Saturday, May 30, 2015

Elderly victim scammed out of more than $8 million in charity fraud, police say

Joseph Edison, also known as Joseph Edison Fernando, 66, of Calgary, has been charged along with two other Calgarians in a multi-million dollar fraud investigation between December 2014 and May 2015. Investigators believe other people may have had financial dealings with the man, who goes by multiple aliases.  Courtesy Calgary Police Service / Calgary Herald

Various fake charities were used by a man known in Calgary’s charitable community to bilk an elderly victim of $8 million over 15 years, say police.

Three Calgarians have been charged as part of an ongoing fraud investigation, which police say may be connected to an international crime ring.

“Something of this scope suggests connections across the world,” said Staff Sgt. Kristie Verheul of the Calgary Police Service’s economic crimes unit. “I would compare this case to a Pandora’s box.”

Calgary police allege the main suspect used fake charities as a front to persuade the victim to invest large quantities of money, which the victim believed was guaranteed through various international means and had a high rate of return on investment. They began investigating in December 2014.

Police say the culprit had the investor pay large sums of money to have the funds released from holdings. It’s believed the money was actually funnelled through the charities to international accounts. The victim lost $8 million over 15 years.

Two people were charged, a third remains outstanding on warrants, and a fourth was arrested and later released, although police continue to investigate her involvement with the case. All involved live in Calgary.

Karatbars of gold confiscated by police in $8M fraud investigation.
Joseph Edison, also known as Joseph Edison Fernando, 66, was charged with fraud over $5,000, theft over $5,000 and forgery. Police say he is suspected to be the main individual behind the alleged crimes and goes by multiple aliases.

Stefanie Haase-Fernando, 37, was charged with fraud over $5,000 and theft over $5,000.

Warrants have been issued for Anshul Edison Fernando, 39, for fraud over $5,000 and theft over $5,000.

The economic crimes unit believes that Joseph Edison was introduced to the victim and struck up a friendship with him.

“That relationship was abused,” said Verheul.

Investigators believe the following charities were used to defraud the victim, all of which police say were determined to be fraudulent and not registered with the Canada Revenue Agency:
  • Humanitarian Foundation of Canada;
  • World Job and Food Bank;
  • Canadian Organization for International Development Strategies Foundation;
  • Lepidoptera Inc.;
  • Antennae Inc.;
  • Calgary Community Outreach Services Society
Phone calls to all organizations except Lepidoptera Inc., for which a number wasn’t found, were unanswered. Some lines were disconnected. Others went straight to voicemail.

No organization with the name Lepidoptera Inc. could be found, although two similarly named charities appear to be located in California and Florida, respectively.

The Humanitarian Foundation of Canada and the World Job and Food Bank are both on a 2008 United Nations list of organizations with special consultative status. A spokesman for the UN was not immediately available for comment.

Foreign currencies confiscated in $8 million fraud investigation.Calgary Police Service / Calgary Herald

The voicemail recording for the number listed on the Antennae Inc. website, which says it is a butterfly specimen retailer, redirected callers to a phone number identified as belonging to “Anshul.” The person answering that number refused to identify himself and denied that Antennae Inc. is connected to any of the three charged in connection with the fraud. When asked if he was Anshul Edison Fernando, he hung up.

On Wednesday, officers executed search warrants at two residences and one business. Officers seized what police say turned out to be three vans’ worth of property and evidence, including the following items:
  • Forged bank and government documents;
  • Fraudulent documents for investment accounts;
  • Pyramid scheme accounts;
  • $65,000 worth of gold;
  • 10 computers;
  • Banking records and account ledgers;
  • Safe deposit box keys;
  • Stamps bearing the logos of the charities and foreign financial institutions;
Some of the documents were letters forged to appear like they came from the White House, the U.S. House of Representatives and Air Force One. Others were requests for or receipts of payment to the charities connected with the investigation.

The gold was found in the form of Karatbars, which are small amounts of precious metals embedded into credit card-sized pieces of plastic. Police say this is a well-known Ponzi scheme from Europe, and it’s hard to charge anyone in connection with it because the metals are genuine. Anshul Edison Fernando’s Facebook profile lists him as a “gold director” at Karatbars.

As a result of finding safe deposit box keys, police executed an additional search warrant on Thursday, and discovered silver, jewels, coins and various other types of currencies.
The gems had not yet been appraised, so their authenticity could not be verified. The silver was in bar and Karatbar form.

The currency, which had not been counted, included tender from Canada, Japan, Turkey, Iraq, India, Gambia, Germany and Lithuania, among others.

None of the suspects in the investigation have prior criminal records, but police say they have found no evidence of their involvement in any legitimate business activities. Further charges could be laid as the investigation continues.

Various law enforcement agencies in United States and Canada assisted with the case, including the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, the Secret Service, the RCMP, the Canada Revenue Agency and border services from both countries. Other organizations and banking institutions were also involved.

Investigators believe there may be more related scams and victims, and urge anyone with information to contact police.

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Elderly victim scammed out of more than $8 million in charity fraud, police say

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is June 15th

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day was launched on June 15, 2006 by the International Network for Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations. The purpose of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) is to provide an opportunity for communities around the world to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older persons by raising awareness of the cultural, social, economic, and demographic processes affecting elder abuse and neglect.

Every year, it is estimated that 5 million older Americans are victims of elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation. For every case of elder abuse or neglect reported, as many as 23 cases go unreported

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day brings together senior citizens, their caregivers and governments to combat the problem of elder abuse. The focus is on the problems of physical, emotional, and financial abuse of the elderly. The world is undergoing significant demographic changes. Estimates indicate that by 2050, the global population of people above the age of 60 will exceed the number of younger people. These changes have led to a worldwide recognition of the problems and challenges that face the elderly.

To find out more about World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, you may access the link at:

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World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is June 15th

Oklahoma attorney general files elderly exploitation charges

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The Oklahoma attorney general's office has accused a nursing home worker of misappropriating money intended for three of the home's elderly residents. 

Online Oklahoma County court records indicate that 44-year-old Amy Klimkowski was charged Thursday with three counts of financially exploiting an elderly adult and 10 counts of obtaining money by false pretenses. The records do not indicate whether she is represented by an attorney.

Prosecutors allege that Klimkowski exploited three residents of Windsor Hills Nursing Center in Oklahoma City. The victims were all women over the age of 75. The misappropriated money allegedly included the victims' Social Security and Medicare benefits, as well as other various retirement and pension payments.

Court records allege she diverted more than $141,000 from the victims and used the money for various personal expenses.

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Oklahoma attorney general files elderly exploitation charges

Friday, May 29, 2015

Catherine Falk Guests on Fireside Radio Show Tomorrow

Fireside will be talking with Catherine Falk, daughter of Peter Falk, America's most beloved detective, Lt. Columbo. 

Catherine will be telling us what her dad was like in real life and of "The Catherine Falk Organization," whose mission is to facilitate and advocate legislation for parental visitation rights in every state and provide various resources for those currently seeking visitation in a state that does not have legislation.

Saturday, May 30  11 am - 1 pm

Click the "LISTEN LIVE" button to hear the show

In guardianship bill, checks that could have helped others

“Once my wife died, they just shoved me aside,” Don Herman said. “I think they realized they made a big mistake and tried to cover it up.”

On a Sunday in December, Don Herman looked at the front page of his Herald-Tribune and was carried back to a harrowing time in his life three years before.

He remembered the two weeks in 2012 when he and his wife, Kathryn, were held under guardianship by the state of Florida — and he lost her forever.

After the publication of “The Kindness of Strangers: Inside Elder Guardianship in Florida,” three bills to reform the system were introduced in this year’s Legislature. This unprecedented attention to a little-known aspect of probate law — designed to protect older adults from abuse or exploitation when they lack capacity to make decisions — led to media coverage throughout the state, and made more Floridians aware of flaws in the adult guardianship process. 

Only one bill made it through a session truncated by an impasse over Medicaid expansion to reach Gov. Rick Scott’s desk for signing. That is HB5 — sponsored by Rep. Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples — which tightens many aspects of the statute that made it easy to seize control of elders’ assets, and also more clearly spells out the duties of a state-appointed guardian.

“That’s important,” Passidomo said. “With the bad guardians, at least now we can say, if they’re not acting in the best interests of the ward, it gives tools to interested parties to challenge the actions of guardians that are bad. And guardians that exploit their wards can be criminally prosecuted, which is huge.”

 A case of emergency

Another provision, refined on the bill’s journey through committees and strongly contested, takes aim at the emergency temporary guardianship process — a fast-track option intended to address cases where an elder’s safety is immediately at risk.

But most Florida wards enter the system as emergency cases, because it is more expedient. Critics say this entangles people in a baffling and swiftly moving process that is notoriously difficult to reverse.
After a judge removes an individual’s civil rights and appoints a guardian, a ward’s ability to fight back in court is limited. Under full guardianship, this person loses access to all bank accounts and cannot make decisions — such as changing doctors or hiring a new attorney.

By law, anyone “interested” in a person’s welfare can petition the court to make him or her a ward. With emergency temporary guardianship, a judge appoints a guardian even before an evaluation of capacity by three mental health professionals. Two of them must find the person incapacitated for the guardianship to become permanent.

Under HB5, an “alleged incapacitated person” must be notified at least 24 hours before an emergency court hearing — unless the petitioner can prove that such notice would place the prospective ward in danger.

“Is 24 hours enough? Of course not,” said Sam Sugar, an Aventura physician who founded an organization called Americans Against Abusive Probate Guardianship, and spoke in Tallahassee on behalf of all three reform measures. “But it’s better than nothing. At least there is this sliver of hope of intervening.”

Herman, a Sarasota resident, believes that if he and his wife had received 24 hours’ notice before a judge removed their rights in court, maybe their guardianship could have been averted. (Continue Reading)

Full Article & Source:
In guardianship bill, checks that could have helped others

Attorney for Rockdale Probate Court Judge Mays says case has been dismissed

Rockdale County Probate Court Judge Charles K. Mays Sr.
CONYERS — Defense attorney Gary Washington announced at a press conference Tuesday morning that a case he says has unfairly tarnished the reputation of a judge has come to a close.

Washington said the case brought against Rockdale County Probate Court Judge Charles K. Mays Sr., which he described as “a legal temper tantrum at the expense of Rockdale County,” has been dismissed in DeKalb County Superior Court at the request of plaintiff Freya Pearson and her attorney, Michael Waldrop.

“It is finished; it is over; it is done,” said Washington.

However, when contacted later Tuesday morning, Waldrop said the case isn’t over — it is simply changing venue.

“The Application for Issuance of Arrest Warrants was dismissed without prejudice at the suggestion of (DeKalb County) Judge Linda Hunter,” said Waldrop in an emailed response. “She opined that matters like this are routinely heard and should be heard in Magistrate Court — not Superior Court. I will be refiling the application with the same allegations in Rockdale Magistrate Court this week.”

Mays’ legal feud with Pearson stretches back to last fall and centers on Pearson’s claim that Mays failed to pay her nearly $20,000 for work she did for the Probate Court. As a result, Waldrop, who is representing Pearson pro bono, filed an application to have Mays arrested on felony counts of theft of services, theft by deception and first degree forgery.

A hearing on the warrant application was held in Hunter’s DeKalb County courtroom in April, at which time Washington made a motion to have the warrant application dismissed claiming that Waldrop had a conflict of interest in serving as Pearson’s attorney. Waldrop is the city attorney for Conyers and prosecutes traffic cases for the city. At the time, Pearson had an outstanding traffic citation.

After some discussion, Hunter allowed Waldrop to research the conflict of interest matter and submit a brief.

On Tuesday, Washington said Waldrop had failed to file the brief by the deadline. He said Waldrop instead filed a pleading for dismissal of the warrant application without prejudice.

“The charges against Judge Mays were completely false,” said Washington. “The judge is innocent because he has committed no crime. The work of the court is a serious matter; our courts exist to resolve legitimate legal disputes and to maintain the rule of law. This case, however, has been nothing more than a misuse of public resources and an abuse of the judicial process for selfish motive and personal gain by an individual with a questionable character and past.”

Washington was referencing legal troubles that Pearson faces in Kansas City, Mo.

Pearson, 41, was indicted Oct. 31 on charges that she stole $480,000 in lottery winnings from an elderly woman. Pearson pleaded not guilty at her first appearance and was released on $10,000 bond.

On the other hand, said Washington, no charges have been brought against Mays in connection with the case involving Pearson, even though the county attorney, the Attorney General, the district attorney and the sheriff could have pursued charges. In addition, Washington said Mays submitted to an interview by the state’s Judicial Qualifications Commission, which did not bring formal proceedings against him.

Washington also criticized the way that Waldrop has handled the case, particularly Waldrop’s initial letter to Mays demanding that Pearson be paid.

“No matter the perceived merits of the case, the tone of that letter did not convey the proper respect due to a sitting judge,” said Washington. “No matter what one’s thoughts may be about the person occupying the office of judge, the office of judge for the people of Rockdale County should be given its due respect.”

Washington also said the case has cast a negative light on Rockdale County.

“The false charges have unjustifiably tarnished the well-earned reputation of the Rockdale legal profession, their integrity, their respect and their reputation for civility,” said Washington. “Although the claims that have been made were false, they were nevertheless an embarrassment to all the fine Rockdale County judges and attorneys who work diligently every day to maintain a reputation for excellence. More importantly, the false claims have been an embarrassment to the Rockdale County community. Sadly, claims have been made publicly that were intended to hurt and injure the judge’s family, individuals on the judge’s staff and the office of the Rockdale County Probate Court. They did not deserve this.”

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Attorney for Rockdale Probate Court Judge Mays says case has been dismissed

Elder Abuse a 'Huge, Expensive and Lethal' Problem for States

An elderly woman who was abused by a relative watches television inside her room at a retirement community in Mason, Ohio. Inconsistent reporting and scarce resources have hampered efforts to combat the growing problem of elder abuse. (AP)

We know that victims of elder abuse tend to be socially isolated, physically weakened and struggling to maintain their independence. They are reliant on family, friends or caregivers who violate their trust.

What we don’t know, because elder abuse is underreported, is how big the problem really is.

There are no official national statistics on how many older people are mistreated physically, emotionally or financially. Definitions and methods of addressing the issue differ state to state, and even county to county. Nor is there a dedicated stream of federal dollars for Adult Protective Services (APS) agencies, which most states rely on to combat elder abuse. Each state has cobbled together its own funding and bureaucracy.

Nevertheless, advocates and officials say there is little doubt the problem is growing, driven in large part by the tremendous growth in the elderly population. To address it, some states are training police and financial professionals to recognize and report elder abuse, and creating special teams of police, social workers and geriatric experts to investigate it. Cities, states and nonprofits are creating shelter housing for abuse victims, and some states are trying to quantify the cost to taxpayers when elders are fleeced out of their money and forced to turn to Medicaid.

“People need to understand what a huge, expensive and lethal problem elder abuse is,” said Kathleen Quinn, executive director of the National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA). Some researchers estimate that as many as one in 10 people over 60 is abused. That figure does not include financial exploitation, which costs victims at least $2.9 billion a year, according to MetLife.

“If we had a disease that affected 10 percent of the population, I think we’d look closely at it,” Quinn said.


Insufficient Resources

Elder abuse is a long way from achieving the political or budgetary recognition of child abuse or domestic violence, even as the baby-boom generation creates the largest senior population ever, with 10,000 Americans turning 65 every day.

NAPSA recommends that caseworkers at Adult Protective Services agencies handle no more than 25 cases per month. But only 13 states met that standard in a 2012 survey. And in most places, there isn’t enough to money to properly train the caseworkers who are available.

Texas exceeded the caseload standard in the 2012 survey. Since then, however, the state has reduced average caseloads to about 25, thanks to steady funding and a decision to shift more serious mental illness cases away from APS and to the state’s mental health workers. The criteria APS agencies use to determine which cases to accept, such as whether the abused person must be 60 or 65, differ by state, influencing the caseload burden. The changes in Texas mean that APS caseworkers there now have time to assist with the care of clients’ pets.

The Texas APS division last year investigated 81,681 cases of older and disabled adults living at home, and has expanded its responsibilities to investigate abuse in state-operated and state-contracted settings.

“One of the reasons we have a strong program is due to legislative support over time,” said Beth Engelking, who heads Texas APS. One program that has spread through clinics in the state incorporates training and six basic screening questions to help health practitioners determine if a senior is being abused.

In Oregon, Attorney Gen. Ellen Rosenblum, a Democrat, is asking legislators to fund a state prosecutor dedicated to elder abuse – akin to existing posts for domestic violence and drunk driving. The position, including training and assisting local district attorneys, is essential to combat the “growing epidemic,” Rosenblum said.

And Michigan approved 10 laws in 2012 to strengthen elder protections and abuse investigations, penalties and reporting requirements.

A total of 29 states plus the District of Columbia considered legislation in 2013 to crack down on financial crimes against the elderly, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). Eighteen laws and resolutions were adopted. (NCSL has not compiled numbers for 2014 or 2015.)

“All of the states recognize the scope and the nature of the problem. It comes up every time we talk to them,” said Damon Terzaghi, senior policy director at the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities. “We definitely see a lot of challenges both from the fact that we have a huge population turning 65, and the fact that people are living longer today than ever before, which creates new service needs that didn’t exist before.”


Inconsistent Reporting

Because states have different reporting methods and victims tend to be reluctant to notify authorities, it is difficult to pin down the extent of the problem. Research indicates the overwhelming majority of cases go unreported.

Michigan officials suspect that as many as 90,000 older adults are abused in their state each year, based on national projections—a number that far outstrips reported incidents. Criticized in recent years by the state auditor for shortcomings in training and investigative practices, Michigan’s APS investigated 13,511 cases last year, compared to 7,523 in 2010. The increase partly resulted from a new centralized state hotline, a “No Excuse for Elder Abuse” awareness campaign and new laws to protect vulnerable adults, officials said.

“Raising the awareness is something that is starting to change here in Michigan,” said Kari Sederburg, director of Michigan’s Office of Services to the Aging. “People are finally starting to wake up and realize we need to pay attention to this, that it’s a growing crime, and not just the physical abuse but also financial exploitation.”

But the wide variation in municipal and agency reporting systems has hindered the state’s ability to grasp the extent of the problem, she said. Michigan lawmakers recently approved $1 million to explore the feasibility of a statewide reporting system, and to support training, awareness and education efforts. Thirty-three out of 83 Michigan counties have adopted voluntary state standards for joint investigations by agencies.

Elder abuse is “an insidious and tragic social problem,” a New York study of cases across the state concluded in 2011. The report, spearheaded by the nonprofit group Lifespan and based on more than 4,156 interviews with seniors, estimated that some 260,000 New Yorkers suffered elder abuse in a year, not including nursing home residents and people with dementia.

But officials from New York’s Office of Children and Family Services said they could not quantify the problem, or even their own cases beyond a 1997 reference on the state website indicating fewer than 17,000 elder abuse reports annually. The state is working on an update, a spokeswoman said.

“This is a huge issue for older adults that largely goes unrecognized,” said Ann Marie Cook, Lifespan’s president. Lifespan helped the state design and implement a program to prevent and swiftly intervene in financial abuse cases, using integrated teams of law enforcement, APS caseworkers, forensic accountants, geriatric health experts and other specialists.

In one promising public-private arrangement in Sacramento, California, private hospitals paid $25,000 each for county-assigned social workers to assist seniors at risk of abuse or neglect who were frequent visitors to emergency departments. The social workers remained involved with the seniors after they were discharged from the hospital to ensure they got the care they needed. Despite promising early results, the program “fell through the cracks” last year because supporters couldn’t prove it was worth its rising costs, said Debra Morrow, county director of Senior and Adult Services.

Several states are participating in a project run by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to develop the first national reporting and data system. The data will help clarify the scope of abuse and other basic information, laying groundwork for potential targeted policies and programs, ACL officials said.

Elder abuse at the federal level has gained a higher profile under Kathy Greenlee, the ACL administrator. It will be one of the major topics addressed at the White House Conference on Aging anticipated this summer. And advocates hailed President Barack Obama’s 2010 authorization of the first dedicated funding for APS, a comparatively restrained $100 million a year for four years. Congress approved the sum as part of the Elder Justice Act, which also incorporated other elder abuse planks and the ACL national reporting project, but has yet to set aside the money to implement it.

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Elder Abuse a 'Huge, Expensive and Lethal' Problem for States

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Woodbury attorney accused of stealing $1.8 million from woman’s estate

A Woodbury man is facing federal theft charges after officials say he stole $1.8 million, most of which was slated for charity, from the estate of an Oxford woman.

Peter M. Clark, 57, was arrested Thursday, according to a release from Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and charged with stealing from the estate of Miriam S. Strong, who died July 2, 2010.

At the time of her death, Strong had a will, which left money, property and other items to a list of individuals, the town of Oxford, the state of Connecticut and several religious and other charitable entities, according to the release. The will also called for the creation of a scholarship fund for college-bound students from Oxford.

Clark drafted the will as Strong’s attorney and served as a witness to Strong’s execution of the will, officials said. The will named Clark and another individual as co-executors. The investigation has revealed that, during the course of the administration of the will, Clark took at least $1.8 million from Strong’s estate for his own use.

Clark transferred some of the money to other accounts, used some to buy himself an all-terrain vehicle and gave some money to his wife, according to court documents. The estate account he had taken the money from was left with a meager balance of $13.40 when he had to make a report to the probate court, officials said.

Court documents show that some of the beneficiaries of the will became suspicious when they had not received the money they had been told they would get and contacted the probate court, which in turn removed Clark as an executor while the investigation was under way.

The complaint charges Clark with one count of mail fraud, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.

Clark was arrested Thursday morning at his home in Woodbury, officials said. He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah A.L. Merriam in New Haven and will be released after he posts a $500,000 bond that will be co-signed by family members.

Daly stressed that a complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Connecticut State Police – Western District Major Crime Squad. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah P. Karwan.

Full Article & Source:
Woodbury attorney accused of stealing $1.8 million from woman’s estate

Elder Exploitation Still a Big Problem

RENO, NV - Washoe County District Attorney Chris Hicks says elder exploitation is not reported and not well understood, and victims don't know where to turn. The crime is where child abuse was 30 years ago. Most seniors you talk to say they can't believe they were duped.

“I never cheated anyone. I never cheated anyone in my life," said Leonard Onesty.

A 91-year-old veteran lost his leg in 2009. That's when Shirley Crawford came into his life. A caretaker, she would embezzle $119,000 from Onesty. She would eventually leave him stranded at the VA Medical Center for a follow-up appointment.

In Washoe District Court she would not make eye contact with Onesty, and could barely get out these words at the judge's urging.

“I'd like to apologize to you," Crawford said as she turned to Onesty in District Court.

Not much consolidation for an honest man left with only $60 in his bank account. Onesty would die just 3 months after Crawford's sentencing.

“They can be a handyman, caretaker, nurse, sometimes family member, friend, it can be anybody,” says Roy Stralla, Washoe County Deputy District Attorney.

Stralla has handled his share of elder exploitation cases in his 20-year-plus career. He tells us about Steve Miller, who stopped a retired school teacher in a CVS parking lot in town. Miller told her he could repair her broken bumper. Within two weeks Miller asked to borrow $6,000, then $15,000, later $35,000, and then $70,000.

“He faked his death,” Stralla says of Miller.

In all, Miller would get away with nearly $400,000 before his arrest and conviction.

“It's satisfying to help people get these parasites out of their lives,” says Stralla.

But sometimes victims are out more than just money. Stralla points to the Sharnel Silvey case.

“That case was one of the most satisfying I've had as a prosecutor in my 20 years. Because I think in her own mind, she believed she didn't do anything wrong. And the jury disagreed with that,” says Stralla.

Silvey would befriend 70-year-old Leonard Gunderson at their apartment complex in Reno. He eventually signed over power of attorney to Silvey.

“That was the biggest mistake he could make because, basically, she took all of his money. She was suppose to take care of him. She let him die on his couch in his apartment in his own feces. He looked like a prisoner of war when he was dead, just skin and bones,' says Stralla.

“If you find that a parent, a senior, has formed a close relationship to what you would consider a stranger, they have never come up before. You should make some inquiries, gentle inquiries. By the way, is this some I should know about?” says Keith Tierney, and attorney with Civil Rights for Seniors.

Tierney handles cases he calls financial abuse of the elderly. He says inquiries into a senior's life can look intrusive, but relatives and friends need to go over finances with seniors every year.

“If there is more than a year void, the person becomes more ripe for exploitation or financial abuse to occur. Because no one knows what is happening,” says Tierney.

Tierney says steps like power of attorney, or getting two signatures on a checking account, are good ways to ward of predators. Because as he and others know, swindlers will go the path of least resistance.

“With these criminals, they take all the money they can. There is nothing left to take, they move on---looking for the next victim," says Stralla.

Seniors are embarrassed about being financially exploited and often don't report the crime. Sadly, that allows the culprits to go after other victims. And with our aging population, there will be more for the taking.

Full Article & Source:
Elder Exploitation Still a Big Problem

Ex group home employee allegedly steals from clients

WILLMAR — A former caretaker at multiple local group homes faces charges of financial exploitation of vulnerable adults for allegedly stealing more than $8,400 from developmentally disabled clients.

Carrie Sue Wadsworth, 35, of Willmar, made her first appearance Wednesday on two felony charges and two gross misdemeanor charges of financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult.

Wadsworth was granted a public defender and released on her own recognizance, with conditions including not managing any financial accounts other than her own and not having any contact with the alleged victims in the case, who are clients of Presbyterian Family Foundation facilities in Willmar and Atwater.

According to the criminal complaint on the charges, Wadsworth had been employed as a program director for the company. Part of her job included managing finances of all seven of the vulnerable adult clients who are the alleged victims.

A Willmar Police Department detective received report of the situation March 12, during an interview with Presbyterian Family Foundation employees. Multiple employees reported that they believed Wadsworth had stolen $8,446 belonging to seven vulnerable adults.

The criminal complaint alleges that Wadsworth had conversations with other employees, allegedly admitting to taking some of the missing money.

One employee reported to law enforcement that she had spoken with Wadsworth about the situation Feb. 5. During the conversation, Wadsworth reportedly admitted to stealing $900 from one of the vulnerable adults because of her own financial problems.

Another employee reported that she had received text messages from Wadsworth, in which Wadsworth apologized for her behavior and allegedly stated that she had a gambling problem. The Willmar detective obtained copies of the company’s financial reports regarding the missing money from the seven clients and discovered that the funds had gone missing between May 2013 and September 2014. Wadsworth was reportedly employed by Presbyterian Family Foundation between September 2012 and February 2015.

The financial records for the money belonging to the clients showed numerous mysterious cash withdrawals, charged amounts and checks that did not have accompanying receipts or explanations for use, according to the criminal complaint.

Full Article & Source: 
Ex group home employee allegedly steals from clients

Scott to Consider Single Elder Guardian Bill

One of three elder guardianship bills considered during the legislative session passed, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports.
Gov. Rick Scott will consider signing into law House Bill 5, which requires advance notice before hearings on the appointment of emergency temporary guardians, according to the Herald-Tribune.
It also allows the mediation of guardianship disputes among family members and requires reporting of incidents of abuse, neglect and exploitation of wards by guardians.

The bills were proposed after the Herald-Tribune’s series “The Kindness of Strangers: Inside Elder Guardianship in Florida” exposed elder abuse issues in Florida’s probate court system, the Herald-Tribune reports.

Full Article & Source:
Scott to Consider Single Elder Guardian Bill

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

When Judges Can Take Away Senior Citizen's Basic Rights

Imagine losing your most basic rights: speaking for yourself, choosing how to spend your money or even what medicines you should take.

Dorothy Luck was in a dispute with family over trust money. After a court-ordered medical exam, she ended up a ward of the state.

Sheila MacVicar investigates shocking cases of elderly Americans at the mercy of court-appointed guardians.

Click the Link and Watch the Video:
When Judges Can Take Away Senior Citizen's Basic Rights

Guardianship Abuse Spreads to Pennsylvania Part 2

by  Michael Volpe

When F. Harvey Whitten was a medic in the Korean War, he held dying soldiers in his arm so they wouldn’t die alone, now at the behest of the Montgomery County (Pennsylvania) Orphans Court and its main players- Judge Stanley Ott and Diane Zabowski- Whitten is headed toward that very fate.

Harvey, a long term advertising executive, is worth millions if not tens of millions.  Harvey is also gay and was in a long term relationship with Robert Sprau.

In 2010,  Harvey Whitten had a stroke and was diagnosed with vascular dementia causing some of Whitten’s nieces and nephews to petitioned the court to have Harvey Whitten guardianized and the case wound up in front of Judge Stanley Ott, of the Orphan’s Court of Montgomery County. Like in the previous case involving Jannie Myers, Ott eschewed Whitten’s request for his own counsel and ordered Diane Zabowski to act as his counsel.

During a fact finding interview with Zabowski, Coz remembers that Zabowski was fixated for most of the duration of the interview on Harvey being gay and at one point remarked that the Whitten family was one of the most dysfunctional she’d known.

In fact, both Mary and Coz say their family is far from dysfunctional and the charge was absurd and provocative.

A long protracted family legal fight was avoided, when Harvey Whitten was declared incapacitated and Coz and Robert Sprau agreed to be the guardian and co-guardian on August 11, 2011. Harvey Whitten went to live with Sprau at his retirement home at the  Shannondell in Audobon Pennsylvania. The Shannondell is considered among the most magnificent retirement communities in the country. Univest Bank was made guardian of the estate and their employee Julianna Van Duyne-King was the point person because Judge Ott had worked with her before.

In 2012 Sprau developed an aggressive lung cancer and passed away on September 22, 2012, but not before handpicking the aides who would be with Harvey twenty four hours a day while he continued living in Shannondell.

Zabowski then lobbied to have Deborah Klock, a nurse, to replace Sprau as co-gaurdian on November 16, 2012.

Both Mary and Coz told RebelPundit that Klock exhibited problems right away. Mary Whitten especially has written numerous complaints against Klock in which she alleges: Klock impersonated a family member, made herself the emergency contact, and changed the medication with notifying the family.

The change in medications done behind the family’s back, say Mary and Coz, caused Harvey to have a psychotic break at the end of 2012. He began experiencing various ailments and outbursts went from Shannondell to three hospitals in January 2013, before winding up in the Meadows at the beginning of February 2013; the Meadows is a psychiatric unit for especially difficult cases also located within the Shannondell confines only unlike the rest of the place, this portion is much like something from One Flew Over a Cuckoo’s Nest.

Full Article & Source:
Guardianship Abuse Spreads to Pennsylvania Part 2

See Also:
Guardianship Abuse Spreads to Pennsylvania

Boomers Beware of Guardianship Abuse

Harvey Whitten, Pennsylvania Victim

Who’s caring for mom? Elder guardianship becoming a big issue

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — As the American population ages, AARP says more people face the prospect of losing control of their lives to court-appointed guardians or guardianship agencies.

WGNO’s Susan Roesgen has the story of a New Orleans man and his brother, fighting to regain the care of their 93-year-old mother.

“She was put in guardianship in 2012, and she doesn’t understand why she was put in guardianship,” Doug Franks said before the Flordia legislature. He lives in Atlanta, Ga., Doug’s brother Charles lives in New Orleans.

Four years ago, they couldn’t agree on who should take care of their mother, Ernestine, so a court ordered them to choose a guardian. They chose a company called Gulf Coast Caring Solutions.

Worst mistake of their lives

“She’s a prisoner of her own home. She’s not allowed any outside visitors,” Charles Franks said. “For her to sit by herself, every day, by people she doesn’t know — strangers … It’s very sad.”

The guardianship agency allows Charles and Doug only one, 3-hour visit with their mother each week. Doug is allowed one, 15-minute phone call each day. The rest of the time, a sitter stays with Ernestine in her home — guarding the door.

Despite repeated requests for an interview, the owner of Gulf Coast Caring Solutions, Terry Bush, declined to be interviewed for this story.  She told WGNO she didn`t want to comment because the brothers are suing her company, to try to regain control of Ernestine`s care. In court documents, the company maintains that Doug and Charles upset their mother during visits and phone calls, and a judge has agreed.

Louisiana law is tougher 

As it is in Florida, Louisiana law leaves guardianship disputes in the hands of civil court judges. But Loyola law professor Dane Ciolino says Louisiana makes it hard for a guardian to take over.

“One that requires clear and convincing evidence that the person is incapable of handling their own affairs or their person within a reasoned, consistent manner,” Ciolino explained.

Still, he says as we all get older, guardianship will become a bigger business, and Ernestine Franks’ sons say:  beware.

“I’ve been court-ordered not to post any pictures of my mother anymore. I’ve been told to be quiet.  But I’m not going to be because I can’t be.  She’s my mom, and she’s the most important thing in my life.  And she will always be the most important person!”

Full Article & Source:
Who’s caring for mom? Elder guardianship becoming a big issue

BB King: coroner says there is no immediate evidence of poisoning

The Clark County coroner’s office in Nevada is investigating claims that blues legend BB King was poisoned, but coroner John Fudenberg said there was no immediate evidence to support the allegations.

Two of King’s daughters claim the guitarist was poisoned and not properly cared for before his death at age 89 on 14 May, and accused his aides of past elder abuse.

Police say they will wait for the autopsy results from the coroner’s office before determining whether to initiate a homicide investigation.

“Until such time as the Clark County Coroner determines Mr King’s death to be from other than natural causes, the Las Vegas metropolitan police department is NOT moving forward with any investigation,” the police public information office said in a statement emailed to the Guardian.

“At this point, we don’t have evidence that these allegations of foul play will be substantiated,” said Fudenberg in a statement. “However, we are taking them very seriously and will be conducting a thorough investigation.”

The new allegations appear to be part of a long-running feud between King’s 11 surviving children and his long-time attorney, LaVerne Toney, who has power of attorney over his estate.

Family members have claimed that Toney has control of over $5m in assets, $1m of which has allegedly disappeared recently. Authorities have repeatedly rejected the family’s claims however, most recently finding in May that King did not need a guardianship as he already had an attorney, the Associated Press reported.

The Clark County coroner conducted an autopsy on King’s body on Sunday, and is coordinating with the Las Vegas metropolitan police homicide division. The coroner expects that it will take six to eight weeks to receive laboratory results from the autopsy.

King’s daughters Karen Williams and Patty King lodged the poisoning complaints in identically worded affidavits given to the Associated Press by their attorney, Larissa Drohobyczer.

Both said they believed that King was “murdered” and was administered “foreign substances”, but three doctors have reportedly asserted that King was properly cared for in the days leading up to his death, when he received round-the-clock health monitoring. King died on 14 May with aide Myron Johnson at his bedside.

Both he and LaVerne Johnson have dismissed King’s daughters’ allegations, refusing to comment to the AP.

“They’ve been making allegations all along. What’s new?” Toney said.

King received hospice care at home, wishing to avoid invasive medical care, according to attorney Brent Bryson. He criticized the decision to conduct an autopsy on King’s body.

“He made the decision to return home for hospice care instead of staying in a hospital,” Bryson told the Hollywood Reporter. “These unfounded allegations have caused Mr King to undergo an autopsy, which is exactly what he didn’t want.”

In both October and April, Nevada police and social services investigated whether Toney should be removed as King’s guardian, Clark County family court hearing master Jon Norheim said in May, but found no reason to revoke guardianship. Toney worked with King for 39 years.

More than 1,000 people attended a public viewing of King’s body in Las Vegas last week. A procession on Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee, is scheduled for Wednesday, with a viewing on Friday and burial Saturday in Mississippi, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Born Riley B King in the Mississippi delta on a cotton plantation, BB King spent his early 20s in Memphis, Tennessee, where he moved to pursue a career playing the blues.

He is largely credited with bringing blues to mainstream rock and roll, and was often called “king of the blues” and “ambassador of the blues”. King’s style, known predominantly for one-note guitar solos, was especially influential of rock of the 1960s and 1970s.

King performed between 200 and 300 road shows per year even into his 70s. He started his career touring on what was called the “chitlin’ circuit” of small bars in the Jim Crow south (“chitlin’” or chitterling refers to the soul food dish made of the small intestines of pigs, often sold at the clubs).

Full Article & Source:
BB King: coroner says there is no immediate evidence of poisoning 

See Also:
Guardianship for Blues Great BB King Rejected

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Texas Bill Governing Judges Raises Questions by Judge over Separation of Powers

Judge Rory Olsen
by Lana Shadwick

A longtime statutory probate judge in Harris County, Texas, is raising an issue which begs the question of where the legislature’s power over the judiciary begins and ends. It is his opinion, that Senate Bill 1876, relating to appointing attorneys, mediators, or guardians, via a rotating list, is unconstitutional as violative of the separation of powers.

The separation of powers doctrine prohibits one branch of government from exercising a power belonging inherently to another.

Texas courts have consistently held that the separation of powers doctrine is violated “when the functioning of the judicial process in a field constitutionally committed to the control of the courts is interfered with by the executive or legislative branches.”

The senate bill is set on the general state calendar in the Texas State House for Monday, May 25th. The House will convene on Memorial Day, and has worked the holiday weekend, in order to get their work done at the end of the 84th Legislative session.

The seventeen-year jurist, probate court judge Rory Olsen, has told Texas lawmakers that the bill, which was passed in the Senate on May 4th, and heard in the House Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence committee on May 19th, is an unconstitutional overreach by the legislature upon the judiciary.

Judge Olsen testified before the House Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence committee when the committee held a hearing and took testimony.

S.B. 1876 is authored by Democrat Senator Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo). She represents the 21st Senatorial District which stretches from the Rio Grande to the Colorado River and to the Port of Corpus Christi and the Valley. Sen. Zaffirini is the second longest serving legislator in the Texas Senate.

Judge Olsen told Breitbart Texas, “The Texas constitution is unique because it contains a very explicit separation of powers provision which dates back to the Republic of Texas. I am of the opinion that SB 1876 violates the doctrine of the separation of powers because it attempts to micromanage the court system in a way far beyond the lawful powers of the legislature.”

The judge continued, “This issue needs to be addressed now before things get any further out of hand.”

The 65-year-old judge earned his Juris Doctor from Duke University, his master of laws in taxation (L.L.M.) from Southern Methodist University, and his master of judicial studies (M.J.S.) from the National Judicial College.

The bill provides that every court in the state of Texas shall establish and maintain a list of all attorneys who are qualified to serve as an attorney ad litem, guardian ad litem, mediator, or guardian. Each court must then use a rotation system and appoint the attorney whose name appears next on the list. If the lawyer is appointed, the court then must place that attorney’s name at the end of the list.
Article II, section 1 of the Texas Constitution provides:

The powers of the Government of the State of Texas shall be divided into three distinct departments, each of which shall be confided to a separate body of magistracy, to wit:  Those which are legislative to one; those which are executive to another, and those which are judicial to another; and no person, or collection of persons, being of one of these departments, shall exercise any power properly attached to either of the others, except in the instances herein expressly permitted.

Judge Olsen states that S.B. 1876 is attempting to micromanage how courts make appointments. The power to appoint people to assist a court in the performance of its duties is a power properly attached to the judiciary and no other branch of government.

Soon after the Speedy Trial Act became effective, Judge Sam Houston Clinton, Jr. of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals prophesied in an opinion that the Speedy Trial Act was “‘subject to an attack that its effects violate the separation of powers provision of Article II of the Constitution of the State of Texas.’”

In his earlier opinion in a case (Ordunez v. Bean), Judge Clinton opined that the Texas Speedy Trial Act deprives prosecuting attorneys of their right to exercise judgment and discretion in performing their exclusive prosecutorial functions.

He was also of the opinion that it entrenched upon the power and authority of state trial courts to manage their affairs, including controlling their own dockets.

And true to Judge Clinton’s prediction, the highest criminal court in Texas later found the Texas Speedy Trial Act unconstitutional because it violated the separation of powers doctrine.

Judge Olsen has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Houston Law School and the National Judicial College.

Full Article & Source:
Texas Bill Governing Judges Raises Questions by Judge over Separation of Powers

Funding Program Shields Nursing Homes From Lawsuits

The nursing home industry has never accused Texas of being too generous with its Medicaid dollars — the state is among the worst in terms of the money it reimburses such facilities for providing care to needy Texans. 

So when a program began in March that allowed nursing homes to receive supplemental federal funding, hundreds of Texas facilities quickly signed up.

There's a catch to the "Minimum Payment Amounts Program": To draw down those funds, nursing homes have to be government-owned — generally by a local county or hospital district. Increasingly, nursing home companies have begun entering into these arrangements, managing care under their new license "owners," and sharing the federal cash with them.

The long-term care industry has hailed the program as a mutually beneficial way to secure desperately needed public funds, particularly for facilities in rural areas.

But critics have called attention to it, saying the program jeopardizes the safety of elderly Texans by shielding negligent nursing homes from lawsuits. Because Texas places strict limitations on lawsuits against local governments, trial lawyers argue, the arrangements have left nursing home residents with few protections.

“There’s just no economic incentive" to sue for damages against a local government, said Guy Choate, a San Angelo-based attorney. "You can pretty much assure yourself that somebody else’s mom is going to die, because there’s no real disincentive for these nursing homes to avoid some pretty egregious stuff."

The program is likely to be short-lived: Lawmakers added a provision to the state budget last week that would end it in September 2016, replacing it with a quality improvement program that would dole out enhanced payments regardless of whether a nursing home was publicly or privately owned.

But it has already had an immediate impact in Texas, where the number of nursing homes owned by local governments has increased by about 200 over the last year, according to data from the Department of Aging and Disability Services. That’s roughly one-fifth of licensed nursing homes in the state.

Increases in Government-Owned Nursing Homes

For nursing homes to be able to receive supplemental federal funding, they have to be government-owned — generally by a local county or hospital district. The maps below show the growing numbers of government-owned facilities since April 2014.
April 1, 2014
47 facilities
Feb. 6, 2015
150 facilities
May 12, 2015
274 facilities

Some local entities have taken ownership of dozens of nursing homes, even ones far outside their geographic jurisdiction. The Coryell County Memorial Hospital Authority, based in Gatesville, is listed as the owner of 21 nursing homes in the directory of facilities regulated by the state — the most of any local entity — despite a county population of about 75,000. Its nursing homes are located everywhere from Austin to Dallas to Jacksonville, between 100 and 150 miles away.

Participation in the program "definitely increased a lot — more than we anticipated that it would,” said Linda Edwards Gockel, a spokeswoman for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC), which administers the state's Medicaid program. “Money talks,” she added.

Indeed, the financial benefits have been crucial to improving the quality of care nursing homes can provide, said Kevin Nolting, a consultant who has worked with local governmental entities to draw down funding under the program. 

“A lot of these nursing homes are in small, rural towns, and some of them, we know for a fact, said, ‘We were on the chopping block to be closed before the influx of these new monies,’” he said.
The benefit of reduced liability, he added, was circumstantial.
“The impetus for this program was never really to try to create a more favorable litigation environment,” Nolting said. “It was always related to trying to find these additional revenues that would, in essence, help the operations and the services.”

But Choate, the attorney, said the reduced liability has been dramatic and dangerous. Under Texas law, to sue for damages against a local government, a person must prove he or she was directly harmed by the "use of tangible personal or real property." That would not apply in a situation where a nursing home resident was injured because an employee left a door unlocked, Choate said, or if a resident got bedsores from spending too much time on a mattress. Additionally, Texas tort law caps damages at $100,000 for local governmental entities, which lawyers say makes it not worth the cost or effort of going to court.

“I can’t imagine suing a county for almost anything when your cap is $100,000,” Choate said.

David Byrom, chief executive of the Coryell County Memorial Healthcare System, said the arrangement between his hospital authority and its 21 nursing homes was meant to improve care at the facilities. State officials say the program's intent was to improve coordination and continuity of care between hospitals and nursing homes — a point Byrom agreed with, adding that nursing home liability “hasn’t really been a strong consideration at this point.”

But critics like Austin attorney J.T. Borah say the arrangement is suspect, particularly given how far away many of the nursing homes are from their owner hospital districts.

"This would place a huge burden on family members who are wanting to be very involved in their relative’s care," he said in an email. "This cannot ‘improve the quality of care.' I am not sure how much ‘improvement for the quality of care’ of the patients is involved with these purchases.”

Scrutiny of the program comes at a time when state leaders are debating how best to regulate the nursing home industry. Texas, with its relatively meager Medicaid reimbursements, is home to the highest percentage of nursing homes rated “below average” or “much below average” by the federal government, according to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

State Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, filed a bill this session that would revoke the licenses of “bad actor” nursing homes with repeat safety violations. Schwertner has said the bill was prompted by a critical report that found that state regulators took enforcement action in less than 1 percent of the almost 38,000 cases of nursing home violations confirmed by staff in fiscal year 2013.

Kevin Warren, president and chief executive of the Texas Health Care Association, which lobbies for nursing homes, said securing additional funding for nursing homes was necessary for investments in high-quality care. According to HHSC, the average Texas nursing home is more than 30 years old.

Warren estimated that the Minimum Payment Amounts Program allowed nursing homes to collect an additional $70 to $100 in Medicaid payments per resident per day, depending on the circumstances, which he said helped with “staffing and capital investments.” He declined to comment on the changes to nursing homes' legal liability.

“The facility still maintains the responsibility to care for their residents,” he said.

On that point, trial lawyers agree.

“These people are absolutely at their mercy,” Choate said. “And there’s nobody in society who’s more vulnerable than people in these nursing homes.”

This story was produced in partnership with Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan health policy research and communication organization not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

Full Article & Source:
Funding Program Shields Nursing Homes From Lawsuits

Caregiver Punches, Kicks 84-Year-Old Woman (Video)

Footage of a caregiver punching and kicking an elderly woman at a nursing home sparked controversy after quickly going viral.

The video was reportedly captured at the Berea Gardens Retirement Foundation Lily Kirchmann home in East London, with the 84-year-old woman later identified as Hope Shepherd. Shepherd was shown in the clip being hit and pushed by her caregiver as she seemingly tried to get Shepherd into her bed. According to reports, Shepherd was attempting to leave her bed and the caregiver was preventing her from doing so.

Shepherd began trying to fight back, which prompted the caregiver to elbow her in the back and head. The situation later became tense as the caregiver started punching Shepherd in the face and pulling her hair.

The caregiver, who was identified as Ncendiswa Mkencele, was fired by the nursing home and is currently the subject of a police investigation.

Though Mkencele expressed regret for the way she handled the situation, she claimed that Shepherd provoked her by throwing feces in her face and using racial slurs against her. The 84-year-old, according to her family, suffers from dementia and acknowledged that there have been complaints about her from staff regarding physical violence against them.

Mkencele could reportedly face charges of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. The investigation is ongoing.

Full Article & Source:
Caregiver Punches, Kicks 84-Year-Old Woman (Video)

Monday, May 25, 2015

Remembering Our Veterans With Respect and Gratitude

On this Memorial Day, we send our thanks and prayers to those who protected our freedoms in war - and especially to those who gave their lives for us.

We also pray for those brave men and women who America has abandoned - those who are being held captive in guardianship because there was a profit to be gained for the person(s) who put them there. 

Special Thanks to Steve Miller

CHANGE OF THE GUARDIAN: Former Las Vegas City councilman and prolific pain in the neck Steve Miller continues to pound away at controversies inside the local guardian’s office.

The mainstream press has picked up on it, and it is now on the radar of the Clark County Commission.

Las Vegas Review-Journal Column - John L. Smith

Steve Miller: The Anatomy of a Federal Racketeering Lawsuit: Olvera vs. Shafer

READ the full 17 pg. amended lawsuit filed May 21, 2015

See Also:
New Lawsuit Filed Against Nevada "Guardians" Patience Bristol and Jared E. Shafer

Mom is Home!

"Pulled from the jaws of nursing home hell, after almost a year my mom came home and was reunited with out fur baby Jamie. She thinks she's dreaming. Guardianship battle continues but she's at home on our turf. They'll have to go over me with a tank to get her back. Couldn't have done it without you.

Just wanted to share a happy moment and a big victory getting her out. 2 days before she's 93. What a birthday wish for all 3 of us. I had to crate Jamie for the hospital bed delivery and for the paramedics to safely bring her in. He weighs more than she does and was so happy he would've knocked them all down."

Mom is Home!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Casey Kasem’s widow won’t face elder abuse charges

Jean Kasem and Casey Kasem

Los Angeles prosecutors said Friday they will not file elder abuse charges against Casey Kasem‘s widow.

A charge evaluation sheet released by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said there was insufficient evidence to charge Jean Kasem.

Prosecutors cited Jean Kasem’s efforts to ensure her husband was continuously supervised by doctors.

“Because of Mr. Kasem’s longstanding profound health issues, this case cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury,” the decision said.

Jean Kasem was married to the radio personality for more than 30 years but was stripped of control over his medical care in the final days of his life.

Casey Kasem died in June 2014 in Washington state, where his wife took him after removing him from a medical facility where he was receiving around-the-clock care.

The longtime “American Top 40″ host had a form of dementia and severe bedsores when he died.

His daughter, Kerri Kasem, was named his conservator and sought elder abuse charges against her stepmother.

Los Angeles police investigated the allegations against Jean Kasem.

A judge in May 2014 temporarily stripped her of her caretaker role after she moved Casey Kasem from a medical facility in Los Angeles to a friend’s home in Washington.

Jean Kasem said she relocated her husband to protect his privacy and to consult with doctors.

Casey Kasem developed a severe bedsore while in Washington and was in critical condition by the time he was hospitalized in early June.

Casey Kasem’s legacy reached well beyond music. His voice was heard as the character Shaggy in the “Scooby-Doo” TV cartoons and in numerous commercials.

His “American Top 40″ began July 4, 1970, in Los Angeles, when the No. 1 song was Three Dog Night’s cover of Randy Newman’s “Mama Told Me Not to Come.”

In his signoff, Casey Kasem’s would tell viewers: “And don’t forget: Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.”

Full Article & Source:
Casey Kasem’s widow won’t face elder abuse charges