Saturday, April 23, 2016

Joe Roubicek: Joe's Cases: Respect vs. Ageism

In 1939 the dark comedy play Arsenic and Old Laceopened on Broadway and became an immediate hit. The New York Times reviewer wrote that “It is so funny that none of us will ever forget it.”

Indeed. The plot involves two spinster aunts who lure lonely old men into their home to poison them with glasses of homemade elderberry wine laced with arsenic, strychnine and “just a pinch of” cyanide. Then their nephew, Teddy, (who believes he’s Teddy Roosevelt) buries the bodies in the cellar. The ladies say that they are doing this “for charity.”

Arsenic And Old Lace is based on a notorious serial killer who murdered the elderly for profit. We make no connection to the plight of the elderly victims because the focus is on the killers. In this same sense, because society tends not to focus on the elderly, their victimization is largely ignored. Unless there is obvious evidence of foul play, law enforcement, the health care sector and society in general, have a tendency to believe that the elderly (versus other age groups) always die of natural causes. This often wrong assumption can be partially attributed to something called “ageism.”

Ageism is the tendency to perceive older persons in many negative ways, including being debilitated, unworthy of attention and “less alive.” When an older person forgets a name, they are senile. When a younger person forgets they are forgetful, or are having a “senior moment.”

Ageism perpetuates prejudice, discrimination and mistreatment of elders and psychological studies have found that it actually shortens the lifespans of elders.

Respecting our elders on the other hand, gives them longevity and brings us humility. A Yale University study found that those with positive self-perceptions of aging lived 7.5 years longer and moreover, older adults exposed to positive stereotypes have significantly better memory and balance. And how do we respect our elders? We can be patient, spend time, listen, tell them we love and appreciate them, and look for their wisdom because it’s there, say’s Mark Twain …

“When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.”

Full Article and Source:

What If Residents Decided How Their Nursing Home Would Run?

Alice Hallinan
When asked how she feels about living at St. Camillus Health Center in Whitinsville, Mass., her home for 15 years, Alice Hallinan doesn’t hesitate. “I love it very much,” the 96-year-old says. “My daughter wants me to move closer to her, but no way I would leave.”

Perhaps more surprising than Hallinan’s love for life in a nursing home is the reason why: “The freedom!” she says. “The meals are great, and if you don’t like them, you can get whatever you want. You can go to bed whenever you want, you can get up whenever you want, you can dress how you want. It’s everything the way you want.”

What Is Person-Centered Care?

St. Camillus prides itself in delivering person-centered care considered the gold standard by medical and aging professionals.

“Person-centeredness is a step in the direction of a larger organizational culture change,” says Ruta Kadonoff, director of the Pioneer Network, which has been pushing for transformation of the institutional culture of nursing homes since 1997. (I have made such efforts one topic of my 20 years of study on aging, and focused on it in my book, Old Age in a New Age — The Promise of Transformative Nursing Homes.)

“Rather than designing what we do around what works for the institution and the staff, we look at what works for the person — individualizing, responding to each person’s needs,” she notes. The goal, Kadonoff says, is for the resident to be “the locus of control.”

In the old way, all residents would be rousted at the same time, then wait for breakfast to be served on a tray. By then, the food was often cold or not what they wanted. 

As part of a broad national effort to advance this goal, a panel convened by the American Geriatrics Society, with support from The SCAN Foundation, recently published a statement defining person-centered care — which it said is especially important for older adults with chronic conditions or functional limitations.

Such care is guided by the individuals’ values and preferences, the statement said, and supports residents’ health and life goals. This is achieved through collaborative relationships.

Passion, Purpose

For Hallinan, this translates into having a meaningful life. She enjoys delivering the morning prayer over the intercom, operating a little thrift shop to raise money for resident activities and, best of all, continuing her lifelong passion for cooking.

With a full kitchen in the activity room and with staff making sure the ingredients are available, Hallinan cooks her favorite chicken, spinach and rice, soup and even baklava. “Sometimes I make cheese bread for all the workers, which they keep bugging me for,” she says.

On a recent day, Hallinan, who uses a wheelchair, went shopping at WalMart with three residents and accompanying staff. “It was a lot of fun,” she says. “Then we had lunch at Subway.”

Early Pushback

St. Camillus was not always so person-centered. A decade ago, Administrator Bill Graves and Director of Nursing Sandy Godfrey received a quality improvement grant, funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

With guidance from culture change experts and exchanges with other grantees, they began to take steps to create more person-centered care.

The first thing Graves and Godfrey wanted was to have consistent assignments, so staffers would work with the same residents each day.

“We had a lot of pushback from staff,” Godfrey recalls. “They were under the impression you don’t want to get too close to people, the old-school way of thinking, which now sounds so foreign to us.”

Listening to the Rank-and-File

So Graves and Godfrey worked to educate and get buy-in from the staff on the importance of strong relationships and of resident choice. They encouraged input from front-line caregivers — and acted on their suggestions.

For example, a certified nursing assistant (CNA) objected to the undignified way that death was handled. The deceased resident would be wrapped in a plastic sheet with a nametag on the toe and jaw tied shut, and the funeral home would spirit the body out the back door.

Now, family and staff gather in the dying person’s room. The body is covered with a special quilt, embroidered with the names of residents who have died. The staff and family then accompany the body out the front door. Each year, families are invited back for a special dinner to celebrate their loved one’s life.

“There’s a lot of stories like that that we could tell,” says Graves. Eventually, he says, the staff agreed that consistent assignments would allow them do a better job of person-centered care. They also came to like the idea of resident choice — but it took some convincing.

A Convert

“I was one of the biggest opponents,” says CNA Maureen Mahoney, a 19-year veteran of St. Camillus. “I said there’s no way this is going to work.”

In the old way, all residents would be rousted at the same time, then wait for breakfast to be served on a tray. By that time, the food was often cold or not what they wanted.

“Now we go in and gently awaken them and ask them what they’d like to do,” says Mahoney. “Some want to sit and have coffee in their bathrobes, some want to be washed and dressed. Before, it was a mad rush to get the day started.”

Now, Mahoney says, she loves “giving the residents the control back, to live life the way they want to. It’s still their home and they need to have their choices and their wants met, because it’s important for them as a person, it validates them as humans.”

Working with the same residents each day allows her to give better care, she says. “You can anticipate their needs or wants,” says Mahoney. Problems such as incontinence, skin breakdown or dementia-related agitation can better be prevented.

Obstacles to Widespread Adoption

Although a significant number of nursing homes are moving toward person-centered care, the traditional, institutional mindset still holds sway. A 2013 survey of nursing homes on their culture change practices (including resident-centered care, a homey environment and staff empowerment) found that just 13 percent “had completely changed the way the [nursing home] cared for residents,” while many others had made steps toward such change.

Graves says dozens of nursing homes have toured St. Camillus to learn from its example. Most assume such personalized care will cost more or be prohibited by regulations. Neither assumption is true.

“What we say to them is everything that we’ve done did not cost us more money,” says Graves.

“Overall, it’s a cost savings because you’re doing things right for people the first time, so you don’t have to go back and do it over again.” Research has shown the similar homes have less food waste and lower staff turnover and absenteeism, among other savings.

Regulations also are not a barrier, says Graves, and he urges nursing homes to proactively talk about person-centered measures with state inspectors.

For nurses, “giving up control” and allowing CNAs more input into decision-making is difficult, says Godfrey, but fundamental to meaningful change — as is committed leadership from the top.

Change Easier on a Smaller Scale

Another obstacle: the corporatization of nursing homes. “We’re fortunate in that we’re a stand-alone facility, and decisions that we make, we can make them daily,” says Godfrey. “We don’t have to go to a corporate headquarters.”

Kadonoff agrees. “The greater the distance between the ultimate decision makers and the person living or working at the home, the harder it is to be individualized and person-centered,” she says.

“The people sitting in a corporate office somewhere that may be calling the shots about budgets and key policies and procedures may not really have as good an understanding how they play out on a human and day-to-day scale,” notes Kadonoff. Seventy percent of nursing homes are operated by for-profit companies, and the majority own multiple facilities.  (Continue Reading)

Full Article & Source:
What If Residents Decided How Their Nursing Home Would Run?

Woman enters ‘best interest’ plea in elder exploitation case

PRINCETON — A Lerona woman entered a “best interest” plea on a charge of financial exploitation of an elderly person in a plea agreement in Mercer County Circuit Court Tuesday.

Mary H. Williams, 74, entered the plea, which is similar to “no contest,” in the case, which involved a Princeton man, Harold DeWeese, who is now deceased.

Assistant Prosecutor Kelli Harshbarger said it is called a best interest plea “because they are not admitting guilt, just saying it is in their best interest under the circumstances not to contest the charge,” which carries a penalty of one to 10 years in jail plus restitution.

Judge Derek Swope asked Williams directly if she were entering the plea because she realized if the case went to trial, the consequences could be worse (than a plea agreement) if she were found guilty, and she agreed.

Swope also asked Harshbarger to review the evidence involved in the case, which is the result of a two-year investigation.

Harshbarger said “the state believes the evidence would have shown (if presented in a trial)” that Williams was hired as a caregiver to Deweese and his wife in 2009 when he was 88.

DeWeese’s wife was eventually placed in an assisted living facility and during that time she noticed money was missing from the couple’s account.

Shortly after that, Harshbarger said, the evidence would show that DeWeese divorced his wife and received about $400,000 from the division of marital assets. It was also thought that DeWeese may have been suffering from dementia.

The evidence would show that, during this time, DeWeese had little or no contact with his children, she said, and that he had moved into Williams’ home.

The family attempted to obtain guardianship because of the possibility of dementia. However, she said the evidence would show that court papers could not be served because Williams said DeWeese was ill.

DeWeese died in 2013, and Harshbarger said the state’s evidence would show that he died and was buried on Williams’ property without his family’s knowledge, and he was listed as having no assets.

An investigation was started more than two years ago by State Police Sgt. Mark Haynes. Williams was indicted in October 2015.

“The focus of the investigation was on a bank account that had over $160,000,” Harshbarger said.

“From that they were able to trace the purchase of a doublewide” that was placed on Williams’ property.

“The officer did an extraordinary job,” she said. “There was so much documentation involved in tracking the disbursement.”

Harshbarger said the investigation’s results were “voluminous,” with thousands of pages.

Williams had also been indicted on a conspiracy charge related to the case, but that charge was dismissed as part of the plea.

A plea was also reached for a codefendant in the case, Manuel Dominques, 70, of Newport News, she said.

Swope set the sentencing date for June 15, after a pre-sentence investigation is conducted.

Determining restitution to family members will be part of that process.

Full Article & Source:
Woman enters ‘best interest’ plea in elder exploitation case

Daleville woman pleads guilty to $25,000 theft from 95-year-old grandmother

Terri Reeves Doughtie
 A Daleville woman has pleaded guilty to stealing over $25,000 from her 95-year-old grandmother in Houston County.

Assistant Houston County District Attorney Kristen Shields said 52-year-old Terri Reeves Doughtie has entered what’s referred to as blind guilty pleas to a two count felony indictment charging her with first-degree financial exploitation of the elderly and identity theft.

Shields said Doughtie pleaded blind to the charges in front of Circuit Court Judge Kevin Moulton, which means there was no agreed upon sentence as part of the plea. Doughtie will be sentenced by Moulton on May 4.

“She stole from her grandmother, who is 95 years old,” Shields said.

Shields said Doughtie pleaded guilty to stealing around $26,000 from her grandmother.

“She was appointed power of attorney, but power of attorney doesn’t mean you can go outside the boundaries of what you are allowed for by law,” Shields said.

Houston County Sheriff’s investigators arrested Doughtie in October 2014 and charged her with felony financial exploitation of the elderly.

Shields said a Houston County grand jury returned the two-count felony indictment against Doughtie, which included the added charge of identity theft for credit cards that were opened in the victim’s name.

“She pawned the title to her grandmother’s car,” Shield’s said. “She spent it on her herself. This is a granddaughter who has completely abused the trust of her grandmother, an elderly person we as society need to protect.”

Full Article & Source:
Daleville woman pleads guilty to $25,000 theft from 95-year-old grandmother

Friday, April 22, 2016

NYC nursing homes forcing residents into homeless shelters

Editor’s note: This article is the second in a three-part series examining how and why New York’s nursing homes too often fail to keep their residents safe. Read the first part here.

Robert Negron, 60, has been shuttled between more nursing homes than he can remember – at least six and perhaps as many as 20 – before landing in his current bed at Beth Abraham Health Services in the Bronx. The instability has been wearing on Negron, a Crohn’s disease patient who uses a wheelchair and needs regular attention for an unhealed wound on his foot and chronic skin ulcers – but it’s still better than being in a homeless shelter, he would say.

“In the shelters it's dirty, it’s nasty. You could not get enough medical attention and lose a limb,” Negron said, explaining how the unsanitary conditions at the men’s shelters on Ward’s Island, over the 10 years he occasionally stayed there,put him at risk. Although he visited a clinic for care and did the best he could to change his own bandages, “There were times when my foot was really bad,” he said. A New York City Human Resources Administration spokesman said that since Negron’s stay, “substantial improvements” have been made at that shelter.

Yet nursing homes, Negron said, have forced him into city homeless shelters three times. While there, the only thing that concerned him more than the lack of medical care were the people around him.

“They victimize you,” Negron said. “The criminals and the undesirables, they prey on the homeless disabled.” Once, he said, another man assaulted him in the shelter when he refused to hold drugs for him.

Negron’s case is an extreme one, advocates for the disabled say, but he is not alone. His experience is illustrative of a long-standing practice of nursing homes placing residents into New York City’s Department of Homeless Services shelter system. These vulnerable New Yorkers often have chronic medical conditions that have improved little, advocates say, but are moved to shelters that are poorly equipped for ailing individualsand are rife with violence.

Long-term care advocates are alarmed by a sudden spike in the number of older adults who report being forced out after having received nursing home care for many months or years. Although the city keeps no official statistics on transfers from nursing homes to shelters, advocates say there is evidence that the figures are rising.

In March, Gov. Andrew Cuomo called the city’s homeless shelter system “deplorable” and “dangerous,” citing recent news reports that show high numbers of assaults. The city has taken steps to try to address these issues, most recently opting to retrain shelter security staff in order to manage the violence.

“We are in the throes of a homelessness crisis in New York City … and we are watching people being poured into the shelters from nursing facilities,” said Susan Dooha, executive director of Center for Independence of the Disabled, New York. These often frail individuals, she said, “cannot be cared for in the shelters,” where there is no skilled nursing care and part-time clinics offer what is often the only medical aid available.

Nursing homes are required by state law to ensure all transfers are made to a safe place. For that reason, Dooha said she “cannot fathom” how nursing homes could send their residents to the city’s homeless shelters. Beyond that, Dooha said, federal protections were also being trampled.

When reached for comment, an HRA spokesman said “no one” should have been transferred from a nursing home to a shelter “if the needed medical treatment is not available at that shelter.”  (Continue Reading)

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NYC nursing homes forcing residents into homeless shelters

Consulting Group Called a Scam on Elderly

MARTINEZ, Calif. (CN) - A self-described consulting group preys on elders in a "patently unlawful" estate-planning scam, a married couple claim in a class action in Contra Costa County Superior Court.

 Dennis and Helen Clements, an "extremely unsophisticated elderly couple" who were "duped into paying an unlawful fee for unlawful services," claim that Barron Ross Corporation deceptively and predatorily sells estate planning services to elders in violation of the California's Consumer Legal Remedies Act.

 The Clements say Barron Ross, of San Ramon, is not authorized "to charge plaintiffs and other California elders hefty sums for what are patently unlawful services."

 The company tells its targets the estate planning will be provided by James Walker, an attorney who was disbarred in 2010, according to the April 18 lawsuit.

 Walker is not a party to the lawsuit. The second defendant is Edwin D. Griffin, of San Leandro, who "is or has been president and CEO of Barron Ross" and was its registered agent, according to the complaint.

 Barron Ross gets its clients from a "sucker list" provided by Walker, who compiled the list of people who responded to a radio ad for Walker's estate planning services, the Clements say. They say they responded to the ad and dealt with Walker in 1999.

 Fifteen years later, they say, a Barron Ross representative cold-called them, and persuaded them that unless they took the estate planning steps she recommended, they could lose everything to Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program.

 The Clements say they signed a Barron Ross marketing agreement and paid $10,800 because they were "successfully scared" into thinking that "the government would take everything they had, including their home, if they needed to go into a nursing home."

 Too late, they say, they realized that Barron Ross's marketing agreements "are simply vehicles which use distortion and misrepresentation of Medi-Cal to justify an unconscionable fee."

 To top it off, the couple say, Barron Ross refused to refund their money, and the marketing agreements' arbitration clause contains an unlawful damage limitation by which Barron Ross representatives "actively attempt to foreclose their elderly victims' efforts to get justice."

 The company's long game is to gain access to their targets' financial information and then dispatch affiliates to the targets' homes to sell them "inappropriate insurance products," according to the complaint." The affiliates then share the commissions with Barron Ross, the Clements say.

 They seek an injunction, restitution, actual and exemplary damages and attorneys' fees.

 They are represented by Kimberly Swierenga, with Majors & Fox in San Diego.

 Barron Ross did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment Wednesday afternoon.

Full Article & Source:
Consulting Group Called a Scam on Elderly

Sheriff introduces Alzheimer's registry at Alliance meeting

Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw led the April meeting of the Alliance of Delray Residential Associations at the South County Civic Center in Delray Beach.

"Automobiles with push-button engine starters and shut downs are dangerous," he said. "In the past year 25 to 30 cars have not been shut off when owners leave them, usually in a closed garage. The resulting carbon-monoxide fumes cannot be detected, resulting in fatalities."

"To remind you to shut the motor off we are distributing a triangular-shaped sticker you can post inside the home entry door from your garage to alert you to turn your car engine off. The sticker says: Did you turn the car off?"

Bradshaw said his department has developed an app for cell phones and iPads that lets residents alert PBSO if they see something suspicious. The app will be monitored by the Homeland Security office.

"The sheriff's department is the central intelligence gathering agency working to make your life more secure," he said.

State Attorney Dave Aronberg spoke of the Elder Abuse Task Force that has been created to foster greater coordination between all agencies concerned with elder abuse.

PBSO District 4 Capt. Richard DiBerardino introduced other staffers who reported that between July 1 to December 31, 2015, 408 scams by caregivers were reported in the county.

Lt. Ray Jimenez introduced a new registry program District 4 will be assembling with the cooperation of residents. They want to have the names and addresses, photos and vital statistics of people who have dementia and/or Alzheimer's disease throughout the county.

"Five million Americans are victims of this disease," he said. "The state of Florida counts 600,000 victims. We are partnering with the Alzheimer's Community Care organization. Alzheimer's sufferers sometimes walk away from their caretakers. If we have this vital information to broadcast to every deputy on patrol quickly it can save that missing person's life. Statistics show after 24 hours from the time the person is reported missing, the chances of finding the person unhurt are reduced 50 percent.

If they are not found within 72 hours, it is reduced to 75 percent."

"We have a high number of Alzheimer's victims in our area," said Alliance of Delray president Bob Schulbaum. "This program will save lives when they are registered."

Detective John Wikse warned about burglars.

"Use a dead bolt on the doors of your home," he said. "Use your alarm system. Ask for ID from people you hire. Have extra exterior lighting outside your home and use an interior light on a timer that goes on automatically when you are away. My final tip, don't use any freelance auto repair crew that approaches you in a parking lot telling you they will fix a dent in your car cheaply."

Two undercover deputies and their two money-sniffing dogs demonstrated the dogs' keen sense of smell.

They have recovered over $20 million in illicitly acquired money in the county, said one of the undercover deputies.

"They have paid their cost many times over," he said.

"This was an informative meeting," said Audrey Eisenstein, of Delray Beach." It was interesting to learn they spent money on dogs and got so much value in return. They should buy more dogs to find drugs and money."

President of the International Club in Delray Beach Sanford Geiger said the presentation about the Alzheimer's registry was encouraging.

"This is an excellent step forward for our area," he said.

Full Article & Source:
Sheriff introduces Alzheimer's registry at Alliance meeting

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Oconee County probate judge placed on interim suspension

Kenny Johns
Oconee County Probate Judge Kenny Johns was placed on interim suspension Tuesday.

No details of what led to the suspension were included in the order signed by South Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Costa M. Pleicones. His order cited a rule stating that the Supreme Court can place a judge on interim suspension "upon receipt of sufficient evidence demonstrating that a judge poses a substantial threat of serious harm to the public or to the administration of justice."

According to the order, Johns is "prohibited from entering the premises of the Oconee County Probate Court unless escorted by a law officer after authorization from the Associate Probate Judge for Oconee County."

Johns, 49, declined to discuss his suspension. Responding to questions, Johns wrote in a text message, "I don't think I can comment, honestly."

Johns is a former Walhalla City Council member who was elected to become the Oconee County probate judge in 2010. He is serving his second term in the post.

In 2014, Johns became one of the first Upstate judges to approve marriage licenses for same-sex couples.

Associate Probate Judge Karen W. Lee will temporarily take over all Johns' duties.

Full Article & Source:
Oconee County probate judge placed on interim suspension

Florida Supreme Court Suspends Miami-Dade Judge

MIAMI (CBSMiami/NSF) – The Florida Supreme Court suspended a Miami-Dade County judge after two incidents last month in which she appeared impaired — including an incident in which she had to be removed from the bench and driven home by a bailiff.

On Tuesday, an order handed down suspended Judge Jacqueline Schwartz with pay, according to the Supreme Court’s website.

An investigative panel had recommended the suspension to the Florida Supreme Court.

The allegations against Schwartz came four months after she was disciplined by the Supreme Court for a 2014 incident in which she was accused of using profanity and threatening to sue a convenience-store owner who had declined to allow her to display a campaign sign at the store.

In the new case, an investigative panel of the state Judicial Qualifications Commission said Schwartz was observed “acting in an irrational and disorderly manner” on March 18th at a Coconut Grove restaurant. One of the documents said Schwartz “was observed to be impaired, spilling a glass of wine on herself, and pouring water on the floor of the restaurant while attempting to refill a water glass. Patrons, and staff also observed Schwartz to be unsteady on her feet, swaying, stumbling, slurring her words, and (having) twitching eyes.

When the restaurant staff decided that they should no longer provide wine to Schwartz, she became upset, and began yelling and swearing at the wait-staff in full view of the restaurant guests.”

When police arrived, the judge allegedly called them “pigs” who couldn’t do anything to her because she was a judge.

Schwartz reported the incident to the Judicial Qualifications Commission on March 21st. A week later, the investigative panel said, Schwartz appeared impaired while presiding over a criminal traffic docket. The chief judge became involved and sent her home, with the assistance of a bailiff who drove Schwartz’s car.

During a hearing, Schwartz attributed her conduct to a prescription medication she had started taking, according to the documents.

The Supreme Court has the ultimate authority to discipline judges. In December, Schwartz received a public reprimand from the Supreme Court, which also imposed a $10,000 fine on the judge and suspended her from the bench for 30 days.

“This is misconduct we cannot and will not tolerate,” said Chief Justice Jorge Labarga during the December hearing.

Along with allegations about the 2014 convenience-store incident, Schwartz also was accused of improperly handling papers in a court file.

The News Service of Florida last year found that the number of judges facing sanctions had jumped and that the high court was more often seeking harsher penalties than those originally proposed by the Judicial Qualifications Commission.

Judge Schwartz will face the equivalent of a public trial before the Judicial Qualifications Commission in Miami-Dade County. The commission will then recommend a punishment to the Florida Supreme Court.

Full Article & Source:
Florida Supreme Court Suspends Miami-Dade Judge

Convicted Attorney Featured as Speaker on What He Did Wrong

Steven Lippman
Disbarred attorney Steven Lippman, a former law partner of convicted Ponzi mastermind Scott Rothstein, wants to help make sure other lawyers don't fall into the same trap he did.

Lippman, who received a two-year prison term for helping Rothstein break federal election laws and commit bank frand, plans to teach a continuing legal education course May 26 in Fort Lauderdale called "Rothstein: Lessons Learned Working Inside Florida's Most Notorious Law Firm."

The CLE is sponsored by the Legal Learning Series, a company that offers CLEs and legal events in South Florida. Director Robert Friedman said he has applied for Florida Bar accreditation but has not yet received it. Bar spokeswoman Francine Walker said the bar has not received the application.

There does not appear to be a prohibition against disbarred attorneys or convicted felons from teaching CLEs based on the bar's published CLE regulations.

In an interview with the Daily Business Review, Lippman said he is hoping to do a public service by sharing his story with other attorneys.

"Certainly I'd like to put this behind me," he said. "In my life, I'm putting it behind me and moving on. I just feel that telling my tale to prevent it from happening to someone else was what I was supposed to do."

The former Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler partner was released from prison to a halfway house in May 2014 and is running a consulting and mediation firm. He's not sure if he will reapply for his Florida Bar license when he is eligible against after five years.

At first, he was taken aback when Lippman approached him about the CLE, Friedman said.

"I wasn't sure why he was approaching us," he said. "I didn't know why he wanted to be part of the Rothstein story anymore. I would think he might want to get away from all that. I mean, we all need to make a living. But he can do other things. He can sell cars. Maybe he wants to face his demons."

But Friedman said he saw the value in Lippman sharing his experience as a cautionary tale.

"We all take for granted where we work and who we work with, and we get excited by flashy people and big firms," he said.

Since announcing the CLE about two weeks ago, Friedman said the response has been good with about 30 tickets sold at $69 each.

But not everyone has been supportive, he said.

"We're getting a polarizing response," Friedman said. "Some people are angry to hear that a former Rothstein partner will be teaching an ethics seminar. In fact, I told him I don't want to just hear he was naive. I want him to talk about the red flags he missed."  (Continue Reading)

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Convicted Attorney Featured as Speaker on What He Did Wrong

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Probate Judge Rory Olsen Complains to State Bar About a Lawyer in His Court

Wednesday, March 2, 2016 at 10:27 a.m.
By Craig Malisow

On January 25, Houston attorney Denyse Ward received an alarming call from Tim Baldwin, an investigator with the Texas State Bar: Baldwin said his office had received a complaint about her from Harris County Probate Court Judge Rory Olsen, regarding her involvement in a case before him — an ugly battle among a fallen police officer's heirs.

Baldwin told Ward, according to his testimony Tuesday in a hearing over Ward's motion to recuse Olsen, that the judge's two-page letter relayed a "general concern" about Ward's "interaction with his staff" on December 7.

Here's what happened: A hearing in the matter of police officer Richard Martin's estate was set for that afternoon, but Olsen never showed.

This puzzled Ward, as well as Houston Police Officers' Union President Ray Hunt, who was waiting outside the locked courtroom with Ward. Hunt had even invited KPRC reporter Phil Archer, who planned on covering the hearing. After a while of waiting, they went into Olsen's office, and Ward asked one of the staff what was going on. She was told the meeting was canceled and the judge had gone home.

Right before a hearing on January 7, according to Ward's motion, Olsen asked all the attorneys into the jury deliberation room, where he told them he'd been "contacted regarding this case." Olsen invited anyone who questioned his objectivity to file a recusal motion, according to the affidavit. No one did.

That all changed after Baldwin's phone call, which caught Ward by surprise. But, as Baldwin would later testify, Olsen's complaint was unsubstantiated. Although Ward asked for a copy of the letter, Baldwin said the rules of confidentiality prevented it. But, he would later testify, he told her that Olsen's concerns were unsubstantiated, and no action would be taken. Baldwin also testified that he ran the letter through the shredder after speaking with Ward and didn't have a copy.

Presumably, the only person who has a copy of the letter is Olsen, but he wouldn't talk to the Houston Press, citing "ethics." So all anyone knows about Olsen's complaint is what Baldwin remembers.

One might think that ethics might call for a judge to voluntarily remove himself from a case involving an attorney he bitched to the bar about — especially if the accused doesn't know the full extent of the allegations — but Olsen apparently knows better, which is why a bunch of lawyers and a visiting judge had to waste their time hearing testimony and arguments Tuesday.

We say "waste their time" because much of the 90-minute hearing before Judge Gladys Burwell was gobbled up by trying to classify exactly how the bar classified Olsen's letter. Although we called it a "complaint" at the top of the story, it should be noted that we mean "complaint" in the way that normal people use the word.

But the Texas State Bar's Office of Disciplinary Counsel is not a normal entity; its people have a unique taxonomy that ranks correspondence as "complaints," "grievances" or "inquiries." There's a separate process for each. Apparently the process for Olsen's letter was "shred this meritless B.S." Baldwin said that he never even contacted Olsen after receiving the letter.

Baldwin testified that the letter was neither a complaint nor a grievance, which is why Ward wasn't provided a copy.

"I tried to put her mind at ease...that there was no further action being taken," he testified.

But while the letter clearly meant nothing to Baldwin, Ward testified that it was a real bummer.

"My heart sank," she said. "I couldn't imagine what I'd done."

Ward believes that Olsen was under the impression that Ward invited KPRC's Archer to cover the meeting. (Baldwin testified that Olsen's letter implied that the media was "camped out" in his office.)
However, HPOU's Hunt testified — and swore in an affidavit — that he invited Archer without Ward's knowledge.

When Hunt took the stand, he testified, "I think Phil Archer would find that laughable — that the media was camped out in any way." [It must be mentioned for the record that when Ward's attorney played a clip of Archer's December 7 broadcast, Hunt was misidentified as "Ray Hung," which might be the greatest nom de porn this side of "Dirk Diggler."]

Arguing the obvious, Ward's attorney, Karen Alvarado, said, "We're not here to impugn [Olsen's] character in any way," but there's "a reasonable doubt as to his impartiality" regarding Ward. (She cited the "reasonable person" standard in the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, which state that judges must recuse themselves if their "impartiality might reasonably be questioned.")

Alvarado argued that Olsen could have aired his concerns without taking the drastic action of going straight to the Bar — like, for example, addressing her in open court. (However, the Press understands that some people — many of whom are seventh-grade girls — prefer talking behind someone's back.)

"Not all judges like me, believe it or not," Alvarado argued, "...[but] the extra step of going to the State Bar is a big step."

Both Alvarado and Ward said that Ward's client — the fallen officer's ex-wife — was very concerned about Olsen's impartiality. We can't blame her.

The hitch is, that case isn't the only one of Ward's before Olsen. Ward has asked for Olsen to only be removed from the two cases before him that are contested by heirs. The attorneys in that other case argued against recusal Tuesday, which is understandable, since it's a distinct advantage when it seems like the judge in your case has a grudge against opposing counsel.

Burwell said she would look over both parties' filings before making a ruling. We'll keep you posted.

 "So much of what is best in us is bound up in our love of family, that it remains the measure of our stability because it measures our sense of loyalty. All other pacts of love or fear derive from it and are modeled upon it."  Haniel Long

Full Article & Source:
Probate Judge Rory Olsen Complains to State Bar About a Lawyer in His Court

Attorney Targeted Elderly in Ponzi, Says SEC

LOS ANGELES (CN) — Using ads in USA Today, an attorney and a businessman defrauded 250 people, mostly retirees, of nearly $12 million by promising huge returns from investing in lawsuits, the SEC claims in court.

 The SEC accused Michigan tax attorney James A. Catipay, Washington state legal marketer David A. Aldridge, and their California-based company Prometheus Law of four counts of securities fraud, in an April 15 lawsuit in Federal Court.

 The scheme capitalized on the growing business of "litigation funding," in which investors underwrite attorneys' high-dollar commercial lawsuits, in hope of profiting from settlements.

 Catipay and Aldridge took money from small investors, allegedly to fund personal injury and mass tort cases, but the SEC says it was a Ponzi scheme.

 "Catipay and Aldrich spent millions of dollars on personal items, including a million-dollar loft in downtown Los Angeles and paying Aldrich's personal income taxes. So when the first approximately $120,000 of investor returns came due, the defendants used money raised from new investors to pay the existing investors — payments that both Catipay and Aldrich admitted were, in fact, Ponzi payments," the SEC says in the lengthy complaint.

 They defrauded investors "by repeatedly downplaying the risks associated with their investments and the fact that their entire business model was unrealistic to afford the exorbitant returns promised," Michele Layne, the head of the SEC's Los Angeles office, said in a statement.

 Catipay and Aldridge told victims their money "is never at risk," the SEC says, citing the defendants' 2014 "information packet." They promised to spend the money lining up plaintiffs to bring class actions against drug companies and medical device makers, and guaranteed returns of 100 to 300 percent, according to the complaint.

 They offered what they called "forward contracts" that would pay off after a specific number of months, and said the mass tort cases "had settlement funds just waiting in escrow to be claimed," the SEC says. But "In fact, the investments were highly speculative and risky."

 Also, the SEC says, it is illegal for an attorney and a non-lawyer — such as Aldridge and the 250 investors — to share legal fees. Such fee-splitting "is widely prohibited, and therefore potentially unenforceable."

 Aldridge came up with the idea to market investments in medical litigation in mid-2013, but had trouble finding a lawyer to join him. Before meeting Catipay, he interviewed approximately 100 attorneys, who all "declined because of the ethical prohibition against fee-sharing with non-lawyers," according the complaint.

 After beginning in October 2013, Aldridge and Catipay's venture attracted $11.7 million, generally in small investments ranging from $5,000 to $10,000. The two struck a deal with a personal injury lawyer in Seattle — called "Attorney A" in the complaint — to represent any tort plaintiffs they found and to give their company one-third of any fees he collected.

 But they spent only about a third of the investors' money on looking for tort plaintiffs. And by early this year, those marketing efforts had returned less than $10,000 in attorneys' fees from the plaintiffs, the SEC said.

 The men spent most of the money on themselves. Aldridge withdrew $3.7 million of the investors' money, including $1 million to buy a condo and another $1 million to pay state and federal taxes, the SEC says.

 Catipay took $1.87 million for himself. After a dispute and lawsuit between the partners, Catipay acquired Aldridge's condo in a settlement.

 The SEC seeks freezing of assets, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains and civil penalties.
 Attorneys representing Catipay and Aldridge did not return calls seeking comment Monday.

Full Article & Source:
Attorney Targeted Elderly in Ponzi, Says SEC

Former Monroe County bank vice president sentenced for financially exploiting elderly woman

UNION — A former Monroe County bank vice president was sentenced Monday to 1 to 10 years behind bars for financially exploiting an elderly woman.

Betty B. Brown, former senior vice president at First National Bank of Peterstown, had earlier pleaded no contest to the felony of financial exploitation of an elderly person in an agreement with the state. In return for the plea, the state dropped a second felony charge, alleging embezzlement by misuse of a power of attorney or other fiduciary relationship.

Brown’s victim was 99-year-old Isadora “Dora” Beavers, who is now a resident of a Rich Creek, Va., nursing home. Brown served as Beavers’ power of attorney from early 2009 until July 2013.

In Monroe Circuit Court Monday for sentencing on the criminal charge, the 69-year-old Brown declined to speak on her own behalf, relying on attorney David Thompson to ask the judge for leniency based upon his client’s age, infirmity and lack of prior criminal history.

Circuit Judge Robert Irons was unswayed by Brown’s plight, instead focusing on the tragic situation of her victim.

One of Beavers’ guardians, nephew John Beavers, read from a victim’s impact statement, asking the judge to impose a jail sentence. He described his aunt’s life today, living in the nursing home where she ended up shortly after discovering that her friend and financial adviser had taken her money and her home.

John Beavers said his aunt is now afflicted with “severe dementia,” living in a place where she never wanted to be.

“She is serving a sentence she does not deserve,” he said. “Her best friend betrayed her and stole from her.”

He added, “It broke Dora’s heart and mine. Aunt Dora’s life can never be made whole again.”

Further, he asserted, Brown has demonstrated no remorse for her crimes against Isadora Beavers.

Monroe Prosecuting Attorney Justin St. Clair echoed those words in his argument against leniency, saying, “The one thing that stands out to me... is the complete and utter lack of responsibility and the complete and utter lack of remorse from Betty Brown.”

In fact, he said, Brown’s statements to the probation officer who prepared the pre-sentencing report indicated that she views herself as the victim in this case.

“This case was driven by greed,” St. Clair said.

Brown was also found liable in a civil fraud case based on the same allegations that led her to plead no contest to the criminal charge. In the civil case, which went to trial in Monroe Circuit Court more than a year ago, a jury awarded Beavers compensatory damages of $151,777.06 and assessed punitive damages of an additional $175,000 against Brown.

“This is an infamous case,” St. Clair said Monday, pointing to the number of news reports printed and aired about the embezzlement. “This case demands incarceration. The public needs to know that justice is indeed blind.”

Irons noted that having presided over both the civil and the criminal cases connected to the allegations against Brown, he believes he has a “good understanding” of the facts upon which both are based.

Asking Brown to stand as he pronounced sentence, Irons told her, “I find your conduct to be reprehensible.”

The judge said Brown had abused her position of trust as an official at the bank. No amount of restitution will “put back what’s been lost” by Isadora Beavers, he said.

“Ms. Beavers lost her money; she lost her mind,” he said.

Brown’s lawyer asked that the court allow his client to self-report to the Southern Regional Jail.

After conferring with Beavers’ family, St. Clair said “as an act of kindness and mercy” he would not oppose allowing Brown to have 24 hours to report.

The judge so ordered, dismissing the defendant with the statement, “Good luck to you, Mrs. Brown.”

Full Article & Source:
Former Monroe County bank vice president sentenced for financially exploiting elderly woman

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Steve Miller: Elyse Tyrell Resigns As Jared E. Shafer's Sign Company's Attorney

LAS VEGAS - Possibly sensing that she's being judged by the company she keeps, or that she has a serious conflict of interest, elder law attorney and Nevada Supreme Court Guardianship Commission member Elyse Tyrell on February 17 removed herself as Jared Shafer's political sign company's Registered Agent. Note that she resigned two weeks after my article (below) was published.

Status:   Active File Date:   1/17/2012
Type:   Domestic Limited-Liability Company Entity Number:   NV
Business ID:   NV20121040410 Business License Exp:   1/31/2017

Action Type:   Registered Agent Change
Document Number:   20160071172-17 # of Pages:   1
File Date:   2/17/2016 Effective Date:  

Registered Agent Information
 Address 1:   3030 ANCHORMAN
Address 2:    City:   NORTH LAS VEGAS
State:   NV Zip Code:   89031
Officers  Include Inactive Officers
Address 1:  
P.O. BOX 50790 Address 2:  
Zip Code:   89016 Country:   USA

When Shafer stepped down as Clark County's elected Public Guardian in 2003, he opened two private businesses at 5858 Pecos Rd. in Henderson; Professional Fiduciary Services of Nevada, Inc. (PFSN, Inc.); and Signs of Nevada,LLC.

Since that time, many local family court judges, district court judges, Nevada assemblymen, and state senators have used his sign service during elections, and have possibly paid for their signs with favors to Shafer's fiduciary service including enacting laws designed to protect his interests, and turning their backs on complaints from his exploited "wards" and their families.

Based on the horrendous damage Shafer has committed to the weakest of the weak in our society, it's obvious he had lots of help.

Tyrell's departure from Signs of Nevada may be telltale, but the names of prominent people currently appearing on his hundreds of portable A-frame signs located on every vacant lot in the county may tell a bigger story, a story of who is beholden to him now and in the future.

Make note of the names of candidates using these large signs, and then watch them closely as the investigation and prosecution of those involved in local guardianship racketeering progresses this summer.

Elyse, If you can't stand the heat, maybe its time to get out of the kitchen. April Parks just did!

But like Clark County District Attorney Steven Wolfson told me on April 7, "You can run, but you can't hide. This office has jurisdiction over state lines."

~Steve Miller

See AmericanMafia.conm

Steve Miller: "Shafer's Law"

4.  If the person who is cited pursuant to NRS 159.305 appears and, upon consideration of the petition, the court finds that the person is not liable or responsible to the estate of the ward or proposed ward, the court may order:

(a) The estate of the ward or proposed ward to pay the attorney’s fees and costs of the respondent; or

(b) If the court finds that the petitioner unnecessarily or unreasonably filed the petition, the petitioner personally to pay the attorney’s fees and costs of the respondent.

(Added to NRS by 2003, 1759)

This addition to the NRS 159.305 regarding "Acts Against Or Affecting Ward Or Proposed Ward" was added in 2003, and dubbed "Shafer's Law."

2003, the year of its enactment, was the year Jared E. Shafer opened his private guardianship/political advertising sign business, PFSN, Inc., at 5858 Pecos Rd. in Henderson.

Anticipating a slew of lawsuits from "wards" he was court appointed to protect, Shafer, during his first year in private practice lobbied his assembly and state senate friends and sign clients to have the above paragraphs added to NRS 159.305 according to reliable sources in the Nevada Legislature (complete text below).

Since Shafer's Law was enacted, the families of dozens of wards exploited by Shafer and his cronies have stood before a judge he helped elect with his A-frame political signs and learned that their CIVIL complaints were "unnecessarily or unreasonably filed" and the private guardian they brought the complaint against was "not liable or responsible" for the losses they incurred.

Then the family was told time and again by either Judge Charles Hoskin or his appointed Hearing Master Jon Norheim that their loved one would be billed for the excessive legal fees of Shafer or another unscrupulous private guardian.

Not once can I find that a private guardian was ever punished to the full extent of NRS159.303 which is covered under NRS 22.100, the Contempt of Court law: "a fine may be imposed on the person not exceeding $500 or the person may be imprisoned not exceeding 25 days, or both."

"Shafer's Law" was a custom designed civil law to protect only one industry, guardianship, and is not attached to civil laws affecting any other Nevada industry I can find. It was custom designed to discourage family members of exploited wards from going to Clark County Family Court to seek restitution, and it has repeatedly enriched numbers of Shafer's private attorney friends since its inception.

Now with additional exploitation cases surfacing every day, it will be up to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Abuse and Neglect Detail to take and investigate CRIMINAL complaints from exploited wards or their family members, and if warranted, file Requests for Prosecution with Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson so his Fraud Division can criminally prosecute those who continue to prey on our weakest citizens.

DA Wolfson has expressed a sincere desire to help these people, and has assembled a special unit to do so as expediently as possible.

~Steve Miller


NRS 159.305  Petition alleging that person disposed of money of ward or has evidence of interest of ward in or to property.

1.  If a guardian, interested person, ward or proposed ward petitions the court upon oath alleging:

(a) That a person has or is suspected to have concealed, converted to his or her own use, conveyed away or otherwise disposed of any money, good, chattel or effect of the ward
; or

(b) That the person has in his or her possession or knowledge any deed, conveyance, bond, contract or other writing which contains evidence of, or tends to disclose the right, title or interest of the ward or proposed ward in or to, any real or personal property, or any claim or demand, the judge may cause the person to be cited to appear before the district court to answer, upon oath, upon the matter of the petition.

2.  If the person cited does not reside in the county where letters of guardianship have been issued pursuant to NRS 159.075, the person may be cited and examined before the district court of the county where the person resides, or before the court that issued the citation. Each party to the petition may produce witnesses, and such witnesses may be examined by either party.

(Added to NRS by 2003, 1759)

NRS 159.315  Order of court upon findings concerning allegations that person disposed of money of ward or has evidence of interest of ward in or to property; nonappearance or noncompliance by person cited; effect of order.

1.  If the court finds, after examination of a person cited pursuant to NRS 159.305, that the person has committed an act:

(a) Set forth in paragraph (a) of subsection 1 of NRS 159.305, the court may order the person to return the asset or the value of the asset to the guardian of the estate; or

(b) Set forth in paragraph (b) of subsection 1 of NRS 159.305, the court may order the person to return the asset or provide information concerning the location of the asset to the guardian of the estate.

2.  The court may hold a person who is cited pursuant to NRS 159.305 in contempt of court and deal with the person accordingly if the person:

(a) Refuses to appear and submit to examination or to testify regarding the matter complained of in the petition; or

(b) Fails to comply with an order of the court issued pursuant to subsection 1.

3.  An order of the court pursuant to subsection 1 is prima facie evidence of the right of the proposed ward or the estate of the ward to the asset described in the order in any action that may be brought for the recovery thereof, and any judgment recovered therein must be double the value of the asset, and damages in addition thereof equal to the value of such property.

4.  If the person who is cited pursuant to NRS 159.305 appears and, upon consideration of the petition, the court finds that the person is not liable or responsible to the estate of the ward or proposed ward, the court may order:

(a) The estate of the ward or proposed ward to pay the attorney’s fees and costs of the respondent; or

(b) If the court finds that the petitioner unnecessarily or unreasonably filed the petition, the petitioner personally to pay the attorney’s fees and costs of the respondent.

(Added to NRS by 2003, 1759)


Private Guardian Jared Shafer et al. Stole Cerebral Palsy Victim's Inheritance Under The Color Of Law

The measure of a civilization is how it treats its weakest members

. Jason Hanson confronts his "trustee" Elyse Tyrell about his missing inheritance
(KTNV TV News screen shots, Click on images for video and text)

Disbarred KC lawyer pleads guilty in $1.2 million theft from St. Luke’s Health System

A recently disbarred Kansas City lawyer pleaded guilty Wednesday to embezzling more than $1.2 million from St. Luke’s Health System.

Alan B. Gallas, 64, waived his right to a grand jury and pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Kansas City to mail fraud.

His firm served as a collection agency for patients who were behind on payments to the hospital system.

Gallas admitted that from 2009 to July 2015, he defrauded St. Luke’s Health System out of $1,224,264. He must pay that amount in restitution as part of Wednesday’s plea agreement.

According to federal court documents, money collected by his firm on behalf of St. Luke’s was placed in a trust account. Periodically, those payments would be sent to St. Luke’s.

But according to the documents, Gallas had employees of his law firm withhold money from payments made to St. Luke’s by placing thousands of payments on “hold” status, then having that money transferred from the trust account to the law firm’s operating account.

According to prosecutors, Gallas withheld 62 payments totaling $89,495 in 2009; 439 payments totaling $132,167 in 2010; 613 payments totaling $79,776 in 2011; 601 payments totaling $211,391 in 2012; 699 payments totaling $266,696 in 2013; 625 payments totaling $227,892 in 2014; and through July 2015 he withheld 625 payments totaling $216,845.

Last fall, Gallas, a former president of the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Foundation, voluntarily surrendered his law licenses in Kansas and Missouri. He also has been disbarred in both states.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Aug. 10.

Full Article & Source:
Disbarred KC lawyer pleads guilty in $1.2 million theft from St. Luke’s Health System

Federal Government Finally Forgives Billions in Debt of Students Who’ve Become Disabled

The federal Department of Education said on Tuesday it would offer to write off $7.7 billion of student debt owed by disabled individuals, taking a big step to streamline a loan forgiveness program long plagued by bureaucratic delay and inefficiency.

Starting April 18, loan forgiveness letters will go out to approximately 387,000 borrowers who have been identified as totally and permanently disabled by the Social Security Administration, allowing them to sign and file a simplified application form to have their debt forgiven.

The move was enabled by changes in the department’s regulations governing the loan forgiveness program, which resulted from a 2011 ProPublica investigation published in partnership with Columbia’s Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism and the Center for Public Integrity.

Under federal law, borrowers who develop severe and lasting disabilities after taking out federal student loans are entitled to have their debts forgiven. As we noted in our investigation, the purpose of the rule was to spare former students who become disabled from a lifetime of ruined credit, garnished Social Security benefits, and spiraling debt.

But the investigation found that borrowers who become disabled faced such a high hurdle for proving their disability to the department — and obstacles such as unclear rejection letters and lack of medical standards for proving disability — that many simply gave up.

In one case, a borrower in a vegetative state was placed into default for failing to provide the department with income verification, according to an internal Department of Education Ombudsman Report that outlined problems with the program.

In another case documented in our February 2011 story, Tina Brooks, a former policewoman who had been severely injured during a training accident, could not get her $43,000 of student debt forgiven despite the fact that a Social Security judge had ruled she was fully disabled.

Internal reports showed the ombudsman had twice warned that the loan forgiveness program was flawed and needed to be reformed. But the Department of Education had ignored calls for reform from within and outside the agency.

That began to change after the story ran. Within a few weeks, the department forgave Brooks’ student debt. The following year it proposed reforms which took effect in 2013 and allowed the Department to use the Social Security Administration’s disability designation to qualify applicants for loan discharge.

That key reform is now enabling what the department hopes will be a “streamlined and more accurate process” for proactively identifying applicants who are eligible for student loan discharge, according to a statement.   (Continue Reading)

Full Article & Source:
Federal Government Finally Forgives Billions in Debt of Students Who’ve Become Disabled

Monday, April 18, 2016

Nursing home resident held against her will, protestors say

Click for Video

HOUSTON - When you think of nursing homes you don't normally envision protests but that's exactly what took place at a facility Thursday in south Houston.

A few dozen demonstrators turned out in the hopes of getting access to 87-year-old Doris Davis at the La Hacienda Nursing and Rehab Center on West Orem near the Buffalo Speedway.

"I've stepped up to the plate to see what we can do to certainly try and get her removed from this situation," says niece Monica Shaw.

Davis's relatives and supporters say she is here after simply having chest pains in the spring of 2014, being misdiagnosed with Alzheimer's, and assigned an attorney by Harris County to oversee her estate. Video recorded by a supporter inside the facility appears to show Ms. Davis appears jovial and lucid. But her family says the attorney assigned as her guardian has sought to sell her home and other assets to pay for his fees.

"We have doctors, expert testimony to say that she is not incapacitated," says Shaw. "That information has been given to the courts as requested and to date she still has not been released from the program."

Channel 2 has yet to connect with Harris County but in a statement a nursing home spokesperson says that it "abides by Texas law on guardianship under the Harris County Guardianship Program of which Ms. Davis is currently a ward. Our caregivers look forward to continuing to ensure the safety and well-being of Ms. Davis."

Ms. Davis' supporters say that she is scheduled to have a hearing on the matter in court next week, but they claim she was told by attorney that she did not have to be there.

Full Article & Source:
Nursing home resident held against her will, protestors say

Assisted living owner arrested for financial exploitation of elderly residents

BOULDER COUNTY - Boulder County Sheriff's deputies arrested an assisted living owner Thursday.

Christopher Butler, 59, was arrested for a long list of charges alleging financial exploitation of elderly residents of Timberline Lodge Assisted Living.

The assisted living facility is located off Jotipa Drive, just north of Longmont.

Deputies said their investigation began in August 2015 after the daughter of an 83-year-old man had concerns about her father's finances. The daughter alerted investigators that Butler was a signer on the victim's bank account.

Detectives said Butler would sign checks to himself and deposit them into his personal accounts. Butler also used some funds to pay expenses of Timberline Lodge, according to deputies. Butler would also write checks out of his account and deposit money into the victim's account. The process is known as 'kiting."

“Kiting” is a crime involving writing a check on account A with insufficient funds and depositing it in another account, account B, and then writing a check on account B and depositing it in account A to cover the first check written on account A. They take advantage of the time it takes for the checks to clear the bank, making it appear there are sufficient funds in each account.

Deputies found that more than $475,000 had been paid by the victim to Butler between January 2009 and December 2015. Deputies said based on the contract for services, Butler should have only been paid approximately $273,000 during that time period.

The State of Colorado Health Facilities and Emergency Medical Division is working closely with the families of residents. Immediate family members have been contacted by the state.

The Timberline Lodge will remain open and serving clients until family members have the opportunity to find appropriate living arrangements. The staff is working with the state agency and continues to provide care to residents. They say it is always preferable to have residents stay in the facility they live in and have become accustom to, as long as they are safe.

The investigation has not found any situations where residents were at physical risk.

The Boulder County Sheriff’s Office is concerned there may be additional victims. Deputies ask that if you had a family member at the Timberline Lodge Assisted Living facility and have concerns about their financial affairs to call 303-441-4444.

Those with questions about a loved one should contact the State of Colorado Health Facilities and Emergency Medical Division.

Full Article & Source:
Assisted living owner arrested for financial exploitation of elderly residents

Amundson wants jury to hear exploitation case

Jeffery Amundson, the former president of the Rochester Symphony Orchestra and Chorale accused of stealing thousands of dollars from a vulnerable adult, will take his case to trial.

He was charged in January 2015 with four counts of felony financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult. The trial is slated to begin Monday in Olmsted County District Court.

The charges against Amundson, 46, were filed after an employee at a licensed group home in Rochester told authorities that Amundson had been spending the victim's money on himself, and the victim was receiving only $20 per month.

That prompted authorities to gather the victim's financial records from 2010-2013. An analysis of those records revealed numerous suspicious debit card purchases, including many restaurant and online purchases, as well as cash withdrawals by Amundson, court documents say.

When questioned by authorities, Amundson denied stealing the funds, claiming the victim owed him $20,000 because he had "paid for the victim's apartment and helped him get Social Security benefits and medical assistance," according to the complaint.

Amundson had once reportedly told staff with Olmsted County Adult Protective Services that the victim owed him $50,000.

Court documents itemize more than $18,500 spent by Amundson from January 2011 through December 2013.

He told investigators, however, that he'd been taking money for about a year, tracking the amount, but said a fire destroyed the paperwork that documented it.

According to the complaint, Amundson said he had "gotten behind" and paid a lot of overdraft fees.
Amundson alleged the victim's social worker told him to "draw down the account every month;" the social worker denied saying that.

The RSOC placed Amundson on paid leave Feb. 1, 2015, and announced he would no longer be actively involved in the organization, adding that its own financial integrity had not been compromised.

Board members moved him to unpaid status two months later "due to the uncertainty of the date of resolution of the case and to conserve the symphony's funds." Amundson had been with the organization since April 2011.

The RSOC assured its members that its own financial information is reviewed on a monthly basis. Those have never revealed any "financial irregularities," the board says.

Full Article & Source:
Amundson wants jury to hear exploitation case

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Tonight on T.S. Radio: Lou Hicks & Ken Mason, "Aimed 2 Purpose Radio" on T.S. Radio Human Trafficking $$$$$

Hosted by Marti Oakley & Debbie Dahmer

Please join us for what is sure to be one of the most informative shows we have ever done!

Lou Hicks & Ken Mason of Aimed 2 Purpose radio, based in Los Angeles join the show for two hours of discussion on the wreckage that is government cash incentive programs that are used to destroy families and the lives of individuals, all in the name of federal funding and cash paid directly in to state treasury's.

We are being bought, sold and traded by corporate interests posing as "government services" agencies. We are considered "captive markets" by these agencies. Our elderly are robbed of their estates, forcibly drugged and isolated from their families. Our children are abducted, put into foster care and many times adopted out. Even the collection of a child's DNA has a big payoff! In each instance, the state is profiting from the abduction, forced incarceration in homes and institutions, and the leasing out of "wards of the state" who are now considered human property, to pharmaceutical companies for drug and vaccine testing.

The result is lives lost to a system that is constructed with the intent to profit from human trafficking, This show will be jam packed with information you can use about how this system works.

Lou & Ken will bring their own experiences in this system as an example of how lethal it is and the danger it represents to the public at large.

Learn what your rights are under mental health, vaccine and other mandates.
5:00 pm PST … 6:00 pm MST … 7:00 pm CST … 8:00 pm EST
LISTEN to the show live or listen to the archive later