Saturday, June 12, 2021

Thousands of Elderly and Disabled SSI Recipients Accused of Owning Property That Isn’t Theirs

In December 2018, the Social Security Administration (SSA) had a nasty surprise for Laura Marshall (not her real name), a 74-year-old woman just scraping by in senior citizen housing in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood: The agency demanded that she repay more than $10,000 in benefits, claiming that she owned two properties — one in Washington, D.C., the other in Massachusetts — that made her ineligible for the Supplementary Security Income (SSI) she had been receiving. Local SSA officials wouldn’t believe her when she told them that she had never lived in those two places, let alone owned property there. They suggested she get a lawyer, which she had no money for -- the cut in benefits left her barely able to pay her rent.

The same has happened to thousands of other SSI recipients, many of them elderly, according to a joint report by the National Consumer Law Center and Justice in Aging. The problem started in 2018 when the SSA, in an effort to find government assistance beneficiaries owning unreported property that could disqualify them from receiving benefits, began cross-checking lists of property owners on a LexisNexis data set called Accurint for Government. Letters started turning up in the mail informing people that their benefits had been cancelled, and in some cases even demanding repayment. Often the letters did not identify the properties allegedly belonging to the recipients, making it even more difficult for the falsely accused to deny the claims and convince local SSA officials that they owned no property.

It should be of little surprise that the SSA’s initiative netted innocent people, notes the new report, titled “Mismatched and Mistaken: How the Use of an Inaccurate Private Database Results in SSI Recipients Unjustly Losing Benefits”. Accurint for Government's database is “riddled with errors,” the report states. Accurint drew up its list of alleged property owners by simply plugging first and last names into the LexisNexis database, without even checking to see if middle initials or Social Security numbers matched those of assistance recipients,

Such laxity would never have passed muster with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FRCA). So to get around this, LexisNexis inserted a disclaimer at the bottom of its Accurint website, which reads: “Accurint for Government is not a consumer report (as defined in the Fair Credit Reporting Act) and may not be used for any purpose permitted by the FCRA.” For its part, the SSA is using the disclaimer to strip benefits recipients of their rights; the FCRA would have otherwise entitled them to be notified before action is taken, and given them the right to have inaccurate information investigated and corrected, the report points out.

The SSA claims that it did not act on the LexisNexis data alone, but rather used it as a starting point for further investigation to determine whether recipients did own property. But advocates around the country challenge this assertion, pointing to numerous cases like that of Ms. Marshall where action was taken without further investigation, the report says.

In her case, Ms. Marshall’s social worker connected her with a a legal aid attorney, who was finally able to convince SSA officials that she had no connection to the properties in Washington, D.C., and Massachusetts.  Her SSI was fully reinstated, but others whose cases have not come to the attention of advocates may not have been so lucky.

Among several recommendations, the National Consumer Law Center and Justice in Aging together recommend that LexisNexis and SSA acknowledge that Accurint for Government is a consumer report, and they call on both to abide by FRCA standards. The report also calls for the SSA to implement an appeals process that allows benefits recipients to challenge claims against them before any action is taken.

To read the report, click here.

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Brooklyn ex-con swindled friends out of $500,000 with help of disbarred lawyer: Prosecutors

By Noah Goldberg

A disbarred Brooklyn lawyer helped his ex-con pal fleece her friends out of half a million dollars, prosecutors said Thursday.

Gerald Douglas pretended to represent Helen Lurene Elias in a multimillion dollar lawsuit during meetings with five victims, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office said.

The partners in crime convinced Elias’s friends to lend her $300,000 until her bogus legal settlement came in, prosecutors said.

Elias, 55, allegedly finagled a total of $544,000 out of 10 of her well-meaning buddies and promised to repay them double or triple what they gave her.

Gerald Douglas, 52, in Brooklyn Supreme Court. (Noah Goldberg/New York Daily News)

When pressed by the victims about getting paid back, Elias and Douglas, 52, made up excuses and never refunded the people.
The duo are charged with scheme to defraud and and grand larceny and Elias is also charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument.

Elias was ordered held on $100,000 bail at her arraignment Monday,

Douglas pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in Brooklyn Criminal Court Thursday. Elias was ordered held on $100,000 bail at her arraignment Monday.

She spent more than a year in prison for a similar scam that she ran from 2010 to 2013, where she bilked 10 friends out of $300,000. In that case, she claimed she had to clear liens before collecting a multimillion dollar inheritance.

She was convicted of scheme to defraud and grand larceny.

Douglas was disbarred in 2019 for allegedly misappropriating his clients’ funds.

He was also charged earlier this year with stealing the down payment for a house from an elderly woman in Brooklyn. That case is still pending. 

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Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance Recognizes June 15 as Elder Abuse Awareness Day

News Provided By
June 11, 2021, 17:29 GMT 

NASHVILLE – Ahead of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on Tuesday, June 15, 2021, the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance (TDCI) is warning seniors and their families to be on the lookout for signs of elder financial abuse, including potential exploitation by guardians.

Tennessee’s older adults are oftentimes the targets of scammers, financial con artists, bad actors and other abusers intent on causing them harm or stealing their financial resources and dignity.

Every year, an estimated one in 10 older Americans are victims of elder abuse, neglect or exploitation. Research suggests that as few as one in 14 cases of elder abuse come to the attention of authorities. The Government Accountability Office recently estimated that seniors lose an estimated $2.9 billion annually nationwide to an ever-growing array of financial exploitation schemes and scams.

To help draw attention to the importance of protecting senior Tennesseans, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has proclaimed Tuesday, June 15, 2021, as Elder Abuse Awareness Day. In support of Governor Lee’s proclamation, TDCI is joining other state departments to highlight the importance of learning the red flags of fraud and elder abuse and the steps senior Tennesseans and their guardians can take to prevent abuse.

“I am proud to join Governor Lee to highlight the importance of protecting the dignity and financial independence of Tennessee’s elder population on Elder Abuse Awareness Day,” said TDCI Commissioner Carter Lawrence. “Consumers who have questions when it comes to investments or insurance policies should contact our team so that we might provide assistance.”

To assist consumers and raise awareness about elder abuse and fraud, TDCI provides the following resources for seniors and their families.

TDCI urges consumers to be on the lookout for signs of elder financial abuse, including potential exploitation by guardians.

A guardian, whether publicly funded or privately appointed, has a legal obligation to act in the best interest of a protected individual. Guardians often are granted extensive access and control of a protected individual’s assets.

Financial abuse or exploitation by guardians could occur if the guardian improperly uses the protected individual’s funds, securities, property or other assets.

To assist seniors, the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), of which TDCI’s Securities Division is a member, has developed resources to help call attention to the red flags of fraud and suspected guardian financial abuse.

The NASAA’s “Guarding the Guardians” publication provides examples of exploitation and information on how to report suspected elder financial abuse. Examples of suspected guardian abuse include:

  • The guardian takes money from the protected individual’s investment portfolio to buy a new car for personal use.
  • The guardian overcharges for a caregiving service, such as billing the estate hourly for wait time to file paperwork in-person when it could have been submitted online.
  • The guardian does not take the protected individual to medical appointments or purchase their necessary medication.

The publication as well as other resources to help seniors are available on NASAA’s “Serve Our Seniors” website.

Identity Theft Prevention Tips

  • Never buy an insurance policy, make an investment or give money to a stranger who calls or visits unannounced.
  • Shred all paperwork containing any identifying information, healthcare information, banking information or passwords.
  • Monitor bank and credit card statements.
  • Monitor your credit report.
  • Use direct deposit for benefit checks to prevent checks from being stolen.
  • Never give your credit card, banking, Social Security number, Medicare number or other personal information over the phone, unless you initiated the call.
  • If someone calls you and threatens you with arrest or harm unless you pay them via wire transfer or a gift card, hang up immediately. You’re dealing with a scammer. Report the call to your local law enforcement agency.

If you suspect that you or a loved one might be a victim of securities or insurance fraud, or if you would like to file a complaint or speak with an investigator, please contact the Tennessee Securities Division – Financial Services Investigations Unit at (615) 741-5900 or visit our website.

Other types of elder abuse involving abuse, neglect or exploitation should be reported to the Tennessee Department of Human Services, Adult Protective Services Unit by phone at (888) 277-8366 or online.


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Friday, June 11, 2021

'Elderly folks ... should not be fenced in.' Legislation offers protection in MI guardianship system

(WXYZ) — Conservators and guardians are supposed to act in the best interest of vulnerable people and that hasn't always happened.

It's a trail of heartbreak 7 Action News Investigator Heather Catallo has been investigating for years, exposing serious problems, even abuse and corruption in the adult guardianship system.

And today Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and members of Michigan's Elder Abuse Task Force announced legislation aimed bringing a stop to the problems in the guardianship system.

"With the reforms we propose today, probate judges will have additional tools in the law to make sure that the rights of people with guardians are protected," said Michigan Supreme Court Justice Megan K. Cavanagh.

What the bills introduced will do include increasing training for guardians, putting more procedural safeguards in place when a guardian is appointed, installing more protection for a someone's property, and transparency on how that property is being used.

"The seniors have become an industry and they're cash cows," said Mila Kapusta.

Action News first shined a light on the problem in 2017 with Mila Kapusta's mom and dad, and a system Mila says essentially allowed her parents to be robbed.

"My mother's $6,000 strand of pearls got sold for $700. Every single bit of my mother's fine jewelry got sold despite the fact there was a court order in place, no jewelry was to be sold," said Mila.

Gretchen Sommer spoke at the press conference this morning. In late 2018, a Macomb County judge appointed a professional guardian to be in charge of Sommer’s aunt and uncle, Bob Mitchell and Barbara Delbridge.

Gretchen and her cousin Marcie Mitchell, Bob’s daughter, contacted the 7 Investigators after the guardian put up a six-foot tall privacy fence around Bob and Barb’s Utica home.

"Thankfully, Heather Catallo from WXYZ 7 began to cover our story and we're forever thankful for her because at that point that's when the AG's office intervened," said Sommer today.

Heather also reflected on today's announcement.

"These families are so traumatized. I have spent hours and hours and hours talking to them over the last four years, and to lose your loved one and have absolutely no recourse to get them back is absolutely devastating. So, hopefully, this new legislation will bring some hope, with some additional reforms, and the system can get a little bit better because so many families have suffered," she said.

Heather added, "I think it's nice for families in Michigan to know that after this many years of telling these terrible stories, things are finally starting to change."

One of the lawmakers said these bills have come from years of discussion and a non-partisan review.

It's reform that's long overdo, and no one will soon forget the images of Bob Mitchell and Barbara Delbridge reaching out to loved ones through the six and a half foot fence their guardian put up around their Utica Home.

"Elderly folks in the guardianship system should not be fenced in. That was insanity," said Rep. Graham Filler.

Sommer said, "I think now that, you know, all this corruption is out in the open, people see it, they need to come together to fix it. Our elderly people deserve that."

Click to view the bills.
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Erika Girardi's Estranged Husband Tom Breaks Silence as Judge Makes His Conservatorship Permanent

By Ally Mauch

Tom Girardi is speaking out about being put under a conservatorship amid his multiple lawsuits and Alzheimer's diagnosis.

The estranged husband of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Erika Girardi discussed the situation for the first time during a virtual court hearing on Wednesday, according to Law360

"Obviously, I disagree with the conservatorship altogether," said Tom, 82, of his younger brother Robert Girdardi being his conservator. 

"I think that we should put together the reasons why the conservatorship should be dissolved, and then we'll address it, address the court," the once-famed attorney continued. "Right now, I have nothing to say to the court."

During the hearing, the judge ruled that Robert be appointed as the conservator of Tom's "person and estate," leaving him responsible for deciding the appropriate care for Tom, as well as giving him control over his estate, according to court records obtained by PEOPLE. 

The judge also found that Tom "consents and does not object" to the conservatorship. Robert was previously named his brother's temporary conservator in the months leading up the hearing. 

"It's obviously a heartbreaking situation for Robert, but we agree with the court's rulings yesterday," Robert's lawyer, Nicholas Van Brunt, said in a statement to PEOPLE. 

In a previous document filed in March, Tom's court appointed lawyer said that during his discussions with his client, Tom "had no objection to Robert becoming his conservator" though he noted that in his opinion, Tom "could not fully comprehend the nature of the proceedings." 

A lawyer for Tom did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Earlier this year, Tom's lawyers claimed that he "has had issues" with "mental competence" and it was later announced that he had been diagnosed with dementia and late-onset Alzheimer's disease.

He underwent a mental assessment on Feb. 26 as part of Robert's petition to become his permanent conservator. Robert was granted a temporary conservatorship in February, which became permanent at Wednesday's hearing.

Dr. Nathan Lavid, a Long Beach forensic and clinical psychiatrist, wrote a sworn declaration submitted to the Superior Court of California on March 10 stating that Tom was medically unfit to attend any court proceedings "for the foreseeable future," according to a capacity declaration previously obtained by PEOPLE.

"Dementia impairs his ability to understand the hearing," Lavid wrote. "His emotional distress is directly related to his dementia and exacerbated by his confusion."

Prior to his diagnosis, Erika, 49, had filed for divorce from Tom, telling PEOPLE in November that it was not "a step taken lightly or easily."

In the filing, Erika - also known as Erika Jayne - sought spousal support and requested the court to terminate its ability to award spousal support to Tom. Tom responded by asking the court to terminate its ability to award spousal support to Erika, requesting that the Bravo star pay his attorney fees and costs. 

A month after she filed for divorce, Tom and Erika were sued for allegedly using their split to embezzle money. Erika declined to comment on the case when reached by PEOPLE at the time and Tom did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

In December, Tom and his law firm, Girardi & Keese (GK), were held in civil contempt and had their assets frozen by a judge.

Also in December, Tom was hit with another lawsuit, this time from his partner, Robert Keese, and fellow business partners, Robert Finnerty and Jill O'Callahan, to dissolve their venture together. (Tom has not responded to either lawsuit, publicly or in court.)

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Sheriff: Deputy fired, caregiver arrested after missing elderly woman's death

Click to Watch Video

by Amanda Shaw

GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) - The Greenville County Sheriff's Office said a woman has been arrested and a deputy has been fired after an investigation into a missing woman's death in 2017.

Beth Edith Beamer
Rena Beamer, 83 years old, went missing the summer of 2017. Deputies said they now believe she died in August 2017.

The investigation into Beamer's death was reopened in 2020 when Sheriff Hobart Lewis put a renewed focus on cold cases and missing persons investigations in the county.

On Friday, warrants were signed charging Beamer's then-caregiver, 46-year-old Beth Beamer, with abuse or neglect of a vulnerable adult resulting in death, unauthorized removal of a dead body, and desecration of human remains.

According to the warrants, Beth Beamer failed to provide Rena Beamer with adequate medical care or treatment for four years before her death.

The victim was impaired physically and mentally, investigators say, and unable to care for or protect herself.

Beth Beamer admitted to disposing of the victim's body across county lines in a "desecrating manner," the warrants state, and she then continued to use the victim's social security benefits for her personal profit.

Beamer appeared on bond court on Friday night where she was denied bond by a judge. Other members of the victim‘s family were at the hearing and said Beamer has done everything possible to prevent them from finding the victim‘s body.

Beamer will remain in the Greenville County Detention Center until a circuit court judge decides if she will be granted bond at a later date.

According to the Sheriff's Office, they also learned after reopening the investigation that a former deputy failed to perform his duties in connection with the case. After an internal investigation, the deputy was placed on administrative leave and fired on Wednesday for conduct unbecoming of a deputy. No other additional details have been released at this time.

The Sheriff's Office says they have requested SLED to conduct a criminal investigation into the matter as well.

“The men and women of this agency are duly sworn to protect the people within Greenville County and are obligated to do so with integrity and service and our office will not tolerate anything less," Sheriff Lewis said. "While unfortunate we have to address this, our agency will continue our efforts to assist SLED to ensure the case is resolved with integrity.”

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Thursday, June 10, 2021

Michigan leaders to announce new legislation addressing problems within state's guardianship system

State's guardianship problems first exposed by 7 Investigators
On Thursday, top state leaders are planning a major announcement about new legislation that aims to fix some of the problems first exposed by 7 Investigator Heather Catallo.
By: Heather Catallo

(WXYZ) — In Michigan, if a court declares you mentally incapacitated a judge can appoint a guardian for you. That means you can no longer make your own legal, medical or financial decisions. For years the 7 Investigators have been leading the way, exposing Michigan’s troubled guardianship system. On Thursday, top state leaders are planning a major announcement about new legislation that aims to fix some of the problems first exposed by 7 Investigator Heather Catallo.

The hit Netflix movie “I Care A Lot” put professional guardians in the global spotlight. Cold-hearted, court-appointed guardian Marla Grayson isn’t just a figment of Hollywood’s imagination. Her character was based on real-life professional guardians, similar to some of the guardians the 7 Investigators have been exposing since 2017.

“The story came about because I’d heard news reports about real professional guardians in America,” said J Blakeson, the director and writer of “I Care A Lot.”

In Michigan, things are about to change for guardians and the court system.

“Protecting those who can’t protect themselves in a system that unfortunately is rife with abuse, that’s why it’s important,” said State Rep. Graham Filler (R-Dewitt), who is co-sponsoring four new bills that aim to improve Michigan’s guardianship laws. “There are really good guardians out there who are putting in their time, and getting to know their wards and trying to know every detail. And then unfortunately there are some gray areas where some really bad actors have taken advantage of elderly folks. So what this is going to do is put some guardrails around the system so those bad actors have less of an opportunity to take advantage of elderly folks.”

One key proposal is improving how medical reports are used in guardianship hearings to make sure courts have the most accurate information before placing someone under guardianship.

Here are some of the other issues the bills address:

  • They would mandate that professional guardians be certified.
  • And they would require judges to explain on the record why they’re appointing a professional guardian rather than a family member

“There are situations out there where the judge has a capable and wanting family member to serve as a guardian and instead of choosing that family member they instead choose a guardian. And I think this will cut down on that,” Filler said.

On Thursday, Attorney General Dana Nessel and members of the Elder Abuse Task Force will unveil two years of work on this issue.

According to the attorney general, the task force has revised its original initiatives and is still working on some of the initial goals, including limiting the number of wards per guardian. But several of the starting goals are reflected in the new legislation.

The task force is calling for:

  • Refining the process for emergency petitions for guardianship/conservatorship to promote indivdiuals’ due process rights and ensure that guardians are only appointed when a less restrictive alternative exists;
  • Clarifying and expanding a guardian ad litem’s (a lawyer tasked with contacting someone being considered for guardianship) responsibilities both to the alleged incapacitated person and to the court, including making sure they spend enough time meeting privately with the vulnerable adult;
  • Improving protections for wards when professional guardians seek to remove them from their homes.

Task force members say they have support on both sides of the aisle for the new legislation.

“This is not a partisan issue. This is a safety, protecting the elderly issue,” Filler said.

A press conference is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Thursday. 7 Action News will be there.

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Suit claims disbarred attorney in breach of contract

By Alex Rose

MEDIA COURTHOUSE >> A Newtown Square woman is suing a disbarred attorney for $160,000 she claims to be owed under a settlement agreement that was never honored.

Yvonne Jewell is alleging two claims for breach of contract and detrimental reliance against former Philadelphia attorney Adrian Joseph Moody, according to a civil complaint filed in Delaware County Common Pleas Court last week. No attorney for Moody was listed in online court documents as of Wednesday.

Jewell says she hired Moody as her attorney following the death of Dr. James West in 2006. West allegedly represented verbally in the last years of his life that he was leaving his entire $1.8 million estate to Jewell, but never properly put those wishes into a written last will and testament.

Moody litigated the case and received some amount owed to Jewell that was presumably put into his attorney trust account, but then misappropriated significant funds owed to Jewell and did not respond to her communications, the complaint says.

Jewell eventually hired Reading attorney Stephen Yarnell and filed a complaint against Moody, who was disbarred in 2015 for misappropriating funds from another client, the complaint says.

Through his counsel, Moody allegedly represented that he wants to be reinstated as an attorney and that settling the matter with Jewell would help in that regard, the complaint says. He also allegedly asked for time to make payments, which he planned to fund by borrowing money from friends, and stated that he might file for bankruptcy if an agreement could not be reached, the complaint says.

The parties reached a settlement agreement on June 22, 2020, in which Moody agreed to pay Jewell $160,000, including an initial payment of $55,000 due within 90 days, according to the complaint. An order to settle, discontinue and end the civil action was subsequently filed in the Common Pleas Court, effectively rendering the matter closed.

But Jewell now claims that despite the resolution, Moody has not paid a dime of the agreed sum as of June 1, 2021. Yarnell contacted Moody’s counsel in the intervening period, but that attorney either said Moody could not be reached or was struggling with a legal action brought against him by the Internal Revenue Service, the complaint says. Several meetings to resolve the matter were set, all of which were allegedly canceled by Moody’s attorney.

Jewell says Moody is now in breach of the settlement agreement and believes he is hiding assets to defraud creditors, including herself.

She is seeking a judgment for damages in excess of $160,000 with interest, along with attorney’s fees, and has asked that the court reinstate the previous action as if it were never ordered settled until Moody fulfills the terms of the agreement in full.

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Metro Detroit man develops online resource center to protect older adults from nest egg scams

Predators, thieves and scammers beware
The numbers are alarming. One out of every 20 older adults in this country is robbed of thousands of dollars every year due to fraud, identity theft and scams.
By: Andrea Isom

(WXYZ) — The numbers are alarming. One out of every 20 older adults in this country is robbed of thousands of dollars every year due to fraud, identity theft and scams.

But the good news is a metro Detroit man has made it his duty to protect them.

7 Action News Reporter Andrea Isom tells us how he and his team of advocates are working to weed out the bad guys. The tool used to battle the predators, who see the more vulnerable population as easy prey, is called Older Adult Nest Egg.

On the website, there are dozens of resources on how to avoid being financially exploited, and if it does happen, there are resources on how to recover. The website is working for people in metro Detroit and beyond.

Visit the online resource center here.

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Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Wife chronicles heartbreaking moments as caregiver for husband with Alzheimer's

Every night, Lisa Marshall makes sure Peter Marshall brushes his teeth and puts his pajamas on. She pulls back the covers for him to climb into bed, and sometimes he will enthusiastically jump around before he settles quietly into the sheets. Before leaving the room, she makes sure to give Peter lots of kisses and tell him how much she loves him. Peter is not Lisa Marshall's son — he is her husband.

In 2018 at age 53, Peter was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's, and Lisa, his wife and full-time caretaker, has been by his side since.

Lisa and Peter Marshall at their home in Connecticut.
Lisa and Peter Marshall at their home in Connecticut.Courtesy Lisa Marshall

Before Peter's diagnosis, Marshall admitted she knew something was wrong with her husband for a couple of years, but chalked it up to getting older.

On Valentine's Day 2017, at the insistence of both his wife and friends, Peter agreed to see a doctor. Marshall said she vividly remembers the day Peter was diagnosed, April 30, 2018, after a year's worth of cognitive testing and appointments.

"The neurologist was sitting on the exam table leaning forward with his elbows on his knees," Marshall told TODAY Health. "He was delivering his words so deliberately and slowly, so I could understand them. He said it was early onset Alzheimer's and I was like 'Cool, let’s go get some lunch.' I would not acknowledge it. I would not accept it."

Lisa and Peter Marshall with their children at home in Connecticut.
Lisa and Peter Marshall with their children at home in Connecticut. Courtesy Lisa Marshall
With no close friends or family who shared a similar diagnosis, Marshall admitted she was naive to the way the disease would impact their lives.

"I didn’t know anything about Alzheimer's," she said. "It was something you get when you’re 80. I was ignorant about it. I didn’t know anything at all. I knew cognitively he was slipping quick, but I was in denial."

While Alzheimer's is more common in people older than 65, younger- or early-onset Alzheimer's can happen to people in their 40s and 50s. According to the Alzheimer's Association, it is unclear how many people in the U.S. suffer from early-onset Alzheimer's and the cause is unknown, though for some it may be genetic. Memory problems that interfere with day-to-day life are the first signs of Alzheimer's, followed by or in conjunction with a decline in cognition, like struggling to find words, develop a plan or work with numbers.

Peter was 53 years old when he was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's.
Peter was 53 years old when he was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's.Courtesy Lisa Marshall

As Peter's disease progressed, and quickly, Marshall was determined to help other caregivers facing the same diagnosis feel less alone. She began documenting their journey on a Facebook page titled, "Oh Hello Alzheimer's." To date, the page has over 2,000 followers.

"I think that in the beginning it was me just really screaming, 'Look at this! Look at what’s happening to us!'" Marshall said. "I was horrified. It was a desperate cry. It’s been a support for me and a bunch of other people who get it and are going through the same thing."

Over the past three years, Marshall has shared the devastating situations she has faced as both Peter's wife and his full-time caregiver — everything from creating a bulletin board of familiar faces to installing a bidet to assist with Peter's inability to use the bathroom alone.

Early on, as Peter participated at a clinical trial, Marshall posted an anecdote about reminding him to take his medicine: Peter opened up a container of Parmesan cheese, poured some in his hand, and ate it like pills.

While her anecdotes can be both humorous and heartbreaking, Marshall's goal has always been honesty.

"I just want to be open and honest and tell people what we’re experiencing, because you might too," she said. "I’d rather know it and be prepared. That’s my whole mission, too. There’s no platform you can go to find it out."

In a more recent post, Marshall detailed Peter's inability to recognize her as his wife.

As Alzheimer's has slowly taken over Peter's brain, the couple no longer sleeps together due to the seizures Peter suffers in his sleep and Marshall has taken on more of a parental role.

"The thing I miss the most is intelligent conversation or dialog with him," she told TODAY, adding that he no longer understands playful banter. "He has no idea what these words mean."

While she is surrounded by support from friends, family and their five children, Marshall said the weight of the situation is never far.

"I remember him putting on a gray (tank top) over his T-shirt when we were on vacation, and he just totally didn’t think anything about it, or he has two different shoes on and he doesn’t think about it," she shared. "It’s a smack in the face — oh, we have Alzheimer's. You’re so constantly adapting that it doesn’t even phase you, until it does."

In the meantime, Marshall is savoring every moment she has left with the love of her life.

"We do a lot of crying here," she said. "Caregivers like me grieve every single day."

Full Article & Source:

18 Lawyers & Judges disciplined in Texas on June list

By Mary Flood

Disciplinary Actions — June 2021 State Bar lists (verbatim from the State Bar of Texas) General questions regarding attorney discipline should be directed to the Chief Disciplinary Counsel’s Office, toll-free (877) 953-5535 or (512) 453-5535. The Board of Disciplinary Appeals may be reached at (512) 475-1578. Information and copies of actual orders are available at The State Commission on Judicial Conduct may be contacted toll-free, (877) 228-5750 or (512) 463-5533. Please note that persons disciplined by the Commission on Judicial Conduct are not necessarily licensed attorneys.

Houston area

On April 9, 2021, the State Commission on Judicial Conduct issued a public warning and order of additional education to Fredericka Phillips, judge of the 61st District Court, Houston, Harris County.

On April 5, 2021, John Joseph Klevenhagen III [#90001652], of Houston, accepted a 12-month fully probated suspension effective April 5, 2021. An investigatory panel of the District 4 Grievance Committee found that Klevenhagen failed to keep his client reasonably informed about the status of her matter, failed to promptly deliver to the client funds that the client was entitled to receive, and failed to timely furnish to the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel a response or other information as required by the Texas Rules of Disciplinary Procedure. Klevenhagen violated Rules 1.03(a), 1.14(b), and 8.04(a)(8). He was ordered to pay $500 in attorneys’ fees and expenses.

On April 5, 2021, John Joseph Klevenhagen III [#90001652], of Houston, accepted a public reprimand effective April 5, 2021. An investigatory panel of the District 4 Grievance Committee found that Klevenhagen failed to promptly deliver to a third person funds that the third person was entitled to receive and failed to timely furnish to the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel a response or other information as required by the Texas Rules of Disciplinary Procedure. Klevenhagen violated Rules 1.14(b) and 8.04(a)(8). He was ordered to pay $250 in attorneys’ fees and expenses.

Rest of the state

To read the entire public sanctions, go to
On April 9, 2021, the State Commission on Judicial Conduct issued a public reprimand and order of additional education to James Baldwin, justice of the peace, Precinct 1, Deanville, Burleson County.

On April 9, 2021, the State Commission on Judicial Conduct issued a public reprimand and order of additional education to Andy Isaacs, justice of the peace, Precinct 3, Rockdale, Milam County.

On May 4, 2021, the State Commission on Judicial Conduct issued an opinion on the Special Court of Review In Re Inquiry Concerning The Honorable Lee Harper Wilson CJC Nos. 19-0755 & 19-0759.

Alonzo Ramos [#00797279], of Laredo, filed a petition
in the 341st District Court of Webb County for reinstatement as a member of the State Bar of Texas.

On March 22, 2021, John Rex Thompson [#19956150], of Tyler, was disbarred effective March 18, 2021. The District 2 Grievance Committee found that in September 2018, Thompson was hired for representation in a criminal matter. Thompson was paid $1,800 on September 20, 2018, and $700 on December 21, 2018. Thompson was actively suspended from practicing law on September 1, 2018, and has remained actively suspended since September 1, 2018, for failure to comply with a disciplinary judgment. On April 4, 2020, Thompson submitted a response to the grievance on letterhead that states, “Thompson Law Firm Rex Thompson, Attorney” even though Thompson was actively suspended and prohibited from using his name, in any manner, in conjunction with the words “attorney at law,” “attorney,” “counselor at law,” or “lawyer.”
In April 2016, Thompson was hired for representation in two felony criminal matters pending in Smith County for a flat fee of $7,500. In or about September 2016, Thompson stopped communicating with the client. Thompson failed to keep the client reasonably informed and failed to promptly comply with reasonable requests for information. On April 4, 2020, Thompson submitted a response to the grievance on letterhead that states, “Thompson Law Firm Rex Thompson, Attorney” even though Thompson was actively suspended and prohibited from using his name, in any manner, in conjunction with the words “attorney at law,” “attorney,” “counselor at law,” or “lawyer.” In July 2014, Thompson was hired to sue a client’s landlord. Thompson neglected to file suit until December 5, 2014, after the client sent certified mail to remind Thompson that the statute of limitations was going to expire. Thereafter, the case was dismissed for want of prosecution on March 3, 2015, because Thompson failed to notify the client of the trial date and failed to appear on the trial date. Further, on March 16, 2015, Thompson misrepresented to the client that Thompson would reinstate the lawsuit even though Thompson was on active suspension from January 1, 2015, until June 20, 2015. Despite being notified of the grievance, Thompson failed to submit a response to the grievance. In June 2017, Thompson was hired for representation in a criminal matter and was paid $2,000. While representing the client, Thompson’s law license was actively suspended and Thompson failed to notify the client that he could no longer practice law. On April 18, 2019, Thompson issued a refund check to the client that was returned due to insufficient funds. Despite being notified of the grievance, Thompson failed to submit a response to the grievance. Thompson neglected the legal matters entrusted to him and failed to keep his clients reasonably informed about the status of their legal matters. Thompson failed to hold client funds that were in Thompson’s possession in connection with the representation separate from Thompson’s own property, and upon termination of representation, Thompson failed to refund advance payments of fees that had not been earned. Thompson violated a disciplinary judgment and failed to respond to the grievances filed against him. Thompson violated Rules 1.01(b)(1), 1.03(a), 1.14(a), 1.15(d), 8.04(a)(7), 8.04(a)(8), and 8.04(a)(11). He was ordered to pay $2,000 in restitution and $5,954.64 in attorneys’ fees and direct expenses.
On March 10, 2021, John Rex Thompson [#19956150], of Tyler, was disbarred, effective March 2, 2021. The District 2 Grievance Committee found that on or about June 19, 2018, the complainant hired and paid Thompson $1,738.26 to represent the complainant in connection with a criminal matter. Thompson made an appearance in the case on June 25, 2018, and withdrew on July 6, 2018, without providing any legal services or filing any substantive motions in the case. Upon termination of representation, Thompson failed to refund advance payments of the fee that had not been earned. Thompson failed to respond to the grievance. Thompson violated Rules 1.15(d) and 8.04(a)(8). He was ordered to pay $1,738.26 in restitution and $3,837.50 in attorneys’ fees and direct expenses.

On April 13, 2021, the Supreme Court of Texas accepted the resignation, in lieu of discipline, of Richard E. Jackson [#10492980], of Coppell. At the time of Jackson’s resignation, there was one pending matter against him alleging professional misconduct. Beginning in 1999, Jackson was the lead assistant district attorney assigned to prosecute Stanley Mozee and Dennis Allen for the murder of Rev. Jesse Borns Jr. Jackson failed to disclose evidence that tended to negate the guilt of Mozee and Allen to defense counsel, including but not limited to, timely disclosure of details related to eyewitnesses’ identification or description of Mozee and Allen or another alleged suspect. Jackson allegedly violated Rule 3.09(d). On April 13, 2021, the Supreme Court of Texas accepted the resignation, in lieu of discipline, of Weldon Ralph Petty Jr. [#15866500], of Midland. At the time of his resignation, Petty had three grievances pending alleging Petty represented opposing parties in the same related matter. Petty violated Rule 1.06(b)(2).

On April 3, 2021, Joe Beverly Abbey [#00789000], of Rowlett, received a 48-month partially probated suspension effective April 1, 2021, with the first 12 months actively served and the remainder probated. An investigatory panel of the District 6 Grievance Committee found that in January 2017, Abbey was hired to review documents relative to an international loan transaction and was wired $30,696.97 to be held in escrow pending the closing of the loan. Thereafter, Abbey paid himself and other parties out of the escrow funds. When the loan transaction could not be completed and a dispute arose about the escrow funds, Abbey misrepresented that he was returning the funds when, in fact, Abbey paid the remaining funds to himself. Abbey failed to hold funds that were in Abbey’s possession in connection with the representation separate from his own property and failed to keep the disputed funds separated until the dispute was resolved. Abbey knowingly failed to disclose a material fact and the disclosure was necessary to avoid making Abbey a party to a fraudulent act. Abbey engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation. Abbey violated Rules 1.14(a), 1.14(c), 4.01(b), and 8.04(a)(3). He was ordered to pay $30,696.97 in restitution and $750 in attorneys’ fees and direct expenses.

On March 31, 2021, Scottie Allen [#01058020], of Dallas, agreed to a three-year fully probated suspension effective April 1, 2021. An investigatory panel of the District 6 Grievance Committee found that Allen represented the complainant in proceedings following a mistrial declared in a criminal matter. Upon termination of representation, Allen failed to surrender papers and property to which the complainant was entitled. Allen violated Rule 1.15(d). He agreed to pay $816 in attorneys’ fees and direct expenses.

On March 31, 2021, Ysidro Deluna Arismendez III [#24008750], of Beeville, agreed to a one-year fully probated suspension effective April 1, 2021. An evidentiary panel of the District 11 Grievance Committee found that Arismendez neglected a client’s matter, failed to keep a client reasonably informed, and failed to return unearned fees. Arismendez violated Rules 1.01(b)(1), 1.03(a), and 1.15(d).

On April 16, 2021, Keith Best Dunbar [#24010802], of Texarkana, received a 24-month fully probated suspension beginning April 1, 2021, and ending on March 31, 2023. An investigatory panel of the District 1 Grievance Committee found that Dunbar was paid $5,000 to represent a client in a child custody matter; thereafter, Dunbar failed to safeguard the client’s funds, failed to render an accounting of the funds, and failed to promptly refund the advance payment of fees that were not earned. Dunbar also represented another client in a divorce action and the client used a tax return refund to pay the retainer provided that Dunbar would return the remainder of the client’s tax refund after he deducted his fees and expenses. Dunbar failed to render an accounting of the clients’ funds and failed to promptly refund the advance payment of fees that were not earned. Dunbar violated Rules 1.14(a), 1.14(b), and 1.15(d). He was ordered to pay $2,625 in restitution to the first client and $750 in attorneys’ fees and direct expenses.

On March 29, 2021, W. David Holliday [#09877300], of Dallas, received a fully probated suspension effective March 1, 2021, and ending on May 31, 2021. An investigatory hearing panel of the District 6 Grievance Committee found that Holliday failed to hold client funds  separate from his own property. Holliday had direct supervisory authority over his assistant and failed to make reasonable efforts to ensure that his assistant’s conduct was compatible with the professional obligations of Holliday. Holliday violated Rules 1.14(a) and 5.03(a). He was ordered to pay $250 in attorneys’ fees and direct expenses.

On April 2, 2021, Jamie Terence Katzen [#24065541], of Dallas, agreed to a 36-month fully probated suspension effective April 1, 2021. An investigatory panel of the District 6 Grievance Committee found that while representing a client, Katzen deliberately overbilled his client and misrepresented the reason for the overbilling. Katzen collected an unconscionable fee and engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation. Katzen violated Rules 1.04(a) and 8.04(a)(3). He was ordered to pay $500 in attorneys’ fees and direct expenses.

On March 11, 2021, Pamela Regina Parker [#11601950], of Easthampton, Massachusetts, accepted a three-year partially probated suspension [one year active and two years probated] effective May 1, 2021. An evidentiary panel of the District 9 Grievance Committee found that while representing a client in an employment matter, Parker failed to file her client’s discrimination claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC. Parker also failed to respond to her client’s requests for information and explain the matter to the extent necessary for her client to make informed decisions. Additionally, Parker falsely represented to the client that she had filed an EEOC claim on the client’s behalf. After the client discovered that Parker did not file her claim with the EEOC, Parker failed to timely refund the unearned portion of her fee and return the client’s documents in her possession. Parker violated Rule 1.01(b)(1), 1.03(a), 1.03(b), 1.14(b), 1.15(d), 8.01(a), and 8.04(a)(3). She was ordered to pay $3,631.60 in attorneys’ fees and direct expenses.

On February 24, 2021, Mansel C. Turton [#20345600], of San Antonio, received a 4-year partially probated suspension effective March 25, 2021, with the first six months actively served and the remainder probated. An evidentiary panel of the District 10 Grievance Committee found that Turton failed to hold the client’s funds in a trust account separate from his own property and failed to promptly render a full account regarding the client’s funds. Turton violated Rules 1.14(a) and 1.14(b). He agreed to pay $750 in restitution and $1,655 in attorneys’ fees and direct expenses.

On April 2, 2021, Robert Ray Flores [#24071887], of Raymondville, accepted a public reprimand. An investigatory panel of the District 12 Grievance Committee found that Flores failed to timely file a response to a grievance. Flores violated Rule 8.04(a)(8). He was ordered to pay $800 in attorneys’ fees and direct expenses.

On March 24, 2021, Justin Avery Moore [#24088906], of Dallas, agreed to a public reprimand. The District 6 Grievance Committee found that on or about February 16, 2018, the complainant hired Moore to file a defamation lawsuit. Moore was paid $5,000 in advance legal fees. Upon termination of representation, Moore failed to refund advance payments of the fee that had not been earned. Moore violated Rule 1.15(d). He was ordered to pay $2,500 in restitution and $800 in attorneys’ fees and direct expenses.

On April 1, 2021, Gaylene Rogers [#17166500], of Dallas, agreed to a public reprimand. An investigatory panel of the District 6 Grievance Committee found that in June 2019, Rogers was retained by the complainant to draw up a partnership agreement for a residential property. In representing the complainant, Rogers neglected the legal matter entrusted to her by failing to complete any legal work. Rogers failed to keep the complainant reasonably informed about the status of her legal matter and failed to promptly comply with reasonable requests for information from the complainant. In August 2017, Rogers, acting as an escrow officer, closed on a loan between the complainant’s private lending company and another company. Rogers maintained funds in her trust account that were to be used for title insurance, but Rogers failed to obtain the insurance. Rogers violated Rules 1.01(b)(1), 1.03(a), and 1.14(b). She was ordered to pay $3,000 in restitution and $500 in attorneys’ fees.

Full Article & Source:

95-year-olds who found love in the time of COVID-19 get married

Click to Watch Video
By Steve Hartman 

For 95-year-old John Shults, the best thing to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic is coming down the aisle. His bride, Joy Morrow-Nulton, is also 95. 

Together they're proving you're never too old to make a lifetime commitment. 

CBS News first met the couple in March, parked along the banks of the Hudson River in upstate New York. ("Parked" in the slang sense.)

Shults and Morrow-Nulton have both been widowed twice but were determined to find love again, which wasn't easy. Before they were vaccinated, they had to do most of their dating in a bubble. 

"She was worth it. It was a pain in the neck, though," Shults said of maintaining the relationship through the pandemic. 

Shults' son Pete said the two would call each other every day. "They'd find a way to get together. They did whatever it took."

What it took, they say, was a return to simple pleasures, like long drives to nowhere, batting balloons around the house and a lot of selflessness. 

"She's richer than I am, just so you know. She bought me a walker," Shults said. "$159, I think. I told you she had money. She did have it until she bought my walker." 

John Shults and Joy Morrow-Nulton, both 94, are engaged.  Handout

Not to be outdone, Shults bought her a little something, too. But he had to pop the question dozens of times before Morrow-Nulton said yes.  "Finally I said, OK," she said, adding that she finally accepted the proposal "when we had snow days and I didn't come up here, I missed him." 

They recently tied the knot in a small ceremony. 

John Shults and Joy Morrow-Nulton were determined to find love again.  Handout
 Full Article & Source:

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

He was left in bed, alone, for days. Home healthcare worker shortage affects patients' ability to live

One of Greg's caregivers, Mattie, said he is sometimes left alone all weekend until her Sunday shift. Not able to get up himself, he has no access to food or water.
Author: Alana Holland

GRANDVILLE, Mich. — Greg Shanklin is not able to get out of bed himself. He was diagnosed with transverse myelitis in 2008, leaving him paralyzed and requiring home health care workers for the past 13 years. With help from a Hoyer lift, the aide will lift Shanklin in and out of bed every day. 

"They mean a lot to me," said Shanklin. "I appreciate everything that my caregivers do. Most of us have a good bond together."

Shanklin uses a home health care service company, which provides him aides each morning and night. However, if someone calls off for the day, he is left in bed, by himself, without any ability to get himself water or food. 

"I call, and exhausted all avenues for me to try and find somebody," said Shanklin.

He lives alone in a wheelchair-accessible apartment. Each morning, a caregiver visits him, gets him out of bed, fed, bathroom situation addressed and more. In the afternoon, a bus comes to pick him up to take him to Home Depot, where he works as a greeter. In the evenings, another caregiver visits him to do the morning process in reverse. 

"I've been coming here for approximately two years," said Mattie Love, one of his caregivers. "I love Greg."

Love visits him nearly every evening, and usually only one weekend night. However, she is upset and hurt to hear there are times when she or other care workers cannot be there, and there is no one to be with Shanklin. She said sometimes he is left alone all weekend, until she is scheduled to visit Sunday night. She often comes on her days off to visit Shanklin, when she can. She also has eight children of her own to care for during the day. 

Credit: 13 OYS
Love often helps Shanklin with range of motion work, moving his legs and hands around to keep the muscles from becoming too stiff.

"Sometimes, I don't even get an email or call from them. It's Greg calling me," said Love. "He says, 'Hey, nobody's came out. I'm stuck in bed. I haven't ate. I haven't had anything to drink. Nobody's coming out. Is there any way that you could just come help me out?"

Shanklin knows he is not alone. In Michigan, there is a shortage of home care workers. Shanklin feels part of that reason is because they are not paid enough for the work they do, so filling positions is tough. 

According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), individual caregivers are paid $9.90 per hour, on average, in Michigan. Agency provider rates are $16.08. Individual caregivers actually received a wage increase effective April of 2020 to that rate.

"It takes a special person with a special heart," said Shanklin. "They don't do it for the money, because they know there is no real money in it. They're doing it for the love of the person, which, that's what I know she does." 

Shanklin said he typically has three aides assigned to him that rotate, but a person who needs as much help as he does should have four or five. He has family members who stop by for emergency situations, but they also have jobs and school and cannot always visit. 

At this point, Shanklin hopes people apply for caregiver positions, or he can find some other means of assistance. 

"People don't think it could be your family, it can be you in a couple months," said Love. "Is this the type of health that you will want for you? How do you just leave somebody and just not care. You just go home, you take care of your kids, you continue your night, you probably go out, have a drink, go to the movies, go eat. And it doesn't even bother you that Greg is just here, with nobody."

13 ON YOUR SIDE did reach out to the home health care provider Love works for, but they have not responded with a statement. 

Love said one of Shanklin's top concerns is that he will lose his independence, his job and have to live in an assisted living or nursing home. He is still able to live and work on his own for much of the day. 

"I had to call off for work," said Shanklin of the days a caregiver cannot visit in the morning, "because I wasn't able to get out to bed until later that day. It's so frustrating and stressful. Sometimes, you wonder why me?"

Full Article & Source:

Disbarred Attorney Sentenced To 51 Months In Prison For Stealing 9/11 Victim Compensation Funds

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of New York

Audrey Strauss, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that GUSTAVO L. VILA, a disbarred lawyer in New York, was sentenced today in White Plains federal court to 51 months in prison for stealing approximately $1 million that the Department of Justice’s 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (“VCF”) had awarded to VILA’s client, a 9/11 first responder.  VILA pled guilty on October 29, 2020, before U.S. District Judge Vincent L. Briccetti, who also imposed today’s sentence.

U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said:  “Gustavo Vila stole money awarded by the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund to his client, an NYPD officer and 9/11 first responder.  Further, Vila lied to his client for more than three years, telling him that the stolen money had yet to be released by the Fund.  Now Gustavo Vila has been sentenced to prison for his betrayal.”

According to the Complaint, the Information, and other court filings and statements made in open court:

In the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks, Congress created the VCF to provide compensation with federal government funds to any individual who suffered physical harm or was killed as a result of the terrorist attacks, or as a result of the debris removal efforts that took place in the immediate aftermath of those attacks.  The original VCF operated from 2001 to 2004.  President Obama and President Trump reactivated the VCF, authorizing it to operate through October 2016, and December 2020, respectively.  Claimants seeking compensation from the VCF were authorized to work with an attorney and have the attorney, on the claimant’s behalf, submit a claim to, and receive the claimant’s award from, the VCF.  An attorney’s fees were limited to 10% of a VCF award.

From at least in or about 2012 through at least in or about 2019, VILA represented a retired New York City Police Department officer (“Victim-1”) in connection with Victim-1’s claim for compensation from VCF.  Victim-1 was diagnosed with, and suffered from, serious, life-threatening medical conditions, including cancer, as a result of rescue and recovery work he performed at Ground Zero.  Throughout his representation of Victim-1, VILA held himself out as an attorney to Victim-1 and to the VCF, despite the fact that in 2015, VILA was disbarred, after being convicted in Westchester County Supreme Court of grand larceny in the third degree, a felony, for stealing funds from another client.  

Despite his disbarment, VILA continued to hold himself out as an attorney to Victim-1 and to the VCF and to represent Victim-1 in connection with his VCF claim.  Victim-1, on VILA’s advice, authorized the VCF to deposit any money it awarded Victim-1 directly into VILA’s bank account.  On or about September 13, 2016, the VCF authorized an award to Victim-1 of $1,030,622.04 for life-threatening illnesses Victim-1 had sustained from rescue and recovery work he performed as a police officer at Ground Zero.  On or about October 12, 2016, the VCF deposited the full amount of Victim-1’s award – mover $1 million – into VILA’s bank account.  At that point, VILA was required to distribute all of that money, less 10 percent for his purported attorney’s fees, to Victim-1.  VILA, however, represented to Victim-1 that the VCF had only released 10 percent of the award, that is, approximately $103,062, which VILA sent Victim-1 on or about October 26, 2016.  That is the only portion of the award that Victim-1 ever received.  VILA stole the remaining 90 percent of the award – approximately $927,559.84 – and used those funds for his own personal benefit, including to pay his own taxes and personal loans.  Over the next three-plus years, VILA continued to lie to Victim-1, repeatedly telling Victim-1 and his family that the VCF had not yet released the full amount of the award, when in fact, the entire award had been released for Victim-1’s benefit in October 2016. 

*                *                *

VILA, 62, of Yorktown Heights, New York, pled guilty to, and was sentenced on, one count of theft of government funds, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 641.  In addition to the 51-month prison term, VILA was sentenced to three years of supervised release and was ordered to forfeit $922,559.84, and to pay restitution to Victim-1 in the amount of $867,870.76.

Ms. Strauss praised the outstanding investigative work of the U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General's Fraud Detection Office. 

The prosecution of this case is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Unit.  Assistant United States Attorney Sarah L. Kushner is in charge of the prosecution.