Saturday, March 26, 2022

Man with Alzheimer’s Sits Outside Every Day – Gets Beautiful Surprise Every Afternoon

By Lindsey Staub

One 91-year-old man with dementia sits outside every day not knowing exactly why. And then a group of his friends arrive and bring light to his life.

Though Gene McGehee can’t remember the friends he makes every afternoon, he can remember how they make him feel.

When the 91-year-old McGehee heard the laughter of children from across the street, he went outside to investigate. In the mild cold of a January in Vidalia, Louisiana, he found a daycare full of kids playing and wanted to join them. He introduced himself to the daycare teacher Megan Nunez, who in return provided her name for Gene.

Gene has been meeting Megan for the first time everyday, for three years.

“Every day I cross the street and we meet again,” Megan said.

Why an Elderly Man with Alzheimer’s Instinctively Goes Outside Daily

Gene has severe dementia, causing him to have such a terrible memory, he can barely remember his own face. In addition to the forgetfulness, there is another side effect of Gene’s severe dementia: loneliness. His daughter Cathy is grateful to the daycare kids, who include him in their games daily, for helping Gene through his loneliness.

For an hour every afternoon, Gene meets the children outside. Though he won’t remember the interaction the next day, he will again hear the voices of the children and exit his home to meet them.

How One Elderly Man with Alzheimer’s Makes Friends Everyday

Something deep in the recesses of his mind beckons him to visit those children, though he believes it’s for the first time. Hidden inside his fogginess is a memory that going outside to see these kids brings him joy.

As for the children, all they know is their friend is struggling with an illness.

“We always tell the kids that his brain is kind of sick, but his heart remembers us,” Megan said.

How an Elderly Man and Some Kids Proved Unconditional Love Exists

Gene’s story is a testament to the power of love. It cuts through even the most confused mind and reminds the loneliest person of their worth. For Gene, the children’s love has given him something to look forward to, though he doesn’t exactly remember what it is.

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Quincy attorney suspended for one year

By Jim Roberts

QUINCY (WGEM) - Quincy attorney Roni VanAusdall has been suspended for one year by the Illinois Supreme Court, according to the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission.

The ARDC reported that during a divorce case, VanAusdall came to an agreement with opposing counsel concerning parenting time. The ARDC report said VanAusdall prepared a proposed order memorializing the agreement and obtained opposing counsel’s permission to submit the order to the trial judge.

The ARDC said VanAusdall then created a second proposed order that included provisions that had not been agreed upon and falsely assured the trial judge that opposing counsel had agreed to the order she was presenting.

The ARDC also reported VanAusdall was charged with attempted forgery. According to our news-gathering partners at The Herald-Whig, VanAusdall entered an Alford plea to a misdemeanor charge of attempted forgery in January 2021. By entering the Alford plea, VanAusdall maintained her innocence but agreed the state had enough evidence to prove her guilt.

Court records show she was sentenced to 18 months supervision and 100 hours of community service.

The Herald-Whig reported that if she successfully completes supervision, the charges will be dismissed.

The ARDC reported the suspension is effective April 15, 2022.

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Quincy attorney suspended for one year

Jackson County contractor arrested for fraud and financial exploitation of the elderly

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced that charges brought by his office resulted in the arrest of Jerry Thompson, Jr., of Blue Springs, Missouri.

The arrest warrant asserts eight counts of deceptive business practices and three counts of financial exploitation of an elderly person.  “My Office will hold accountable anyone who preys on our society’s most vulnerable,” said Attorney General Schmitt. “My Consumer Protection Unit works around the clock to root out and prosecute instances of fraud.”

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Wade Schilling and Sarah Carnes.

Consumers who believe they may have been scammed by a contractor should file a complaint with the Missouri Attorney General’s Office by calling the Consumer Protection hotline at 800-392-8222 or by submitting a complaint online at this link.

Attorney General Schmitt reminds the public that the charges against Thompson are allegations and, as in all criminal cases, the defendant is presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty in a court of law.

Thompson’s indictment can be found here.

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Friday, March 25, 2022

She Starved and Nearly Died on Guardian’s Watch, Family Says

By Andy Newman

Bonnie Lee Apple’s family knew she was not well.

Her ex-husband had complained to Ms. Apple’s court-appointed guardian, who has been in charge of her care since a 2018 aneurysm left her moderately brain-damaged, that she had lost considerable weight.

Whenever her twin sister went to her apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, Ms. Apple, 66, was covered in blankets or sheets. Health aides said she was sleeping. When Ms. Apple’s 18-year-old daughter visited in early February, she thought her mother was near death.

On Feb. 12, a longtime friend who happens to be a doctor called to say hello. “All she could say was, ‘I don’t feel good, I don’t feel good,’” said the friend, Scot Silverstein.

He asked Ms. Apple’s health aide what was wrong. The aide texted a photo.

“She looked like she had just walked out of a concentration camp,” Dr. Silverstein said.

Ms. Apple on Feb. 12 of this year. Minutes later, she was rushed to the hospital.

Ms. Apple’s emaciated face looked like skin pasted to bone; her arms were gaunt sticks.

Dr. Silverstein called Ms. Apple’s ex-husband. The ex-husband called the police. The police called an ambulance that took Ms. Apple to a hospital where she remains six weeks later, suffering from complications that Dr. Silverstein says were brought on by what was most likely months of near-starvation.

On Thursday, Dr. Silverstein and Ms. Apple’s sister, Amy Lee, are going to court to try to strip Ms. Apple’s caretakers, the Guardianship Project of the Vera Institute of Justice — a well-known legal-reform nonprofit — of control of her affairs.

The hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell, did not respond to a request for comment about Ms. Apple. But Dr. Silverstein, who said the hospital had shared limited information, said a doctor told him the day after Ms. Apple was admitted that she was suffering from severe malnutrition.

Since then, he said, batteries of tests and scans had found no underlying illness that could account for his friend having lost about 40 pounds since 2019. Medical records show that she weighed 135 in 2019 and 96 pounds in October 2021. Her weight upon admission remains unclear.

The Vera Institute, in a statement on Wednesday, said, “The medical reasons behind Ms. Apple’s weight loss are still being determined by medical professionals.”

While guardians are required to file annual reports on their wards’ health and financial status, Vera filed its most recent one, for 2019 — before Ms. Apple started losing weight — on Wednesday, after receiving inquiries from The New York Times. Vera declined to answer several other questions about her case.

Vera said that Ms. Apple’s care was now being overseen by Project Guardianship Inc., an independent entity spun off from Vera’s Guardianship Project last year, and that Project Guardianship was “investigating this matter internally.” Project Guardianship said in a statement on Wednesday, “We have worked closely with Ms. Apple’s physicians and the 24-hour home health aides who provide direct care and assistance to Ms. Apple to help her make decisions about her treatment and care.”

Guardians can be appointed by the court system when someone cannot care for themselves and no one else is both willing and able to do so; there are about 13,000 people under guardianship in New York City, the state court system said.

No city or state agency was able to provide statistics Wednesday on elder abuse complaints involving people under guardianship. But Elizabeth Valentin, a visiting associate professor at New York Law School who specializes in elder law, said that guardianship rules had “a number of gaps” in oversight mechanisms and that “opportunities exist for negligence.” She added: “You only need one or two people not doing their job and the whole thing falls apart.”

How Ms. Apple ended up starving under the care of a guardian does not matter, her family says. Ms. Apple’s case manager was supposed to visit every month. Home health aides were with her around the clock, at a cost to Ms. Apple, a former instructor at the Manhattanville College School of Education, of more than $20,000 a month.

Ms. Apple’s ex-husband, Gary Apple, said of the guardians, “If they looked in it’s tragic. If they didn’t look in, it’s tragic. It’s no excuse.”

To this day, the family said, neither Vera nor Project Guardianship has offered an explanation for how Ms. Apple wound up in her condition. Vera remains legally in charge of both Ms. Apple’s personal care and her finances.

For the first week of her hospitalization, Dr. Silverstein said, the hospital refused to let Ms. Apple’s family visit her or even get information about her condition; he said the patient services department told him that was on orders of the guardian.

The lawyer Dr. Silverstein and Ms. Apple’s sister retained, Marcel Florestal, said that in a recent conference, Vera’s lawyer indicated that the organization would agree to step aside as Ms. Apple’s health guardian but that it would seek to remain the guardian of her assets, which as of 2019 amounted to more than $700,000, according to the report Vera filed on Wednesday. In 2019, Vera received $9,375 in commissions for managing Ms. Apple’s finances, the report said.

Vera founded its guardianship project in 2005, in partnership with the state court system, “in response to studies and news reports documenting abuses by guardians,” according to Vera’s website, which promotes the project’s “highly regarded holistic guardianship services model” that includes lawyers, social workers and finance associates.

Ms. Apple’s aneurysm left her with noticeable cognitive deficits and unable to care for herself. But she remained animated and able to carry on conversations, her family said.

By last June, her ex-husband was concerned about her weight. He wrote to Beth Williams, Project Guardianship’s main lawyer on Ms. Apple’s case, that she “seemed exceptionally thin and frail.” Ms. Williams thanked him for bringing the issue to her attention. On Wednesday, Ms. Williams, who left Project Guardianship in October, said by phone, “I really don’t remember having any correspondence with Gary about Bonnie’s doctors or any weight loss.”

Ms. Williams said that Vera had done a lot for Ms. Apple, including getting her piano lessons and buying her a computer (with her own money). “Whatever she wanted to do, we tried to use her resources to make her life as good as it could be,” she said.

A report by a court evaluator submitted Wednesday night in advance of Thursday’s hearing recommended that a new guardian be appointed “since the actions of the guardian” in managing Ms. Apple’s health “have been problematic.”

But it also stated that the hospital’s investigation of Ms. Apple’s medical and home care had found that “while certain decisions may have been done differently, they did not conclude that the guardian had neglected” Ms. Apple. It noted that Ms. Apple had been seen by a gastroenterologist in November, but that “there was no resolution” on why she was losing weight.

In early February, when Ms. Apple’s daughter Josette visited her, she stayed just a few minutes because it was so painful to see her mother so ill and disoriented.

“I’d say something and she wouldn’t respond,” or she would respond with gibberish, Josette said. “She was like mumbling and yelling at the same time.”

Josette added, “I knew that she wasn’t getting out and I knew that she wasn’t really eating, but I thought that had something to do with her condition, not the way she was being treated.”

Since she has been hospitalized, Ms. Apple has faced a series of problems, including blood clots, gastrointestinal bleeding, anemia and unstable blood pressure, Dr. Silverstein said.

Loss of appetite is not one of them.

“She’s like, ‘Where is my dinner’ when it’s breakfast time,” Ms. Apple’s sister said.

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I-Team: Disgraced guardian sentenced for stealing from his wards

by Danielle DaRos

Former professional guardian Lynrod Douglas is sentenced to prison (WPEC).

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) — For the last year, the CBS12 News I-Team has been investigating guardianship abuse in Florida and the case of a Palm Beach County guardian caught stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from his wards.

This week, disgraced guardian Lynrod Douglas was sentenced for 15 charges, including exploitation of the elderly, money laundering and more.

He could have been facing decades behind bars, but prosecutors only asked for 15.

Judge Scott Suskauer took Douglas' age and health condition into account and sentenced him to 10 years, with credit for two years time served.

"I think he got off light," said Larry Leonhardt, son of victim Richard Leonhardt. "Lynrod is going to have better care in jail than my father had under his care. So I don't have a lot of sympathy for him. I really think he should have gotten more time, but at least we got him off the streets."

The investigation into Lynrod Douglas started with Larry Leonhardt's complaint. He noticed more than $200,000 was missing from his father Richard's accounts after Douglas took over as professional guardian.

Investigators uncovered four more victims, and more than $400,000 in stolen funds. They say Douglas used the wards' money to pad his personal bank account, pay off his mortgage, and even buy a Mercedes Benz.

As the I-Team explained last year, Douglas was able to steal the money by leaving assets off of his wards' inventory lists.

When a court appoints a professional guardian to take over an incapacitated persons' estate, the guardian takes an inventory of their ward's assets and reports them to the court -- but no one checks the guardian's work.

It's a loophole that allowed Douglas to conceal large sums of money from the courts, and pocket some for himself.

Calling Douglas a "con man," the judge criticized the former guardian for not only stealing money, but also violating the trust of the courts that appointed him to oversee vulnerable people's medical care and money.

"For an honest business man the cost of doing business is rent and payroll," Judge Suskauer said. "For you, as a sinister criminal, you violated the trust of the courts, the families. Your cost of business has to be prison."

For the first time, we heard Lynrod Douglas address the court and answer for his crimes. He did not offer any explanations for the theft, but he did break down in tears and ask for forgiveness.

"I want to apologize to those who were victimized by my bad decision," he said. "This includes the wards who depended on me and the family members who trusted me to do the right thing."

Douglas' attorney, Jason Weiss, told CBS12 News that he does not expect to appeal the sentence. He said assuming good behavior in prison, his client could leave after serving 85 percent of his sentence, or about 6.5 years.

While some of the victims' families felt the sentence wasn't long enough, Lynrod's wife and business partner, Millicent Douglas, made her displeasure with the sentence well-known.

After the hearing ended, she lashed out at some of the people who testified against her husband, calling them "[expletive] liars."

When CBS12 News asked her if she had any comments, she yelled at our camera crew and threatened to sue.

Millicent Douglas is facing her own criminal charges after police say she stole money from her mother to bail Lynrod out of jail.

Full Article & Source:

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Those closest to us have easier access to the information needed for financial exploitation

Facing the painful and unexpected reality that he had already been bilked of at least $30,000, Jerry had thought financial exploitation involved only scammers from some faraway place.

But those closest to us actually have far easier access to the information needed for financial exploitation because we know and trust them. Anyone with income or assets of any age can be a victim, according to Federal Trade Communication statistics. Those who live on fixed incomes, like Social Security or SSI benefits, especially need to look out for their future well-being by planning for financial protection.

Looking back, the fast pace of change had made it more difficult and frustrating for Jerry to handle his finances the way he used to. He neglected checking his bank statements and other account records. His wife had died less than a year before, and he was still sad and lonely.

Jerry’s lack of interest in financial paperwork had allowed his granddaughter Ana to clean out most of his bank account without him knowing it. He had always trusted her.

Without his permission, Ana had set up new credit card accounts in his name and run up high charges. She had a lot of computer savvy and took advantage of him and the merchants. She had no intention of paying for the credit card charges.

As many others have learned, the “family thief” can create online accounts that the victim is blocked from opening or reviewing because they don’t have the passwords.

Jerry didn’t want to face the reality that his granddaughter used illegal drugs and was always asking him for money. Ana justified her taking his funds along the lines of you have it, I need it now, I’m taking it.

Those with drug problems or even long-held family grudges can view their fraudulent actions as fair and appropriate.

Even when warned, family members often fall victim to the ploy for funds more than once.

When Jerry’s missing funds were discovered, the option of getting help from law enforcement was a serious step. He wanted to get his money back but was reluctant to pursue criminal prosecution for fraud and theft against Ana. She was already in trouble for stealing from the company where she worked.

Looking for light at the end of the tunnel, Jerry contacted West Virginia Senior Legal Aid and faced facts. The option of going to court for a financial exploitation protective order from civil court could provide protection that wouldn’t involve criminal proceedings. The protective order would keep Ana from contacting him or coming to his house and taking things, but it wouldn’t involve her going to jail.

Jerry realized he was a victim of identity theft and that the effects would likely go far beyond the present. The ramifications and headaches could show up for years. Higher insurance premiums and interest rates on loans and credit card accounts, as well as a bad credit score and record, were on the horizon unless he took care of cleaning up the problem. A family member offered to show him how to do that.

Sad to say, ignorance of protective measures and confusion about what’s happening actually increase the risk of financial exploitation.

West Virginians age 60 and over can get help to avoid financial exploitation or with other legal issues by calling West Virginia Senior Legal Aid at 800–229–5068. The staff attorney can provide assistance at no charge.
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Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Virgin Islands

Tuesday, March 22, 2022


St. Thomas, USVI - United States Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced today that Yamini Potter, age 36, was sentenced to 33 months in prison for his convictions of Obtaining Money by False Pretenses and Obstruction of Justice.

According to court documents, from about May 2019 through October 23, 2020, the Defendant, acting as himself and others including federal Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller, former Virgin Islands Lieutenant Governor Osbert Potter, Virgin Islands Attorney General Denise George, and retired federal Judge Curtis Gomez, contacted elderly victims requesting that they pay him large sums of money, which ultimately totaled over $100,000, to purportedly pay for lawyers and legal fees associated with various fictitious lawsuits. After the Defendant was arrested for his criminal conduct, he continued to use the Virgin Islands Bureau of Corrections telephone to contact victims of his fraudulent schemes on a recorded line. He also told the victims not to cooperate with the federal authorities in their investigation of the matter. He instructed the victims to delete text messages between himself and the victims.

The Defendant was sentenced to 33 months in prison, followed by 3 years supervised release. He was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $ 120,650 to the victims and a special assessment of $ 200.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.


All Ohio Nursing Homes Enforce State Laws Allowing Cameras

Cleveland, Ohio (WJW)-Starting Today New state lawRelatives of nursing home patients in Ohio are allowed to install surveillance cameras in their loved ones’ rooms.

The new law is the culmination of a decade of crusades by a Cleveland man who discovered that his mother was being abused in a nursing home.

The 78-year-old Esther Piskor was a loving patriarch of a large family, but when she began to suffer from the effects of Alzheimer’s disease, they had no choice but to take care of her in a nursing home. 

In 2012, she began to show signs of abuse, and her son decided to put a hidden camera in Esther’s room.

What the camera caught was shocking.

More than eight nursing assistants were captured in videos that regularly abuse Esther.

Her son Steve Piscol told FOX 8, “This video was horrifying for us, for me, and for my family. To this day, we still can’t get over it. It was. ” 

All eight aides who abused Esther were fired and two were sent to prison.

Steve has decided that patients in other nursing homes should not receive such treatment. He launched a campaign to create a new state law that gives all Ohio families the right to put a camera in their loved one’s room.

“I don’t want people to put in a hidden camera and I need to see their loved ones being abused, you know, I want them to put in a camera and stop the abuse.” He said.

But over the next decade, Columbus lawmakers resisted Piscall’s request for cameras in nursing homes.

“You ask them all. They will tell you that I was annoying, you know, because I sent them hundreds of emails every month about abuse. Let’s get this law done and get it done, “he said.

He wasn’t surprised that the law gained momentum during a pandemic where many families left their loved ones in nursing homes and used different cameras to keep in touch.

Then, in 2021, a bill known as “Ester’s Law” was approved by the Ohio House of Representatives and the Senate in November. Governor Dewine During December.

The new law came into effect on Wednesday.

Steve reassuredly said, “When someone enters the room, they will know they are in the movie. They are on tape and are being watched.” ..

Esther died in 2018 at the age of 85. His son says his idea lies in the proud woman who influenced the Crusades for ten years.

“I think she’s happy about it. She’ll be even more happy that she has a camera to help stop what she’s experienced,” he said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by FINAX NEWS staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Amanda Bynes' conservatorship terminated

Bynes filed to terminate her conservatorship in late February

By Lauryn Overhultz

Amanda Bynes' conservatorship has been terminated.

The decision was made by a judge at a hearing on Tuesday, Bynes' family's lawyer confirmed to Fox News Digital.

"Lynn is so proud of Amanda and the progress she has made and looks forward to having a mother-daughter relationship with Amanda outside of the conservatorship," Tamar Arminak told Fox News Digital on behalf of Bynes' mom, Lynn.

The judge decided the conservatorship was "no longer required" in a tentative ruling Monday, Fox News Digital can confirm. Bynes had filed for her conservatorship to end in late February. 

The "She's the Man" actress' petition to terminate her conservatorship was confidential.

A judge officially terminated Amanda Bynes' conservatorship at a hearing Tuesday, according to a report. (Photo by Bauer-Griffin/GC Images via Getty Images)

Bynes' attorney David Esquibias did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital's request for comment.

"Amanda is excited and looking forward to living independently," Esquibias previously told Fox News Digital in a statement after confirming the actress wanted to end her conservatorship.

"Amanda wishes to terminate her conservatorship," the actress' lawyer further told People magazine. "She believes her condition is improved and protection of the court is no longer necessary."

Bynes was placed under a conservatorship in August 2013. The decision by a judge gave her mother, Lynn Bynes, legal control of her finances among other things.

The legal move followed a series of public events that ended with Bynes being hospitalized after allegedly starting a small fire in a driveway, according to Page Six.

Bynes filed to terminate her conservatorship on Feb. 23. (Mark Sullivan/WireImage via Getty Images)

Bynes submitted a status report regarding her health to the Ventura County Superior Court in September and the document was approved by a California court. The actress' lawyer clarified at the time that Bynes' conservatorship could end when it was "no longer convenient" for the star.

"It is open day to day. A status report regarding her health and welfare was recently filed and approved by the court," Esquibias told People magazine.

"By law, the next status report is due in two years. Her conservatorship will terminate when it is no longer convenient for Amanda."

Bynes has moved on with life following a few periods of time spent receiving treatment in rehabilitation centers. The "Easy A" actress graduated with an associate's degree from California's Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in 2019.

Bynes announced her engagement to Paul Michael, a man she met in 2019, on Valentine's Day 2020. 

In April 2021, Esquibias told Fox News that Bynes was "doing well' ahead of her 35th birthday. At the time, Esquibias added she was also "living independently" and is back "attending school."

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Now that Allister Adel has resigned, what's next for the Maricopa County Attorney's Office?

by Robert Anglen

Allister Adel's resignation as Maricopa County attorney starts a process to replace her that could extend through the rest of the year.

Filling the job as top prosecutor is anything but simple or routine.

First, an interim county attorney will be named.

The process to elect a permanent successor already has begun. The job will be filled in the 2022 election cycle, and candidates have only two weeks to collect enough valid signatures to qualify for the Aug. 2 primary ballot.

Here's what you need to know about what's next at the Maricopa County Attorney's Office.

Who will be in charge of the office in the short term?

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors agreed Monday to appoint an interim county attorney to serve until a new county attorney is elected. No names have surfaced, but whoever the board chooses is required to be a member of Adel's political party.

What is Allister Adel's party affiliation?

Adel is a Republican.

Will there be an election to replace Adel?

Yes. But candidates will have to scramble to get there.

Adel was elected to serve until January 2025, with the position scheduled to be contested again in 2024. Now it will be on the ballot this year.

If Adel had waited to step down until April 4, the Board of Supervisors could have appointed a replacement to serve until the 2024 election cycle.

By leaving office March 25, Adel will compel county voters to vote for a county attorney in 2022 and then again in 2024. (click to continue)

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5 states reporting highest, lowest nursing home staff shortages

by Cailey Gleeson

Alaska has the highest proportion of facilities reporting nursing home staff shortages in the U.S., while California has the lowest, a new analysis from Kaiser Family Foundation found.

The findings, published March 18, analyzed national staff shortage data trends from May 2020 through Feb. 27. 

Five states with the highest percentage of nursing facilities reporting any staffing shortages:

1. Alaska — 73 percent

2. Minnesota — 64 percent

3. Kansas — 59 percent

4. Washington — 59 percent

5. Wyoming — 57 percent

Five states with the lowest percentage of nursing facilities reporting any staffing shortages:

1. California — 3 percent

2. Connecticut — 4 percent 

3. Massachusetts — 9 percent

4. Texas — 10 percent

5. New Jersey — 10 percent

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Tuesday, March 22, 2022

SON STEPS IN Wendy Williams’ son Kevin, 21, holds power of attorney in her lawsuit as bank claims troubled host is of ‘unsound mind’

by  Jessica Finn

WENDY Williams’ son Kevin, 21, holds power of attorney in her lawsuit against Wells Fargo bank, The Sun can report.

An attorney for Wendy exclusively confirmed to The Sun that the host's son Kevin Hunter Jr., 21, holds power of attorney as his troubled mother's legal team fights to regain access to her frozen accounts. 

Wendy Williams' son Kevin Hunter Jr holds power of attorney in the bank lawsuit
Wendy Williams' son Kevin Hunter Jr holds power of attorney in the bank lawsuitCredit: Getty
Wendy has been spending a lot of time with her son in Florida
Wendy has been spending a lot of time with her son in FloridaCredit: Mega

According to Wendy’s attorney, Wells Fargo requested that Wendy obtain a power of attorney because the bank would not speak with Kevin Jr about her bank accounts without one.

A power of attorney gives a designated individual the right to make decisions about another person's property, finances, or medical care when the person is unable to do so.   

“Wendy wanted online access to her accounts,” her lawyer explained, adding that the host wanted her son Kevin Jr to help her

“Wendy wanted Little Kevin to begin to take on responsibilities.” 

The attorney claimed there were no improper transactions made on the account. 

“The only transaction that anyone tried to make is Wendy attempting to place a power of attorney in the files so that if there were any inquiries, she could have her son make them.” 

The host’s lawyer claimed Wendy’s financial advisor became upset that Kevin Jr became involved in her financial affairs.

The attorney said Wendy’s accounts were frozen by Wells Fargo after Kevin Jr’s power of attorney paperwork was submitted.  

“No one attempted to purchase a car or buy property or anything like that. She just wanted online access to her account.” 

“We had submitted the power of attorney paperwork to Wells Fargo and they refused to honor it.  

Meanwhile, a source close to the case has suggested that the power of attorney paperwork is one of the central issues that caused Wells Fargo to freeze the accounts, and triggered the bank’s request to the judge for a guardianship hearing for the host. 

As Page Six first reported, the case was sealed earlier this week.

Any potential guardianship hearings and judgements will not be accessible to the public.  

Wendy's ex's role in case  

The Sun exclusively revealed earlier this week that the law firm handling Wendy’s case against Wells Fargo is the same firm that represents Kevin’s businesses, including Hunter Publishing and his entertainment group, Head Hunter Productions.    

LaShawn Thomas of Miami Entertainment Law Group is working with Wendy in her lawsuit against her bank to regain access to the alleged millions of dollars in her accounts. 

Wendy’s legal team has claimed that her accounts were frozen following the bank’s concerns that the TV host was the victim of “exploitation, dementia or undue influence.”  

Thomas confirmed to The Sun she is currently the general counsel for Kevin's businesses but insisted the matters she's handling for the exes are completely separate and unrelated. 

“I'm not representing Wendy and Kevin in an adversarial proceeding,” LaShawn told The Sun, before adding “and Kevin is not that kind of guy.”  

“Whatever is going on with Wendy, I don't disclose to him. I believe in protecting the attorney-client privilege." 

Iced out

The contentious battle over access to Wendy’s Wells Fargo accounts started earlier this month when the Miami Entertainment Law Group filed an emergency injunction for Wendy to regain access to her accounts.   

The attorney for Wendy argued that the ailing host was missing payments to creditors.    

The bank has asked to have a guardianship hearing and has since filed that they are willing to allow payments to go out if Wendy’s representatives give them the go-ahead.   

In an exclusive statement given to The Sun, Wells Fargo said its “priority is the financial well-being of Ms. Williams and the preservation of her privacy.    

"As we have expressed to the court, Wells Fargo is open to working with Ms. Williams’ counsel to release funds directly to her creditors for bills historically and regularly paid from her accounts.”   

Bank battle    

In the initial filing on behalf of Wendy in trying to re-open the frozen accounts, Miami Entertainment Law Group said that the host's financial advisor had allegedly alerted the bank that Wendy appeared to be “of unsound mind,” and the bank further believed she was the victim of “exploitation, dementia or undue influence.”   

Wells Fargo responded to Wendy’s team, and told the court that they have filed a petition for a guardianship hearing, “concerning the client’s capacity."    

The bank’s attorney further alleged, “Wells Fargo has strong reason to believe that the petitioner is the victim of undue influence and financial exploitation.”    

The bank's response also claimed that Wendy has been a client of the financial advisor for the past 15 years and that her financial advisor has an “unblemished record in 23 years in the industry."   

In their determination to freeze Wendy’s accounts, Wells Fargo claimed they relied on reports of the financial advisor, “who has recently witnessed tell-tale signs of exploitation, including the petitioner’s own expressed apprehension." 

Suffering 'financial harm'  

As The Sun previously exclusively reported, Wendy said she has been frozen out of her accounts containing millions of dollars for several weeks.    

The host of The Wendy Williams Show - who has not appeared on the daytime series in several months as she suffers from multiple health problems- said in the lawsuit's latest filings that her frozen accounts have caused her “irreparable financial harm."     

  The legal battle with Wells Fargo has emerged as the ailing talk show host’s show has found a “permanent guest host” with fan-favorite Sherri Shepherd, 54.     

After a rotating roster of guest hosts, TMZ first reported that Sherri will be a permanent replacement barring a recovery and potential return from Wendy.      

Is Wendy okay?     

As The Sun previously reported, the daytime presenter has been battling a health crisis for some time.       

Sources said the once witty, sharp host of The Wendy Williams Show isn't the same as she used to be as she battles multiple medical problems.      

A source close to the show told The Sun: “The spark is gone. That Wendy, who for ten years had that spark in her eyes, that cheeky grin and that little wink is not the same now.”       

The insider added some days are better than others for the once feisty daytime diva.        

“She’s not always functioning like she used to be. She has days where she needs help eating, getting out of bed and getting dressed."      

Even more heartbreaking, the source added, she doesn’t always recognize people whom she’s known for years.        

“There are people who Wendy knows, who have worked closely with her, and there are days that she has no idea who they are.”       

Wendy's attorney claimed her accounts were frozen after they submitted Kevin's PoA
Wendy's attorney claimed her accounts were frozen after they submitted Kevin's PoACredit: Wendy William/Instagram
The ailing host has been absent from her show since last year
The ailing host has been absent from her show since last yearCredit: Splash
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The Good and Gray Areas of Celebrity Conservatorships: 4 Cases to Know Post-#FreeBritney

by Marinel Mamac

Trigger warning
: mentions of depression, substance abuse, and suicide below.

In this article:

  • Celebrity conservatorships, especially that of recently-emancipated Britney Spears, have pushed the existence of conservatorships (and the issue in its broken systems) into the limelight.
  • Across the U.S., an estimated 1.3 million people live under a conservatorship, though most don’t have a lot in common with the beloved pop star.
  • Through the four celebrity cases explored below, we can see how conservatorships can do some good, but how they are, for the most part, a gray topic.
  • The truth is that the legal arrangement is only one side of a complex set of issues that needs to have a deeper discussion for the benefit of the most marginalized.

Britney Spears has been a free woman for a few months now — making #FreeBritney no longer a rallying cry, but a fact after 13 long years of a conservatorship that Britney herself has described as abusive and traumatizing.

The conservatorship, which Judge Brenda Penny said was “no longer required, effective immediately” last November, made it so that Britney did not have control over her own finances, personal life, and medical decisions since 2008.

Though her team had insisted that the conservatorship was a positive arrangement over the past decade, the grueling details of Britney’s life under the control of other people have recently come to light.

In her heart-breaking testimony, the pop legend spoke about being forced to go on tour, taking medication she didn’t consent to, and going into rehab even when she didn’t drink. She was prohibited from going where she wanted.

Other sources reveal that her father and long-time conservator Jamie Spears was verbally abusive to Britney, and that she was forbidden to even change the color of her own kitchen cabinets.

If nothing else, the terrible reality of the last 13 years of Britney’s life, supposedly meant to protect her from herself after a mental breakdown that the media feasted over, has shed light on a little-understood legal concept. 

First, What Is a Conservatorship?

For those of us who aren’t lawyers in the state of California, conservatorships — also called “deputyship” in the UK and “guardianship and administration” in Australia — are a legal ruling that allows judges to appoint a guardian or protector for those deemed incapable of managing their own life. (Click to continue reading)

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AG: Elder Abuse Task Force Offers New Video Focused On Residents Rights In Nursing Homes

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is advising seniors of some of the things they need to know to keep themselves protected from abuse, particularly in nursing homes. Her office has released the following:

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel spent part of the week presenting on consumer protection measures for the state’s senior population as the Elder Abuse Task Force (EATF) launches its latest resource focused on the rights of residents living in nursing homes.

The video, Resident Rights in Nursing Homes, is now available on the Department’s YouTube page.

Its purpose is to make the public aware of the general rights each nursing home resident has and must be afforded, as well as steps to take in the event a resident’s rights have been violated.

“This video is an invaluable resource for anyone with a loved one living in a nursing home,” Nessel said. “I applaud EATF’s ongoing work to raise awareness and advocate for our elderly population.”

Other EATF resources on YouTube include training modules on how to recognize, report, and prevent adult abuse, neglect and exploitation.

More information on the task force’s work can be found in its latest newsletter, which was released at the beginning of the year.

Also this week, Nessel gave consumer protection presentations to senior groups in Rochester and Woodhaven. She focused on the primary ways bad actors target senior citizens to steal their personal information or money, including information on the following common scams:

Grandparents Scams
IRS Scams
Sweepstakes Scams

“Scams may vary in the details, but they usually contain the same ingredients,” Nessel said. “If it’s an urgent or secret request, contains a personal connection to you somehow or asks for money in an unusual payment type like a gift card, trust your gut and assume whoever is contacting you is trying to take advantage.”

The Department provides a library of resources for consumers to review anytime on a variety of topics.

Your connection to consumer protection is just a click or phone call away. Consumer complaints can be filed online at the Attorney General’s website, or if you have questions call 877-765-8388.

More information on elder abuse prevention is available on EATF’s webpage. Those interested in updates are welcome to subscribe to receive the newsletter.

To view upcoming EATF events – including an overview of the Task Force’s work during a live presentation from 2 to 3 p.m. March 23 hosted by the Tri-County Area Agency on Aging – visit this web page.

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Monday, March 21, 2022

Former Spears Figure Named Permanent Guardian for Carol Burnett's Grandson

By City News Service

Photo: Getty Images

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The same woman who until recently served as Britney Spears' temporary personal conservator was appointed today as the permanent personal guardian of comedian Carol Burnett's teenage grandson, whose mother allegedly has a history of drug abuse.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Deborah L. Christian had previously named Jodi Pais Montgomery as the temporary guardian for 15-year-old Dylan

Hamilton-West on Nov. 10, when Montgomery took over for Burnett, 88, and her spouse, Brian Miller, who had served in that role since Sept. 1, 2020. During Friday's hearing, the judge noted there was no opposition to naming Montgomery to the position on a permanent basis.

``Dylan is very much in agreement... and happy with the current arrangements,'' the judge said.

In their original petition filed in August 2020, Burnett and Miller stated that throughout her adult life, and since Dylan's birth, Burnett's daughter, Erin Hamilton, has suffered from severe substance abuse and addiction issues and that in the past two decades, she has been in and out of rehabilitation centers while being institutionalized a total of eight times for a minimum of 30 days each time.

Dylan's court-appointed lawyer, Stefanie Bennett, stated in a report to the judge filed Tuesday that Montgomery was suited for the role or permanent guardian. Montgomery made a virtual appearance during the hearing along with Miller and the boy's father, Tony West, but Burnett and Dylan did not participate.

``I spoke with Dylan and I asked him to go to school,'' Bennett told the judge in explaining that her client had waived his appearance.

Bennett wrote in her report that during her representation of Dylan, she spoke with the teen along with Burnett and Miller; the couple's lawyer, Gabrielle Vidal; the boy's parents; and Montgomery, getting the input of all and concluding that naming Montgomery as Dylan's permanent personal guardian was in his best interests.

``Dylan is of the age and maturity to understand the role of his guardian,'' Bennett stated in the report. ``Dylan is in agreement with Jodi assuming the role of his guardian.''

The judge approved Bennett's recommendations for monitored visits by Dylan with his mother and brother and that all of the monitors be approved by Montgomery. The costs of the monitors are to be born by the sibling or mother.

Bennett told the judge that ``visitation'' should apply to all contact Dylan has with his mother and brother, including communications such as the telephone and the social media, because the teen recently viewed comments that were upsetting to him.

Dylan has liberal visitation with his father.

Montgomery became a part of Spears' conservatorship team in September 2019 after having previously served as her care manager. The Spears conservatorship was ended by Judge Brenda Penny in November.

Hamilton, a 53-year-old singer, is one of Burnett's three daughters from her marriage to television producer Joe Hamilton. Their oldest daughter, Carrie, died of cancer in 2002.

In July 2020, Hamilton sent Dylan and her adult son multiple text messages threatening suicide, according to the original petition, which says she was subsequently placed by the Los Angeles Police Department on a hold for ``suicidality and drug use'' before being released late that same month.

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Report: CT nursing home resident died after not receiving medication

by Dave Altimari

Gregory Brooks, left, takes a stroll on the driveway of is the Quinnipiac Valley Center with his friend and visitor Marc. Brooks is the Resident Council President at the nursing home, who takes complaints from residents and joins monthly meetings.Yehyun Kim /

A resident of Quinnipiac Valley Center nursing home in Wallingford had a fatal heart attack in February after the staff failed to give her all of her prescribed medications for several days, an investigation report shows.
The resident, identified by the state medical examiner’s office as a 41-year-old woman, was admitted to the Quinnipiac Valley Center on Jan. 28. She had a seizure disorder and “profound intellectual disabilities,” according to an investigation by the state Department of Public Health. Among the medications that they were supposed to be administered daily were Clobazam, Diazepam and Dilantin to help control the seizures.
Investigators learned that in the five days since the woman had been admitted, the staff had administered only one dose of the Diazepam, none of the Clobazam until the date of death and only one dose of Dilantin. The woman was found unresponsive in her bed on the evening of Feb. 2 and pronounced dead of a heart attack by a staff doctor.
The woman was one of three residents who died within a month, according to the office of the state medical examiner. On Jan. 16, a 70-year-old woman died of COVID at Yale New Haven Hospital, and on Jan. 24, a 64-year-old man died of complications from diabetes.

The deaths led to the DPH investigation that began Feb. 3, the day after the 41-year-old woman died. Earlier this week, the DPH issued an order to close the facility and move its 94 residents to other long-term care facilities. DPH officials have said they had no choice but to close the facility because of concerns for patients’ safety.

The death was detailed in a 73-page inspection report, compiled by DPH inspectors after multiple visits to the facility and obtained by the Connecticut Mirror.

Among the other findings: Another patient, diagnosed with diabetes, was rushed to the hospital because staff had failed to monitor their glucose level for several days as their blood/sugar level fell to dangerously low levels; staff treated recently admitted COVID patients without wearing the proper personal protection equipment because they were unaware the person had tested positive; and that staff treated patients who had COVID on the same shifts and on the same floor as patients who didn’t, violating protocols.

‘A bombshell’

“This whole thing that’s going on right now is a bombshell,” said Gregory Brooks, a resident at Quinnipiac Valley for eight years who has acted as a residents’ advocate, discussing complaints and issues with the staff and administrators.

“This is come out of the blue like a lightning bolt. I was not involved in any meeting. I was not involved in any sit-down discussions,” Brooks said. “How did this happen? Everybody in here is in the same boat as I am — shocked.”

Brooks said that there haven’t been major problems at the facility before and that he assumed that a facility run by Genesis, a national chain, would be a safe location.

“There’s four-star ratings, plaques all over the walls, and while there’s been issues with staffing, my guess they aren’t alone with that problem,” Brooks said. “Why should the residents have to pay for a mistake that the corporation made, you know?”

Brooks said he found out the facility was going to be closed from a staff member who came to check on him.

“Well, he goes, ‘I’m losing my job. And all the other staff are too, we’re all out of here. We’re all gone,’” Brooks said. “I hadn’t heard anything from anyone about anything. And to me, that’s like common courtesy that you would give people — even a landlord would take a few minutes to go up and tell you why he is evicting you.”

‘Immediate jeopardy’

Investigators with DPH’s Facilities Licensing and Investigations Section entered the building on Feb. 10 after receiving a complaint. It is unclear if the complaint was about the death of the resident a week earlier.

The initial inspection resulted in two findings of “Immediate Jeopardy,” meaning the violations were serious enough to risk imminent harm to life. Those two cases were the woman who died and the resident who needed to go to the hospital because their glucose levels were not monitored.

DPH investigators interviewed staff and administrators to determine how staff had failed to administer medication or conduct basic checks.

The DPH report states that administrators were “unable to explain why medications were not ordered and ensure they were received timely for administration to the resident, and why a resident receiving insulin was not monitored after a decrease in blood glucose levels was ordered. The interview failed to identify why admitting documentation was not reviewed by the attending physician for a resident receiving insulin, and why the facility was unable to prevent the significant medication errors.”

DPH directed a plan of correction, which included the appointment of a temporary manager on March 3. DPH appointed Kathrine Sachs as the temporary manager, the same person who was placed into the Three Rivers Health care facility in Norwich in 2020 when a COVID outbreak occurred in that faculty and four people died.

Three Rivers was the last long-term care facility closed down by the state. Sachs recommended that it be closed after only a few days overseeing that facility.

Sachs reported to DPH additional issues with the facility, including, among other things, systemic problems with medication errors, DPH officials said.

DPH identified five more instances of immediate jeopardy related to failure to administer medications appropriately and accurately to residents and failure to report adverse incidents.

COVID patients

The facility also failed to put proper infection control precautions in place, the report states.

The infection control issues revolved around two COVID patients who came to the facility in early February.

The inspection revealed that they weren’t identified as COVID patients to staff, so many of them went into their rooms not wearing proper PPE such as isolation gowns. Inspectors unknowingly visited the room of one of the COVID patients during one of their inspections.

Several staff members told DPH inspectors they had no idea one of the residents was COVID positive and that they had treated other patients after going into the rooms of the COVID-positive resident.

Following the inspections, DPH notified Quinnipiac Valley officials that they had until early March to present a plan of correction, but after Sachs took over as temporary manager, the decision was made to close the facility and find new homes for 94 people.

“We have given QVC ample time to correct the issues, and DPH staff have been monitoring the facility almost daily. We no longer have confidence that the facility can keep its residents safe. Moving people from their homes on short notice is a serious action that we do not take lightly. But we are convinced that this order is necessary to ensure the safety of all the residents there,” said Department of Public Health Commissioner Manisha Juthani.

Quinnipiac Valley is owned by the Genesis Corporation, a national chain. Genesis issued a statement earlier this week that it was cooperating with the temporary manager and helping to relocate residents.

Asked if the health department is investigating any other Genesis facilities, DPH spokesman Christopher Boyle said, “DPH is not able to confirm or discuss any types of impending investigations at other facilities.”

State Long-Term Care Ombudswoman Mairead Painter said her office has been working with families and Sachs, the temporary manager, to find new homes for residents, hopefully within proximity to Wallingford.

“We are supporting the residents in as much choice as possible, related to the transfer and where they would like to go to try to remain close to either family or care providers or to stay with a roommate,” Painter said. “This isn’t something that we really see happening often. And because of the level of concern, we are really prioritizing the safety and well-being of residents.”

For Brooks, the ordeal of waiting to see what’s next has become excruciating.

“I gave them my three choices, and they were all shut down,” Brooks said. “They don’t have any beds, which I can understand, since it’s 94 people getting thrown out.”

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