Saturday, September 20, 2014

Palo Alto Police Alleged to Have Kidnapped Autistic Daughter 12 Years Ago

The city of Palo Alto will go to trial next month over a lawsuit filed by a couple who says a police detective abused her power and wrongfully took their autistic daughter away from them 12 years ago. But the Palo Alto city attorney’s office contends that the police officer was just doing her job.

The daughter, now 42, now lives in the San Andreas regional center in Campbell, a state run home for the developmentally disabled. The police officer accused, Detective Lori Kratzer, no longer works for Palo Alto police, but the city is still on the hook in the lawsuit.

The trial is scheduled to begin Oct. 3 in San Mateo County Superior Court, according to the couple’s Lawyer, David Beauvais.  The city council is scheduled to discuss the lawsuit, which stems from a November 2001 incident, in closed session on Monday.

In November 2001, Jeffrey and Elsie Golan lived in a trailer at 809 San Antonio Road in Palo Alto with their epileptic, developmentally disabled, autistic daughter Nancy, who was 31. They were starting businesses at the rented office space.
‘Happy, simple, gregarious’
Nancy spoke a few words, but could dress, feed herself and go to the bathroom on her own. “She was generally a very happy, simple, gregarious, lovable, charming, outgoing person… capable of feeling and experiencing all normal emotions.” according to the lawsuit.

Nancy was well cared for, according to the suit.  Her parents watched her around the clock, took her on long walks and try to get her out to interact with other people whenever possible.
“Nancy always came first,” the Golins’ lawsuit stated.

On Nov. 15, 2001, Nancy Golin woke up from taking a nap in the family’s van and wandered away while her mother was in the bathroom.  It wasn’t the first time she had walked away without warning, in fact it happened dozens of times before, by all accounts. The Golins called police, who searched all night with dogs but didn’t find her.
Police declare home a crime scene
In the morning, police, taking direction from Kratzer, swarmed the couples abode. There were as many as 20 police officers and 10 patrol cars there, according to the Golins lawsuit. Police photographed the van, looked for the Golins daughter in a nearby dumpster and took photos of the van, which they referred to as a “crime scene,” according to the Golins lawsuit.

Police also investigated the couple, but didn’t read them their Miranda rights or formally arrest them, the Golins’ Lawsuit said.

Kratzer told the couple that police needed to take Nancy to Stanford hospital for a checkup, according to the lawsuit. The couple claims that the detective never indicated that she was taking Nancy away because she suspected they weren’t caring for her.

After being brought to Stanford for a mental evaluation, she was put in the psychiatric ward. A year later, she would be placed in a residential care facility. She would never live with their parents again.

Full Article and Source:
Palo Alto Police Alleged to Have Kidnapped Autistic Daughter 12 Years Ago

See Also:

NASGA:  Nancy Golin, California Victim

Exploitation of Elderly Woman by a "Friend" is Another Chapter in an Increasingly Common Story

No one who knew Erma Louise Giaccetti would have ever taken her as someone capable of being conned.

At age 84 in 2008, the Independence woman was a presence. She stood 5 feet 10, a railroad engineer’s widow with a sweep of coiffed white hair, a thin cigarette poised in her fingers and a gossipy tongue that, to the dismay even of her family, could turn as cold as it was more often kind.

Joyce Ciaccetti
“She was very domineering,” said daughter-in-law Joyce Giaccetti. “She would talk constantly about people. I think that’s why she didn’t have many friends.”

But in the summer of 2008, she got one: Linda Gayle Scaife, a neighbor from decades ago who had returned to the Kansas City area, knocked on Louise Giaccetti’s door and suddenly became what the widow called her “new best friend.” Giaccetti couldn’t have been more wrong. Over the next three years, until her death, her family ties were destroyed. She lost her home and most of her life savings.

As revealed by family and court documents, the deceit and theft perpetrated by Linda Scaife could easily serve as a cautionary tale for all those concerned about financial exploitation of the rapidly growing number of elderly Americans.

The scams have a vast range: greedy children and paid caregivers writing checks on their elders’ savings, identity and Medicaid fraud, unscrupulous financial advisers, and “sweetheart” scams that use romance to prey on people’s affections and bank accounts.

“The first thing I can tell you is that anyone who tells you they know how much of this is going on is blowing smoke. We don’t know,” said Doug Shadel, an expert on financial fraud with AARP in Washington state. “The reason we don’t know is that people are embarrassed to admit they’ve been taken. There is a lot of suffering in silence.”

Full Article and Source:
Exploitation of Elderly Woman by a "Friend" is Another Chapter in an Increasingly Common Story

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Alabama Judge's Former Assistant Indicted on Theft Charges

A former judicial assistant for Calhoun County district judges is charged with stealing from the courthouse, the state attorney general’s office announced.

A Calhoun County grand jury in August indicted Melody Warren, 52, of Oxford on two counts of first-degree theft of property and one count of using her position as a public employee for personal gain, according to a press release from the attorney general’s office.

The release states that Warren “exerted unauthorized control over money or checks” worth more than $2,500.

Warren last worked for former Calhoun County District Judge Mannon Bankson, but resigned after suspicions of the thefts surfaced, said Calhoun County Circuit Judge Brian Howell.

It was not clear Wednesday when Warren  is to appear in court, but if convicted she could be sentenced to as much as 20 years in prison and fines of up to $30,000 for each count, according to the release.

Full Article and Source:
Judge's Former Assistant Indicted on Theft Charges

Former Texas Justice of The Peace Named in Federal Complaint

Former McLennan County Justice of the Peace Jean Laster Boone, who resigned her office after she was caught up in a mileage scam to defraud the county, has now been named in a federal complaint that charges theft from the Social Security Administration.

Federal court records show she was named guardian for a friend who died but Boone kept receiving Social Security benefit checks in his name and cashing them.

One of her defense attorneys says she’s already repaid $16,517 to the federal government, which is the amount federal prosecutors say she took.

When her friend, Robert Martin Davis, died in 2010, Boone was named cosignatory for his accounts, which included the Social Security checks, Jim Dunnam, one of her attorneys said.

Social Security investigators learned when they tried to contact Davis last year that he had died.

When they checked his bank account, they found that $63,000 had been deposited since his death but more than $16,000 was missing.

Boone admitted she used the money to make repairs on her house.

Full Article and Source:
Former Justice of the Peace Named in Federal Complaint

Friday, September 19, 2014

Linda Kincaid Reports: Elder Abuse by Conservator Scott Phipps: Boomers Against Elder Abuse Speaks Out

Elinor Frerichs (91) has been  confined and isolated for two years. Acting on unlawful instructions from conservator Scott Phipps, assisted living facility Lakeside Park denied visitors and phone calls. Phipps told Elinor’s family and friends that Elinor did not wish to see them.

This Examiner met with Elinor on September 3 and September 5, 2014. Elinor reported that she very much wished to see her family and friends. Elinor was vehement in her statements that she did not wish Phipps to continue as her conservator.
"He is a bastard. I’ll tell the judge he is a bastard.
I want him gone anyway I can arrange it."
California’s Notice of Conservatee’s Rights states Elinor’s right to ask the judge to replace Phipps as her conservator. The Notice also states Elinor’s right to ask the judge to end the conservatorship. Elinor stated her wish to attend the September 12, 2014 hearing on her case. Elinor said she wished to address the court and ask to have Phipps removed.

On September 8, 2014, Boomers against Elder Abuse sent Phipps the following email, urging him to respect Elinor’s rights and allow her to attend her court hearing on September 12, 2014.
Dear Mr. Phipps 
It has come to the attention of the 69,000 followers of Boomers Against Elder Abuse that you are petitioning the court for further isolation of 91 year old Elinor Frerich, preventing her from receiving unrestricted visits from her loved ones. We have read documents concerning this case, and urge you to remove yourself as conservator if Elinor wishes it--this can only be determined by her presence at her own hearing. We also ask you to cease restricting her rights in a way that appears retaliatory. Your actions in restricting visits by her husband, and your animosity toward him on record, could even be perceived by some to be racially motivated. I urge you to repair your public image by demonstrating compassion and concern for Elinor's wishes and rights. We are watching this case with great interest, hoping that you will do the right thing by properly respecting the rights and wishes of an elder under your supervision, and her husband. 
Boomers Against Elder Abuse
Phipps disregarded Boomers’ request, just as he ignored Elinor’s rights and wishes.

Full Article and Source:
Elder Abuse by Conservator Scott Phipps:  Boomers Against Elder Abuse Speaks Out

See Also:
Boomers Beware of Elder Abuse

Linda Kincaid Reports: Elder Abuse at Lakeside Park in Oakland: Resident Denied Visits and Phone Calls

Lakeside Park assisted living facility advertises:

“Lakeside Park in Oakland is a nationally recognized community providing the highest level of assisted living for families and elders living with dementia.”

Resident Elinor Frerichs might not agree. Elinor’s family and friends report that Lakeside Park prevented Elinor having visitors and phone calls for the past year. Elder advocates recently confirmed that Elinor is confined and isolated. That isolation is in violation of California’s licensing regulations. It also constitutes criminal elder abuse as specified in Penal Code 368.

On September 16, 2014, Coalition for Elder & Dependent Adult Rights filed the following complaint with Community Care Licensing.

"Pam Gill, Regional Manager
Eastbay Delta Adult and Senior Care Regional Office
Community Care Licensing Division
Department of Social Services
1515 Clay Street, Suite 310, MS 29-21
Oakland, CA 94612

Telephone: (510) 286-4201;
FAX: (510) 286-4204

Dear Ms. Gill,

Please accept this letter as a second complaint of elder abuse and violations of licensing regulations at Lakeside Park at 468 Perkins Street in Oakland, CA (RCFE License #015601384).

On September 5, 2014, Dr. Robert Fettgather (408-371-6239) and I went to Lakeside Park and asked to visit resident Elinor Frerichs. Executive Director Cheryl Martin stated that Elinor was taking a nap and did not wish to see us. I asked if we could wait in the lobby for Elinor to wake from her nap. Ms. Martin ordered us to leave the facility. I stated that I would call Oakland Police Department for a welfare check, which I proceeded to do.

About twenty minutes later, Ms. Martin enthusiastically invited us back into the facility. She stated that that Elinor was awake from her nap and wished to visit with us. Ms. Martin required that we conduct our visit in her office where she could observe the visit and listen to the conversation.

On September 7, 2014, I went to Lakeside Park to visit with resident Elinor Frerichs. Richard Calhoun (408-926-0365) and two elder advocates from the Congress of California Seniors accompanied me. The front door to the facility was locked. We rang for entry, but staff ignored us for about five minutes. Another person arrived and also rang for entry. Lakeside Park Administrative Assistant Roxie Stevenson came to the door allowed the other person to enter. Then Ms. Stevenson rudely told us that Elinor was way from the facility. We asked if we could wait in the lobby for Elinor to return. Ms. Stevenson refused to allow us into the building...."

Full Article and Source:
Elder Abuse at Lakeside Park in Oakland: Resident Denied Visits and Phone Calls

Linda Kincaid Reports: Elder Abuse by Oakland Conservator Scott Phipps: Gwen Boozé Speaks Out

Oakland residents are concerned about Elinor Frerichs (91), fallen prey to an abusive conservator. Scott Phipps of Phisco Fiduciary instructs assisted living facility Lakeside Park to keep Elinor unlawfully isolated behind locked doors. No visitors. No phone calls. Elinor has no way to communicate with family, friends, or elder rights advocates.

On September 12, 2014, Phipps petitioned the court to permanently take away Elinor’s right to visitation. The Notice of Conservatee's Rights states Elinor’s right to attend hearings on her case. The Notice also states Elinor’s right to ask the judge to replace Phipps as conservator. Advocates across the country urged Phipps to allow Elinor to exercise her rights.

Phipps did not allow Elinor to attend her hearing. Phipps kept Elinor isolated on September 12, preventing Elinor telling the judge about the abuse she suffers at Phipps’ hands.
  • Elinor had no way to tell the judge that Phipps sold her family ranch without her knowledge or consent.
  • Elinor had no way to tell the judge that she loves her husband, and she opposed Phipps having their marriage annulled.
  • Elinor had no way to tell the judge how much she misses her little dog, Barker, also taken away from her.
Many Oakland residents fear they could be next to fall victim to similar abuse. Long-term Oakland resident and elder advocate Gwen Boozé eloquently expressed the concerns and fears of the Oakland community.
"I am just so sad and so scared that this could happen to me or even you, Supervisor. The short version is that there is a spunky lovable 91 year old woman that happened to outlive her friends and family and did it with millions of dollars to boot. Our justice system has taken away her human rights by greedy slick attorneys that legally get to spend her money while they lock her away and deny her telephone calls and friendly visitors. They even disposed of her little dog companion, Barker.  
The thing is, I just do not understand how they can continually get away with taking away her human rights. Since she has so much money, why can't she be afforded the dignity of living out the rest of her days in her own home with 24/7 registered and certified nursing care. They did not have to kill her dog. And she could at least get a new one. But no, instead of being humane, this Friday, September 12th they are asking the courts to further restrict her ability to receive visitors or telephone calls.  
I challenge you, Madam Supervisor. I challenge you to just go visit Elinor Frerichs at the Lakeside Park Memory Care Facility at 468 Perkins, Oakland, CA 94610. If they don't call the police on you, and allow you to visit with her, you will see that she is an adorable little old lady that deserves the respect we once gave our elders. At the very least, let her attend her own hearing on September 12, 2014. 
If after visiting with Elinor you find it in your heart to do something to stop this case of Elder Abuse and give her the dignity and human rights she deserves, I can't promise you anything but a warm heart and maybe you will never find yourself in such an awful position. 
My name is Gwendolyn M. Boozé and you can reach me by responding to this email. I appreciate your consideration and expediency regarding Elinor Frerichs' human rights."
Full Article and Source:
Elder Abuse by Oakland Conservator Scott Phipps:  Gwen Boozé Speaks Out

See Also:
YouTube:  Elder Abuse by Conservator Scott Phipps in Oakland, CA

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Holocaust Survivor's Guardianship Saga NEVER STOPS

In August, 89-year-old State Ward and Holocaust Survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto Marie Winkelman got another bill. This time, Marie owes her attorney, Audrey Bear of Sarasota more than $17,000.00 for services she provided to Marie from before she became Marie’s attorney until January 2014Amongst the multitudes of charges claimed by Bear are over $1,600.00 for the hours Bear, Marie, and Beverly Newman, elder advocate, spent together on the afternoon of New Year’s Eve, reviewing Marie’s case of gross guardianship abuse.

For four hours on December 31, 2013, Bear, Marie, and Newman discussed Marie’s appeal of the court order that ended her freedom as an independent woman and seized all of her bank accounts, investments, and a trust worth millions, pursuant to a mediated settlement agreement signed by Bear’s friends and fellow attorneys, Rebecca Proctor and Christopher Likens, in addition to attorneys Kimberly Bald and Barry Spivey. On November 25, 2013, these attorneys had signed the mediated settlement agreement without Marie being present or even seeing the agreement, without any record being made of the secret mediation meeting held at attorney Gary Larsen’s office, and without Marie’s consent to its terms or her signature upon the document.

The secret meeting produced an agreement that was subsequently adopted by Probate Judge Deno Economou on December 3, 2013, without holding the mandatory incapacity evidentiary hearing, thus denying Marie her Constitutionally-guaranteed rights to due process.

Although Bear charged Marie over $1,600.00 for the time she spent telling Marie about her rights to appeal the court order that stole her freedoms, Bear never filed the notice of appeal that she promised would be filed with the court that same day, when Marie gave Bear $400.00 in checks to pay for the appeal.

Now, hundreds of thousands of dollars later, dozens of attorneys, guardians, psychiatrists, physicians, and other service providers have reaped windfall benefits from Marie’s guardianship.

To support Marie Winkelman at her guardianship trial, please pray and come to:
Courtroom 8B
Lynn N. Silvertooth Judicial Center
2002 Ringling Blvd.
Sarasota, FL  34237

Judge Deno Economon
Monday, September 22, 2014 at 10 AM 

Source:  Email notification from Beverly Newman

FBI: Former Georgia Attorney Michael Rene Berlon Indicted for Stealing From Client Funds

Former attorney Michael Rene Berlon has been arraigned on federal charges of mail and wire fraud.

“This defendant is charged with defrauding his own clients out of over $1.8 million,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “They came to him for legal help, and instead he drained their bank accounts.”

J. Britt Johnson, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, stated: “Individuals relying on the professionalism and trust of individuals like Mr. Berlon should be able to turn to someone when that trust is violated. The FBI, in being well positioned to investigate such allegations involving the diversion of funds through mail and wire fraud, is that someone.”

According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges, and other information presented in court: Berlon, who practiced in Grayson, Ga., through his law firm, the Law Office of Michael R. Berlon, is charged with obtaining funds from clients of his law firm and other individuals through false pretenses. The indictment alleges that some clients provided money to him believing that he would create a trust for them, and would hold the funds in trust. Instead, Berlon used the funds for personal expenses, including to pay his American Express bill and to repay other clients.

The indictment also alleges that in one instance, Berlon obtained money from two individuals who were looking for his assistance with starting a new business. He told the victims that he would help them get a loan, but they were required to provide a percentage of the requested loan amount as a down payment. Instead of assisting them with obtaining a loan, Berlon used the funds for his personal expenses and debts. In total, it is alleged that Berlon received at least $1.8 million in client funds from 2008-2013.

Berlon, 55, of Grayson, Ga., was arraigned before Linda T. Walker, United States Magistrate Judge. He was indicted by a federal grand jury on September 9, 2014.

Full Article and Source:
Former Gwinnett County Lawyer Indicted For Stealing Client Funds

U.S. Department of Justice Launches the Elder Justice Website

The site – offers resources for victims, family members, prosecutors, researchers, and anyone who works with older adults.
  • Victims and family members will find information about how to report elder abuse and financial exploitation in all 50 states and the territories.
  • Federal, State, and local prosecutors will find three different databases containing sample pleadings and statutes.
  • Researchers in the elder abuse field may access a database containing bibliographic information for thousands of articles and reviews.
  • Practitioners — including professionals of all types who work with elder abuse and its consequences — will find information about resources available to help them prevent elder abuse and assist those who have already been abused, neglected or exploited.
U.S. Department of Justice Launches the Elder Justice Website

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Suspended Judge Steven Jones Inks Plea Deal in Fraud Case

Suspended Family Court Judge Steven Jones has signed an agreement with federal prosecutors to plead guilty to participating in a $3 million investment fraud scheme.

His lawyer, Robert Draskovich, confirmed that Jones on Friday signed the agreement, which calls for him to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

As part of the deal, Jones will resign from the bench and give up his law license after he pleads guilty in federal court.

Prosecutors have agreed not to ask for more than 27 months in prison for the longtime judge at his sentencing, Draskovich said.

“He’s looking forward to putting this behind him,” Draskovich said Monday.

The deal is not binding until Jones accepts it in court. Jones could face a dozen years in prison if he goes to trial at the end of the month and is convicted in the decade-long scheme, which prosecutors allege began in 2002.

Natalie Collins, spokeswoman for the Nevada U.S. Attorney’s Office, declined comment on the plea deal.

The electronic court docket does not show an entry or date for Jones’ change of plea.

Jones and five others, including his former brother-in-law Thomas Cecrle, were indicted by a Las Vegas federal grand jury in late October 2012.

The indictment alleged that between September 2002 and October 2012, the defendants persuaded people to lend them money under the guise of quick repayment with high interest rates. The defendants indicated they needed the money to secure valuable property and water rights, including land on the Strip.

Jones is accused of using the power of his office to further the decade-long scheme and intervening on Cecrle’s behalf to prevent or delay legal processes against him.

Full Article and Source:
Suspended Judge Jones Inks Plea Deal in Fraud Case

See Also:
Embattled Family Court Judge Steven Jones Headed Back to Public Payroll

Ohio: Five Cases Certified to Attorney Discipline Board

The Ohio Supreme Court’s Board of Commissioners on Grievances & Discipline today announced five cases recently certified to the board by a probable cause panel.

In each case, a certified complaint has been sent to the respondent, and the respondent has been asked to file an answer to the allegations contained in the complaint. Once an answer is received, the case will be assigned to a three-member hearing panel of the board, and the hearing panel will conduct further proceedings in the case.

Typically, a public hearing is scheduled within four to six months after the case is assigned to a hearing panel. Please consult the Upcoming Hearings schedule for a monthly schedule of board hearings. Contact the board’s office at 614.387.9370 to confirm that a hearing will be held as scheduled or for more information about a case. Case documents can be obtained via e-mail upon request.

If the board finds that a lawyer or judge has engaged in professional misconduct, the board will file a report with the Supreme Court that includes a recommended sanction. The Supreme Court is responsible for reviewing the case record and imposing discipline.

Medina County Bar Association, Relator v. Albert D. Shirer, Respondent
Case No. 2014-060

Mahoning County Bar Association, Relator v. David J. Gerchak, Respondent
Case No. 2014-061
Columbus Bar Association, Relator v. Lumumba T. McCord, Respondent
Case No. 2014-062
Columbus Bar Association, Relator v. David C. Watson Jr., Respondent
Case No. 2014-063
Disciplinary Counsel, Relator v. Shawn P. Hooks, Respondent
Case No. 2014-064

Full Article and Source:
Five Cases Certified to Attorney Discipline Board

Event Trains Seniors to Avoid Financial Exploitation

The Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office will host the “Safe Bank Project” for seniors beginning at 7:30 a.m. Oct. 21 at the AMVETS Post #256, 818 Tarlton Rd.

The program provides free training for financial institutions and the senior community to learn to recognize some of the common signs of financial exploitation of seniors, explanations of the law and voluntary reporting requirements, identity theft, mail fraud and how to make a report to the proper authorities.

Angela An of WBNS-10TV will serve as master of ceremonies for the event that will feature presentations by Sheriff Robert Radcliff; Judy Wolford, Pickaway County Prosecutor; David Kessler, Fairfield County investigator; Ken Mammoser, FBI; Marianne Hemmeter, deputy director of the Economic Crime Unit of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office; and Philip Gentile, Postal inspector.

To register for the free event, which includes a continental breakfast supplied by the Pickaway Senior Center and the SALT Council, contact the Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office at 477-6000 or email Registration is requested by Sept. 28.

Event Trains Seniors to Avoid Financial Exploitation

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Beverly Newman: Dear Rick and Pam - as in Scott and Bondi

Beverly Newman
Let me publicly reiterate my private conversations with each of you at your campaign rally on Labor Day. I am a laborer, a small business owner who works at least 60 hours a week six days per week and barely pays our family’s bills. I am also a strong advocate of elders and of children; thus, I vociferously support your combined efforts to cleanse Florida of pill mills and to “stop the pot” machine steamrolling over the Sunshine State, about to become the “Stoned State.”

Both of these issues are inextricably interwoven with each other and with another urgent elder issue – guardianship abuse. How so? The mentality that pushes pills to adults also pushes pot to our youth, in particular, and exploits our elders, by filling them with prescription drugs while in guardianship as Wards of the State of Florida. We call it chemical restraint. If there is one State Ward in Florida who is not under the influence of chemical restraints – anti-depressants and other psychotropics – it would be extraordinarily rare.

Typically, the State of Florida forcibly administers to each of its tens of thousands of Wards some or all of the following prescription drugs, commonly against the will of both the Wards and their families: Zoloft, Lorazepam, Clonidin, Lexapro, Seroquel, Ativan, Xanax, Risperdal, Haldol, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, … ad infinitum. If the names sound familiar, it is because these same drugs are part and parcel of the pill mills Florida has evicted from our borders. Why then are our beloved parents and grandparents victimized by court-authorized pill mills via guardianships?

At least equally hideous to the abusive use of chemical restraints on the elderly is the forcible immobilization of them through physical restraints, tethering frail elderly women and men to beds and chairs, such that they cannot move their bodies or limbs. On September 21, 2009, I personally witnessed both the chemical and physical restraint of my 89-year-old Father, Al Katz, at Manatee Memorial Hospital, against his will and mine.

Full Article and Source:
Dear Rick and Pam - as in Scott and Bondi

See Also:
NASGA: Al Katz, Indiana/Florida Victim

Utah Judge Rules Against Josh Powell Family in Estate Case

A 3rd District Court judge on Wednesday prevented the family of Josh Powell from collecting any more money from his estate, saying they waited too long to challenge changes to his legal trust.

The ruling prevents the Powells from collecting the assets in Josh and Susan Powell’s trust when Susan is declared dead, probably in December. 
That trust, and a related conservatorship, will include $2.3 million in life insurance awards, which have been accumulating interest, and the couple’s house in West Valley City.
Terrica and Alina Powell — Josh’s mother and sister, respectively — are likely to appeal. Their Salt Lake City attorney, Joshua Lee, declined to comment Wednesday.
While Judge L.A. Dever ruled in favor of Chuck and Judy Cox, Susan Powell’s parents, he found problems with how they came to manage their daughter’s estate.
Dever said Chuck Cox should not have been put in charge of the estate. The terms of Josh and Susan Powell’s legal trust said a trustee could be appointed only if they were dead or incapacitated.
While Josh Powell is dead, Susan Powell has never been found, and Chuck Cox did not provide documentation from two doctors saying his daughter was incapacitated, as required by the terms of the trust. Once he gained stewardship of the trust, Dever said, Chuck Cox did not have authority to remove the Powell family as beneficiaries.
Yet, 3rd District Judge Katherine Bernards-Goodman granted Chuck Cox conservatorship over the trust on Jan. 30, 2013. Utah law provided the Powell family 30 days to challenge his appointment.
The Powells did not file any such challenge until Sept. 13.
Despite errors he said were made by the Coxes, Dever let stand their booting of the Powells.

Georgia Probate Judge Karen Pitman Rethinking 'Retirement'

Monroe County's probate judge is apparently rethinking her decision to retire from her post and is disputing that an ethics inquiry by the state's judicial disciplinary agency precipitated it.

The state Judicial Qualifications Commission on Sept. 2 told the Supreme Court of Georgia that it conducted an investigation of Judge Karen Pitman in connection with her adjudication of traffic tickets. The JQC said it closed the investigation when Pitman submitted a retirement letter to Gov. Nathan Deal.

But on Thursday, Pitman told the Macon Telegraph that she was in the process of rescinding her decision to retire in December. The Daily Report has been unable to reach Pitman or her attorney, Eric Hearn. But she told the Macon paper that her decision to retire was not related to the JQC inquiry.

Instead, Pitman told the newspaper she was facing "personal challenges" and that her work was cutting into time she would otherwise spend with her family.

Full Article and Source:
Monroe County Probate Judge Said to Rescind Move to Retire

Monday, September 15, 2014

Judge Denies Motion to Block Suit Against Former Public Guardian

By Walter F. Roche Jr.
A circuit court judge has turned down a motion filed by Davidson's former public guardian in a suit filed by a Hendersonville woman who has charged she was wrongly placed in a conservatorship.

In a two-page order, Judge Hamilton V. Gayden denied the motion filed by attorneys for former Public Guardian Jeanan Stuart.

Stuart's lawyers had argued that Ginger Franklin's claims should be decided under a law limiting the claims that can be filed against public agencies because Stuart was acting as an agent of Davidson County.

But Gayden concluded that he could not grant the motion because Metro government was not even a party to the suit.

He wrote that he would reconsider the matter if Metro becomes a party to the suit within the next 30 days.

Gayden also noted that Franklin's suit charges that Stuart's conduct was "knowing and willful" which,  if true, would negate the limitations.

Ginger and her best friend 
Franklin's suit charges that Stuart failed in her fiduciary duties to look out for her best interests during the conservatorship, which was ultimately dissolved.

Stuart was removed from the public guardian's job by Probate Judge David "Randy" Kennedy after questions were raised about her billing practices. She submitted a resignation the same day.

The position remains unfilled, but a proposal by Mayor Karl Dean would created a new Public Guardian's office funded by Metro government.

Gayden's ruling comes on claims by Franklin that she was placed in a group home by Stuart and put to work caring for other residents.

In an earlier ruling Gayden dismissed other claims Franklin made relating to the loss of her condo and car due to actions or inactions by Stuart during the conservatorship. The condo was auctioned off and the car was abandoned.

Judge Denies Motion to Block Suit Against Former Guardian

Multiple People Arrested in Elder Abuse Case

Several neighbors in Boone County are shocked that elder abuse was taking place on their street.

Chief Deputy Chad Barker said the victim, Sylvia Meadows, 88, suffered physical abuse and was also taken advantage of financially by her own children and grandchildren. Neighbors that live on Meadow's street in Madison, said they had reasons to believe their friend, who has dementia, was being abused over the last year. William Meadows, Elizabeth Austin, Regina Meadows, Linda Meadows and Dennis Adkins were all arrested. The charges range from abuse of an incapacitated adult to embezzlement.

"She told me she had been beaten but at the time I didn't know whether the allegations were true or false," Mark Linville, who grew up in the house beside Meadows, said.

Linville said the 88-year-old confided in him about the abuse back in 2013, and he regrets not taking her story more seriously.

"I've seen bruising on her face and contusions and she had told me she had been beaten," Linville said.

Meadows moved from England to West Virginia during World War II be with her late husband, Harry, Linville said. Deputies said the family heirlooms Meadows brought with her were stolen by the very people that were supposed to care for her.

"Taking money from an elderly lady, your grandmother is terrible," Barker said. "Physically abusing your grandmother is terrible."

The chief deputy said family members beat Meadows and left her with bite marks, bruises and a bloodied mouth. He also said they spent $70,000 of her savings, opened 20 credit cards in her name and wiped out her life savings.

"Any aspects of the case that you look in to individually are really horrible we feel," said Barker.
Meadows is now being cared for by the state.

Full Article and Source:
Deputies Say Multiple People Arrested in Elder Abuse Case

Investment Fraud Against Seniors Remains a Constant Threat

Elder financial exploitation is a growing problem. Many senior citizens have worked for decades, paid off their homes and saved money for retirement. However, these assets can make seniors a prime target for individuals who seek to financially exploit them.

Seniors account for 13 percent of the U.S. population, and according to the Virginia TRIAD, a cooperative effort of law enforcement agencies and senior citizen organizations, seniors make up 30 percent of consumer fraud victims.

Additionally, data from the National Adult Protective Services Association show that 1 in 20 elder adults experienced financial mistreatment occurring in the recent past.

Floridians age 65 and older who are looking to invest should be cautious. Financial scams can drain senior citizens of their savings.

A fraudulent annuity scam involves misleading investment practices aimed at seniors. An annuity is a series of income payments made at regular intervals by an insurance company in return for a premium or premiums you have paid. Elder adults may be manipulated into purchasing an unsuitable annuity or replacing existing annuities with a new one simply for the scammer's financial gain.

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Investment Fraud Against Seniors Remains a Constant Threat

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Tonight on T.S. Radio: Collateral Victims of Abusive Guardianships

Our guests are Daniel Ryan and Marcia Southwick

The traumatic effects of having your precious loved one kidnapped and imprisoned by this blatantly corrupt industry in legal, yet lawless, human trafficking for profit and power.

There is no nightmare or Hollywood horror film that can compare to having my fiancé and soul mate permanently removed from my life forever… As in every case of kidnapping, the first concern is for her well- being. That NEVER changes. Also, there’s the ever-present sense of urgency to rescue her from her captors.

The utter disbelief, sleepless nights, loneliness and loss, accompanied by waves of fear, worry, anger and hopelessness continue to haunt my daily existance with little mercy since that day 2 years ago when they strapped her to a stretcher and removed her from her home, her life, and my life until she’s either dead or destitute!

APS, the guardian, her attorneys, the judge, and the care home owner have colluded to keep her prisoner for life. Why? Because she saved for her golden years and to cover up her rape we reported when she was in a rehab facility being treated for a tailbone injury. There are 4 stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining and Acceptance. I can’t seem to get past the first 3 because she is still alive and I refuse to lose hope…

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

LISTEN LIVE or listen to the archive later

Columbus Lawyer Gives Up All Guardianship Cases

A Columbus lawyer who a few months ago boasted that he probably acted as guardian for more people than anyone else in the nation has resigned from all his cases and briefly checked himself into a local hospital for mental-health treatment.

Paul S. Kormanik filed his resignation with Franklin County Probate Court on Aug. 26. He once had about 400 wards; now the hundreds he had left have been temporarily put in the custody of Groveport attorney John Mashburn until the court can find permanent guardians.

Kormanik did not return emails or calls to his law practice seeking comment on Thursday or yesterday.

Mike Moran, the court’s chief of staff, said on Wednesday that Kormanik will no longer be associated with the court. Several people who know Kormanik said he checked into Dublin Springs, a mental-health treatment facility, for observation.

Moran said the court was in the process of removing Kormanik’s involvement in guardianship cases.

Almost all of Kormanik’s law practice consisted of guardianship cases. To oversee many of them, he was paid thousands of dollars per case annually.

In an unprecedented move last month, the court began taking wards away from Kormanik after a five-part Dispatch series, “Unguarded,” showed how the guardianship system has been abused. Stories specifically questioned Kormanik’s billing practices and his extraordinary caseload.

The court removed about 50 of Kormanik’s wards last month and placed them in the care of Advocacy and Protective Services Inc., or APSI, which helps people with disabilities.

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Columbus Lawyer Gives Up All Guardianship Cases

A Very Dangerous Nevada Law, Part 2

Rana Goodman
In the September issue I told you about Guardian Commissioner Jon Norheim who was appointed by Judge Hoskins 10 years ago. To and to my knowledge no commissioner has ever been considered to replace him.

I find it inconceivable to believe that no one in our justice system has questioned the mountain of allegations of impropriety and misappropriation of funds by guardians appointed over and over again by this man. More to the point, I find it fascinating that one guardian, Jared Shafer, the one receiving the largest quantity of appointments, thus revenue has never come into the line of fire of our district attorney.

You might ask why that caught my attention; well, Patience Bristol, another guardian,  is currently sitting in prison right now after making some type of plea deal with our DA. It must have been one hell of a deal because he struck 20 counts down to 1 and yet, although she learned all she knows about guardianship from Jared Shafer, he has not been charged with a thing. hmmmmmmm! So here are my questions.

Many things have been published by my colleague, Steve Miller over the last couple of years about Jared Shafer and Commissioner Norheim's behavior, so let us ask;

WHY hasn't the DA filed any charges against Shafer?

WHY does the Review Journal refuse to cover any type of story on these senior exploitations?

WHY don't our assemblymen and women do something about modification of this outrageous law?

WHAT gives these scumbags so much power, please don't tell me the DA and all these power people fear them?

inquiring mind wants to know, how about you?

Full Article and Source:
A Very Dangerous Nevada Law, Part 2

Jared Shafer

See Also:
The Pitfalls of Guardianship

Here's a Video Which Explains Itself!

Explaining Judicial/Governmental Corruption

Jury Selection Begins in Indicted Ohio Judge Case

Jury selection has begun in the trial of an Ohio juvenile court judge accused of misusing county credit cards and backdating court documents.

Hamilton County Judge Tracie Hunter has pleaded not guilty to felony charges, including tampering with evidence, forgery and theft in office.

The selection from a pool of about 60 potential jurors began Monday for Hunter’s trial in Hamilton County court in Cincinnati.

The Ohio Supreme Court disqualified Hunter from acting as a judge after her indictment.

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Jury Selection Begins in Indicted Ohio Judge Case