Saturday, May 13, 2023

Former nursing home employee arrested for stealing from resident with dementia


NAPLES, Fl. — A former Collier County nursing home employee is now facing multiple felonies, after a Collier County Sheriff's Office investigation revealed she stole nearly $12,000 from an elderly resident with dementia.

Tracey Anna Massey, 42, was arrested Tuesday and charged with exploitation of the elderly over $10,000 and grand theft over $10,000. 

Massey stole nine checks totaling $11,900 from the victim and deposited them into her personal bank accounts. The victim, now deceased, was unable to care for himself and had a court-appointed guardian who made decisions on his behalf.

The investigation found the thefts occurred from September 2022 to March 2023 while Massey was an activity manager at ProMedica Skilled Nursing Facility, 3601 Lakewood Blvd., Naples.

Massey told detectives that the victim gave her some of the checks as a return payment for money borrowed, and also claimed the victim asked her to withdraw money because he wanted to have cash on hand. Detectives’ review of bank records debunked those claim

Full Article & Source:
Former nursing home employee arrested for stealing from resident with dementia

Huron County jury convicts man of groping care facility resident

by Mark Birdsall

A Huron County jury found a former resident of the Huron County Medical Care Facility guilty on Tuesday afternoon of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct for inappropriately touching a female resident who was mentally incapacitated.

The jury deliberated less than an hour to convict Bruce Bradley Ginther, 67, of groping the 67-year-old woman in a hallway of the facility on Oct. 22, 2021.

Fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct is a high-court misdemeanor punishable by up to two years in prison and/or a fine of up to $500.

Ginther, who currently resides in a Detroit-area nursing facility, will also be required to register with the Michigan Sex Offender Registry.

The Huron Daily Tribune does not identify victims of sexual assault.

The one-day trial featured testimony from the victim's younger sister, Huron County Sheriff's Department Detective Daryl Ford, care facility employees as well as the head of the Huron County Public Guardian's office

During Tuesday's testimony, the victim's sister told Chief Assistant Prosecutor David Wallace her sister had the mental capacity of a 2- to 3-year-old child.

The prosecution also showed body cam video of Ford interviewing Ginther in his room at the care facility, During the interview, Ginther admitted to touching the woman, telling the detective "I did something stupid and I regret it."

Defense attorney Andrew Lockard argued that Ginther's medical condition — Parkinson's Disease — played a role in the incident and the contact was unintentional and occurred when the victim attempted to hug his client, who was sitting in a wheelchair in a hallway at the facility. 

Ginther took the stand as the defense's only witness and testified that the woman, who resided in the room next to his, was his friend and the contact happened when she tried to hug him and he put up his hands to push her away from him.

Huron County 52nd Circuit Court Judge Gerald M. Prill scheduled sentencing for Monday, June 26 at 9 a.m. Ginther remains free on bond.

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Huron County jury convicts man of groping care facility resident

Elderly Ozark woman battles for her life after alleged abuse: Police

Ozark Police Chief Charles Ward said police and paramedics found the 81-year-old victim needing severe medical treatment and took her to a hospital to treat numerous injuries that he considers critical.

By Ken Curtis

OZARK, Al (WTVY) -An Ozark woman faces elderly abuse and neglect charges involving the lack of care provided to her mother, according to police.

Officers arrested 58-year-old Wendy Woodham, who had fallen Saturday at the Ozark home she shared with her mother.

Ozark Police Chief Charles Ward said police and paramedics found the 81-year-old victim needing severe medical treatment and took her to a hospital to treat numerous injuries that he considers critical.

Ward said the investigation is ongoing and won’t rule out additional charges.

Dale County Jail Records show that a judge has yet to set bond, keeping Woodham behind bars until at least Monday.

Full Article & Source:
Elderly Ozark woman battles for her life after alleged abuse: Police

Friday, May 12, 2023

‘Twisting my Resident Lip’: Nurse assistant allegedly posted photo of herself abusing elderly dementia patient ‘to gain likes’

by Jerry Lambe

Gabriel V. Woods (Mount Dora Police Dept.)

A 34-year-old nursing assistant in Florida was arrested for allegedly posting a photograph on social media showing her physically abusing an elderly dementia patient under her care to garner more attention online.

Gabriel V. Woods was taken into custody on Wednesday and charged with one count of aggravated abuse and neglect of an elderly person, a third-degree felony, court records reviewed by Law&Crime show.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, an employee at the healthcare facility where Woods was employed as a certified nursing assistant contacted the Mount Dora Police Department and reported receiving an anonymous message on her work email advising her that a patient was being abused at the facility. The anonymous email included a video and a photograph recently posted on Woods’ social media account.

The employee allegedly showed officers the email, the video and photograph.

Police wrote that the video posted to Woods’ TikTok page showed her wearing her work uniform and “extremely distinct gold/silver bracelets” while dancing to a song in what appears to be a facility bathroom.

The video was captioned: “Nurse: The resident fell out of bed. Me: but this song hit I’ll pick her up in a min.”

The photograph attached to the anonymous email was allegedly posted to Woods’ Facebook page and is far more disturbing. Police said the photo showed an 88-year-old dementia patient lying in bed with a heart emoji inserted into the shot and placed over the patient’s face.

“In the photograph, an arm believed to belong to Woods is seen with the same distinct gold/silver bracelets,” the affidavit states. “This arm believed to belong to Woods is extended towards [the patient’s] face, grabbing and twisting [the patient’s] lips. This caused [the patient’s] top lip to appear white in the photograph. This white area around [the patient’s] upper lip is indicative of an area of skin which has a significant amount of force being applied to it.”

The photograph was allegedly captioned, “Twisting my Resident Lip Because Uon S— Before Shift Change.”

The photo has since been removed from Woods’ Facebook page.

In an interview with police, Woods allegedly admitted that she was the person in both the video and photo and that she was the owner of both social media accounts to which they were posted, the affidavit states. Police say she also conceded that she took the video and photo on May 1.

Woods allegedly claimed that the circumstances from the caption were not real and that no patient was actually “waiting for assistance after falling.”

Police say Woods also admitted to “actively touching” the elderly patient’s face as the photo depicted but said she was “not doing so forcefully.”

“This is contradicted by the white area around [the victim’s] mouth which is indicative of force being applied to the area,” police wrote in the affidavit. “Woods confirmed that during the photograph there was no legitimate reason to touch [the patient’s] mouth other than making the social media post. This showed the touch was unnecessary, unwanted, and likely caused [the patient] pain and fear.”

According to police, Woods attempted to “justify this battery” by claiming “it was posted on social media because of a trend on social to gain likes.”

Following her arrest, she was released on $2,000 bond.

Woods on Friday posted a news article about her arrest to her Facebook page along with a laughing emoji.

Law&Crime emailed Florida’s health department seeking the status of Woods’ nursing assistant’s license.

Full Article & Source:
‘Twisting my Resident Lip’: Nurse assistant allegedly posted photo of herself abusing elderly dementia patient ‘to gain likes’

Former nurse convicted of killing patient in 2017 asks judge to reinstate nursing license

By: Amelia Young

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — RaDonda Vaught was back in court on Tuesday following her widely publicized trial one year ago. Vaught is asking to have her nursing license reinstated through a judicial review after it was revoked.

Vaught was a nurse at Vanderbilt and was convicted of killing patient Charlene Murphey in 2017 by giving her the wrong medicine.

She was then sentenced last year to three years of supervised probation, which came with losing her license.

Under Tennessee law, as long as she follows the rules of her probation her conviction could one day be dismissed.

Nurses and healthcare professionals across the country expressed outrage over the case saying a conviction and possible jail time for a mistake made on the job was unfair.

During the trial, Vaught said she will never be the same person and that when Murphey died, a part of her died with her. She said she had replayed her mistakes over and over again.

As of right now, it's not clear when the judge will make a decision on her license.

Full Article & Source:
Former nurse convicted of killing patient in 2017 asks judge to reinstate nursing license

Albany woman arrested for scams on elderly in Southwest Georgia

Investigators believe she may have stolen up to $300,000.

By Jim Wallace

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - An Albany woman has been arrested for scamming a woman in Dougherty County and investigators say there may be six other victims across South Georgia.

Martha Bearden, 72, was arrested by the Dougherty County Sheriff’s Office’s investigators early Tuesday morning at an Albany motel.

She is reportedly charged with two felony counts of elderly exploitation and two counts of theft by deception, one count is a felony.

Investigators said there are at least six other victims in other counties in South Georgia. But there could be more.

Investigators said Bearden has been working scams on South Georgians for around five years. Investigators estimate the money scammed from the victims they know about so far is around $300,000.

Investigators say she was telling victims she was coming into a large inheritance and needed cash to receive the inheritance.

WALB News 10′s Jim Wallace talked with one of the victims who claimed she has scammed by Bearden, who she considered a friend for 40 years. Debbie Blanton is the former executive director of the SOWEGA Council on Aging. Blanton was a victim of this scam, as well.

“For the last 15 years of my life, I was dedicated to protecting the vulnerability of senior adults against financial exploitation and abuse,” Blanton said. “It’s extremely difficult to come out and say that I was also a victim of this. I wanted people to know it can happen to me and I worked with it. It can happen to anyone.”

Blanton gave three warning signs for people to look out for.

Blanton said, first, the Internal Revenue Service does not put a hold on any type of inheritance.

“The only time our arrests will be involved is when you pay taxes at the end of the year and an inheritance tax. They do not hold any money that comes to you, and inheritance is a gift and that is free and clear,” she said.

Second, she said you should never give money to receive money.

Third, someone you have a relationship with may be scamming you.

“The only thing you’re going to be guilty of is having a big heart wanting to help someone and trusting. You need to report anything that you are suspicious of,” Blanton said.

Blanton said to alert the local authorities in your county if you believe you are being scammed.

“The only way to stop abuse, elder abuse financial exploitation is to report it,” she said.

Full Article & Source:
Albany woman arrested for scams on elderly in Southwest Georgia

Thursday, May 11, 2023

An older Pa. woman was placed under guardianship. Her family says the system betrayed her.

An ongoing lawsuit spotlights Pennsylvania’s vexing system for safeguarding vulnerable older adults from potential fraud and other conflicts when they are declared legally incapacitated.

by Angela Couloumbis

HARRISBURG — Not long after Christmas 2010, 84-year-old Penny Raffa abruptly found herself facing the daunting prospect of losing the ability to make even the most basic decisions about her life.

The Montgomery County nursing home where Raffa had been living for a mere five months had launched a court proceeding to declare her incapacitated. Around the same time, the nursing home also surprised her with a debt collection lawsuit.

Raffa was appointed a legal guardian that day — a person recommended by the lawyer for the same nursing home suing her for unpaid debts. That guardian then hired a different attorney, one yet again suggested by the nursing home, to represent the older woman in the debt collection action.

But that lawyer purposely did no work on her behalf, according to a long-running lawsuit that recently landed before one of Pennsylvania’s highest courts, and Raffa lost the case. Then, to pay off the debt, she was forced to sell her home.

The two lawyers named in the suit, brought by Raffa’s estate after her death in early 2012, have denied wrongdoing. And the tangled sequence of events alleged in the court claim has not been substantiated.

But the case spotlights Pennsylvania’s vexing system for safeguarding vulnerable older adults from potential fraud and other conflicts when they are declared legally incapacitated, as well as the gaps that still exist in its elder protection laws.

The shortcomings persist despite vigorous efforts over the past decade by judges, lawyers, lawmakers, and advocates to develop new protocols for dealing with those cases. They were spurred to action in no small part by sobering projections that Pennsylvania, already home to one of the highest number of older residents in the nation, will experience a sharp increase in that population over the next three decades and face a swell of guardianship and other older adult protection cases.

In the state Capitol, a bipartisan group of lawmakers has introduced legislation aimed at making guardianship a choice of last resort. The bill would also mandate that older adults have legal representation at guardianship proceedings, and require guardians to undergo mandatory training, certification, and background checks, among other changes.

“Appointing a guardian for a person represents a serious step,” state Sen. Judy Ward (R., Blair) said at a hearing on guardianship in the Capitol last month, noting that it results in a “total deprivation of liberty and autonomy.”

She added: “Granting a petition of guardianship should be taken with great caution and utmost respect for the person’s basic rights.”

‘Shocks the conscience’

At its core, the state’s guardianship law and the complex system set up to enforce it are meant to protect adults who, due to illness, disability, or other unforeseen causes, can no longer manage their personal affairs, said Marielle Hazen, whose Harrisburg-based law firm specializes in elder law. But the law, she said, is not perfect.

Guardians are people appointed by a court to take over decision-making about the health or financial affairs — often both — of an adult who has lost the ability to make sound decisions about their life. They can be friends, relatives, or acquaintances of the incapacitated person, or they can be professionals who do such work for a fee.

In Pennsylvania, guardians aren’t required to be certified or trained before taking on the role.

The state has over 18,000 active guardianships, nearly half of which involve people over the age of 60, according to data compiled by the state Supreme Court’s Advisory Council on Elder Justice in the Courts. Those guardians oversee more than $1.7 billion in assets.

Though laws vary from state to state, in most cases, almost anyone can petition a court to declare a person incapacitated and have them placed under guardianship. In Pennsylvania, Orphans’ Court judges decide those cases after a hearing that includes medical and other professional testimony.

In Raffa’s case, the nursing home in which she lived the last year of her life launched the proceeding to have her declared incapacitated, according to the 2014 lawsuit brought by her daughter, Edith Horan, on behalf of her mother’s estate.

The lawsuit alleges that the very people in the system designed to help people like Raffa intentionally failed her, and then exploited her financially. In the suit, lawyers for Raffa’s estate called it a “conspiracy” that “shocks the conscience, makes a mockery of this Commonwealth’s guardianship statutes … and callously exploits and abuses some of the most vulnerable members of society — all in a relentless, rabid pursuit of money.”

Horan and several of Raffa’s other family members did not respond to interview requests for this story, or declined to comment. Lawyers for her family also did not return repeated requests for comment. As a result, certain details about her case are unknown.

Spotlight PA has pieced together a timeline of her story based on information in the lawsuit, which has largely unfolded in Montgomery County in suburban Philadelphia.

Raffa was admitted to the Manor Care nursing home in King of Prussia two days before Christmas 2010. According to the suit, a few months later the nursing home and its then-outside lawyer, Brian Dietrich of Montgomery County, met with another Montgomery County lawyer, Robert Feliciani, to discuss having Raffa declared incapacitated.

The lawsuit does not describe how the two lawyers knew each other. A Spotlight PA review of court dockets in suburban Philadelphia counties show the two were at least familiar with each other, as they or their firms participated in dozens of the same incapacitation cases around that time, representing opposing clients.

The lawsuit also does not describe the specific conditions that led the nursing home to pursue a guardian for Raffa. But lawyers for her estate said in court filings that she was admitted to Manor Care because she was unable to independently care for herself; and they assert that shortly after, the 84-year-old experienced a series of falls and other ailments that eventually landed her in the hospital and contributed to her death.

At Raffa’s incapacitation hearing, the lawsuit alleges, Dietrich convinced the court to appoint his handpicked guardian to manage Raffa’s affairs. Around the same time, he launched a debt collection action against Raffa for unpaid nursing home bills, but allegedly did not disclose that to the judge at Raffa’s incapacitation hearing.

Dietrich then allegedly recommended that Raffa’s new guardian, who is not a defendant in the lawsuit, hire Feliciani to represent Raffa in the debt collection action. The close ties between the people who were supposed to look after her and those seeking money from her raised a conflict, lawyers for Raffa’s estate contend — one that again was not disclosed to the judge overseeing Raffa’s incapacitation hearing.

Feliciani failed to respond to the debt collection action, and also kept key details about it from Raffa’s family and her guardian, the lawsuit alleges.

The result: Raffa was hit with an $81,651 default judgment. To pay it off, she had to sell her home.

Gary M. Samms, Dietrich’s lawyer, said in an interview that his client had done “nothing unethical or illegal.”

“There was never any collusion, no unethical conduct, never anything inappropriate,” said Samms, a partner at Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel in Philadelphia, adding that Dietrich “is one of the most ethical and well-respected attorneys in his area of expertise.”

Feliciani’s lawyer, Patrick Cosgrove, told Spotlight PA: “For nearly a decade, Mr. Feliciani has denied the allegations contained in Ms. Horan’s ... complaint. Mr. Feliciani looks forward to his day in court as he is confident that a jury of his peers will reach a verdict in his favor.”

Attorneys for Raffa’s estate contend Dietrich and Feliciani “have a longstanding history of purporting to be litigation opponents while in fact, working together to secure judgments by default and judgments by agreement against mentally incapacitated nursing home residents and/or their assets.”

The lawsuit cites 11 other instances, all in Bucks and Montgomery Counties, where Raffa’s estate contends Dietrich and Feliciani pursued the same strategy against nursing home residents there.

Spotlight PA reviewed the docket and court records in those 11 cases. In each, after a resident was declared incapacitated and appointed a guardian, the nursing home, through Dietrich or his firm, filed a debt collection action. Feliciani, who represented the elder adult or their guardian, either failed to respond (resulting in a default monetary judgment) or reached an agreement to pay the past-due amount.

None of those 11 guardianship proceedings led to additional civil action against the two private lawyers, as in Raffa’s case.

The lawsuit brought by Raffa’s estate named Manor Care and its corporate affiliates, Dietrich, and Feliciani. Her estate has settled with Manor Care, according to the court docket. An attorney for the nursing home declined to comment.

The case has dragged out in the courts as the two sides have fought over the specific counts of alleged wrongdoing. A lower court judge initially dismissed the estate’s allegations against Dietrich and Feliciani for being legally insufficient, although the judge did not provide an explanation for the ruling. The estate appealed, and late last year, a panel of three judges on the state Superior Court reinstated most of the counts.

The appellate court judges stopped short of granting the estate’s request to bar the two lawyers from ever handling cases involving older adults. Such a request, they said, would have to go through the state board that oversees attorney discipline, with the state’s Supreme Court making the ultimate decision on punishment.

But in the decision, one of the judges stressed that if Raffa’s allegations are substantiated, “the matter should be referred to appropriate authorities to take action.” The case has now been remanded to the Montgomery Court of Common Pleas, where it could proceed to trial.

Dietrich remains in private practice. Feliciani is listed as an active lawyer on the website maintained by the state’s disciplinary board for attorneys, although his LinkedIn page shows he closed his private practice in 2019.

Before he closed his practice, according to news articles, Feliciani was a lawyer in at least one case overseen by former Philadelphia guardian Gloria Byars. Byars made headlines across the state after being charged by local and federal authorities in 2019 for stealing more than $1 million from the people she was assigned to care for.

Neither Dietrich nor Feliciani has any past or pending disciplinary proceedings, according to the state’s disciplinary website.

‘Like a nuclear bomb’

In 2013, the state Supreme Court created a task force to study issues impacting Pennsylvania’s older adults. Guardianship laws, elder abuse prevention, and access to justice were among its top priorities.

A year later, the task force released a sweeping, nearly 300-page report with 130 recommendations, including increasing data collection on guardianship cases, improving training for judges who decide whether someone requires a guardian, and expanding protections for the person who could be declared incapacitated.

Notably, the task force recommended that people facing incapacitation hearings, as well as their families, be provided a list clearly stating their rights. It also recommended that whenever possible, a relative or friend be appointed as guardian, as opposed to a professional with a financial stake, and that all guardians receive training.

It also recommended that people facing the possibility of losing the freedom to make life decisions be guaranteed a lawyer at their incapacitation hearings.

Nearly 10 years later, many recommendations have been implemented, including a relatively new tracking system to collect data about guardianships. Yet others, including the automatic right to legal representation, have either languished or been shelved.

While there has been an emphasis on training judges and court staff on recognizing potential conflicts and other pitfalls in guardianship cases, the outcome hasn’t been consistent, advocates say. Some judges, for instance, take great pains to consider less severe alternatives to guardianship, while others still assign guardianship as a default.

“The concept of guardianship, if used correctly, is a tool that can be a good one,” said Karen Buck, executive director of the SeniorLaw Center, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit law organization that aims to protect legal rights for older adults. “The challenges are that it’s been a default remedy that wasn’t always needed, and where individual rights haven’t always been protected or even been a priority.”

Added Buck, who was also a member of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s task force: “There is a lack of practice that guardianship should be the last resort, like the nuclear bomb. That has not been the case consistently.”

State court officials, who oversee the guardian tracking system, could not immediately provide data on how many of the guardianship petitions filed annually in Pennsylvania are granted by judges overseeing those hearings.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers led by state Sens. Lisa Baker (R., Luzerne) and Art Haywood (D., Philadelphia) has stepped in with a proposal to fix some of the problems Buck and others believe could help eliminate pitfalls in guardianship proceedings.

The overarching goal of their bill is to encourage judges, lawyers and others to exhaust all other alternatives before deciding on guardianship.

It would require anyone petitioning the courts for guardianship on behalf of another person to demonstrate that less restrictive alternatives were considered first. Judges also would have to explore other options before appointing a guardian.

The legislation, which has not yet received committee approval, would also require certification for professional guardians, and mandate that anyone facing guardianship be appointed a lawyer.

“What we are trying to do is very important for protecting older Pennsylvanians,” Baker said in a recent interview. “And it lines up very well with what [the high court] is doing with their guardianship tracking system. This gives another way to make sure that bad actors aren’t taking advantage of vulnerable adults.”

Elder care lawyers and advocates for older adults welcome the changes, but also note that there are other areas that pose particular challenges, including educating and training judges and court staff, and ensuring court monitoring of guardianships once they’ve been established. Shoring up court monitoring is especially difficult because those courts are often understaffed and underfunded.

Lawrence Frolik, an emeritus professor of law at the University of Pittsburgh, has authored books and articles on elder law and legal issues facing older Americans. A key problem is the one-size-fits-all guardianship system in Pennsylvania.

He said there are three groups of people who typically face guardianship proceedings. The first — people with intellectual and other disabilities — may need assistance with only a very narrow set of decisions, and guardianship proceedings should be tailored to allow them to maintain as much independence as possible.

The second, those with a mental illness that can be effectively treated by medication, may require guardianship only during certain time periods, for instance, such as when they lose access to medication or care. For them, having a guardian who can take over on a standby and short-term basis may be a better option.

But for older adults, incapacitation hearings often occur because of mental decline or dementia, and guardianship will likely remain in place for life. In those cases, guardianship has historically been viewed as a protective measure. But Frolik said the system would benefit from greater protections, in particular, rigorous follow-up supervision by the courts once a guardian has been appointed.

Though there is a heavy emphasis in Baker and Haywood’s legislation on mandatory legal representation at incapacitation hearings, there also needs to be a stronger system for identifying potential conflicts of interest among lawyers and others involved in the case, Frolik and other advocates said.

All such changes, however, require a recognition that guardianship should be a remedy granted sparingly.

Said Buck: “It is a quintessential time for change in this commonwealth in this area, in a system that was broken.”

Full Article & Source:
An older Pa. woman was placed under guardianship. Her family says the system betrayed her.

Ivey signs patient visitation rights into law

By Grayson Everett 

Those who had a loved one in the hospital in recent years know how heartbreaking it can be to not be guaranteed access by their side – especially in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

A law went into effect Tuesday that will allow more visitation freedom in Alabama healthcare facilities. Patients will be able to designate a specific visitor as an essential caregiver, which would allow them to visit for a minimum of two hours every day.

“The ability to visit a cherished loved one, whether in a hospital or nursing home, should be a fundamental right,” said Gov. Kay Ivey. “However, all over the country during the pandemic, many family members, caregivers and even clergy were denied access to visit and provide emotional support to patients in healthcare facilities.”

Essential caregiver status can extend to a family member, friend, guardian, pastor, or other person designated a specific day to visit. The law also prohibits a facility from requiring proof of vaccination or stopping physical contact between a visitor and a patient.

During an emotional legislative process between the House and Senate, Sen. Garland Gudger (R-Cullman) brought the bill and saw it through to completion.

“In 2021, we passed a bill to strengthen patient-visitor access, but over the last two years, I’ve continued to receive countless phone calls from Alabamians that weren’t able to be by their loved one’s side during their final days,” Gudger said from the Senate floor.

After Ivey signed the bill Tuesday, Gudger said it was a “great day for Alabama.

The law also offers liability protection for healthcare facilities and employees in carrying out these new procedures.

“I was pleased to sign this legislation to signal that in Alabama, we support our patients having this fundamental right,” Ivey said.

Full Article & Source:
Ivey signs patient visitation rights into law

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

High court will tackle if guardian may delegate, get paid for tasks

By: Kelly Caplan

The Michigan Supreme Court granted leave to appeal in a pair of cases involving what an insurer must pay for services provided by a court-appointed guardian.

In a published decision from October 2022, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that an insurer must pay for the legal and guardianship services provided by a court-appointed guardian for tasks delegated to staff members as long as the tasks do not alter the “rights, duties, liabilities or other legal relations” of the ward.

Judge James Robert Redford explained in In re Guardianship of Mary Ann Malloy (MiLW 07-106006, 11 pages) that a guardian is authorized and holds the legal right to alter the “rights, duties, liabilities, or other legal relations” of the ward when granted a power in accordance with the Estates and Protected Individuals Code by a court.

“Virtually every task delegated to staff members by plaintiff did not alter the ‘rights, duties, liabilities, or other legal relations’ of Malloy,” he noted. “Rather, these delegated tasks, such as telephone conferences … were merely ‘legal obligation[s] that [were] owed or due to Malloy and that [needed] to be satisfied.”

The justices directed the parties to address whether the appeals court correctly construed and applied the relevant provisions of the Estates and Protected Individuals Code in determining that there is a genuine issue of material fact whether the guardianship services provided by the appellee and the appellee firm were “lawfully rendered” so as to be payable under MCL 500.3107 of the no fault act.

The State Bar of Michigan’s Probate and Estate Planning Section was invited to file an amicus brief. Others interested in the determination of the issue presented may move the court for permission to file amicus briefs. The court said motions for permission regarding these cases should be filed in In re Guardianship of Mary Ann Malloy, Docket No. 165018, only.

Judges Brock A. Swartzle and Mark J. Cavanagh joined Redford’s published decision.

Two guardianships, one problem

The cases involved two different individuals subject to guardianship because of two different motor vehicle accidents.

Mary Anny Malloy suffered serious injuries on Aug. 10, 1979, including a traumatic brain injury from a motor vehicle accident. A legally incapacitated individual, Malloy’s mother served as her guardian for approximately 40 years until she suffered a fall.

Three new individuals were appointed as Malloy’s co-guardians and attorney Darren Findling was appointed by the court as her legal guardian.

Findling’s law firm provided legal and guardianship services for Malloy, and her estate incurred fees and costs totaling $8,040.45.

Malloy’s no-fault insurer, Auto-Owners Insurance Company, refused to pay for the services because Findling delegated various tasks to other members of the law firm.

The law firm and guardians filed suit in Oakland Probate Court, requesting payment of the costs, which they argued were allowable expenses and reasonably necessary for Malloy’s care, recovery, or rehabilitation pursuant to MCL 500.3107.

Similarly, Dana Jenkins suffered a traumatic brain injury as a pedestrian in a motor vehicle accident on Nov. 20, 2013. Findling again was appointed as legal guardian because Jenkins is a legally incapacitated individual.

The Jenkins estate incurred fees and costs totaling $28,853.59, which Auto-Owners again refused to pay, taking the position that the guardianship services were completed by someone other than Findling himself.

In a separate lawsuit, Findling and Jenkins filed suit in Oakland Probate Court, seeking payment of the costs.

The court sided with Findling and plaintiffs in both cases, agreeing that Findling delegated only duties and not his guardianship powers, and therefore was entitled to payment.

Auto-Owners appealed and the court consolidated the cases for review.

Intersection of EPIC, No-Fault

Redford addressed the powers and duties of a guardian under MCL 700.5314, and the distinction between the delegation of a duty and a power of a guardian under MCL 700.5103 and MCL 700.5106.

According to the insurer, because guardianship services were provided to Malloy and Jenkins by individuals other than Findling himself, it could refuse to pay and had no liability to pay no-fault benefits.

Redford disagreed, pointing out that the Estates and Protected Individuals Code, or EPIC, “plainly distinguishes” between a guardian’s powers and duties — and the two terms are not interchangeable.

Under the provisions of MCL 700.5314, a guardian’s powers granted by the court include in part the power to give consent or approval to enable the ward to receive medical care, mental health care, professional care, counseling, treatment or service; execute, reaffirm, revoke a ward’s do-not-resuscitate order with some requirements; execute, reaffirm, revoke a physician’s orders for scope of treatment for the ward; take action to compel persons responsible to support the ward, to pay money for the ward’s welfare, and apply money and property for the ward’s support, care and education.

A guardian’s duties generally cover responsibility for the ward’s care, custody and control and communicating and consulting with the ward if possible before making decisions.

The statute also governs a guardian’s delegation of powers, with MCL 700.5103 providing: “(1) By a properly executed power of attorney, … a guardian of a … legally incapacitated individual may delegate to another person, for a period not exceeding 180 days, any of the … guardian’s powers regarding care, custody, or property of the … ward … (4) If a guardian for a … legally incapacitated individual delegates any power under this section, the guardian shall notify the court within 7 days after execution of the power of attorney and provide the court the name, address, and telephone number of the attorney-in-fact.”

The insurer claimed that, since Findling failed to satisfy the statutory requirements by not executing and granting powers of attorney to his staff members to act as guardian or providing the probate court with names or contact information of his staff members, its services were not lawfully rendered.

But Redford said a guardian’s duties and power to act are divisible and the insurer’s “interpretation of EPIC overlooks the statutory language in which the legislature makes distinctions between ‘duties’ and powers.’”

When granted a power pursuant to EPIC by a court, “a guardian is authorized and holds the legal right to alter the ‘rights, duties, liabilities, or other legal relations’ of the ward,” the judge explained.

This conclusion was further supported by the language of MCL 700.5106(5) and (6), which demonstrate that the legislature anticipated that a guardian would employ or task other individuals with caring for a ward.

“The plain language of the statute demonstrates that the legislature contemplated that individuals other than the guardian would perform duties on behalf of a ward,” Redford said.

In the case of Malloy, Findling “largely delegated the performance of duties to other individuals to assist in his care of his wards,” the judge pointed out. “He did not delegate powers.”

Specifically, billing records indicated that the services performed by staff members included attending meetings with Malloy’s doctors, attending guardianship visits, attending team meetings with Malloy’s family, telephone conferences with the co-guardians and meeting at a Social Security Administration office.

“Virtually every task delegated to staff members by [Findling] did not alter the ‘rights, duties, liabilities, or other legal relations’ of Malloy,” Redford said. “Rather, these delegated tasks, such as telephone conferences with [the co-guardians], were merely ‘legal obligation[s] that [were] owed or due to [Malloy] and that [needed] to be satisfied.’”

However, the court found a genuine issue of material fact regarding other delegated tasks: preparing for a hearing to modify Malloy’s guardianship and attending the hearing regarding the petition to modify her guardianship.

Findling “appears to have assigned these two tasks to employees at his law firm but it is unclear whether and to what extent [he] engaged the services of the law firm or individuals and if he did so on behalf of the ward,” the judge said. “Because these hearings involved adding and removing Malloy’s coguardians, these tasks altered Malloy’s rights and legal relations — an act fitting the definition of a power.”

Therefore, the probate court erred in granting summary disposition with regard to these two tasks, as a genuine issue of material fact remained as to whether these services were “lawfully rendered” and compensable within the meaning of the no-fault act.

Full Article & Source:
High court will tackle if guardian may delegate, get paid for tasks

Carr Shares Tips, Resources to Protect Older Georgians During Older Americans Month

ATLANTA, GA – Attorney General Chris Carr is recognizing this May as Older Americans Month by sharing key tips and resources to help all Georgians recognize, prevent, and report the financial abuse and exploitation of older adults.

“During Older Americans Month, we are proud to honor and celebrate the contributions and achievements of older Georgians across our state,” said Carr. “With con artists constantly inventing new ways to perpetrate their crimes, it is important that we all work together to protect the most vulnerable in our society. Learning more about scams and financial exploitation is the first step, and our Consumer Protection Division offers a number of resources to help, including our comprehensive Older Adults Guide.”

Consumer Protection Guide for Older Adults

In 2018, the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division created the Georgia Consumer Protection Guide for Older Adults to empower our older adults, their families and caregivers with information to make wise decisions about their money, safety and well-being. The guide covers an array of topics of importance to seniors, including scams, identity theft, credit and debt, reverse mortgages, charitable giving, home repairs, funerals, advance directives, long-term care, elder abuse and more.

The guide is available in English, Spanish, or Korean and free to download from the Consumer Protection Division website.

Visit with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division

Throughout Older Americans Month, representatives from the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division have visited with a number of organizations to help educate older adults and caregivers about elder abuse and how to avoid scams. A few of those events include:

  • The Georgia Retired Educators Association 63rd Annual Convention in Augusta, Georgia, as hosted on May 3, 2023
  • The Free Senior Resource Fair at the Paulding County Senior Center in Dallas, Georgia, as hosted on May 3, 2023
  • A webinar for the Metro Atlanta Kiwanis Club as hosted on May 8, 2023
  • A webinar for Fulton County Senior Services set to take place on May 12, 2023

Want the Consumer Protection Division to speak to your group? Submit a speaker request form here.

Financial Abuse or Exploitation

Financial abuse or exploitation is defined as the misuse of financial resources for another’s gain. Signs may include:

  • Missing money or valuables
  • Credit card charges the individual did not make
  • Unusual activity in bank accounts
  • Unpaid bills, rent or taxes
  • Eviction notices
  • Legal documents (such as will or power of attorney) signed by an elderly person who could not have understood what he or she was signing
  • Signatures on checks or documents that appear to be forged

To report the financial abuse or exploitation of an older adult, contact Adult Protective Services by calling 1-866-55AGING (1-866-552-4464), and press “3.” Georgians can also file an online report with the Department of Human Services Division of Aging Services at

Common Scams Targeting Older Adults

Each year, millions of elderly Americans fall victim to some type of financial fraud or confidence scheme, including romance, lottery and sweepstakes scams, to name a few. While these scams can and do happen to people of all ages, the perpetrators often target older adults because they are frequently home during the day, have money saved, and may be too polite to hang up the phone or turn away a solicitor.

Last year, the Attorney General’s Public Integrity and White Collar Crime Unit secured the conviction of a Gwinnett County man for his involvement in a cyber fraud scheme targeting older adults. Specifically, Borin Khoun pleaded guilty to multiple counts of Theft by Taking after stealing more than $230,000 from two senior citizens in California and Arizona.

Some common scams targeting older adults include:

Romance Scam: In a typical romance scam, fraudsters create a fake online profile using someone else’s photos. They profess their love early on, even though they have never met you. They encourage you to communicate with them via email, phone or IM, rather than through the online dating site, so that the dating service won’t have a record of the conversation. They often claim to be traveling, in the military, or living or working abroad to explain why they are unable to meet in person. Once the scammers have your romantic interest and your trust, they make up stories about how they urgently need money and ask you to send it to them immediately via wire transfer or gift cards. If you send the money, you will likely never see it – or hear from the romantic partner – again. In some cases, though, a scammer may try to string a victim along to see if they can get the person to keep sending more money.

Grandparent and Virtual Kidnapping Scams: In these scams, fraudsters use scare tactics to try to get you to pay a large sum of money – typically via wire transfer or gift cards – to rescue a loved one who is in a dire situation. They may pose as your grandchild, a friend of his or hers, or a police officer. They may tell you that your grandchild is badly hurt or in jail and that you must send money immediately to help him or her. In a similar scam, con artists claim to have kidnapped your loved one and insist that he or she will be harmed unless you pay a ransom immediately.

Law Enforcement Imposter Scam: Con artists are using phone spoofing technology to make it appear as though you are receiving a call from a legitimate law enforcement agency. In one reported scenario, the imposters claim that the potential victim was summoned to a federal grand jury and missed the court date. Because of this, the individual is told that they must report to a local law enforcement office for bond and to “process the paperwork.” To resolve the issue, the perpetrators instruct the potential victim to go to a retail store and buy “bond vouchers” in the form of gift cards.

If you think you may have fallen victim to some type of elder fraud, contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division by calling 404-651-8600 or file a complaint here.

For additional tips on how to recognize and avoid common elder fraud schemes, visit the FBI’s website here.

To report suspected elder fraud to the FBI:

Carr Shares Tips, Resources to Protect Older Georgians During Older Americans Month

Etowah County woman pleads guilty to financial exploitation of elderly person

by Jeff Wyatt

An Etowah County woman pleaded guilty today to four counts of financial exploitation of an elderly person.

57-year-old Lisa Talton Wells Daugherty of Attalla, was sentenced to serve 20 years, split to serve 5 years in the department of corrections. She will also turn over approximately $5,500,000 that is the subject of pending federal litigation.

“Daugherty will feel the full force of justice after using her position as a caregiver to exploit a vulnerable elderly woman from her life savings,” said Attorney General Marshall. “This is an egregious example of financial fraud that continues to happen in our state, and I urge Alabamians to contact my office if they suspect someone is being used for Medicaid fraud or abuse.”

According to a release from the Attorney General's office, Daugherty worked as a care technician at Oak Landing Assisted Living in Etowah County. While working there, she became power of attorney for an elderly person who lived there. Daugherty transferred more than $8,500,000 from the victim's account to her own. She then used the victim’s money to buy herself a home in Etowah County and a beach house, each valued over $1,000,000; multiple vehicles valued over $120,000; and $86,000 in dental implants, among other things.

Daugherty has been in the Etowah County Jail since her arrest in July 2021.

Full Article & Source:
Etowah County woman pleads guilty to financial exploitation of elderly person

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

A Texas woman is accused of stealing from her disabled nephew. She was appointed his guardian anyway.

Adrianne Whitney, right, has been fighting to become the legal guardian of her brother, Nicholas Whitney. 

Courtesy of Adrianne Whitney

by Matt deGrood

Galveston prosecutors charged Rebecca Doxey with stealing from her developmentally disabled nephew. Then officials in Brazoria County kept her as his sole legal guardian.

It is a case that has upset at least one family member, but guardianship advocates said it is the latest example of how backlogged courts and a patchwork county-by-county system are leaving some of the state's most vulnerable residents at risk for victimization.

Now it is up to a judge to decide whether Doxey, 69, can remain in charge of Nicholas Whitney, whose family urged her to look after as relatives died or were not able to meet his needs. The judge must weigh all this as Whitney's sister is now fighting to gain legal control over her brother and has become a driving force behind legal challenges to her aunt's guardianship. 

The case is the latest test of a state guardianship program sometimes drenched in fraught family feuds, a program that must try to protect tens of thousands of disabled residents across Texas. Advocates say these problems are particularly acute in Texas' smaller counties, where these nuanced cases come barreling at staffs that are often inexperienced, judges whose dockets are jammed with cases and at times poor communications between jurisdictions.

Courts in smaller counties often "don’t have intensive guardianship sections, so they don’t have specialized staff to work on the cases,” said Terry Hammond, the executive director of the Texas Guardianship Association, a nonprofit organization. "You could visit Texas in 1870 or 2023 and see largely the same guardian program we had in place.”

Accusations of fraud

Nicholas Whitney’s father died in 2006, leaving his mother as his sole surviving parent, said his sister, Adrianne Whitney. His mother was in poor health, so the family gathered together to discuss who might care for him. Adrianne Whitney was fresh out of college at the time, living in New York, and his aunt, Rebecca Doxey, was the family member who agreed to do it.

Nicholas Whitney is at the center of a legal fight between and his sister, Adrianne, right, and his legal guardian.

Nicholas Whitney is at the center of a legal fight between and his sister, Adrianne, right, and his legal guardian. 

Courtesy Adrianne Whitney

To become a guardian, a person must be appointed by a judge to manage all legal and financial aspects for someone the court has deemed declared incapacitated, usually because of a disability. Around 55,000 Texans fall under the state’s guardianship program, Hammond said.

The decision to place someone under a guardian can be hugely consequential, according to a 2022 report from Disability Rights Texas, an advocacy group for Texans with disabilities.

“Even in the most well-intentioned cases, a person can still lose complete independence for the rest of their life,” the report said. “This loss of self and civil rights is why it is important that mechanisms for ending guardianships are accessible and effective, and guarantee due process.”

Between 2016 and 2017, Whitney’s grandparents, Carol and Vernon Whitney, died and left a trust with just under $100,000 to care for him, Adrianne Whitney said.

The money became the root of the trouble, Adrienne Whitney said.

Adrianne Whitney said she filed a complaint in Galveston County, saying Doxey wrote herself a $40,000 check in 2019 from the trust as a loan. Doxey apparently told the family she filed a lien against her own home as collateral. But there is no proof the lien ever existed and was never filed in the county, meaning the loan had no backing, according to Adrianne Whitney and the Galveston County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies first began investigating Doxey in May 2022 when someone reported an allegation of fraud, according to Maj. Ray Nolen of the sheriff’s office. A family member told investigators Doxey submitted fraudulent paperwork for a property lien in Galveston County, using money from her ward’s trust, Nolen said.

An attorney for Disability Rights Texas, Taft Robinson, is listed as Nicholas Whitney’s attorney, according to Brazoria County court records. Officials with the organization declined to comment about the case.

Matthew Edquist, an attorney previously appointed to represent Nicholas Whitney, said he'd come to believe Doxey was the best person to care for him, despite the allegations she's facing in Galveston County.

None of the allegations relate to the care of Nicholas Whitney or say he is being harmed under Doxey's oversight.

Doxey, for her part, has repaid the money, with interest, said Tad Nelson, Doxey’s criminal defense attorney. 

System needs communication improvements, lawyer says

The repayment does not resolve the guardianship issue, however.

The case is further complicated by the fact that the guardianship issue is playing out in Brazoria County and the criminal case involving the alleged loan rests in Galveston County. 

Doxey's case was moved to different courts in Brazoria County. The previous court’s coordinator, Donna Norsworthy, did not respond to a request for comment about why the case had been moved.

The change in venue came days after Norsworthy said Judge Thomas Pfeiffer learned about Doxey’s indictment, and that he planned to address the matter soon. 

“If anyone had known an indictment was going on, that would have been taken into consideration,” she said.

Whitney’s appointed attorneys and emails Adrianne Whitney shared with the Chronicle show the courts had the information about the charges, but it is not known if it was seen by anyone in authority.

“The Galveston allegations and the police report were made a part of the record in Brazoria County last fall,” said Edquist. “And the Galveston PD records were provided to all.”

Adrianne Whitney sent emails to the court’s investigator April 2022, raising questions about Doxey’s conduct in Galveston County on March 30, including a copy of the grand jury indictment against her. She included a Dec. 6 letter her attorney Chase Chapman sent, informing them of Doxey’s arrest.

“Rebecca obviously cannot fulfill her duties as guardian while in jail,” Chapman wrote in the Dec. 6 email. “Do you all agree to Adrianne being named temporary guardian while Rebecca is in jail? This is an emergency situation so your immediate response would be appreciated.”

The court’s investigator never responded to any of Whitney’s emails, she said.

A judge is expected to rule on the matter soon.

Full Article & Source:
A Texas woman is accused of stealing from her disabled nephew. She was appointed his guardian anyway.

Anger abounds, questions unanswered after Lincolnshire, IL nursing home left unstaffed

By Christian Piekos

LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill. (WLS) -- Anger abounds and questions remain unanswered after people reported no medical staff were on duty Monday at a Lincolnshire nursing home.

A family member of a relative inside the former Warren Barr nursing home said it was like walking into a disaster zone on Monday when he said there were no medical staff on-site to care for patients.

As the state health department investigates any possible wrong-doing, families said they just want transparency from the new owners about what's going to happen to their loved ones.

"It's indescribable and inconceivable that there was nobody here," said David Blair, whose mother moved from the nursing home. "I raced in here, and walked into what was an apocalyptic scene of people. I mean, it was eerie. There was nobody inside the building."

"Where does that leave my dad? Should he stay, should he go?" said Sean Hobbs, whose father is still in the nursing home.

After the Wealshire Center of Excellence took control of the nursing home on Monday, family members of those inside said their loved ones went without medical care for hours.

Now, frustrated relatives like Hobbs, want to know if his 78-year-old father with dementia is going to get the around-the-clock care he needs.

"I hope these questions get answered sometime soon," he said.

Illinois Health Department officials released a statement, which reads in part, "We are in ongoing discussions with the new owner, who is in control of the facility, to ensure they have a plan in place for the safe operation of the home."

Wealshire President Arnie Goldberg did not respond to a request for comment.

In a letter to residents, Goldberg said he plans to turn the facility into a kidney and cardiac rehabilitation center, adding further confusion for families.

"We need transparency about what is going to happen next," Hobbs said.

David Blair moved his 93-year-old mother from the nursing home to a different facility after the chaos, and is demanding clarity from the new owners.

"You have a responsibility, licensed by the state, to provide care, and you didn't do it," Blair said. "I feel a lot better that at least I know she is being cared for and nothing like that would ever happen in another facility. It's unconscionable."

The Lincolnshire Police Department said it's working with the Lake County State's Attorney to determine if charges will be filed.

Full Article & Source:
Anger abounds, questions unanswered after Lincolnshire, IL nursing home left unstaffed

‘It’s not right’: Founder of nursing home for kids doesn’t want kids there permanently

by Carol Marbin Miller

As a healthcare executive and children’s advocate, Marjorie Evans has done almost everything that’s been asked of her in Broward County: She founded a nursing home, Children’s Comprehensive Care Center, for children with medical complexities, and helped develop regulations for similar facilities. She’s consulted for local hospital districts and industry groups. She’s testified regularly before the state Legislature.

Just don’t ask her to defend those state lawmakers and healthcare administrators who insist that it’s good policy for kids to live all their lives in facilities like hers.

“I don’t think children should be in any skilled nursing facility long term,” Evans said in a recent interview. “What they are doing with these kids is totally inappropriate.”

With a master’s degree in counseling, Evans began her career as a volunteer with an agency that worked with children who had profound disabilities. The group’s philosophy, she has said, was to avoid institutionalizing children.

In 1971, Evans founded the Broward Children’s Center, a respected Pompano Beach service provider — the center offers home healthcare, a day care center for severely disabled kids and group homes — that also includes Children’s Comprehensive Care, a nursing home with a license for 36 beds.

Evans said in an interview with the Herald that administrators offer a range of services at the home to protect not only the children’s physical health, but also their intellectual development, such as therapies and educational and social activities. Still, Evans is no fan of housing disabled and medically complex children in long-term care facilities.

Like many things in Florida, Evans said the state’s reliance on long-term care facilities for frail children results from policy decisions that favor Medicaid — the state’s insurer of last resort for impoverished and disabled Floridians that is heavily subsidized by the U.S. government — over state general revenue dollars, which are more restricted.

“Frankly this is all about the money,” Evans said.

“Children should not be living in long term-care facilities,” Evans said. “That is an institution.”

“Every effort must be made to nurture development,” Evans said.

Children with profound disabilities should be afforded the same opportunities to reach their potential, Evans said. “Because children can’t move, can’t talk and cant communicate in any way they get written off,” she said.

“It’s not right to just write them off.”

Full Article & Source:
‘It’s not right’: Founder of nursing home for kids doesn’t want kids there permanently

Monday, May 8, 2023

Professional guardian Traci Hudson's trial on 2019 charges delayed again

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Delays are continuing in the trial of a former professional guardian who is accused of exploiting elderly people under her care.

Traci Hudson was back in a Pinellas County courtroom Tuesday, which was originally supposed to be the start date for what was supposed to be the start of her criminal trial.

Hudson was originally arrested in November 2019 on charges of exploitation of an elderly adult. But her trial was delayed because Hudson ended up in the hospital after what police described as a possible suicide attempt.

Investigators alleged Hudson took more than a half-million dollars from an elderly man under her care…using the money to buy a nearly 5,000-square-foot home, jewelry, and Bucs tickets.

In the 1,265 days since her arrest, she’s had 29 court hearings, including a court date she missed last month when Hudson was supposed to turn herself in on additional felony charges.

The day of that hearing, Hudson was found unresponsive in a hotel room and spent the next two weeks in the hospital. According to a police report, her daughter told officers Hudson was upset over the prospect of spending 15 years in prison.

Hudson has been charged with a total of 20 felony counts, including exploitation, grand theft, and perjury.

The Pinellas County Inspector General released a scathing 77-page report outlining problems with dozens of Hudson’s guardianship cases late last year. Hudson’s charges could land her a 135-year prison sentence. Her attorney is hoping to resolve the case before trial.

“We are still engaging in some negotiations. We are hoping the court’s ok with it,” said attorney Richard McKyton. “It will push us off about two months. That will be our last attempt to try to resolve this matter."

Last week, following her release from the hospital, Hudson turned herself in on two new charges involving the alleged exploitation of two other elderly people under her care. At the time she was booked, new conditions were placed on her bond.

“She’s also under house arrest and she’s got a GPS monitor,” said Assistant State’s Attorney Renee Bauer.

Until her case goes to trial, Hudson will only be allowed to leave her home to meet with her attorney, attend court dates or seek medical care. Her next pretrial hearing is scheduled for July 11th.

Full Article & Source:
Professional guardian Traci Hudson's trial on 2019 charges delayed again

See Also:
Embattled former professional guardian Traci Hudson found ’unresponsive’ at hotel

Former professional guardian abandoned wards' mail, committed crimes: Inspector General report

Former guardian allegedly stole guns, forged appraisal

Former guardian charged with pillaging elderly man's estate refuses to sign final accounting

Price of Protection: Woman loses Seffner home after father's guardian sues her for libel

Guardianship ends in isolation from family, alleged neglect and death from COVID-19

77-page guardianship investigation exposes lack of oversight in Florida's system

New charges, new investigation involving embattled former professional guardians

Hotel owner placed in guardianship by St. Pete Beach realtor dies from COVID-19

Realtor seeks court-ordered guardianship to take away rights of elderly beach hotel owner

AARP Florida makes guardianship reform a top priority

Broken window results in more than $45K fine under former professional guardian's care

Sunday, May 7, 2023

Police: Divorced couple used daughter's conservatorship account for own benefit

Ryan K. Walker

Police said a divorced couple depleted for their own benefit a more than $54,000 conservatorship account created after an injury settlement involving their daughter about six years ago.

Toni L. Walker

Toni L. Walker, 31, of 2421 Windsor Ave., was arrested at 6:41 a.m. Saturday at her residence, and Ryan K. Walker, 44, of Iowa City, was arrested at 5:45 a.m. Sunday at Dubuque Law Enforcement Center, both on warrants charging first-degree theft. First-degree theft is a class C felony in Iowa punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Full Article & Source:
Police: Divorced couple used daughter's conservatorship account for own benefit