Monday, June 29, 2015

Betrayal of Trust: Part 1 - Section 2

Too much authority

A secret system

Like tens of thousands of elderly New Jerseyans, and at least 1.5 million Americans, she's consigned to a guardianship system that's shrouded in secrecy, tangled in red tape, and rife with corrupting temptation.

Across the U.S., the vast majority of court-appointed guardians do difficult, honest work, providing a critical service for society's most vulnerable citizens.

But there are some who have exploited a system with few checks and balances, using the supreme authority the courts grant them over their wards' lives to enrich themselves.

The lawbreakers have included family members, attorneys, professional guardians, even a high-ranking judge in Minnesota.

Guardianship investigations in New Jersey and other states.
Corrupt guardians have stolen millions in New Jersey in recent years, and perhaps billions across the country.

No one knows for sure.

New Jersey's top judge says these crimes are "deeply troubling."

"There are simply too many cases in which individuals who've been granted authority, who've been granted responsibility, take advantage of the very people that they have ...promised to assist," New Jersey Chief Justice Stuart Rabner said June 15 at an elder abuse conference at Stockton University in Galloway.

The crimes are easy to commit and even easier to hide. Few courts across the country have the resources, or will, to police the guardians they appoint.

State Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner
At risk is the biggest treasure chest of all: $30 trillion — yes, trillion — that today's graying baby boomers have amassed in assets over the last 50 to 70 years. That's enough money to run the U.S. government for three decades.

Why does all this matter to you? Because every cent stolen is more money that the government will have to pony up through Medicaid payments, and your tax dollars, to care for the elderly and infirm admitted to nursing homes.

And the next victim could someday be your loved one — a parent, a brother or sister, an aunt or uncle.

Maybe even you.

(Continue to Section 3)

Full Article & Source:
Betrayal of trust:  Part 1


StandUp said...

I was impressed when Justice Rabner stood up and started reforms in NJ and I'm still impressed with his efforts.

Mike said...

It is a secret institution in every state and the abusers hide behind HIPAA. Families are treated as second class citizens or worse. Reports like this one set the record straight! Thank you!

Carole said...

Isn't this the truth: Corrupt guardians have stolen millions in New Jersey in recent years, and perhaps billions across the country.

Nobody knows how much money is being legally stolen in one state and multiply that by 50 and we'd all faint.