Saturday, September 13, 2014

'Jared E. Shafer's Bad Laws Legalize the Bilking of Las Vegas Retirees'

It has become very apparent that a select group of private for-hire "guardians" control at least two judges sitting on the Clark County Family Court bench; Judge Charles Hoskin, and his appointed "Guardianship Commissioner" Jon Norheim.

Judge Jon Norehim
COURT VIDEO of private guardian Jared E. Shafer ordering Norheim to close the court to the public during the discussion of $500,000.00 missing from his ward's estate.)Nevada Revised Statutes permit Hoskin and Norheim to summarily approve the quasi-legal enrichment of private court appointed guardians who exploit the elderly and infirm. However, It has not yet been determined if Hoskin and Norheim personally share in exploitation of the life savings of many "wards" they assigned to an unscrupulous group of local for-hire guardians who feed off of ill-informed residents of our city's two Sun City developments (Las Vegas' Death Watch). In an effort to find answers to the legality question, I contacted current Clark County Public Administrator John Cahill. He told INSIDE VEGAS: "....action in all cases are reviewed in detail by the Court in a petition, and actions approved and ordered are carried out." By his answer, Cahill obviously believes that the orders of county Family Court judges and commissioners are beyond reproach.

(Jared Shafer has ignored repeated requests by INSIDE VEGAS to tell his side of this story.)

However, an extensive investigation is underway that may determine if the jurists (and Cahill) ever profited from numerous highly questionable court rulings that favored guardians, and cost family members who dared question their power tens of thousands in legal expenses. The following Nevada statutes may pose a serious threat to Las Vegas' second largest industry; retirement. If these statutes and their peril are made known to wealthy people living outside Nevada who are considering a move to one of our city's posh retirement communities, they should take heed, especially if they have no relatives living in this state to care for them in the event their spouse passes away (poor people are not appointed private guardians).

NRS 159.059, and NRS 159.0487 legally prohibited a nonresident of this State, the only living child of 95 year old WWII hero Guadalupe Olvera, from moving him back to California to spend his final years in the care of his loving family. In this court video entitled Guardian Abuse of 93 Year Old WWII Vet By Las Vegas Corrupt Family Court System and Jared E. Shafer, Olvera is patronized by Guardianship Commissioner Norheim, Shafer, and Shafer's attorney Alan Freer when Olvera pleaded to be allowed to leave Nevada. Shortly after his plea was ignored, Olvera moved to California against court orders, and Shafer had Judge Hoskin issue a Contempt of Court warrant for his daughter, later saying Olvera's daughter "kidnapped" her father and she should be arrested. However, California courts refused to honor the warrant.

NRS159.117 permits the guardian to legally purchase or exchange securities with their ward's money.  In 2009, Jared Shafer and his CPAs Shawn King and  Bruce Gamett invested PFSN ward's savings into a Utah Ponzi scheme called VesCor and received commission payments for those referrals. They were sued by the receiver for VesCor who stated: "The transfers of commissions from VesCor constitute fraudulent transfers... at a time when the investors were on notice of VesCor's insolvency or fraud."  The SEC said that (defendants) "offered and sold approximately $180 million in unregistered notes to more than 800 investors, many of whom were senior citizens." To avoid criminal prosecution, Shafer, et. al. returned the fraudulently transferred money to the accounts of his PFSN, Inc. wards who were unaware their funds had been invested in a Ponzi scheme. (MORE INFORMATION about the Ponzi scheme

In the late Leann Peccole-Goorjain's case, .NRS 159.076 legally Authorize(d) the guardian of the estate ... to manage the ward’s property, to convert the property to cash and sell any of the property, with or without notice, as the court may direct. After the payment of all claims and the expenses of the guardianship... The court may dispense with annual accountings.

Three years before Leann  died on February 24, 2008 leaving a multi-million dollar estate, the Family Court placed her into the guardianship of Jared Shafer. That was in 2005 when Leann was deemed a “vulnerable person.” Six and one half years after her death, Jared Shafer - without being required to file annual accountings, continues with Court approval to drain Leann's estate of hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.  Her oblivious family told INSIDE VEGAS they were (erroneously) told Shafer is an attorney, and their loved one's fortune is in good hands. (Read: Grave Robbery Under Color of Law ).

Jason Hanson
NRS 159.1425 allowed Jared Shafer to legally sell the real property of a ward, Cerebral Palsy victim Jason Hanson (left).; In a video by INSIDE VEGAS photographer Mike Christ entitled Guardian Jared E. Shafer Exploits Special Needs Trust, 25 year old Hanson testifies that he never saw a penny of the proceeds from Shafer's sale of his late father's house and furnishings. The Jason Hanson - Jared E. Shafer Story.

There are many more cases such as that of the late Marcy Dudeck who at 91 was allowed to die of dehydration under Jared Shafer's care. In her case as with too many others now coming to light, Shafer spent Dudeck's savings to pay for his own defense against her family who wanted her to live near them in California. The family could not stop Shafer until he had depleted all of Mrs. Dudeck's resources paying himself and his over priced attorney friends to make Marcy and her family miserable for taking him on.

Full Article and Source:
Jared E. Shafer's Bad Laws Legalize the Bilking of Las Vegas Retirees

Assisted Living Employee Charged With Theft Exploitation

An office manager at an assisted-living facility in Pinellas County is accused of exploiting an elderly and disabled resident and taking nearly $12,000.

Authorities say Monica Jean Goon, also known as Monica Goon Donnelly, was arrested by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Hernando County Sheriff's Office after an investigation found that Goon had abused her position.

Goon, a 51-year-old Spring Hill resident, faces one count of exploitation of an elderly person, a third-degree felony, and one count of grand theft from a person age 65 or older, a second-degree felony. She faces up to 15 years in prison and $10,000 in fines if convicted.

According to a news release, the unidentified 77-year-old victim had been staying at a Nurses Helping Hands assisted-living facility since July 2012. The victim previously had been diagnosed with breast cancer and had undergone treatment. She considered Goon a friend and had asked her to attend to her financial matters while she was hospitalized.

Full Article and Source:
Assisted Living Employee in Hernando Charged With Theft Exploitation

Man Arrested for Exploitation of Guardianship Ward

A 53-year-old Manning man was arrested Aug. 27 by the Clarendon County Sheriff’s Office and charged with exploitation of a vulnerable adult after an attorney told deputies the man took about $100,000 from an elderly woman.

Reports did not indicate Wise’s relationship with the woman, nor the time frame in which he allegedly took the money.

The incident was reported by a Manning attorney who represents the conservator and guardian of the woman in a civil matter regarding Wise’s alleged taking of the money, according to a report from the Sheriff’s Office.

Full Article and Source:
Man Arrested for Exploiting Elderly Woman

Friday, September 12, 2014

Linda Kincaid Reports: Elder Abuse by Oakland Conservator Scott Phipps: Board of Supervisors Concerned

Elinor Frerichs’ civil rights are in danger. Elder advocates addressed the September 9, 2014 meeting of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors.   The Board called for an investigation. 
Conservator Scott Phipps petitioned Alameda County Probate Court to strip Elinor of her right to have contact with family and friends. Elinor (age 91) could spend her remaining years isolated in a locked facility. No visitors, no phone calls, and no mail.
  • Phipps and prior conservators kept Elinor isolated for two years.
  • Phipps placed Elinor in a locked dementia facility, Lakeside Park in Oakland, although Elinor was not diagnosed with dementia.
  • Phipps annulled Elinor’s marriage, although Elinor stated she loves her husband and wanted to remain married to him.
  • Phipps voided Elinor’s will, although psychologists determined that Elinor had capacity to execute her 2012 will.
  • On September 12, 2014, Phipps will ask the court to permanently take away Elinor’s right to visitation, phone calls, and mail.
Elinor has a right to ask the judge to replace Phipps as her conservator. She has the right to ask the judge to end the conservatorship. But Elinor can only secure those rights if Phipps allows her to attend her court hearing on September 12. The Supervisors expressed their concern about Elinor’s rights being denied.

On September 9, after the Supervisors meeting, advocates went to visit Elinor and tell her that her case was being investigated. Elinor was no longer at Lakeside Park, the facility designated in her court file. It appears that Phipps moved Elinor without court permission to prevent advocates contacting her.
  • Elinor’s location is unknown.
  • Elinor’s condition is unknown.
  • Phipps' intentions are unknown.
Readers may contact Scott Phipps to express their concerns for Elinor’s safety and Phipps' violations of Elinor's

Full Article and Source:
Elder Abuse by Oakland Conservator Scott Phipps:  Board of Supervisors Concerned

Linda Kincaid Reports: Elder Abuse by Oakland Conservator, Scott Phipps: Dr. Beverly Newman Speaks Out

Elder advocates across the country are outraged by heinous elder abuse occurring in Oakland, CA.  Elinor Frerichs (91) has been isolated from family and friends for the past two years. No visitors, no phone calls, no mail.
The abusive orders are from Elinor’s conservator, Scott Phipps of Phisco Fiduciary.
  • Phipps placed Elinor in a locked dementia facility, Lakeside Park in Oakland, although Elinor was not diagnosed with dementia.
  • Phipps annulled Elinor’s marriage, although Elinor stated she loves her husband and wanted to remain married to him.
  • Phipps voided Elinor’s will, although psychologists determined that Elinor had capacity to execute her 2012 will.
Elder Advocate Dr. Beverly Newman sent the following letter to the Alameda County Board of Supervisors.

Dear Alameda County Officials:
I am appalled to read the above-referenced petition requesting the following drastic restrictions to be imposed upon California State Ward, Elinor Frerichs, such that she be confined at age 91 to complete her life in isolation far worse than what is forced upon dangerous felons in your state:
'15. Therefore, in order to protect both Conservatee from undue influence and Petitioner and the facility from breaching a fiduciary duty or licensing requirement, Petitioner now seeks a specific order prohibiting any and all people known, or later discovered, to be associated with KENNETT TAYLOR from contacting Conservatee, either directly or indirectly.'
'16. Probate Code 2351(a) allows a Conservator to petition the court for an order specifically limiting a Conservatee’s personal right, including but not limited to, the right of the Conservatee to receive visitors, telephone calls, or personal mail.'
I urge you to permit Elinor the freedom she so richly deserves and guaranteed to her by law to enjoy the company of the persons with whom she chooses to associate. I urge you to remove Elinor from the highly-restrictive and inappropriate confining setting in which she has been forced to live, in order for her to return to her own home or the residence of her choice. At 91, Elinor has earned the right to fully participate in her court hearings, visit freely with companions, converse freely on the telephone, and live a live of dignity. Alameda County should enforce Elinor's civil and Constitutional rights completely and immediately.

Beverly Newman, Ed.D.
Elder Advocate, Sarasota, Florida

Elder Abuse by Oakland Conservator, Scott Phipps:  Dr. Beverly Newman Speaks Out

Financial Schemes Against the Elderly Are Increasing

WHEN a longtime friend asked for a loan to help get her boyfriend back on his feet, Maria Voltl, 84, decided to help. Ms. Voltl had lent money to her friend before, and it had always been paid back. So without consulting a professional, she handed over $500,000.
Now Ms. Voltl is regretting her generosity. None of the money, which was her retirement nest egg, has been repaid — even after a judgment against the couple.
“I treated my friend like a daughter,” said Ms. Voltl, of Sparks, Nev. “She said she’d take care of me.
Then she sold me out.”
As a result, Ms. Voltl lives near the poverty line. She shops at Goodwill, no longer travels and bought a cheaper car with better gas mileage. “My last nice years are ruined,” she said.
Financial crimes against elders are taking a toll on lives and pocketbooks. And trusted caregivers — the friends and relatives who offer support and guidance — are often the ones at fault, according to legal and financial specialists. The over-65 segment is expected to grow to 20 percent of the total United States population by 2050 from 13 percent today, according to the Census Bureau, and financial abuse is expected to rise in tandem, draining hard-won retirement money.
In New York, which has the third-highest population of seniors in the United States, the number of financial abuse cases is expected to surge by 2030, according to the New York State Office of Children and Family Services estimates.
Older adults are appealing — and vulnerable — targets. “They have a lot of money that was saved over the years,” says Tiffany Couch, the founder of Acuity Forensics, a forensic accounting firm in Vancouver, Wash. They are also usually debt-free and own their homes. As dementia and Alzheimer’s rates climb, the elderly may also be increasingly incapable of protecting themselves from fraud.
Their caregivers may be dealing with a lot of debt and pressure, and suffering through a bad economy, Ms. Couch said. So they may decide to use an elder’s money to shore up their own finances.
“The people stealing from us are never the ones we think will do it,” said Ms. Couch, whose own financial abuse cases have been increasing. “They could be a trusted friend, family member or caretaker. And their typical defense is that ‘They were going to die anyway, so I thought I’d get my inheritance.’ ”
Full Article and Source:
Financial Schemes Against the Elderly are Increasing

Thursday, September 11, 2014

How the Cook County Public Guardian's Office Can Take Your Home

In Illinois guardianship is referred to by the state as a "court created responsibility," however for the family of Mildred Willis it has turned into a four year nightmare which has seen the matriarch lose her freedom, and the family lose much of its assets, including the family home.

With her mother, Mildred Willis, struggling with impending death of her father in 2010, Stacey Willis consulted with a Chicago attorney named Terrance Godbolt who suggested that to relieve some of the stress, Stacey take over temporary guardianship over her mother.

On October 18, 2010, Stacey Willis was named plenary guardian by the Cook County Superior Court.

“He gave me a brochure,” Stacey Willis told RebelPundit, and said she never knew that she’d be responsible for creating a detailed budget, financial plan, and be responsible for accounting for every dime she spent of her mother’s money.

Furthermore, Willis says, after filing all the proper forms for guardianship, Godbolt disappeared, stopped returning phone calls, and was otherwise unavailable to help her navigate the process.
A message to Godbolt’s office was left unreturned.

Willis said she had no idea that in Cook County there is a special office, the Cook County Public Guardian’s Office, which watches all guardianship cases like a hawk and is ready to step in whenever the office feels there is trouble.

That’s exactly what happened when the Cook County Public Guardian’s Office led by Robert Harris accused Stacey Willis of misspending $164,000 of her mother’s money. The office asked the probate judge, Cook County Circuit Court Judge Carolyn Quinn, to have Willis removed as her mother’s guardian and instead have the office appointed on December 17, 2012.

Willis said the charges against her are lies, citing the fact that her mother didn’t have anywhere close to $164,000 in liquid assets to misspend. Stacey Willis told RebelPundit that her mother had about $30,000 in cash at the start of the process along with a treasury bond worth about $22,000.

Full Article and Source:
How the Cook County Public Guardian Can Take Your Home

See Also:
In Retaliation for Downtown Protest, Cook County Public Guardian's Office Evicts Senior Citizens, Sets Family Belongings on Curb

Cook County Public Guardian's Office:  About Us

Statement from Cook County Public Guardian's Office

Response from Mildred Willis' daughter, Stacey

NY: A Judge's Status Robed in Silence

The newest judge on the court's fourth floor is Barry Kamins, a man with as prestigious a resume as any in the New York state court system. But his future is also uncertain: Kamins is currently being investigated by the state Commission on Judicial conduct for a range of possible ethical violations.

A recent New York City Department of Investigation report that examined Charles J. Hynes's campaign spending and other conduct during his failed bid for a seventh term as Brooklyn District Attorney found that Kamins had been providing legal and political advice to Hynes over many months. The report revealed that Kamins, then the supervising judge for all of Brooklyn, recommended staff, prepped Hynes for debates and even provided extra legal advice dealing with active cases being handled by Hynes' office.

Following the June 3 DOI report, Kamins was removed from his senior position. But 10 weeks later, he is back on the bench hearing disputes over property values and deciding foreclosure cases.

David Bookstaver, the spokesman for the New York State Court system, said that, by law, a judge can only be removed or otherwise disciplined by the Commission on Judicial Conduct.

"Right now there is no mechanism to keep him from the bench. This isn't subjective, it's the constitution," Bookstaver said. "There is a process."

Full Article and Source:
A Judge's Status Robed in Silence

TN Supreme Court Upholds 30-Day Suspension for Nashville Lawyer Who Criticized Judge in Email

The Tennessee Supreme Court has upheld a 30-day suspension for Nashville attorney William Caldwell Hancock for his conduct in a bankruptcy case, which included sending an email to the judge calling him “a bully and clown.”
The disciplinary action against Mr. Hancock was originated by the Board of Professional Responsibility (BPR) in 2010 in connection with Mr. Hancock’s representation of a commercial client in a bankruptcy action. After several months of contentious litigation, Mr. Hancock withdrew from the case in 2008 and sought attorney’s fees totaling more than $350,000. The court ultimately refused the fees and described his behavior throughout the case as, among other things, “unprofessional.”
Mr. Hancock appealed the decision denying his fees in federal court and, after seeking two extensions and filing paperwork outside the deadline that did not conform to standards, was again denied attorney’s fees. He then sent an email in late 2009 to the judge in the original bankruptcy case that said “… if you have a decent bone in your body you will get down off your high horse and act like a man instead of a bully and clown … .” 
In 2011, a BPR hearing panel found that Mr. Hancock had violated five of the Rules of Professional Conduct and the panel concluded, when taking into account all the circumstances, the penalty should be a 30-day suspension of Mr. Hancock’s law license. The BPR and Mr. Hancock appealed the decision to the Chancery Court for Davidson County, which found three additional rule violations and upheld the 30-day suspension.

Full Article and Source:
Supreme Court Upholds 30-Day Suspension for Nashville Lawyer Who Criticized Judge in Email

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Marriage of Newlyweds, Ages 96 and 95, Questioned

In some ways, Rebecca Wright doesn't understand all the fuss over her 96-year-old mother's recent marriage. After all, she says, "Anybody who wants to get married must have a little dementia."
The courts, though, and some of Wright's other relatives aren't amused. And the future for newlyweds Edith Hill, 96, and Eddie Harrison, 95, is very much uncertain.
The two have been companions for more than a decade after a Hollywood-style meet-cute - they struck up a conversation while standing in line for lottery tickets, with one of the tickets turning into a $2,500 winner. They married earlier this year, with a 95-year-old church elder presiding over the ceremony, no less.
"I guess I wanted company," Hill said in an interview, explaining why she married. "I wanted somebody I could help, and they could help me. ... We were both single. My husband was gone. His wife was gone. We became the best of friends."
Robin Wright, Hill's granddaughter, said the relationship is more romantic than Hill's explanation allows.
"You catch them kissing all the time," she said. "They're actually in love. Really in love. ... I know he's part of the reason she gets up every morning."
Legally, though, the wedding has been problematic. Hill has been declared legally incapacitated for several years. A judge said at a hearing last month that he believes Wright - co-guardian over her mother along with Rebecca Wright's sister who opposed the marriage - acted improperly by taking her mother to get married without the court's permission.
Cary Cuccinelli, representing the sister who opposed the marriage, Patricia Barber, said at last month's hearing that the wedding occurred without other family members' knowledge, and that it complicated the matter of how to eventually distribute Hill's estate, which includes property on the edge of Old Town Alexandria, worth about $475,000, according to real estate assessments.
"Legally, Mr. Harrison now has a right to a portion of Ms. Hill's estate," she told the judge, saying it also complicates decisions over who will care for Hill, and where she will live.
While the judge, James Clark, found the marriage to have been improper, he also worried that breaking up the couple could "create a circumstance in Ms. Hill's life that she doesn't deserve."
Full Article and Source:
Marriage of newlyweds, ages 96 and 95, questioned

Brothers Seek Control of Mother's Finances

The family of Tomas Zavalidroga has started court action to remove his power of attorney for his mother so they can gain control of her property.

In the show-cause order, Zavalidroga, of Forward Road in Blossvale, has to show the court why he should be allowed to remain guardian to his mother, Margaret Zavalidroga, said Colin LaReaux, the Utica-based attorney representing Victor and John Zavalidroga in the matter.

Victor and John Zavalidroga are Tomas’ brothers who recently took the legal action.

In the guardianship case, LaReaux says that there is a Sept. 10, 10:30 a.m. hearing in state Supreme Court in Utica regarding the order.

According to records at the Oneida County Clerk’s office, Tomas, using his power of attorney status, filed two “quitclaim deeds” in which two Forward Road parcels of land were transferred from his mother to him on June 20.

A quitclaim deed is a document in which the owner of a piece of property, transfers any interest to a recipient. With the document, the owner terminates or quits any right and claim to the property, thereby allowing its transfer.

LaReaux said that if a judge ultimately found in Victor and John Zavalidroga’s favor, Tomas’ power of attorney status would be ended and the recent land transfers would be voided.

According to county records, a power of attorney status was filed in August of 2006, granting Tomas full control over all financial transactions of his mother’s including banking, insurance and property transfers.

Full Article and Source:
Brothers Seek Control of Margaret Zavalidrogas' Finances

See Also:
NASGA:  An Open Door

Caregiver Accused of Stealing $1 Million and Gambling Away More Than $8 Million

A South Florida caregiver who stole nearly $1 million from an elderly woman in her care gambled away more than $8 million at the Magic City Casino, authorities said. Marie Petit Louis, 39, is facing a charge of exploitation of the elderly following her arrest Tuesday, according to a Coral Gables Police arrest report. Her bond was set at $250,000 Wednesday but she was being held on an immigration warrant, records showed. It was unknown if she has an attorney.

Petit Louis, from Haiti, was one of three caretakers who cared for the victim, Annette Reff, who died in August 2012. Petit Louis cooked, cleaned and drove around Reff, who suffered from dementia, depression and other physical ailments, the report said.
According to the report, Petit Louis took $928,529.44 from Reff between February 2010 and July 2012. Petit Louis had Reff's financial accounts closed out and deposited into her own accounts or had checks written to her.
Petit Louis even posed as Reff in phone calls in which Reff's investments were liquidated, the report said.
When Miami Police first questioned Petit Louis, she claimed Reff gave her the money voluntarily and would also give money away to homeless people, the report said.

3 Powers of Attorney Everyone Needs

The words “power of attorney” can sound like something from a movie or TV show: the villain tricks an innocent, unsuspecting person into giving away their legal rights… until, of course, the hero steps in at the last moment to save the day.

In reality, powers of attorney are tools that can be for good, not evil – especially these:

Health Care Power of Attorney
A Health Care Power of Attorney allows you to appoint another individual, usually called your agent, to make health care decisions on your behalf.

Unlike a Living Will, which typically only addresses situations involving life-sustaining medical treatment, a Health Care Power of Attorney can cover a broad range of health care decisions and is not limited to instances of terminal illness or permanent coma. It’s a comprehensive and flexible document that allows a person you trust to weigh the facts and legally speak for you according to guidelines you provided. You specify that you want all medication options to be exhausted, set in place a blanket do-not-resuscitate order… or any options in between those two extremes.

HIPAA Power of Attorney
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) controls how health care providers can share your personal health information, protecting your privacy and confidentiality.

Durable Power of Attorney
A Durable of Attorney gives a person, referred to as an agent or “attorney in fact, the legal authority to act on your behalf. Unlike a Health Care Power of Attorney, which covers medical situations, a Durable Power of Attorney allows you to choose who will act on your behalf in a wide variety of financial or business situations.

Durable Powers of Attorney are extremely flexible. You can limit your agent’s authority to a specific situation, like closing on the sale of a home or signing a specific contract, or give them authority over a broad range of situations or circumstances. A Power of Attorney can be temporary or permanent, can take effect only if you are incapacitated or unable to make decisions on your own, and can be revoked at any time.

Full Article and Source:
Three Powers of Attorney Everyone Needs

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Georgia Man Pleads Not Guilty to Financially Exploiting a Woman With Dementia Who May or May Not Be His Wife

A Prattville man pleaded not guilty Wednesday to financially exploiting a woman who may or may not be his wife.

Glen Ray Glassmeyer, 75, was indicted in July on a charge of financial exploitation of the elderly, courthouse records show. He entered the plea before Judge Sibley Reynolds in Autauga County Circuit Court. Reynolds set a trial date for the week of Sept. 29.

Glassmeyer allegedly gained access to an elderly woman's finances and misused "several hundred thousand dollars," Assistant District Attorney Jessica Sanders said. He also allegedly bought a house for $150,000 in Elmore County that he put in his name, using the woman's money, she said.

Glassmeyer's attorney, Virginia Lucci, declined to comment about the case. He is free on a bond of $10,000, records at the Autauga Metro Jail show.

The victim in the case suffers from dementia, and Glassmeyer married her three days before he was arrested, Sanders told Reynolds.

"Judge, there is some question about Mr. Glassmeyer's relationship with the victim," she said. "He has told investigators he is her caregiver, but he also said they were together in a dating relationship. There is a petition filed seeking an annulment of the marriage."

The legality of the marriage is in question due to the victim's level of competency at the time of the marriage, prosecutors allege.

Full Article and Source:
Prattville Man Pleads Not Guilty to Exploitation Charges<.a<

Belgium: Doctor Tells Man: We Killed Your "Depressed" Mom

A Belgian man whose mother was euthanized without his knowledge by a doctor because she suffered depression has filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights.

The Alliance Defending Freedom says in its petition on behalf of Tom Mortier that oncologist Wim Distelmans, a leading promoter of euthanasia in Belgium, first met Godelieva De Troyer in late 2011. The following February, she made a donation of 2,500 euros to a foundation he runs.

Just six weeks later, Distelmans “euthanized” De Troyer, informingher son a day after she was dead, the complaint explains.
The case challenges Belgium’s law allowing doctor-prescribed death.

It argues Mortier’s mother was not terminally ill but had complained of depression, a condition several other doctors had determined was treatable.

“The government has an obligation to protect life, not assist in promoting death,” said ADF Litigation Staff Counsel Robert Clarke. “A person can claim that she should be able to do whatever she pleases, but that does not override the government’s responsibility to protect the weak and vulnerable. We are encouraging the European Court to uphold this principle, which is completely consistent with the European Convention on Human Rights.”

The Belgian law requires three other physicians who had no previous involvement with the patient’s care to sign off on a decision to euthanize.

De Troyer’s own physician, who had treated her for more than 20 years, had rejected her requests for euthanasia.

But she went to see Distlemans, and after a 2,500 euro donation to Life End Information Forum, an organization co-founded by Distelmans, he carried out her request to die because of the depression, ADF said.

Full Article and Source:
Doctor Tells Man:We Killed Your "Depressed" Mom

How to Talk Honestly About Money With Your Family

Talking about the specifics of how your adult parents are going to handle aging and the related financial implications, like how to afford retirement, can be challenging, to say the least. That might be why so few parents and adult children have these kinds of frank discussions. But glossing over the details when everyone is still healthy and fiscally sound can lead to a much more difficult conversation later – after a crisis hits.

When it comes to covering living expenses in retirement, 4 in 10 parents have not discussed their plans in detail with their children, according to the recently released 2014 Fidelity 2014 Intra-Family Generational Finance Study. About 15 percent haven’t had any kind of conversation on the subject. The numbers are similar for other tough topics, including health care and elder care expenses, wills and estate planning. The study included 1,058 parents and 159 children older than age 30; to qualify, parents had to have investable assets of at least $100,000.

Parents tend to say they want to wait longer to have these conversations, until after they are retired, while adult children are eager to address these topics before their parents' retirement. Adult children also say they think these conversations will be upsetting, and parents say they don’t want their children to “count too much on their future inheritance” – more reasons for delaying or skipping the talks altogether.

“[Adult children] have a lot of anxiety about whether their parents are going to succeed in retirement, and adult children are trying to plan for their own retirement and pay for their children’s education,” says John Sweeney, executive vice president of retirement and investing strategies for Fidelity. Parents and adult children also have to fight the instinct to keep financial matters private, he adds. “Most people don’t talk to their children about what they make,” he says, so it can feel strange to shift gears as you get older and become more open about your financial situation with your children, even when they’re adults.

That doesn’t mean parents need to share every detail of their bank accounts with their kids, but Sweeney recommends sharing enough about your retirement plan to give your children confidence that you’ll be able to cover your expenses. “That’s a great gift,” he says, referring to the study findings that adult children are often unnecessarily worried about their parents’ financial well-being.

Full Article and Source:
How to Talk Honestly About Money With Your Family

Monday, September 8, 2014

Linda Kincaid Reports: California Attorney General Kamala Harris Ignores Heinous Elder Abuse

AG Kamala Harris
In June 2011, the family of Alzheimer’s patient Carol Hahn begged for help from Attorney General Kamala Harris. Family reported two individuals from Riverside based financial services firm Leivas Associates forced entry into Carol’s home, removed her from her home, and hid her from family.

Reports from San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and records from San Bernardino County Court (CONDS100023) from 2010 establish that Carol’s step-granddaughter placed Carol at assisted living facility Wildwood Canyon Villa. The step-granddaughter instructed Wildwood to prevent Carol having visitors or phone calls. Carol was isolated from loved ones for fifteen months. With assistance from Riverside attorney Jaxon Miller, the step-granddaughter seized control of Carol’s entire $1M estate.

Attorney General Kamala Harris refused to investigate. In August 2014, Carol’s family submitted thousands of pages of evidence obtained through civil discovery.

The documents substantiated aggravated kidnapping, false imprisonment, isolation, physical restraint, chemical restraint, neglect, financial abuse, and indicators of sexual abuse.

Vincent DiCarlo of the Attorney General’s office again refused to investigate.

Full Article and Source:
California Attorney General Kamala Harris ignores heinous elder abuse

See Also:
NASGA:  Carol Hahn, California Victim

Caretaker Charged With Exploitation of Alzheimer's Patient

A 30-year-old Midlander is suspected of using the credit card belonging to an elderly woman with Alzheimer’s disease, according to court documents

Sabrina Hernandez, also known as Sabrina Hernandez Gomez, was arrested Friday and was held on a $20,000 bond for a third-degree felony charge of exploitation of an elderly or disabled person. She posted bond and was released on Saturday.

The complainant told police that she found several suspicious charges on her mother’s credit card account, according to the arrest affidavit. The purchases allegedly were made between mid-May and mid-August.

The alleged victim lives in an assisted-living community and has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease

Hernandez, the woman’s caretaker, told the complainant that her mother had allowed her to use the card for purchases and that she was repaying her in cash, according to the arrest affidavit.

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Caretaker Charged With Exploitation of Alzheimer's Patient

Looking Beyond Medicare's Nursing Home Ratings: What You Really Should Know Before Picking a Facility

This week, The New York Times published an investigative report by Katie Thomas on Medicare’s five-star rating system for nursing homes.  Among its findings: Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare tool relies largely on self-reported data by the facilities themselves and is thus unreliable.

On one hand, this is a bit odd, since Medicare’s website explicitly describes these very shortcomings.

On the other hand, the article (which will get a lot of attention because it is The New York Times) may encourage consumers to look beyond Medicare’s rating system. And that would be a good thing.

But the real problem is not that Medicare takes facilities’ word for it when it comes to quality. The real problem is that too often it is measuring the wrong things. The lesson is simple: The five-star rating system is useful (if flawed), but a wise consumer should see it as only one tool in the search for the best possible facility. After all, who’d buy a car based only on its government fuel-efficiency rating?

Full Article and Source:
Looking Beyond Medicare's Nursing Home Ratings: What You Really Should Know Before Picking a Facility

See Also:
Nursing Home Medicare Rating System Based on Unverified Data

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Tonight on T.S. Radio: Tracey Miller: The Threat of Retaliation

Join us this evening as Tracey Miller returns to the show to discuss the realities of retaliation against families and victims for speaking out and exposing the abuse and fraud in guardianship. Families across the country have been targeted through the courts for exposing the rampant abuse of "wards" by those who use the system to profit.

 Using character assassination, unfounded charges of neglect, abuse and exploitation, those who fight for the rights of the ward are systematically attacked by the predators. No evidence needed; none ever produced. In fact, most "probate" courts never even require any evidence to be produced by those making the charges. Supposedly, the predators word is enough to enter the charges as fact in the courts. Tracey and I will be talking about the very real threat of physical retaliation as families fight back against a growing and highly protected system of human trafficking for profit that operates with the cooperation and facilitation of the probate and family courts.

5:00 pm PST … 6:00 pm MST7:00 pm CST 8:00 pm EST

 Speaking out? It could get you hurt!
LISTEN to the show LIVE or listen to the archive later

The Pitfalls of Guardianship

A Guardian: a defender, protector, or keeper.

synonym:  protector, defender, preserver, custodian, warden, guard, keeper,
conservator, curator, caretaker, steward, trustee
Rana Goodman,
Political Editor
I have long been an advocate for seniors and avidly read documents sent to me by others with similar goals. An associate, Steve Miller, who is well known in our city, has been publishing some alarming stories on-line regarding the pitfalls of guardianship.

I subscribed to Steve’s on-line newsletter, and over the last few months have sent him numerous emails and questions about this issue - all of which he responded to quickly.

As I am gearing up for the 2015 legislative session, I wanted to let our readers know what I have found. The Vegas Voice wants to know if YOU are as alarmed as I am.

Let me present the case of one man that was a resident of my own Sun City community - Guadalupe Olvera. Mr. Olvera’s wife passed away in 2009 and at that time he was 90 years of age and fully in control of his faculties.

His home was very large and fully paid for, his bank account flush, but with his dear wife gone, what was missing was family. So rather than rattle around in a large empty house, his only child, Becky, decided to move him to California to live with her.

Becky and Lupe
When Becky arrived in Henderson and went to see her grief stricken father, he was not home, which caused her to call the Guardianship Commissioner’s office for assistance because her mother had been “guardian of person” only due to her father’s physical disabilities. Commissioner Norheim’s office gave her the unlisted home number of Jared Shafer, the guardian into whose hands her father’s affairs had been placed, to “help” her find her father. There was however a “large fly in the ointment” You would think that would be no problem if his adult daughter was voluntarily taking him with her, wouldn’t you? Unfortunately, now that Jared Shafer had hold of this, you would be wrong. Releasing Mr. Olvera into the hands of his daughter and relinquishing guardianship would also mean the loss of potential substantial billings, as the end of the tail has proven.

However, Shafer knew the law in our state was on his side, since according to the Nevada Revised Statute 159.059, a relative living outside of the state does not qualify for guardianship. Jared Shafer is a professional guardian. (Google him - I dare you).

Mr. Olvera and his daughter were adamant that they wanted to be together and he had every right to live wherever he wished. Becky then took her father to her California residence.

Jared Shafer filed a bench warrant for contempt of court against Becky, telling everyone it was for “kidnapping”. To make a long story short, Mr. Olvera was forced into a conservatorship in CA as terms for Jared Shafer to terminate the NV guardianship. Becky managed to also have the CA conservatorship also terminated.

However, it took four long years, in which time, according to Becky, her father’s trust account and CA bank account were raided for a total of over $420,000, mostly in legal fees going to Shafer’s attorneys.

She has now filed suit against Shafer to recover what she can for the estate. Additionally, Becky and four other families, who have been victimized by this guardian “scam” will accompany me to testify for revising the law to allow non-Nevada residents family members to qualify as guardians.

The Vegas Voice:  The Pitfalls of Guardianship

Two California Judges Censured for Having Sex in Their Courthouses

Two California judges -- one in Orange County, the other in Kern County -- were publicly censured by a judicial oversight panel for having sex with women inside their respective chambers.

Orange County Superior Court Judge Scott Steiner was censured for a host of improprieties, including having sex in his chambers and failing to disqualify himself from a case involving a longtime friend, according to the Commission on Judicial Performance, an oversight board that investigates judicial misconduct.

A public censure is the most severe form of discipline the commission can issue outside of removing a judge from the bench. The commission is made up of three judges, two lawyers and six members of the public.
In its censure, the commission said Steiner’s action disrespected the court’s dignity and decorum, tarnished his office in the eyes of the public and potentially subjected court employees who might become aware of the "libidinous conduct" to a hostile work environment.

In Central California, Kern County Superior Court judge Cory Woodward was censured for having sex with his married clerk in his chambers and lying to the court’s chief executive about it.

According to the commission, Woodward was sleeping with his courtroom clerk in 2012 and 2013 and refused to reassign her despite repeated suggestions by coworkers. Woodward also sent the clerk sexual notes during court proceedings, the commission found.

The only reason Woodward wasn't kicked off the bench was because he cooperated with investigators, admitted wrongdoing and showed “great remorse and contrition.”

Full Article and Source:
Two California Judges Censured for Having Sex in Their Courthouses

PA: Lawyer Disciplinary Decisions Will be Publicized More

State officials want to make sure the public knows when a lawyer has been disciplined and they say they intend to do more to spread the word.

The Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania is responsible for holding attorneys accountable. It regularly posts information about its rulings online and in legal trade publications, but that goes unnoticed by most people outside of the legal community.

The board has a longstanding practice of publishing legal notices in the classified sections of local newspapers to alert the public about its actions. But that fine print also isn't looked at by many readers. So the board announced earlier this month it would begin sending news releases to media outlets in communities where the lawyers do business to try and garner more headlines.

The board said in a news release it is making the change partly because of a situation earlier this year in Dauphin County where an attorney who was forced to surrender his law license failed to notify his clients, some of whom claimed they were bilked out of millions of dollars.

Full Article and Source:
Lawyer Disciplinary Decisions Will be Publicized More

READ the news release