Saturday, January 26, 2019

New Kansas elder abuse law used to charge son with Olathe mom’s murder

Raymond McManness' mug shot
OLATHE, Kan. -- Sharon McManness was pronounced dead in her Olathe home Wednesday. Now her son, 51-year-old Raymond McManness, is charged with first-degree murder.

He’s the first person to be charged with felony murder in Johnson County under a new Kansas statute on elder abuse.

Trisa Montagne worried about her 75-year-old neighbor at the corner of Cardinal Drive and Cedar Street.

“She brought out mail that she had already opened and was trying to mail it. So I took her back to the house because she didn’t know where she was at. Then she’d wandered all the way down the street here one day," Montagne recalled.

Neighbors said Raymond moved in with the woman a couple years ago to help care for her.

“He really didn’t talk to people much, so he would just say, 'Oh, she’s doing fine. She stays in the house most of the time now.' He’s the one who told me she had dementia," Montagne said.

She hadn’t seen McManness since September and planned to check on her this week. Then cops showed up at the Olathe home Wednesday. Someone called 911 saying she wasn’t breathing.

The next night Raymond McManness was charged with first-degree murder and mistreatment of a dependent adult.

“One of our primary duties as prosecutors is to protect those who can’t protect themselves, and many times it’s not just children but also elderly or dependent adults. So it does concern you when you see these kinds of situations," Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe said.

Howe testified in Topeka last year to strengthen elder abuse laws. It was previously defined as infliction of physical injury, unreasonable confinement or unreasonable punishment of the adult.

In 2018, legislators added "taking the personal property or financial resources of a victim for the benefit of the defendant" to the definition and changed the minimum age for "elderly" from 70 to 60.

They also added elder abuse to the list of inherently dangerous felonies for purposes of felony murder.

“If you commit elder abuse and the person dies, that it is felony murder. We think that it’s an important change in the law, and it’s the first time we are able to implement that type of penalty," Howe said.

Details of exactly what happened or didn’t happen in the home remain sealed in the court documents FOX4 has requested.

Montagne, who volunteers with hospice patients, including many with dementia, believes the son may have lost his patience.

“I am very sad. I am in shock, utter shock. I wish he would have got some in-home care for her or reached out to the neighbors where we could have helped," she said.

Howe urges caregivers seek to help. He also neighbors and loved ones to look after the elderly.

“That’s what makes a community, we look out for each other. Little simple things like making a phone call can be the difference between life and death for some people’s situation," Howe said.

Raymond McManness is being held in the Johnson County jail on a $1 million bond.

If you need resources for access to dependent adult care in Kansas, contact the Kansas Department of Aging at 800-432-3535. If you suspect a person who is vulnerable or elderly is being mistreated, call the Kansas Protection Report Center at 800-922-5330.

Full Article & Source:
New Kansas elder abuse law used to charge son with Olathe mom’s murder

Lawyer: No proof nurse raped Arizona patient who had baby

A nurse who was supposed to be looking after an incapacitated woman at a long-term health care facility was charged Wednesday with raping her, weeks after she stunned her caregivers and family by giving birth to a baby boy .

Nathan Sutherland, a licensed practical nurse, has been arrested and charged with one count of sexual assault and one count of vulnerable adult abuse, according to court records.

"We owed this arrest to the victim. We owed this arrest to the newest member of our community — that innocent baby," Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams said.

The surprise birth late last month triggered reviews by state agencies, highlighted safety concerns for patients who are severely disabled or incapacitated and led to disciplinary actions and resignations of staffers and managers. It also prompted authorities to test the DNA of all the men who worked at the Hacienda HealthCare facility.

Sutherland, 36, submitted his DNA sample under court order Tuesday and the results came back a few hours later, showing he was a match to the baby. He declined to speak with police and invoked his Fifth Amendment rights, police spokesman Tommy Thompson said.

Sutherland appeared in court Wednesday but did not enter a plea. A Maricopa County Superior Court commissioner set a $500,000 cash-only bond. If Sutherland posts bond, he would need to wear an electronic monitoring device.

Defense attorney David Gregan had asked for a lower bond on the grounds that Sutherland didn't have a criminal record. He described his client as a family man with young children who has lived in Arizona since 1993.

"There's no direct evidence that Mr. Sutherland has committed these acts," Gregan said. "I know at this point there's DNA. But he will have a right to his own DNA expert."

Gregan did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

Investigators found that Sutherland had treated the victim and spent a lot of time with her, according to a probable cause statement. Investigators believe Sutherland raped the patient sometime between February and April.

A former neighbor, Esella Burr, said she lived next to Sutherland, his wife and four children for more than five years. She often saw the couple leave for church on Sundays and they would chat occasionally.

"I can't believe it," Burr said. "He told me he was a nurse and he liked his job."

Court records indicate his wife filed for divorce seven weeks ago. A message left at a number listed for her was not immediately returned.

Hacienda officials fired Sutherland after learning of his arrest. The company said it was "troubled beyond words." Sutherland had passed an extensive background check.

"Once again, we offer an apology and send our deepest sympathies to the client and her family, to the community and to our agency partners at every level," Hacienda said in a statement.

The 29-year-old victim has been in long-term care since age 3 and gave birth at the facility on Dec. 29. Employees said they had no idea she was pregnant. As her guardian, the woman's mother was required to submit an annual report to the court that included results of a medical exam.

The case has prompted the departure or discipline of key figures at Hacienda HealthCare, including the CEO. The provider says one doctor who had cared for the woman resigned and another had been suspended.

Earlier stories had described the patient as being comatose or in a vegetative state. But her parents released a statement Tuesday disputing that characterization.

They described her as intellectually disabled because of seizures in early childhood. While she doesn't speak, she has some mobility in her limbs, head and neck. She also responds to sound and can make facial gestures.

The family's attorney, John Micheaels, said in a statement that they knew about the arrest but did not want to comment.

Thompson said he believes the baby has since been released from the hospital. The woman's family has said they will care for him.

Full Article & Source:
Lawyer: No proof nurse raped Arizona patient who had baby

See Also:
Nurse arrested in rape of woman in vegetative state who gave birth at care facility

Center where comatose woman had baby faced criminal probe

Lawyer: Incapacitated woman who gave birth not in coma 

Patient alleges abuse at Hacienda Healthcare, two staff members placed on leave

Facility CEO resigns after woman in vegetative state gives birth; new allegations emerge

Patient in vegetative state gives birth, sex abuse investigation underway: report

WSJ: Elderly Financial Abuse on the Rise

Financial abuse of the elderly is an epidemic sweeping the country, with a record 24,454 suspected cases recorded in 2018 by U.S. banks, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

The number of cases has more than doubled over the past five years, and grew by 12 percent since 2017, according to data from the U.S. Treasury Department.

According to the Weinberg Center for Elder Justice, some $2.9 billion dollars is taken from older adults every year. The occurrence of elder abuse among older men is also on the rise.

"Anything having to do with elder financial abuse or exploitation affects a huge part of our customer base," Rob Rowe, associate chief counsel at the American Bankers Association, told the Journal.

Congress last year passed a bipartisan banking reform package that enlists financial institutions as allies in the fight against financial abuse of older adults by allowing professionals to report suspicious activity to law enforcement without fear of being sued, and some states, per the Journal, allow a more aggressive approach.

In Texas and Tennessee, bank employees can refuse or delay transactions when elderly customers request suspicious money transfers.

Full Article & Source:
WSJ: Elderly Financial Abuse on the Rise

Friday, January 25, 2019

Human trafficking: It ain’t just for sex anymore

“Again, once this “guardianship” has been sanctioned by the cooperating probate judge, the victim loses all rights of any kind whatsoever and is for all intents and purposes “dead in the law”.  The guardian/conservator now legally owns the victim and can avail themselves of all of the victim’s assets of any kind. ”
by Marti Oakley:
When we think of human trafficking most of us immediately assume that this occurs only in the arena of sexual exploitation.  At some point in time this may have been true.  Today, human trafficking encompasses many forms and there is not one of us who can safely assume that we would somehow be exempt from any type of human trafficking.

While the sexual exploitation and trafficking for the purposes of sex is often highlighted in MSM, rarely do they ever report on the trafficking that occurs courtesy of our courts, unscrupulous politicians and yes, even those demi-gods….doctors, therapists and psychiatrists.  There is money to be made exploiting the vulnerable, the sick, the weak, the aging (with assets) and even children who have been unfortunate enough to become wards of the state and forced into foster care.  While sexual activity may not be the cause and concern in these instances, what happens to these individuals is no less a form of human trafficking for profit.

In each of the above stated groups, the trafficking of human beings for profit is facilitated by social service agencies, corrupt probate courts, and family courts.  To be declared a “ward of the state”, is to be housed by, and to receive necessities and protection of the government.  It also means to lose any and all rights of any kind, whatsoever.  The “state” now owns what has become a chattel property and may do with that property whatever it desires to do.  This oftentimes includes a form of leasing out the ward for pharmaceutical experimentation and profit, as was exposed in Florida and Alaska, just to name two, over the last several years resulting in the exposure of massive Medicaid fraud as foster children are routinely forced to take off-label high gear psychotropic drugs and vaccines.  In a May, 2009 article, :author Evelyn Pringle notes:

“It is hard to come up with an adjective that adequately conveys the horror this is inflicting on America’s children and youth. Suffice it to say that when the country wakes up to the carnage this has caused, it will be recognized as the largest iatrogenic (doctor caused) public health disaster in history.”

These days, it seems more evident that the concern for children is not so much their safety and well-being, but rather; How much are they worth in the foster care system?  As with our public school systems, big pharma is more than willing to pay for every child added to the forced drugging programs.

Trafficking of the elderly (with assets)

The human trafficking of the elderly (with assets) has become a national epidemic and disgrace.  Probate courts routinely work with predatory professional guardians, payrolling attorneys, owners of notoriously abusive care facilities and social agencies to target and then obtain guardianship/conservatorship of the elderly whose only crime was to age with assets. These predatory professional guardians, strangers to the victim and their families, make their living robbing the estates of their victims.

Again, once this “guardianship” has been sanctioned by the cooperating probate judge, the victim loses all rights of any kind whatsoever and is for all intents and purposes “dead in the law”.  The guardian/conservator now legally owns the victim and can avail themselves of all of the victim’s assets of any kind. These predators can and do instruct doctors to begin the administering of psychotropic medications not approved for use on the elderly, and many of the doctors who are also tapping the estate for inflated billing charges, comply with these requests.

Once legally kidnapped with the help of the cooperating probate judge and the local police department who conduct the kidnapping as a swat team raid, the victim is quickly housed in a participating facility and started on a drug regime that is seldom called for.

The drugs are especially useful when administered just prior to what is laughingly called a “competency hearing”.

The profits from human trafficking of the aging (with assets) was documented in the 2007 GAO report with estimates well over a billion in stolen assets obtained by professional predatory guardians/conservators and some family members across 48 states, although the GAO focused on  only 20 cases:

“The GAO focused on cases in which a family member, agency, or private business was appointed as a guardian. In 20 cases, guardians appointed and approved by courts stole $5.4 million in assets from 158 incapacitated adults. ”

The recent Committee on Aging hearing very carefully orchestrated and scripted the public hearing to make it appear that the abuse is most always at the hands of family and friends.  In truth, the largest percentage of cases of exploitation are committed by professional strangers who have a well established system in place with the same predators routinely involved in these deadly guardianships as is exemplified when examining the cases in a specific geographical area.  The same judges, the same predatory professional guardians, the same payrolling attorneys and the same doctors and participating facilities, all involved in one predatory case after another.  The staged committee hearing barely touched on this aspect of exploitation of the elderly, if at all.

What are you worth as a prisoner?

When John Ashcroft, the former Attorney General for the US under GW Bush, handed  down sentencing guidelines to the states, not one state refused those guidelines even though Ashcroft was not lawfully empowered to make such demands.  The result has been a explosion in the number of individuals held in federal and state prisons, many for what should have been short term sentences for minor crimes.  This allowed Merrill Lynch to begin selling prisoner bonds, globally.  And ML isn’t the only company engaged in the profitable human trafficking trade of selling human beings on the open market.

The sentencing guidelines were needed to confirm that prisoner X would be available for exploitation and forced labor for a guaranteed length of time.  The whole system is run by
C.J.T.S.  a corporation dedicated to the tracking and coding of prisoners and provides the software to do it.  Using this system and one called CUSIP:

From Owners of the American Prison System

“a nine digit number (called Ordnance Number) is issued for the Certificate of Stocks going internationally to ANNA (Lynn’s note: see link for ANNA which is in Brussels, Belgium at ). These Securities are sold through the Commodity and Security Exchange. The bottom line is they are selling stocks in the prison system. The jails are referred to as Warehouses and the prisoners are called Goods”

 “From the moment a person is arrested for any reason, the prisoner cash register starts ringing. This can be for something as simple as a traffic ticket.  The law enforcement department making the arrest assigns a pre-defined code to the charges being made.  This code has a monetary value and the money starts rolling from this point on all the way through the system.  Publicly traded prisoner stocks, took a tumble in 2008, but look as if they will rebound as the Obama Administration along with Senators McCain and Lieberman, and others such as Graham and Shumer devise plans to increase ever greater numbers of US citizens under the false flag of national security.”

Prisoners can also be subjected to forced drugging, pharmaceutical experimentation or exposure to pathogens among many other things.

Are you safe?

Never think for a moment that you are safe from the predator class.  If anyone sees the opportunity to make a buck off you, your kids, your parents or anyone for that matter, you can quickly find yourself totally disenfranchised, without rights, without defense and without any means of extricating yourself from the system.

Human trafficking has evolved.  We are now all considered commodities to be sold, traded, and used on the global market and as the global demand for organ transplants increases any one of us could be worth more dead than alive.  We have been totally devalued as human beings and rendered as commodities.  Our own government refers to us as “human capital, or as human expenditures” as if we were used cars sitting on a government sale lot.

Arizona and exploitation of vulnerable adults in probate courts

 What is a “ward” ?   

 a. Law A minor or incompetent person placed under the care or protection of a guardian or court.b. A person under the protection or care of another.7. The state of being under guard; custody.8. The act of guarding or protecting; guardianship.



1. Law An article of movable personal property.

2. A slave.
Massive Medicaid Fraud Exposed in Psychiatric Drugging of Kids in US
Legally kidnapped: PBS reports Forced drugging of foster care kids
Prisoners of the system: Corporate organized crime runs the system of human trafficking for profit
Slave labor in Georgia

Full Article & Source:
Human trafficking: It ain’t just for sex anymore

Ex-Teaneck Lawyer Stole $100K+, Kept Practicing Law: Officials

Ex-Teaneck Lawyer Stole $100K+, Kept Practicing Law: Officials
TEANECK, NJ — A disbarred township lawyer was arrested Tuesday after he stole more than $100,000 from clients and continued to practice law after his license was taken away, authorities announced.

Barry D. Friedman, 57, was charged with theft by deception, unauthorized practice of law, and misapplication of entrusted funds, said acting Bergen County Prosecutor Dennis Calo.

Bergen County Prosecutor's Office Financial Crimes Unit received information from the New Jersey Office of Attorney Ethics about Friedman, Calo said.

Three times in May 2018, Freidman's attorney trust account had a negative balance, and he was not in compliance with attorney ethics regulations, Calo said.

In January 2018, the New Jersey Supreme Court temporarily suspended Friedman's license to practice law, Calo said. In April, Friedman agreed to the disbarment, which was finalized on May 23.

Friedman continued to practice law and got benefits after being disbarred, Calo said.

Friedman is scheduled to appear in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack Feb. 6.

Full Article & Source:
Ex-Teaneck Lawyer Stole $100K+, Kept Practicing Law: Officials

Along with shave and a haircut, this dementia-friendly barber offers 'a bit of dignity’

Lenny White with dementia patient Tom Jackson, 82, at Hadrian Park Care Home in Billingham, U.K. (Photograph: Stuart Boulton)
By Tara Bahrampour   - January 18

At 17, Lenny White worked in a care facility in his native Northern Ireland, washing dishes and serving food. He found he had a knack for talking with dementia patients.
“I used to love working with them and getting into their world,” he recalled. “They would say, ‘I’m only 30,’ or ‘I want my mummy.’ I’d say, ‘Your mummy will be back soon;’ you wouldn’t tell them, ‘Your mother’s dead.’"
Even after he grew up and became a marketing consultant, he never forgot how good talking to dementia patients had made him feel.
Two decades later, after getting divorced, he took a barbering course. A friend who worked in a care facility mentioned how there was a salon for the women there, done up in pink, but nothing equivalent for the men. So White decided to do a men’s day.
He brought in a barber’s pole, put on an old-fashioned barber’s apron and sprayed the room with a lemon-scented cologne. He turned on the music of Dean Martin and Elvis Presley, and a group of men was brought in for haircuts.
They loved it.
“The staff noticed a big difference,” White recalled of that day, a little over two years ago. As the music played, he chatted with the men and snipped away. Some who had been agitated became relaxed and tapped their feet. Word spread to other care facilities, and thus White, who lives in Bangor, Northern Ireland, became Lenny the Mobile Barber, traveling around the United Kingdom and beyond to deliver an old-fashioned hot towel shave-and-a-haircut to men with dementia.
Research has shown that people with dementia respond well to stimuli such as music, especially if they are familiar songs from their youth, and to visual cues that hark to their younger days.
White’s equipment now includes a portable jukebox loaded with oldies and a robotic dog that barks and is a big hit with the men. (Some have mistaken it for dogs they knew in their youth.)
He chats them up as he clips, asking where they are from, what kind of jobs they have had and what their old barber used to wear. “It’s very different having a man cutting your hair than a woman," he said. "You can have man-chat and man-banter.”
“It’s a whole multisensory experience,” said Rhonda Robinson, manager of supported living at South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust, which includes two dementia facilities in Northern Ireland. “It’s very therapeutic for our dementia clients, even those with very challenging conditions.”
Barber Lenny White with Trevor Morrow, a dementia patient at Kingsland Care Home in Bangor, Northern Ireland. (Photo courtesy of Lenny White)
White has the men come in a group, which mimics the camaraderie found in a real barbershop. “It’s taking them back to their younger days when they’re sitting and waiting for a haircut,” Robinson said. Sometimes they sing along or even dance to the music while they’re waiting.
“You see the smile on their face,” Wendy Carleton of Greyabbey, Northern Ireland, whose father, a retired farmer with frontal lobe dementia, has received haircuts from White. “It gives them a bit of dignity.”
With dementia, moments of fear or confusion can set in. When that happens to one of his clients, White turns the music down. “It’s Lenny,” he’ll say. “You’re okay, I’m your barber, I’m just here to give you a haircut.” Sometimes he’ll hold the man’s hand while he’s cutting his hair, or touch him on the shoulder to reassure him.
When he leaves them, their eyebrows trimmed, nose and ear hair snipped, cheeks smooth and glowing with aftershave, he feels uplifted. “I know that I’ve made a difference in their life,” he said. “It may only be half an hour but that half-hour will set them up for the rest of the day; they feel good about themselves for the rest of the day.”
White said he feels connected to the men whose hair he cuts, and he braces himself for the inevitable return visits when he finds some of them gone. It struck him at one point, he said, that “I am their last barber.”
Once a year, White takes his dog and barber pole across the Atlantic, to New Jersey. For those trips, he brings CDs of traditional Irish songs.
“I’ve been in the industry a long time, and let me tell you, it was breathtaking,” said Renee Chimento, lifestyles director at The Chelsea at Montville, an assisted living community in Montville, N.J., where White visited a few weeks ago. “He does it from the heart. People feel that.”
Now, she has bought some lemon-scented cologne. And when the facility’s regular barber comes in next week, “I want to make sure he plays music.”
Full Article & Source:
Along with shave and a haircut, this dementia-friendly barber offers 'a bit of dignity’

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Nurse arrested in rape of woman in vegetative state who gave birth at care facility

Nathan Sutherland, 36, was arrested for the sexual assault of an incapacitated woman at a long term care facility in Arizona. (AP/Maricopa County Jail)
A licensed practical nurse who was supposed to care for a woman in a vegetative state at a long-term Arizona nursing facility was arrested and charged with raping her after she gave birth to a baby last month, officials announced Wednesday.

Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams said at a news conference that 36-year-old Nathan Sutherland was arrested and will be charged with one count of sexual assault and one count of vulnerable adult abuse for the incident at the Hacienda Healthcare facility in Phoenix.

"We have worked virtually nonstop every day, every night to resolve this case," Williams told reporters, adding that the crime was "beyond reproach."

Sutherland invoked his Fifth Amendment rights after his arrest and did not give an interview to authorities regarding the case, according to police.


The chief said that officers used "good old-fashioned police work" in addition to DNA tests on the baby to find a match and made the arrest. Sutherland had worked at the facility since 2011, officials added.

"We owed this arrest for the victim, we owed this arrest for the newest member of our community, that innocent baby," Williams said.

Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams said that investigators arrested 36-year-old Nathan Sutherland on one count of sexual assault and one count of vulnerable adult abuse. (Fox 10)
The 29-year-old victim has been in long-term care since the age of 3 and gave birth to a boy at the facility on Dec. 29. Employees at the time said they had no idea she was pregnant. Court records said her last known physical was in April. As her guardian, the woman's mother was required to submit an annual report to the court that included results of a medical exam.

"We may not know how many times this occurred," Phoenix police spokesman Tommy Thompson told reporters. Investigators had obtained a court order to collect DNA from Sutherland, which was compared to DNA from the baby boy.


Thompson added that when the assault took place, Sutherland was responsible for the woman.

"This was an employee, rather than a stranger who made his way into the facility," he said.

The baby boy is "doing well," according to Thompson, who added that it's the community's job to protect the child.

"We can't choose how we come into this world," he told reporters.

Sutherland appeared in court Wednesday afternoon and did not enter a plea. A Maricopa County Superior Court commissioner ordered him released on a cash-only $500,000 bond. Sutherland must also wear an electronic monitoring device and is scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 30

Clad in a T-shirt, athletic pants and jacket, Sutherland was accompanied by defense attorney David Gregan, who said his client has no prior criminal record. Gregan also said Sutherland has the right to get his own DNA expert.

The woman's parents on Tuesday through their attorney disputed characterizations that their daughter is comatose, according to the Associated Press. They described her as being intellectually disabled because of seizures in early childhood. While she doesn't speak, she has some mobility in her limbs, head and neck. She also responds to sound and can make facial gestures.

Phoenix Mayor Thelda Williams said that officers spent "endless hours" investigating the "hideous crime"

"I know our officers took this crime to heart," she said. "This is a facility you should be safe in, and someone wasn't."

In a statement to Fox 10, Hacienda Healthcare said that every member of the organization was "troubled beyond words."

"Once again, we offer an apology and send our deepest sympathies to the client and her family, to the community and to our agency partners at every level," the organization said in a statement.

"Nathan Sutherland, who held a current state of Arizona practical nurse’s license and who had undergone an extensive background check upon hiring – was terminated from Hacienda the moment our leadership team learned of his arrest," the statement continued. "As we have since the first minutes of this police investigation, the Hacienda team will continue to cooperate with investigators from multiple agencies in every way possible."

Hacienda Healthcare said that in the past two weeks, security measures have been increased to ensure patient safety.

"We will continue to do so," the organization told Fox 10. "We also will continue to review and improve what is already an in-depth vetting process for caregivers at Hacienda. We will not tolerate any mistreatment of a Hacienda patient, nor will we stop until every Hacienda patient is as safe as we can make them. "

The arrest comes a day after officials disclosed that two doctors at Hacienda HealthCare in Arizona are no longer at the facility.

"The two physicians who were responsible for the care of the sexual assault victim are no longer providing medical services to Hacienda patients. One has resigned. The other one has been suspended,” a spokesperson for the facility told Fox News. Neither doctor has been identified.

The latest development also comes after the facility's CEO, Bill Timmons, resigned earlier in January following the incident.

The facility received a “below average” health-inspection rating in 2017, according to the Medicare website.

Full Article & Source:
Nurse arrested in rape of woman in vegetative state who gave birth at care facility

See Also:
Center where comatose woman had baby faced criminal probe

Lawyer: Incapacitated woman who gave birth not in coma 

Patient alleges abuse at Hacienda Healthcare, two staff members placed on leave

Facility CEO resigns after woman in vegetative state gives birth; new allegations emerge

Patient in vegetative state gives birth, sex abuse investigation underway: report

CEO of home health aide company is arrested for 'bilking Medicare for $11 million to pay for Bentley, Cape Cod vacation home and lavish trips with her NYPD cop husband'

  • Farrah Rubani, 51, was indicted on December 13 on Medicaid fraud charge
  • She is accused of embezzling $11 million in New York state Medicaid funds
  • Rubani is CEO of home health aide company Hopeton Care in Brooklyn
  • Prosecutors say she used money to fund lavish lifestyle with her husband
Farrah Rubani
The CEO of a New York home health aide company has been accused of embezzling $11 million from Medicaid to fund a lavish lifestyle with her NYPD cop husband.

Farrah Rubani, 51, was arrested on December 18 on a first-degree grand larceny charge in an alleged scam to submit false claims through her Brooklyn-based company Hopeton Care.

The New York Attorney General's office claimed in a civil suit that Rubani and her partners billed New York State Medicaid for home care for children when was none provided, then paid the kids' parents to stay quiet, the New York Daily News reported.

'Rubani misrepresented to parents… that the Medicaid program permitted Hopeton to pay them directly to care for their children instead of sending a nurse, notwithstanding the fact that these parents were not qualified to provide the nursing services that their children required,' the AG said in the lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court.

State investigators allege that Rubani, a native of Pakistan, stole nearly $4 million in that scheme alone. 

Rubani's husband is 50th Precinct NYPD Officer Richard Tricario.

Prosecutors allege that he spent some of the ill-gotten money on a $250,000 Bentley, a $60,000 Dodge Ram pickup and a $1.8 million Cape Cod vacation home that the couple nicknamed 'Rich At Heart'. 

Tricario has not been charged criminally. But the attorney general's office maintains that he wrote nearly $3 million in checks on the couple's joint bank account between 2016 and 2018.

Rubani's lawyer, Richard Harrow, said his client 'denies the allegations and looks forward to presenting evidence that will exonerate her.'

Meanwhile, Rubani's assets have been seized and the home health aides she employs have been faced with the tough decision between abandoning their patients and working without pay.

Among the patients in danger of losing their caregivers is Queens centenarian Rose Lawson, 102, the Daily News reports.

Lawson's only living family is niece Patricia Murphy, who lives in Texas and has been paying $180 a day out of pocket to contribute to her aunt's care.

On Friday, frustrated Hopeton Care employees gathered outside of the company's offices in Midwood to demand their paychecks. 

'They lying every Friday,' Yolene Jean-Charles told the Daily News.

The AG's office says it has twice released funds so the home health aides could be paid.

A spokeswoman for the office said that complaints should be handled through the Medicaid managed care organization.

Rubani is considered a flight risk and is being held on Rikers Island without bail. She is next due in court on March 1. 

Full Article & Source:
CEO of home health aide company is arrested for 'bilking Medicare for $11 million to pay for Bentley, Cape Cod vacation home and lavish trips with her NYPD cop husband'

Wells Fargo Lawsuit Defendants Counter Septuagenarian's Elder Abuse Claims

Wells Fargo-related defendants recently filed a motion to compel a 70-plus-year-old woman who suffers from cognitive decline to arbitrate privately (rather than in a public courtroom) the financial elder-abuse claims she has filed against the wirehouse defendants. The move illustrates a continuing trend of big firms maneuvering to keep litigation out of public arenas and in control of industry forums such as Finra arbitration.

With their motion, the Wells Fargo defendants counter allegations that the woman, Karen Thompson, made in her federal lawsuit. Specifically, Thompson alleges in her lawsuit that the Wells Fargo defendants, as many as 100 employees, and her own advisor, Russell Wixon (with whom she had maintained a 30-year-long client relationship and who is a Wells Fargo managing partner) all engaged in financial elder abuse.

Thompson, whose lawsuit was transferred in November from state to federal court in California, alleges that because of her age and disability she was vulnerable to scammers who had her wire what ultimately amounted to her entire life savings — about $660,000 — from her Wells Fargo accounts to Costa Rica.

Wixon, other Wells Fargo employees, the bank, and the advisory firm allowed that fraud to take place — despite Wells Fargo’s marketing claims that its advisors are “intimately acquainted” with their clients’ financial goals and concerns, according to Thompson’s lawsuit.

In their motion, however, the Wells Fargo defendants allege that when Thompson instructed her bank to wire money to the Costa Rican recipient, she was repeatedly asked about “the purposes and bona fides of the transactions.” In response, Thompson provided “detailed, fact-specific assurances that the transactions were for legitimate purposes, including paying college tuition for her nephew and for non-FDA approved pancreatic cancer treatments for her sister-in-law, whom she identified by name,” the Wells Fargo defendants’ motion states.

Thompson filed a report to the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department stating “she had no intention of using the money for those purposes; rather, she says, fraudsters conned her into believing she was helping to build a school for needy children, and persuaded her to try to mislead Wells Fargo to avoid arousing its suspicions,” according to the Wells Fargo defendants’ motion.

Thompson “now seeks to recover her losses from Wells Fargo on the theory that it should have refused to follow her own instructions about what to do with her own money,” the motion states. Therefore, her claims “are simply not viable,” the motion states.

Without ruling on her claims’ viability, however, the court should send them to arbitration where they belong, based on agreements Thompson signed to attempt to first resolve such disputes privately, the motion states. The Wells Fargo defendants ask the court not only to compel Thompson to arbitrate, but also to halt the federal litigation until the outcome of that private proceeding.

Wirehouses and other large financial firms often try to keep conflicts out of public courts and in arbitration — whether the plaintiff be a client or even the defendant’s own employee.

And in the past decade, federal court rulings have made it more likely all plaintiffs may be compelled to arbitrate. Since 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court has decided no fewer than 13 opinions that interpreted the Federal Arbitration Act, according to a paper entitled “Arbitration Nation,” published in 2018 and written by David Horton and Andrea Cann Chandrasekher, both University of California at Davis School of Law professors. The Supreme Court justices have consistently ruled that the FAA trumps state efforts to regulate arbitration and lets companies extricate themselves from class action litigation with arbitration waivers, according to their paper.

Linda Friedman, a law partner in Chicago’s Stowell & Friedman, says arbitrations where “there are no rules and no exposure” are inherently disheartening for plaintiffs — even when they win. “Federal court is no panacea,” for plaintiffs either, but it’s better than arbitration overall, Friedman told FA-IQ previously.

In her lawsuit, Thompson alleges that the Wells Fargo defendants permitted the Costa Rican-based scammers to succeed, even though Thompson had never engaged in similar transactions in the 10 years of doing business with Wells Fargo Advisors, 20 years with Wells Fargo bank, and 30 years with Wixon.

She alleges that two years ago, in November 2016, she suddenly and uncharacteristically began to withdraw large sums — between $29,000 and $108,000 — from her retirement accounts and send them to her Wells Fargo checking accounts. She would then go into the bank’s branch offices and request to transfer those sums by wire to Costa Rica, according to her lawsuit. Thompson repeated that pattern 12 times, according to her lawsuit.
In her prior 20 years of banking with Wells Fargo, she had “never engaged in a single transaction in which she was sending any money, let alone huge sums, to a third party in a foreign country,” her lawsuit states.

Those withdrawals and wire transfers “each constituted a profound change in her banking pattern,” her lawsuit states. “Yet despite all these hallmarks of financial elder abuse, [Wells Fargo] defendants did nothing to stop it — nothing. Instead, defendants just continued to proactively take money out of her accounts and knowingly assist the blatant financial elder abuse of their long-time customer until all of her life savings was gone,” Thompson’s lawsuit states.

A Wells Fargo spokesperson declined to comment on the litigation.

Lawyers from the Los Angeles-based law firm Munger, Tolles & Olson, which represents the Wells Fargo defendants, did not respond to a request for comment.

Thompson’s lawyer at San Francisco-based firm Stebner and Associates also did not respond to a request for comment.

Full Article & Source:
Wells Fargo Lawsuit Defendants Counter Septuagenarian's Elder Abuse Claims

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Tonight on Marti Oakley's TS Radio Network: Betrayed by Hospice with Marsha Joiner

Join us on January 23, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. PST, 8:00 p.m. EST with our guest speaker Carole Herman, the founder of Foundation Aiding the Elderly (FATE) whose mission is to assure our elders are treated with care, dignity and the utmost respect during their final years when they can no longer take care of themselves.

She and her team have helped many families across the country and filed hundreds of complaints with regulatory agencies responsible for overseeing medical practice and procedures in nursing homes. FATE continues to report abuse violations to the proper authorities and initiate advocacy action to improve care of the elderly. Additionally, FATEs objective is to bring about national reforms and enforce the laws governing homes for elderly.

You can dial in at 917.388.4520 or click on the link to listen at any time. All Marti Oakley radio shows are archived. Please spread the word so we can warn others and save people.

LISTEN to the show live or listen to the archive later

‘Assisted suicide’ turns vulnerable people into disposable ones

A year ago, I lost my 36-year-old husband to cancer. In the first few months after his death, I often felt lost without the heroic man I fell in love with 14 years earlier. But in our last few weeks together, I promised J.J. that I would keep sharing our story and carrying on his work advocating for better end-of-life care for terminal patients.

J.J. was a volunteer fireman, a Marine Corps war veteran, and a New York public servant under Govs. Eliot Spitzer and David Paterson. Then, after he was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in 2014, J.J. dedicated his final days to fighting the legalization and social acceptance of assisted suicide.

This wasn’t an issue either of us would have become involved with prior to J.J.’s terminal diagnosis, but his illness gave us firsthand insights into how assisted suicide endangers those who are most vulnerable.

When a seizure sent J.J. to the hospital in May 2014, he was told that he had glioblastoma multiforme, the deadliest form of brain cancer. The neurosurgeon said that it was inoperable and that he likely had only four months left to live. Three doctors told us there was nothing we could do. We were told to go home and enjoy the little time we had left together.

Thankfully, we didn’t listen to those doctors, and J.J. had success with standard and experimental treatments. But he also realized that not everyone has the kind of support that he did, from family, friends and very good doctors. And even though J.J. was loved and supported, he suffered from periods of depression in his first few months of treatment.

He later told us that if he had ­assisted-suicide pills with him in those darkest moments, he would have been very much tempted to take them.

Then, in J.J.’s final weeks, we saw how the disabled are treated differently, how their lives are too easily dismissed as inconvenient, which is especially dangerous when ­assisted suicide becomes a legal medical treatment.

Assisted suicide injects governmental pressure and profit-driven insurance decisions into everyone’s end-of-life care. When that happens, death becomes the cheapest form of “treatment.”

Almost two dozen states considered assisted-suicide bills this past year. It’s already allowed in seven states and the District of Columbia, and various forms of assisted suicide and euthanasia are also legally available in Europe, as well.

If he were still with us, J.J. would continue to tell us that assisted suicide is bad public policy. He would warn legislators and voters not to focus on the individual patient when considering this legislation. Instead, consider the many vulnerable people who will lose all hope and be put at risk when suicide ­becomes a medical treatment.

Ultimately, legalizing assisted suicide results in less choice for patients through external pressures, coercion, mistakes and abuse. In Europe, for example, the expansion of assisted suicide has resulted in ever more groups of ­patients becoming eligible for the “treatment,” including youth and the non-terminally ill.

Proponents insist that assisted suicide is only for last-resort scenarios, when there are only weeks or days left and unbearable pain. But physical pain isn’t among the top five reasons patients in Oregon — the first state to legalize assisted suicide, in 1997 — request death by doctor.

In reality, assisted suicide is less about ending a patient’s suffering than it is about ending society’s care. There is a lot we can do to improve care at the end of life for terminal patients, and assisted suicide shouldn’t be one of them.

That’s why, even as he took to the public square to speak out against death by doctor, J.J. also fought for better access to hospice and palliative care.

I have no doubt that J.J. would have supported bills like the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act, which was introduced in Congress last year.

This bipartisan measure helps Americans with advanced illness have better access to palliative care. It increases the number of health-care professionals trained in palliative care, expands national funding for research in palliative care and develops a ­national educational campaign to inform Americans, including physicians, many of whom are unaware of the benefits of palliative care.

J.J. was convinced that the most vulnerable Americans need support, not poisonous pills and needles. A year after his death, it is vital that Americans continue to hear his message.

Kristen Hanson is the community-relations advocate for the Patients Rights Action Fund.

Full Article & Source:
‘Assisted suicide’ turns vulnerable people into disposable ones