Saturday, June 6, 2015

Catherine Falk on Fireside Radio

Peter Falk's daughter, Catherine, was a special guest on the Fireside Radio Show on May 30.

She entertained the audience with stories of her late father, America's most beloved detective, Lt. Columbo.

And she spoke of "The Catherine Falk Organization" whose mission is to facilitate and advocate for parental visitation rights in every state.

LISTEN to the archive of the show:

Visit Catherine's Website

Join the Facebook page

Aging in California: Shattered Dreams, Broken Care Systems

IS ANYBODY LISTENING?-The ongoing battle to restore the seven percent cut in IHSS hours provides a microcosm of the problems involved in fixing the long-term health care system in California for its most vulnerable clients. 

This past January the state Senate’s Select Committee on Aging and Long-Term Care, chaired by Senator Carol Liu, issued a report titled, A Shattered System: Reforming Long-Term Care in California. Its authors concluded that seniors, the disabled, their families, caregivers and state and local governments suffer from a “costly and fragmented, ‘non-system’ of long-term care services and supports.”

A lack of political will has produced a dysfunctional system of services for the aging.

After a year-long program of research and hearings, the committee determined that continued reliance upon the existing patchwork of programs and services for the state’s growing aged and disabled population will result in “unnecessary expenditures, inequitable access and irrelevant services.” 

Without pointing fingers at any specific political player, the senate committee emphasized there has been a lack of political will in Sacramento to address this growing problem for more than 20 years. And now, the state’s senior population is projected to increase from 5.1 million to 8.4 million by 2030, or one-fifth of California’s population. However, the study also emphasizes that the state’s current economic recovery has given California’s politicians the wherewithal to finally address this looming crisis. 

The committee laid out a detailed plan of more than 30 recommendations for a wholesale restructuring of services and support for the aging and disabled populations. 

These included taking all of the current programs for dependent adults, which are spread out among at least six major state departments, and combining them into a single, new “Department of Community Living” within the Department of Health Services. They also recommended creating a unified “Long-Term Care” plan to prioritize all of the assistance programs, and appointing a state-level health czar to oversee the effort.

Full Article & Source:
Aging in California: Shattered Dreams, Broken Care Systems

Saco Woman Charged for Using Elder Man’s Checks and Card

Police have pressed charges on a Saco based woman who is being accused of having stolen more than $37,000 from an elderly man she was assisting. According to Staff Attorney, Elizabeth LaPierre, people don’t believe theft and robbery can happen to them when in reality, these crimes take place by the ones closest such as caregivers, close friends or family members. 
What exactly went down

Susan Sajecki is the woman in question. Aged 52, Susan was helping a 78-year-old Saco man who was declared blind legally with his daily activities. The victim chose not to be identified in this case but told the News over phone that Susan had been assisting him for a few months and formed a very friendly bond with her, calling her nice. 

LaPierre claims stopping elderly abuse is a community issue. The legal services divisions see a bucket load of referrals for elderly people from people in the community when observing situations of financial exploitation. 

A local credit union was credited and recognized by the elderly man for noticing a slight discrepancy in the signature on his checks, which were being made out to Sajecki. The employees of the credit union soon contacted the elderly man as well as the authorities in York County

According to officials, the cashed checks and charges exceeded $37000. The police reported Sajecki had prior minor charges of unpaid fines from a previous traffic charge of driving post suspension of license.

Sajecki confessed to the charges when interviewed by the police. She admitted to stealing the elderly man’s money and offered to make amendments. York County Police charged her with theft by unauthorized taking. She was released on bail on Tuesday. 

Prevention of such incidents

LaPierre encourages all who believe they might be facing financial abuse and theft to dial their state’s Legal Services for the Elderly hotline at 1-800-750-5353. LaPierre says many elders and seniors who are victims of financial theft and abuse might feel exploited and shameful and believe they did something wrong. LaPierre empathizes with these feelings and insists such incidents can be avoided by empowering elders and ensuring them they are not alone and it is not their fault. The state and its legal services department are always there to help their elderly communities. Those being abused can always visit the Maine Council for Elder Abuse Prevention. The site also helps describe warnings signs and ways to prevent such incidents from taking place.

Full Article & Source:
Saco Woman Charged for Using Elder Man’s Checks and Card

My Family's Elder Financial Abuse

By Rosanna Fay, Next Avenue Contributor

If you think elder abuse scams only happen to lonely, memory-addled old ladies who get taken by charming strangers, then think again.

This is our family’s true story of three brothers — all retired professionals, competent and socially active — who became victims of a con executed by a family acquaintance.

Collectively, they lost $60,000 through a ruse that begged to be questioned. Yet none of the brothers did, underscoring the National Adult Protective Services Association’s (NAPSA) concern that elder financial exploitation can happen to anyone.

(MORE: When Elder Abuse Hits Home)

The Scam

The media frequently warns older people about online criminals, fake lottery prizes and telemarketing schemes. In reality, though, most of the $3 billion that’s stolen annually from seniors is taken by their family members, friends, acquaintances or caregivers. The fox is in the hen house.

Our fox confessed to owing money to one of the brothers and then offered to pay it back with funds he claimed the State of Florida was withholding from him. Fox said he needed some legal issues resolved and the state would release his funds; there was even an email from the state declaring so. All Fox needed was another loan.

Eighteen months and thousands of dollars later, all three brothers had been entangled in Fox’s web and financial drama. Unfortunately, they failed to question the veracity of the state-authored messages that Fox had forwarded or the identity of Fox’s “attorney” whose emailed explanations of legal issues were garbled and misspelled.

Two of the brothers eventually realized the scam after other family members proved through public records that Fox’s legal troubles had never existed.

(MORE: Promising Effort to Curb Elder Financial Abuse)

But one brother continues to believe in Fox — and still gives him money.

Why They Believed It

Our family’s “young folk” couldn’t comprehend how our elder relatives became duped. To us, Fox’s lies were obvious and easy to expose.

So why do intelligent, competent elders fall victim? There can be many reasons. One stated by the FBI’s website strongly resonates: “People who grew up in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s were generally raised to be polite and trusting. Con artists exploit these traits.”

Etiquette definitely factored into our case, but the more troubling reason may be cognitive.

Dr. Emmett Miller, a psychiatrist, evaluated our situation and observed: “Elders often have small, hidden cognitive deficits that we don’t recognize. It is amazing how well people can appear to function as long as they are doing their usual activities, performing habits that don’t require much thought. But then something happens that’s a curveball and they can’t recognize that it’s a curveball. Because of their cognitive deficit, they don’t question it. Bottom line: sometimes they are not as cognitively ‘with it’ as they appear to be — or as we’d like to believe they are.”

A Broken System

For most victims of elder financial abuse, the solutions are not obvious, affordable or promising. We reported the abuse to Family Protective Services (FPS), but the case was rejected. The reason: Fox’s non-threatening requests for money did not constitute abuse. Had Fox been a legally authorized trustee, financial adviser or an appointed money manager, then FPS could have intervened.

Next, we filed a fraud complaint with the sheriff’s department; it’s been three months without updates or action.

The crime was conducted via email, so we explored the Federal Communications Commission. No dice; the abuse was too small for their wheelhouse.

We tried the state attorney general’s office, but learned that it focuses strictly on fraudulent consumer trade practices.

Throughout our ordeal, each organization in the system offered the same advice: forget the criminal and instead focus on stopping the financial bleeding by having the brother who continues losing money declared mentally incompetent. While that could empower our family to control the situation, the process costs $5,000 to $7,000 in legal fees with no guarantee that a panel of three doctors will find him incompetent. Instead, we may only succeed in permanently destroying family relationships and wasting more time and funds.

Simply put, the money is gone and the con artist is getting away with the crime.

Our family is far from alone.

During the 2015 hearing of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, NAPSA Director Kathleen Quinn powerfully detailed the volume of financially exploited victims (5 million per year), the “not sufficient system to handle elder abuse” and the terrifying risks to our explosively growing senior population.

But little is being done to fix the system that doesn’t adequately protect our elders. So it’s incumbent on all of us to help our older loved ones from becoming victims of financial exploitation.

But how?

As Miller put it: “The only way to break the cycles that make elders vulnerable is for all the generations within a family to understand the realities of this new criminal trend, to make prevention a high priority and to create a family pact to protect each other.”

Full Article & Source:
My Family's Elder Financial Abuse

Friday, June 5, 2015

Suit: Tybee Island nursing home resident raped by fellow resident

A guardian for a former Tybee Island nursing home resident has sued the home’s owners for damages stemming from an alleged rape of her incapacitated relative by a fellow patient at the residence.

The suit named owners and operators of the Oceanside Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on Tybee for damages in the Feb. 2 rape in the victim’s room at the facility.

Named defendants were New Beginnings Care, Oceanside Healthcare and Rehab and Savannah Beach Healthcare and Rehab.

The suit, filed last week in Chatham County State Court by Savannah attorney Brian Krapf, contends the woman was “physically and mentally disabled, and dependent upon the nursing home staff.”

“The rapist entered (the victim’s) room without being noticed, stopped, questioned or deterred by the Oceanfront nursing staff,” the suit said. “Lying in her bed… (the victim) was helpless and without the physical or mental abilities to defend herself or stop the rape.”

The Savannah Morning News/ does not identify victims of sexual assault or abuse.

An official at Oceanside declined comment Thursday on the suit.

The suit also contended that nursing home officials knew or should have known that the alleged rapist “was mentally unstable, had a past criminal history of rimes of moral turpitude and could be physically and sexually aggressive toward female residents and staff members,” the suit alleged.

It contends the rape “was preventable and would not have occurred if defendants exercised reasonable care to keep her safe from harm,” adding the defendants failed to monitor the alleged rapist’s “behavior of his whereabouts within the Oceanside facility.”

Full Article & Source:
Suit: Tybee Island nursing home resident raped by fellow resident

Former Glynn County Judge indicted

Former Brunswick Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Amanda Williams was indicted Wednesday by a Fulton County grand jury on one count of making false statements and one count of violating her oath of office, The News has learned.

Williams resigned from the bench in January 2012 amid allegations of ethics violations in a 2011 state Judicial Qualifications Commission report.

Following the allegations and Williams' resignation, Attorney General Sam Olens appointed Fulton County District Attorney's office to investigate Williams for potential criminal charges.

Full Article & Source: 
Former Glynn County Judge indicted

Under-fire Banstead care home left injured 101-year-old to wait for two days to see doctor

Jessie Keys, pictured left last March, and right last week in Epsom Hospital
A 101-year-old woman who suffered a serious head wound after falling out of bed at a failing nursing home was not taken to hospital, or seen by a doctor, for two days.

Jessie Keys, from Carshalton, who has been a resident at Firtree House Nursing Home, in Banstead, for three-and-a-half years, is in Epsom Hospital while a safeguarding investigation is conducted by social services and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) into why it took so long for her to be admitted.

In an inspection in November, the health and social care watchdog the CQC rated the home "inadequate overall", although the owner insists improvements had been made.

From March: Owner of Banstead care home rated "inadequate" confident it will not be closed down
Her great niece Kim Clements, 47, also from Carshalton, said Miss Keys was found by Firtree’s staff on the morning of May 18, after falling out of her bed.

She said: "She fell out of bed on Monday.

"They phoned my mother to say she had a scratch on her head but not to worry as she was fine.

"She had a big gash in her head. It was absolutely awful.

"Firtree phoned for an ambulance on Wednesday.

"Her head must have been pouring with blood every day."

Miss Clements said, days earlier, she had been shocked to discover that Miss Keys did not have a pressure mat placed next to her bed, just a "normal rubber mat" drenched in urine.

A pressure mat would alert staff if Miss Keys tried to get out of bed unaided, but Miss Clements was told it was "broken" and would be replaced.

Miss Clements said Firtree’s matron - who was not working at the time of the incident - told her Miss Keys was found on the floor at 6.15am, having been helped to go to the toilet at 6am.

She said: "The matron said they phoned an out-of-hours doctor who said she would not be coming out, but could visit on Wednesday.

"I thought they would have phoned an ambulance straightaway.

"On Wednesday morning the doctor came and said Jessie needed to go to hospital.

"The matron said they should have got help earlier, that it was left too long.

"She said the nurse [involved] had been severely reprimanded."

Miss Clements said her great aunt has experienced no other major problems during her time at Firtree and the home has "always kept her safe", but added: "It’s just lately. The staffing is terrible.

"We are worried about her going back."

When Salim Jiwa, the owner of Firtree, was contacted for an explanation he insisted the newspaper should call the nursing home and speak to the matron, who he named only as Denise.

When questioned, he would not say whether, 10 days after the incident, he had personal knowledge of what had happened, given that he is the owner of the nursing home.

He later phoned back to say: "An investigation is ongoing and there is no other comment at the moment."

The care home's website lists Maria Varnava as manager and head nurse, and Mary Jones as deputy manager and staff nurse. There is no mention of anybody called Denise.

In October, Firtree was placed under police investigation after another Firtree resident, Frank West, 86, was admitted to Epsom Hospital, having fallen out of bed and sustaining a head injury.

He died in hospital 11 days later.

From October: Under-fire care home in Banstead being investigated by police after death of resident
Although Mr West died of natural causes, he had pneumonia when admitted and police told his daughter, Trudy Hampton, that there was a high level of opiates in his blood - of which there was no record at the home.

Speaking to this newspaper this week, Ms Hampton, said the police investigation into the matter had concluded but they "didn’t say there was any criminal activity or not" because police had needed a blood sample from Mr West, whose care at Firtree was funded by Surrey County Council (SCC).

Ms Hampton added: "The CQC didn’t give me their report [into the matter] as they said it’s not their policy.

"Social services didn’t share anything either due to data protection.

"There are still big questions over this.

"I think there’s a bit of a cover-up from the CQC point of view."

She added: "Firtree has had all these chances for a number of years to correct the inefficiencies and it has not corrected them.

"I wouldn’t put anyone there."

Of the 23 residents at the home, 13 are funded by SCC and four by Sutton Council.

An SCC spokesman pointed this newspaper to Sutton Council, but said: "We have asked the home to complete an internal investigation in the next 28 days just to make sure nothing happens again."

A Sutton Council spokesman said SCC was the relevant authority: "Safeguarding investigations are led by the local authority where the incident occurs, which in this case is SCC.

"SCC’s investigation into the care of Mrs Keys is ongoing and we are awaiting the outcome of its investigation."

He added: "Sutton Council and SCC have been working together with Firtree since its CQC inspection in November 2014 to raise the standard of care there."

A follow-up inspection to the one in November was conducted in March this year, but the findings have not yet been published by the CQC.

From October: 'Care Quality Commission complicit in wrongdoing of nursing homes', says angry relative
Asked about the incident involving Miss Keys, a CQC spokesman said: "We are aware of it.

"There is ongoing safeguarding work going on between ourselves, the local authorities and stakeholders and we cannot comment at this time."

He said the most recent inspection report for Firtree had been sent to Mr Jiwa and there is "no reason why it shouldn’t be published this month".

Sutton Guardian:

Tom Hurst, 61, from Epsom, is a relative of a resident who has been at Firtree for four years.

He said the nursing home has made significant process recently and criticised the our recent coverage of the problems there as "unnecessarily sensationalist".

"I would say there have been notable improvements," Mr Hurst said.

"The new matron, Denise, has been there three months now. She is very much on top of things.

"There have been several monthly residents’ meetings. At the last one there was not one single complaint.

"They have done a pretty good job over the four years. Overall, the family’s happy."

He said Firtree is not the only care home in the area not providing a link to it most recently published report on its website and that "Firtree didn’t deserve to be singled out" by the newspaper for this.

Last month: Care home slammed by watchdog still not showing damning inspection report on its website
Mr Hurst said his main frustration is the delay in the CQC inspecting homes and then publishing its reports.

He said: "I am dumbfounded that the CQC inspected Firtree in March of this year and here we are in June and there is no sign of the report."

Full Article & Source:
Under-fire Banstead care home left injured 101-year-old to wait for two days to see doctor

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Texas minister who put Bibles on the moon being held ‘incommunicado’

Some wealthy American seniors have discovered the dark side of getting a court-appointed guardian: losing basic rights

Jack Halpren: Long Term Care and the Nursing Home Industry

Jack Halpern is the CEO of the New York City-based "My Elder Advocate, LLC". The organization provides advocacy services and helps seniors with issues such as eviction prevention, nursing home or assisted living placement and long term care planning.

In March, Mr. Halpern was showcased in the episode "Home Health Aides from Hell", which will be the focus of discussion for members of the New York State Standing Committee on Aging during its next legislative session, as confirmed by Senator Joseph Addabbo, Jr., who serves on the committee.

Mr. Halpern recently asked The G-Man Interviews to meet with him to discuss what he described as a dangerous trend – in New York nursing homes and those in other states – that will lead to the evictions or deaths of Alzheimer’s and dementia residents who need and rely on long term care.

The interview was conducted on May 22nd at My Elder Advocate’s Brooklyn office.

YouTube:  Longterm Care and the Nursing Home Industry

"Westland Cops Break Court Order"

This is Westland Police & an assistant to a court guardian, breaking the law! A judge ordered that my mother Gayle Robinson was NOT to be removed from her home without a court order signed by him! They had none!

YouTube:  Westland Cops Break Court Order

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Utah bill would protect the right to visit ailing parents

A Utah senator is working on a bill that would protect the right of adult children to visit ailing parents.

Woods Cross Republican Sen. Todd Weiler said the daughter of the late actor Peter Falk asked if he would sponsor visitation legislations as part of her push for similar laws around the country.

Falk was put in a conservatorship in 2009 so his daughter could visit the ailing "Columbo" star, who had advanced dementia. Falk died in 2011.

In a statement, Catherine Falk said that when she was in court fighting to visit her father, she decided to advocate for laws securing the right to visit ailing parents so others didn't have to go through a similar situation.

Falk points to disputes such as the recent case pitting the children of B.B. King against his longtime manager. Before King's death May 14 in Las Vegas, one of his 11 surviving children sought to wrest control of his affairs from his longtime business manager who had power-of-attorney.

Several daughters alleged that they were being kept from seeing the blues legend while he was in home hospice care.

A judge dismissed the dispute, and King's manager said the children were free to schedule visits.

Two of his children now want to block the business manager from becoming executor of King's estate. They say they believe King was poisoned. A lawyer for the estate calls the claims ridiculous, and says three doctors examined King before he died.

While high-profile cases have highlighted the issue of visitation, Weiler said he doesn't know specifically of similar battles in Utah.

Lawmakers in New York are also considering a proposal on visitation rights for adult children, according to a statement from the Catherine Falk Organization.

Weiler said it's important to give people a chance to visit family members before they die.

"I think most people want to make peace and express their love and sadness and maybe try to clear up any misunderstanding before someone passes away," Weiler said.

The specifics of his Utah proposal aren't ready, but he said he'd like to see if there's a way it can allow people to secure visits without going to court.

He hopes to have state lawmakers consider the proposal during their 2016 session.

Full Article & Source:
Utah bill would protect the right to visit ailing parents

From NASGA's Victims Page: Yolanda "Linda" Hutton

Elder Financial Exploitation, Neglect and Abuse Victim
Violating Institution : Bendigo Bank
Suspects :  Bank Manager Christine Frankham & Susan Bogaard Paid Care Giver
Suspected Accomplice: Peter Hadley Wood (Solicitor/Attorney) 

Yolanda was the first Elder Financial Exploitation, Neglect and Guardianship Abuse Victim reported to NASGA from Sydney Australia in late 2013,  she was also a Victim of Australia's Institutionalized Elder and Disabled Financial Exploitation and Cover-Up's within Australia's Banking and Financial Services Industry.. !!

Yolanda is the mother of Mareea Watts and Tony Hutton (NASGA and Banking Abuse Advocate), both the Bendigo Bank and Bank Manager Christine Frankham have now been placed on NASGA's "Wanted List" and all information received by NASGA from Banking Abuse Whistleblowers in relation to either Australian or American Banks will be kept Strictly Confidential .. !!

Case History :-

Bendigo Bank Manager Christine Frankham and Susan Bogaard a Paid Carer of Yolanda Hutton were under New South Wales (NSW) Police Investigation from August 2011, during this time Bank Manager Frankham was suspended for 18 months from Bendigo Bank pending the Police Investigation.

Bendigo Bank Manager Frankham and her friend Susan  Bogaard had been appointed Guardians and Financial Managers of Yolanda Hutton (who in June 2007 was diagnosed with Advanced Dementia), until they relinquished their role prior to a Guardianship Hearing on 26/7/2011, due to intensive Investigation by the Australian Media .. !!

Following a story screened by Channel 7 News over 3 nights, the matter was referred to the Assistant Police Commissioner Nick Kaldas (the story was screened on 8/8/2011 - 22/8/2011 - 23/8/2011).

After the first night’s screening another family contacted Channel 7 in Sydney, advising them that their Aunt (Joan Douglas) had been befriended and allegedly targeted by Bendigo Manager Frankham in a similar way to Yolanda Hutton, when Frankham was manager of the Commonwealth Bank at Brookvale NSW... !!

Yolanda Hutton also had an account at the same branch of the Commonwealth Bank, at the same time and both where customers of Bank Manager Christine Frankham...!!

Christine Frankham left Commonwealth Bank in July 2002 and joined the Bendigo Bank at Dee Why as the Branch Manager,  Yolanda Hutton accounts immediately followed Manager Frankham to the Bendigo Bank... !!

A Current Affair (Channel 9, in Sydney) also screened a half hour special on 11/11/2011 that started with the story of a Sydney Taxi Driver. who was allegedly Targeting and Defrauding Vulnerable Elderly People, it then led into the Yolanda Hutton's Story and her involvement with Bank Manager Christine Frankham....!!
There were also articles in the Daily Telegraph by John Rolfe (News Director of the Daily Telegraph) on 8/8/2011 & 10/11/2011 relating to Christine Frankham, without Yolanda's name being mentioned for legal reasons, as Yolanda was a Protected Person (being a Ward or Protected Person the Daily Telegraph was unable to publish her name) .... !!

Different rules apply to Australian TV Media, who exposed Bendigo Bank Manager Christine Frankham, also published the name and details of the alleged victim Yolanda Hutton (with the Families Approval)... !!

The Family gained documentary evidence in the diaries of Just Better Care, found in Yolanda's home when Police forced access on 21/05/2011...!!

Just Better Care called at Yoland's home every day for about 3/4 of an hour to prepare her a meal, the diaries showed evidence of the horrendous alleged Neglect and Abuse of Yolanda, by her then Guardians Bendigo Bank Manager Christine Frankham and Frankham's friend Susan Bogaard... !!

Yolanda was in a Deplorable State on the 21/5/2011 when Police Gained Forced Entry to her home, as allegedly Bendigo Bank Manager Frankham and Susan Bogaard, had the locks changed for the third time at Yolanda's expense, to deny Yolanda's Family access... !!

Yolanda had been on the timber floor for up to 20 hours, wearing only a thin nightie, when Police entered the home. It had also been a very cold night, Yolanda was hypothermia, tachycardia, had a urinary tract infection, with impacted feces and severe scalding in her Genital Area... !!

Yolanda was taken to Mona Vale Hospital by Ambulance, Mona Vale Hospital Emergency Admission and Clinical Notes where also given to Police.

The Just Better Care Diary when transcribed consists of 120 pages, the diary continually mentions the poor state of Mrs. Hutton health, which allegedly Bank Manager Christine Frankham and Paid Care Giver Bogaard disregarded...!!

The most appalling evidence (apart from the alleged neglect and abuse) that was found, appears to be that Bank Manager Christine Frankham and Paid Care Giver Bogaard’s, efforts in arranging Yolanda to sign 4 consecutive wills in 4 years (8/9/06--13/10/06--30/4/08--3/4/09).... !!

In each of these wills Manager Christine Frankham was the Executor, with both Frankham and Bogaard’s percentages of Yolanda's Estate increasing, until the final will in 2009 arranged by the alleged perpetrators (before Yolanda was freed from this nightmare, making her last and final will)  .. !!

In the last will of this "Undue Influence" saga both Manager Frankham and her friend Paid Care Giver Bogaard, were to inherit the entire estate of approximately $1.5 Million Dollars, with an additional clause inserted, that if anything happened to either of them, then their share would have gone to "Their Children". They only allowed $20,000 to be given to one of Yolanda's Granddaughters Jacki Riley. Jacki was 1 of the 8 Grandchildren of Mrs. Yolanda Hutton... !!

Interestingly the Wills were prepared by Northern Beaches Solicitor Peter Hedley Wood from Wood Marshall Williams at Brookvale, who for some unknown reason MUST work under the supervision of another Attorney.... !!

It's also interesting to point out that Christine Frankham had been allegedly involved in a similar situation before, with another Elderly Women named Joan Douglas who died in 2004... !!

As we stated before in July 2002 Bank Manager Frankham left Commonwealth Bank, allegedly "Head Hunted" by the Bendigo Bank, where she became the Manager of it's Dee Why Branch... !!

Allegedly on 26/4/2000 Christine Frankham arranged to take Joan Douglas to prepare a new will with David Tuckerman (solicitor) from Rees Tuckerman in Brookvale, whereby Manager Frankham became a beneficiary receiving  $30,000 and Bank Manager Frankham was also included in the line of beneficiaries for Joan’s house at Beacon Hill... !!

In February 2001 Frankham allegedly asked Joan for a loan of $10,000 and this money was allegedly transferred to Frankham on 19/2/2001... !!

Allegedly Joan then had great difficulty in the loan being repaid and as Joan’s demands became more public, the loan was eventually repaid on 30/4/2001, allegedly $10,000 was withdrawn by Manager Frankham from Yolanda's Visa Credit Card account at Commonwealth Bank in Brookvale, where Frankham was previously a Manager (the card had a limit of $10,000 & had never been used before)... !!

Joan Douglas died on 18/12/2004, but Christine Frankham was unaware that Joan had made another will, where in Bendigo Bank Manager Frankham was no longer a beneficiary... !!

Allegedly when Bendigo Bank Manager Frankham discovered that she would no longer beneficiary, she then confronted Joan’s Nephew Frank Henry and major beneficiary, demanding $40,000. On 26/1/2005 allegedly Bank Manager Frankham arrived at the Nephew’s house at night in an "Aggressive Manner" demanding $40,000 or she would contest the will, at that point Frank Henry told her she was trespassing, asked her to leave and closed the door in her face..!!

Trying a gentler approach on 28/2/2005 Frank Henry alleges he received a letter from Frankham, in a "Bendigo Bank Envelope" again demanding $40,000, Joan’s Nephew Frank Henry ignored Bendigo Bank Managers Christine Frankham’s Demands... !!

Documents to support the above relating to the Joan Douglas allegations, where also given to the NSW Police. .. !!

Full Profile and Source:
NASGA:  Yolanda "Linda" Hutton

See Also:
Facebook:  BendigoBanksters

Federal court: no liability for PA judge who made up criminal charge

Photo courtesy of
A federal court recently told a Lawrence County woman she’s simply out of luck and can’t sue local officials, including a Common Pleas judge who apparently made up a criminal charge that was used to place her on electronic monitoring.

A judge has absolute civil immunity, even if the action “was in error, was done maliciously, or was in excess of his authority,” the three-judge panel ruled in its six-page opinion.

Judge Thomas Piccione had ordered Lynn Van Tassel to report to jail after she didn’t pay her ex-husband’s attorney’s fees as ordered — even though she was appealing that order. He sentenced her to 90 days in jail and had her arrested on a bench warrant.

He then put a criminal charge in the system to place her on electronic monitoring. Van Tassel had never been charged with anything, much less had a trial or been convicted. And the law the judge used clearly describes what it’s for, and there’s certainly no mention of using it to collect attorney fees.

Van Tassel was almost fired for being absent without leave from work because she was in jail and the criminal charge she could provide no paperwork for, because that process hadn’t occurred in any real-world way.

But there’s no remedy for Van Tassel.

Like a bad April Fool’s Day joke, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit officially agreed April 1 with the district court’s tossing of the case.

Full Article & Source:
Federal court: no liability for PA judge who made up criminal charge

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

NASGA Press Release: Legislation Update: The State of Illinois Passes HB2505

For immediate release

June 2, 2015

For more information contact:
Annie McKenna
NASGA Media Liaison


Legislation Update:  The State of Illinois Passes HB2505

NASGA (National Association to STOP Guardian Abuse) is pleased to announce HB2505, introduced by Representative David Harris (R) in March of this year, and sponsored in the Senate by Senator Steve Stadelman (D) has passed both houses!  NASGA Director Sylvia Rudek conferred with Representative Harris on this bill as well as two others this session which we hope will pass as well.

HB2505 provides that a temporary guardian of a disabled adult shall have limited powers and duties (instead of “all the powers and duties”) of a guardian of the person or estate which are enumerated by court order.

In other words, a temporary guardian no longer will automatically have full autonomy over an elderly or disabled person. Limiting the powers or reach of a temporary guardian is a common sense, practical change in the laws which significantly protects the person and the person’s estate. 
NASGA continues to applaud Representative Harris and Senator Stadelman’s commitment.   NASGA looks forward to more collaboration from these esteemed lawmakers from different political parties with the same goal:  to protect the elderly and disabled citizens of the State of Illinois  from guardianship abuse. ###

See Also:
Illinois Representative David Harris Introduces Three Bills in the 2015 Legislative Session

NASGA Members in Legislative Action

POLICE: Mattapoisett man arrested, charged with bilking elderly woman

MATTAPOISETT – A Mattapoisett man has been arrested and charged with bilking an elderly woman out of more than $100,000 over the course of six months.

Mattapoisett Police arrested Jason A. Bobola, 31, of Mattapoisett, Wednesday, May 27, following an investigation of a complaint of theft by fraudulent means. Bobola, who up until earlier this year was the owner of Jay’s Automotive Service Center on Route 6 in Mattapoisett, was arraigned before Brockton Superior Court Judge Thomas McGuire. Bail was set at $30,000. Bobola is currently on probation out of the Wareham District Court on a number of other matters, according to Beth Stone, spokesman for the Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz’s office.

Bobola was arraigned May 28 in Brockton Superior Court on 11 counts of larceny over $250 on a person 60 or older, Stone said.

The charges allege that on various dates from July of 2013 through January of 2014, Bobola stole more than $100,000 from an elderly woman in Mattapoisett. Bobola is charged with having taken the money, in some instances, without the victim’s permission by maxing out her credit cards, Stone said. On other occasions, the woman gave Bobola loans that Bobola promised to pay back when he sold the assets of his automotive repair business. His automotive repair station closed late last fall.

According to the district attorney’s office, Bobola would call the victim “Gram” and often told her he loved her more than his own family. The victim lives alone and on a fixed income after her retirement.

A Plymouth County Grand Jury returned 11 secret indictments against Bobola last week and a Superior Court judge issued a warrant for Bobola’s arrest.

Bobola is next scheduled to appear in Brockton Superior Court June 29 for pre-trial conference.

Plymouth County Assistant District Attorney Jessica Healy is prosecuting the case. The Mattapoisett Police Department led the investigation.

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POLICE: Mattapoisett man arrested, charged with bilking elderly woman

Pike Road man accused of scamming elderly woman out of thousands

MONTGOMERY CO., AL (WSFA) - A young man from Pike Road is behind bars this weekend, facing charges for exploiting an elderly woman in Virginia with diminished mental capabilities.

Investigators were able to trace the origin of the scam back to the same jail he's sitting in now.

“These con-artist's are trying to get creative,” said Tommy Hunt, Investigator with the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office.

We've all heard of the grandparent scam, a con artist posing as a grandchild or a friend of a grandchild will call and say they are in a foreign country, in trouble, and need money right away. This case uncovered was a new twist on grandparent scam.

“They took advantage of her being an easy target and was able to profit off of it,” said Montgomery County District Attorney, Daryl Bailey.

This scam starts and subsequently ends at the Montgomery County Jail. Investigators say the victim's son was incarcerated at the detention facility, and after striking up a conversation with fellow cellmate, Trederris Cowan, Cowan got out of jail and allegedly targeted his former cellmate's 74 year old mother who suffers from the early stages of dementia.

“They know the questions to ask and they really spend a lot of time listening more than talking and when they think they've got a target they'll start asking questions,” said Hunt.

According to authorities, Cowan conned the woman, name dropping an attorney's office and lying about meeting with a judge and the District Attorney.

“Telling her that he has been talking with her son and that he knows of an attorney, gave an attorney's name and can help get her son of jail if she will meet him and give him approximately $8000 dollars,” explained Bailey.

The elderly woman drove all the way from Virginia, handing over cash to the 24-year-old, now charged with financial exploitation of an elderly person.

“If they're asking to meet you in a bank parking lot and asking for cash that's a lot of red flags right there,” said Bailey.

When Cowan demanded $5,000 dollars more a few days later she got suspicious, but Bailey says those red flags should have gone up sooner. “Never give out your personal information, never make contact with someone you don't know and certainly never give cash to someone who is promising to do something for you without checking them out,” he said.

After handing over thousands to an alleged thief, the victim still had to bail her son out of jail, a costly reminder to ask questions before doing business with anyone.

Cowan is being held on a $30,000 dollar bond.

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Pike Road man accused of scamming elderly woman out of thousands

Monday, June 1, 2015

NASGA Press Release: Marcia Southwick Joins NASGA Board of Directors

For immediate release

June 1, 2015

For more information contact:
Annie McKenna
NASGA Media Liaison


Marcia Southwick Joins  NASGA Board of Directors  ______________________________________________________________

NASGA (National Association to STOP Guardian Abuse) is pleased to announce the addition of Marcia Southwick to its Board of Directors.

Marcia originally came to NASGA to learn more about guardianship abuse after her best friend’s companion was wrongfully and needlessly guardianized.

Two years later, this previously virile and healthy man was dead and his estate had paid for the abuse he had endured and the torment to his beloved companion at the end of his life.   What Marcia witnessed through this experience horrified her; and she became a strong advocate, firmly resolved to dedicate herself to raising awareness so the unwary might avoid the “protection industry.”

She created “Boomers Against Elder Abuse” on Facebook; and every day she begins a conversation to educate and forewarn her readers, which she has grown to over 100,000 “friends.”  She brings this wealth of knowledge and experience from the discussions and thousands of comments she receives on her page to NASGA. 

NASGA is very pleased to have Marcia Southwick on our Board and looks forward to working with her toward our goal:  STOP GUARDIAN ABUSE.


See Also:  Boomers Against Elder Abuse


Contact: Meredith Beatrice


DOS providing free credit monitoring services

TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of State, Bureau of Archives and Records Management, preserves Florida's permanent historical records and makes them available to the public.  Among those records made available to the public are copies of emails sent to and received from former Governor Jeb Bush during his tenure in office. Unfortunately, certain confidential information was contained within the emails obtained by members of the public who requested them.

Individuals potentially affected by this inadvertent disclosure of confidential information, which was released as part of recent public records requests, include approximately 13,000 persons on a wait list for developmental disability health care services from 2003, whose names, dates of birth, and social security numbers were included in an email.

Individuals who believe their personal information may have been released may contact: (850) 245-6068

Potentially affected individuals also may wish to review their credit history for any potential fraudulent or suspicious activities they have not authorized. To protect themselves from the possibility of identity theft, they may also place a free fraud alert on their credit files.  A fraud alert notifies creditors to contact individuals before opening new accounts in their name. Individuals can call any one of the three major credit reporting agencies at the numbers below to place a fraud alert on their credit files and may obtain a free credit report at

Experian - 1-888-397-3742

Equifax - 1-888-766-0008

TransUnion - 1-800-680-7289

Additionally, the Department of State has arranged to have LifeLock provide identity theft protection for one year to each individual whose social security information was released as a consequence of this inadvertent disclosure. If you believe your social security information was released, you may call: (850) 245-6068. If your social security information was released, you will receive instructions on how to take advantage of the LifeLock service at no cost to you.

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New Guardianship Rules Start Today in Ohio

Court-appointed guardians across Ohio will all have to follow the same set of basic requirements starting June 1 as they manage the affairs of Ohioans who are deemed unable to care for themselves — children, the elderly and people with mental disabilities.

The new rules require training, monitoring and background checks and say that guardians must meet with their wards at least every three months.

A court-appointed committee had studied the issue for more than eight years before releasing a draft set of rules for guardians last spring — just as The Dispatch published an investigation in May that revealed how the state’s patchwork quilt of local rules has failed Ohioans.

The series, “Unguarded,” available online at, found widespread problems with the way some guardians were managing the care of their wards, including instances of abuse, neglect and financial exploitation.

The court pulled back the draft after receiving more than 100 pages of comments, prompted in part by the Dispatch series.

The committee work started in 2007 after national news stories raised an alarm about the lack of oversight in guardianship cases. While Ohio was one of the first states to form a committee to study the issue, much of the rest of the country raced ahead with comprehensive state standards.

Julia Nack is one of the state’s few certified master guardians and the director of the volunteer guardianship program at the Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging. She both commented on the draft rules and was part of the committee tasked with redrafting the rules based on that feedback.

Ohio Supreme Court:  New Guardianship Rules Start June 1

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Steve Miller: Jared Shafer's Clark County Family Court Lackeys Removed From All Guardianship Cases

The Goose that laid the golden eggs is cooked!

After years of court sanctioned bilking of wealthy senior citizens and disabled persons, the biggest shake up in Clark County District Court history has just forced the immediate removal of two well-known jurists who were allegedly doing the bidding of veteran for-hire private guardian Jared E. Shafer and his protégés.

Charles Hoskin
In the wake of the court house shake up, the Nevada Legislature on May 23, 2015, voted to change the arcane laws that allowed Clark County Family Court Judge Charles Hoskin and his appointed "Hearing Master" Jon Norheim to blanket approve the actions of unscrupulous private for-hire guardians who for over a decade preyed on the fortunes of hapless seniors and disabled people in Southern Nevada while their out of state families protested in vain. (Remember the court video of Norheim closing his court to the public upon orders of a private for-hire guardian who is not an officer of the court. That guardian, Jared Shafer, did not want the public to know that he could not account for $500.000.00 missing from one of his wards.)

Too often, the "ward's" wishes to move to another state to be with family are ignored by the court so the estate can continue paying the guardian's outrageous fees until the ward dies, and sometimes for years thereafter with the court's approval (see: Grave Robbery Under Color Of Law! The story of the late Leanne Peccole).

Jon Norheim
One of the Nevada laws that Hoskin and Norheim relied upon limited those who could become fiduciaries of the estates of Nevada "wards" of the court to only those persons who physically resided within Nevada thus prohibiting out of state children of well-to-do elderly persons from overseeing the fortunes of their own parents. This bad law opened the way for unscrupulous for-hire guardians to be appointed by Hoskin and Norheim to fleece elderly widows or widowers. As of last Saturday, the Nevada Legislature voted to change that law and allow out of state relatives to govern the assets of incapacitated loved ones living in Nevada.

Another law was enacted to require all for-hire guardians to be licensed and bonded - a first for Nevada. Most decisions made by Hoskin and Norheim were based on the amount of wealth the surviving spouse had, not their actual needs (poor people are not provided private professional guardians). After the passing of a parent, out of state relatives would soon learn that their surviving mother or father was secretly made a ward of the court during their grief, and that a stranger was the best choice to be given full power of attorney by Hoskin or Norheim to manage their loved one's estate without allowing input from family members living outside Nevada. In some cases, family members who actually live in Nevada were disapproved if their loved one was extremely wealthy. The appointed for-hire guardian would tell Hoskin or Norheim during a hearing that the local relative was an "exploiter" or "unfit," often falsely accusing the relative of drug addiction or being a compulsive gambler. In all cases researched by INSIDE VEGAS, Hoskin or Norheim took the side of the for-hire guardian, and the fleecing continued. '

The out of state family is told that someone called authorities to report that their parent or relative was in need of help, and a for-hire guardian was "temporarily" appointed by the Family Court to look after the physical needs and assets of the loved one. Within months, sometimes weeks, the temporary status is changed to permanent by Hoskin or Norheim when its determined that there are no relatives living in Nevada who can care for the "ward" allowing life's savings to be drained through double charges, excessive fees, and outright thievery by the appointed "guardian," and assets can be liquidated without anyone's approval (see cashed checks below, and review this website for documentation.

This legal, but immoral practice was finally exposed by Nevada media, and the scam's effect on Las Vegas' second most lucrative business - retirement - is only now being realized, i. e., who would want to retire to Sun City Anthem in Henderson, or Sun City Summerlin in Las Vegas if they knew that local Family Courts would collude with certain private "guardians" to take the retiree for everything they're worth before their children could receive their inheritance?

I wrote my first editorial on this subject in April 2002, for a local weekly newspaper. The editorial was republished by an Internet magazine on May 31, 2006.

The National Association to Stop Guardian Abuse (NASGA) also began reporting Clark County guardian abuse cases in April of 2006. The organization's president, Elaine Renoire, has closely followed the exploitation of Las Vegas victims Marcy Dudeck and Guadalupe Olvera.

INSIDE VEGAS began exposing this racket February 25, 2013, on in a story entitled "GUADALUPE OLVERA'S WAR." Several more columns followed until I was able to expose the modus operandi of the scheme in "Las Vegas' Death Watch - The chain of events start at Sun City Anthem and end in private guardian Jared E. Shafer's pocket" published March 17, 2014, on In the column, I explained how a cartel of local attorneys, judges and guardians would single out wealthy elderly couples who had no relatives in Nevada, and after the death of a spouse, collude to drain their estates.

Up until that point, no one in Las Vegas media would ever believe such a horrible thing was happening right under our eyes to our most vulnerable citizens. I persisted writing, hoping the stories would gain traction before more people were injured.

The next to tell this sordid story was The Vegas Voice, a hard copy publication with a vast circulation to local senior citizens and retirees. On August 18, 2014, the paper began running a hard hitting series exposing the ill-deeds and names of corrupt for-hire guardians. But the paper went one step further. Publisher Dan Roberts and Political Editor Rana Goodman flew to the state capitol in Carson City to lobby for changes in the guardianship laws, specifically that out of state relatives could handle the finances of loved ones living in Nevada, and that all private for-hire guardians be licensed and bonded. They also circulated a petition gathering over 3,500 signatures. The paper soon received a letter from attorneys Gardener Jolly and Bruce Woodbury threatening a libel (SLAPP) lawsuit if they continued writing about their client, for-hire guardian April Parks. However, The Vegas Voice stories continued unfettered until Parks' double billing and lack of accountability was confirmed by KTNV Contact 13.

Then on March 6, 2015, KTNV TV Contact 13 News producer Kean Bauman and investigative reporter Darcy Spears aired "Valley man wrestles with guardianship system," which told of 25 year old cerebral palsy victim Jason Hanson, and how for-hire guardian Jared Shafer allegedly took him for everything he had.

INSIDE VEGAS videographer Mike Christ had interviewed Jason in April, 2014, for my March 3, INSIDE VEGAS column. Here is a LINK to Mike's heart rendering video: "Special Administrator Jared E. Shafer takes house and inheritance from 24 year old man with cerebral palsy."

April 11, 2015, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Nevada's largest newspaper, began a series of front page stories written by investigative reporter Colton Lochhead. The first story was "Clark County’s private guardians may protect — or just steal and abuse."  In the same RJ edition was the story of Guadalupe Olvera; "Escape was only option for an old soldier trapped in guardian system," telling about the 95 year old World War 2 hero's exploitation by Jared E. Shafer, and his escape from Shafer's abusive custody.

Then on April 17, 2015, another of Colton Lochhead's stories appeared on the RJ's front page entitled "Chief judge vows to improve guardianship process." On April 21, the front page article by Lochhead headlined; "Clark County Commissioners want reform of ‘appalling’ guardianship program," followed April 26, with an Editorial; "Guarding the guardians," and the May 5, story by Lochhead; "There's now a hotline to call with guardianship complaints," that stated, "Cases highlighted in the Review-Journal showed a lack of oversight by the courts that allowed people who were wards of the county to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars to their private professional guardians. In those cases, the court failed to enforce state laws, such as the requirement to file a yearly accounting of money spent on behalf of wards, and ignored the wishes of wards and their families."

 Clark County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak responded by scheduling a special hearing to discuss the guardianship problem. At that hearing held on April 21, LVMPD  Lt. James Weiskopf told the Commission "And the complaints we get from the citizens is that Judge Hoskin will rubber stamp it and say Norheim made appropriate decisions, or Judge Hoskin doesn't hear the family's complaint."  ...

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Jared Shafer's Clark County Family Court Lackeys Removed From All Guardianship Cases