailey says the task force will begin immediately to investigate and prosecute elder abuse cases.

The task force is made up of a special prosecutor along with an assigned investigator from the DA's office, along with other members representing the sheriff's office, police department, One Place Family Justice Center, Jones School of Law and other community agencies.

Officials say elder abuse happens in various forms, including neglect, physical, sexual, and financial.
According to authorities, the financial impact is enormous. Officials say the direct medical cost of violent injuries to seniors is in excess of $5.3 billion per year.

The loss to seniors who have experienced financial fraud is almost $3 billion every year.

Bailey tells us the Protecting Elders Act, which went into effect last year, created additional criminal penalties and gives the task force additional tools to prosecute these cases.

"It's going to take a lot more work and a lot more time, but I truly believe that this is going to pay off," Bailey said. "I know we are going to make a difference."

Officials say often, it's a family member who is doing the abuse. In fact, 90% of abusers are family members, making these cases even more troubling for the victims.

Full Article and Source:
Task Force Created to Combat Elderly Abuse

Attorney James Alan Langlais Indicted for Making False Statements to a Cobb County Judge

Cobb County Superior Judge C. Latain Kell.
An indictment returned by a Cobb County grand jury paints a picture of a lawyer's nightmare: missing a deadline for filing a motion in a lawsuit. Except in this case, the lawyer is alleged to have lied to the judge about having already done the work at issue, then falsifying documents to support his story.  

The lawyer named in the July 10 indictment is James Alan Langlais, a former partner in the environmental and land use group at Alston & Bird. A spokesman for Alston & Bird said he left in 2009.

At the time of the litigation described in the indictment, he was a partner with the Langlais Law Group, which he started with his wife.   But he has since left Langlais Law Group, a spokesman for the firm said.

Langlais was indicted on three counts of false statements, two counts of false writings, two counts of forgery and one count of theft by deception. The theft charge claims he took money from clients for legal services he allegedly didn't perform. All the other counts are based on two appearances before Cobb County Superior Court Judge LaTain Kell in January and February of this year.

Full Article and Source:
Lawyer Indicted for Making False Statements to a Cobb County Judge

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Loving Family Called "Kidnappers" for Taking the Heroic Action of Bringing Guadalupe Olvera Home

On September 22, 2010, (Ms.) Schultz kidnapped Mr. Olvera under cover of night and brought him to California. In disregard of numerous court orders, Schultz refused to return him to his home in Las Vegas, Nevada. Schultz is now in contempt of court and a bench warrant has been issued for her arrest." - Jared E. Shafer, Nov. 2, 2012

Had the family of WW2 hero Guadalupe Olvera followed Nevada law, their patriarch would not have been allowed to celebrate his 92nd, 93rd, 94th, and 95th birthdays with family and friends at his home in Santa Cruz County, California. He would have been confined to a rest home in Las Vegas after the death of his wife, and would probably have died by now of loneliness and neglect under the "guardianship" of Jared E. Shafer and his protégé Patience Bristol.

After the death of his wife Carmela, instead of staying confined in Las Vegas where he had no friends or relatives, Mr. Olvera asked his family in 2010 to move him back to California - against court orders - to spend the rest of his life with his only child Rebecca Schultz, her husband Bob, their daughter, and grandchildren. Since Olvera's rescue, one of his former court appointed guardians, Patience Bristol, was sentenced to 5 - 8 years in Nevada State Prison for exploiting the elderly while she was employed by Jared Shafer, who has not yet been charged with a crime.

Amazingly, Mr. Olvera's Las Vegas confinement and the bleeding of his assets were completely sanctioned by an unjust Nevada law inspired by Shafer, and under the orders of one of Shafer's cronies Clark County Family Court Guardianship Commissioner Jon Norheim.

Though Olvera was no longer receiving guardianship services from Shafer or Bristol, the court-approved financial bleeding from his bank accounts and other income continued for three and a half years after Olvera's move to California, a state where Shafer and Norheim have no jurisdiction.

Full Article and Source:
Under Color of Law, Exploiter-guardian Jared Shafer had a license to steal the 95th birthday of a WW2 Hero

See Also:
World War 2 Vet Celebrates 95th Birthday With Belly Dancer

NASGA:  Lupe Olvera, Nevada/California Victim

Private Guardians Jared E. Shafer and Patience Bristol Sue Blind Man for Libel, Now Ask Taxpayers to Pay the Bill

"Cowardy Callers" Steal Engagement Ring From 94-Year-Old

DETECTIVES are urging pensioners to be on their guard for doorstep callers after “cowardly” conmen stole an engagement ring from an elderly woman.

The men, believed to be in their 30s, called at the 94-year-old’s house saying they were from the water board.

The pensioner let them in, and after searching every room they left with a number of items of jewelry and the woman’s engagement ring.

The woman was able to give police descriptions of the men, which police hope will be recognized by members of the public.

“They told her they were from the water board, and that there was a problem with the pressure in the street,” said Det Con Claire Beach from Northwich Police.

“They asked if they could come inside and check her water pressure.”

“This was a cowardly crime where the perpetrators preyed on a vulnerable individual, and we are appealing for any witnesses who may have seen males in the area on this day fitting the descriptions,” said DC Beach.

Full Article and Source:
Cowardly Callers Steal Engagement Ring From 94-Year-Old

PA Common Pleas Court Judge Stephanie Domitrovich's Lawyer Wants More Time

Erie County Judge Stephanie Domitrovich is gearing up to fight not only the state Judicial Conduct Board's ethics charges against her, but also the board's request that she be suspended from the bench while the case is pending.

Neither matter, it appears, will be resolved anytime soon.
One of Domitrovich's lawyers, Leonard Ambrose, filed a request Thursday in the Court of Judicial Discipline in Harrisburg seeking more time to respond to the suspension request and the allegations against Domitrovich.
Ambrose said he needed an additional 10 days to respond to the suspension petition and another 30 days to file a pretrial motion in response to the complaint. He said he needed the time because of other court commitments and vacations.

He also said Domitrovich's legal team "is presently conducting an investigation into the allegations in the complaint." He has said the complaint is without merit.

The state Judicial Conduct Board's complaint, filed on July 7, accuses Domitrovich of bullying, demeaning and violating the rights of people who have come before her in court, mismanaging a former employee and providing misleading information to those investigating the ethics claims against her.

It said Domitrovich must be suspended while the case is pending to protect the public's trust in the courts.

Full Article and Source:
Domitrovich lawyer wants more time

See Also:
PA Common Pleas Court Judge Stephanie Faces Ethical Charges

Monday, July 28, 2014

Elder Justice Roadmap Project Report

Given the widespread health, legal, social and economic implications of elder abuse, the Elder Justice Roadmap Project sought the input of experts and stakeholders from across the country in order to develop a strategic resource — by the field and for the field — to combat elder abuse, neglect and financial exploitation.

 The report identifies and prioritizes actions that direct service providers, educators, and researchers can take to benefit older adults facing abuse, neglect or financial exploitation. Likewise, it provides a roadmap for strategic investment and engagement by policymakers in both the public and private sectors to advance our collective efforts to prevent and combat elder abuse at the local, state and national levels.

Elder Justice Roadmap Executive Summary

Elder Justice Roadmap Project Report

Elder Justice Roadmap Project Appendices

Elder Justice Roadmap Project Report With Appendices

Elder Justice Roadmap Project Report

Man Found Guilty of Defrauding Elderly Conservatorship Victims

A man prosecutors said befriended elderly victims who suffered from dementia so he could take control of their properties was found guilty Thursday of eight felonies, District Attorney’s Office spokesman Max Szabo said in a statement Friday.

Gregory Wiggins, 53, targeted and befriended two elderly San Francisco residents who were suffering from dementia and attempted to take advantage of them, Szabo said. He was found guilty of grand theft, embezzlement, elder abuse, making false statements to a notary public, filing false documents and identity theft.

Both victims were under court-ordered conservatorships and Wiggins, who had multiple addresses at the time of his arrest, was repeatedly told by the conservators that he could not enter into any legal contracts with them.

In November 2005, Wiggins convinced one of the victims to add him as a joint tenant on the deed to the victim’s property, giving Wiggins sole ownership after the victim’s death. That deed, however, was nullified after attorneys for the conservatorship became involved.

After that went south, Wiggins targeted an elderly woman who also suffered from dementia, Szabo said. After gaining her trust, she turned over a large portion of her financial responsibilities to Wiggins.

In May 2006, the San Francisco Public Guardian’s office initiated conservatorship to help the victim and in November of that year, the conservatorship became permanent. Wiggins then moved fast to secure the victim’s property in Hercules.

The District Attorney’s Office said it will be pursuing a significant state prison term for Wiggins, as well as restitution for the second victim.

Full Article and Source:
Man Found Guilty of Defrauding Elderly Victims in SF

Nursing Home Staff Member Pleads Not Guilty to Charges of Hitting Disabled Resident

A Quincy nursing home staff member facing charges after authorities say he hit a resident has now made a plea. 

Nicholas Orrill, 27, pleaded not guilty to a charge of aggravated battery to a disabled person in Adams County court Tuesday.

Quincy police responded to an undisclosed nursing home June 28 after receiving word that a staff member had possibly hurt a resident.

Officers say Orrill hit a disabled resident in the face causing injuries to his head.

The victim was treated and released from the hospital.

Officials say Orrill was terminated after the incident.

His trial is set for October 14.

Nursing Home Employee Accused of Hitting Resident Makes Plea

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Tonight on T. S. Radio: Corruption in the Courts: New Cases Appearing Daily

Join us as we discuss emerging news about the ongoing corruption and abuse in the probate system.

Our elderly are more at risk than ever before as the systematic theft of estates and the abuse of the elderly kicks into high gear.

Please call in with your comments and questions.  917-388-4520.  This is an open mic broadcast.

LISTEN LIVE or listen to the archive later

Announcing the Release of Joe Roubicek's New Book: Guardian Angels inc. - The Vile Business of Corrupt Guardianship

A forty page expose' of present-day corruption within the guardianship industry, that focuses on isolation, medication and disposing of the elderly for their estates. This is a concise, thought-provoking piece authored by a seasoned investigator of financial exploitation of the elderly crimes.

Available at Amazon

MN Attorney, Linda Brost, Disbarred After Stealing $43,000 of Client Money and Stealing His Identity

A St. Paul attorney has been disbarred for stealing her client’s money and identity, the Minnesota Supreme Court said in an order Wednesday.
Linda Brost, 62, who now lives in Spooner, Wis., stole $43,000 and failed to cooperate in an investigation by the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility, which filed a disciplinary petition against her in December 2013.
Brost’s troubles started in 2009, when she was suspended indefinitely for using the expired notary stamp of a dead person to fraudulently notarize her own signature on a trust certificate for a client. She later submitted the document to a bank, the petition alleged.
Brost’s theft started with a will she drafted for Arthur Fischbach, who died Sept. 11, 2005. Around the time Fischbach died, Brost altered the date on her dead husband’s expired notary stamp and forged his signature to notarize her own signature on a certificate of trust prepared for Fischbach.

After he died, she presented the fraudulently notarized document to BankCherokee in a failed effort to access Fischbach’s funds, which totaled about $140,000.
She also obtained $43,000 from Fischbach’s insurance company by making false statements and stealing his identity.
In March 2009, after learning of these events, the Minnesota Supreme Court indefinitely suspended Brost from practicing law. Brost then allegedly set up an e-mail account in Fischbach’s name and had his mail redirected to a house she owns in St. Paul. She also opened a checking account in his name in February 2011, six years after his death, and wrote letters purportedly from him as she tried to tap his money, authorities said.
Last year, criminal charges were filed against Brost for theft by swindle, identity theft, and aggravated forgery of a document and insurance fraud. She pleaded guilty.

Full Article and Source:
St. Paul Lawyer Disbarred for Theft, Fraud

Case Against Nevada Family Court Judge Steven Jones Cost Commission on Judicial Discipline Over $180k

The Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline spent at least $183,300 — more than three-fourths of its publicly funded fiscal budget in 2014 — pursuing a case against suspended Family Court Judge Steven Jones, according to its executive director.

“It’s outrageous,” Paul Deyhle said Tuesday. “It’s just one case, and it essentially wiped out our entire operating budget for the fiscal year.”

The commission’s budget for July 1, 2013, to June 30 was $240,269.

Deyhle said the Jones case has hindered the commission’s ability to investigate allegations of misconduct against other judges in the state.

“When you have a big case like this and have to take away resources for it, things get backed up,” he said. “There’s just so much we can do.”

The commission suspended Jones with pay Nov. 30, 2012, following his unrelated federal indictment in what federal prosecutors say was a $3 million investment scheme.

Since then, Jones has collected his $200,000 annual salary in all but three months. He has earned an estimated $266,000 and can look forward to receiving another $100,000 by the time his term on the bench is up at the end of the year.

The commission’s investigation of Jones became public in late December 2012, when it filed a formal statement of charges against the judge accusing him of mis­handling a romantic relationship with a prosecutor who appeared before him.

Deyhle said the panel has spent more than $183,300 investigating Jones over the past several years, but has only tracked its money in the case from the start of the 2014 fiscal year to April 15.

The money went to pay support staff, investigators and two special prosecutors to file and try the charges in front of the seven-member judicial commission, Deyhle said. Funds also were spent fighting legal efforts by Jones all the way to the Nevada Supreme Court to delay the disciplinary proceedings.

The commission also had to foot the bill for two public hearings — a week-long one in December to hear witnesses and evidence against Jones and a day-long proceeding in February to hand out punishment, Deyhle said.

At the February hearing the commission suspended Jones without pay for three months, finding that he had violated professional rules of conduct during his relationship with Lisa Willardson, the late former deputy district attorney.

Full Article and Source:
Case Cost Judicial Discipline Commission Over $180k

Editorial: Elder Abuse

Elder abuse and financial exploitation of the elderly is aggressively accelerating. The guardianship systems in our state courts and our protective agencies intended to safeguard the defenseless, all too often fail. More than two-thirds of the perpetrators of abuse against the elderly are family members as well as individuals in the care giving profession.

Please listen to this heart wrenching story and draw your own conclusions. Not one circumstance I depict in this story is concocted, there is evidence. Why would I squander my time to construct an article on false pretenses?

Nestled in a small town in Northern Michigan named Maple City, encompassing a population of three hundred, a 73 year old strong willed, loyal man exists; barely. Deprived of his earnings and simple lifestyle by his own family; he now depends on the community and friends.

Milton Sandula's, often referred to as "Midge", career started and ended working for General Motors, possessing numerous patents with the vehicle manufacture, all while being unable to read or write! Disadvantaged with never being taught to read or write, he conceded in his family to control his finances and they most certainly did! Orchestrating a conceptional volition of fraudulent thievery, blackmail and retaliation threats throughout the years, using his inability to read or write to their advantage, manipulating pension, social security and disability payments for their own egomaniacal benefit; living a luxurious lifestyle while leaving Midge famished, poverty-stricken and practically homeless if it were not for support of the community and friends.

Formerly a man with assets, not liabilities, is living out his golden years now empty-handed, harrowing for the essentials to exist. A lifetime of callous work now paints a bleak and gloomy depiction of his future. Meanwhile his daughter-in-law, a Women's Resource Center advocate in Traverse City, Michigan, and family reap his wealth.

Elder abuse and financial exploitation is a present reality. Protective agencies all too often fail to recognize internal breaches of policies. Communities and individuals alike need to be informed of these deceitful acts against the elderly and take a stand against elder abuse.

I am respectively requesting the board of directors for the Traverse City, Michigan Women's Resource Center to candidly inquire on their employee's actions and determine if the Women's Resource Center's vision in being advocated by its employee's.

*I am considering creating a petition to be circulated on Midge's behalf and presenting it to the Attorney General Bill Schuette.

A Concerned Citizen

Elder Abuse