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.|
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|
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