Saturday, July 22, 2023

KIYC: Woman held in guardianship against her will says it cost her more than $250,000

By: Walt Kane

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A woman who was placed in a guardianship against her will finally had her rights restored after a series of Kane In Your Corner investigations, but court documents show the ordeal has cost her over a quarter of a million dollars.
For two years, Elberta Cohen was not allowed to decide how to spend her own money or make her own health care decisions. As Kane In Your Corner reported in a series of investigations, that power was placed in the hands of a stranger, a guardian appointed by the court, after a judge found Cohen lacked the capacity to make decisions on her own. Cohen insisted she was never incapacitated. A judge restored her rights in March.

But that freedom came at a price. Kane In Your Corner obtained the final accounting filed with the courts by the guardian, attorney John Ross. In two years, he accrued guardianship expenses of over $258,000. 

“He just did whatever he wanted,” Cohen says.

Some of the numbers are staggering. There was $37,476.34 for a money manager to pay Cohen’s bills. A geriatric care manager received $63,495.37 to coordinate Cohen’s health care. The health care itself cost under $8,500. There were also a whopping $99,001.42 in legal bills, and the guardian himself is billing for $33,136.50 in commissions. All of the spending was totally legal, done in the name of protecting a senior who could not be trusted to spend her own money wisely.

“There was no protection,” Cohen says. “They did the opposite.”
Attorney Lauren Marinaro, who represented Cohen in the fight to restore her rights, says if the guardianship hadn’t been terminated and spending had continued at the same pace, Cohen would have been out of liquid assets in about two more years. She’s asking the judge to reduce Ross’ guardianship commission, even though she admits he’s probably legally entitled to it. “I feel like I have no choice but to ask the court to just give this lady a break,” Marinaro says. 
Ross, the former guardian, declined requests for an interview and Kane In Your Corner was unable to catch up to him at his law office. In an email, Ross says “I had no involvement whatsoever in having Elberta Cohen declared to be an incapacitated person, and I made no effort to oppose the restoration of her capacity.” He adds that he provided an accounting of first-year spending “to Mrs. Cohen and all interested parties approximately a year ago and I did not receive a single objection.” 
Some advocates for guardianship reform say what happened to Cohen is sadly not unusual. “Basically, you're being held captive, while people are just charging your estate,” says Marcia Southwick, director of the National Association to Stop Guardian Abuse. “It's as if you become a cash cow.” 
The New Jersey Judiciary is now looking into possible reforms to the state’s guardianship system. A working group has come up with a list of 13 recommendations, including adopting a bill of rights for people placed under guardianship, and clarifying procedures for people like Cohen, who want to get their rights restored.

Cohen says reform can’t come soon enough. “I just don't want, God forbid, anybody else to go through what I've been through, and what I'm still going through,” she says. 

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KIYC: Woman held in guardianship against her will says it cost her more than $250,000

Teaming up to meet the growing needs local older and disabled residents without guardians


BG Independent News

The number of older or disabled people unable to make important decisions for themselves is outpacing the number of people volunteering to help them. So Wood County officials are looking at teaming up with another county experiencing the same problem.

Each year, Judge Dave Woessner encounters people in Wood County Probate Court who are facing huge issues in their lives – without family to help them make life-altering decisions.

As of last month, there were 433 ongoing cases – but just 17 volunteers. Woessner recently explained to the county commissioners that 46 guardianship cases were filed so far this year, compared to 52 filed in all of 2022.

“This is being generated by the aging generation and family dynamics,” the judge said. Unlike the past, when children often lived close to their parents, now many children live far away. Ohio law requires that guardians must live locally.

The Volunteer Guardian program pairs up volunteers with adults declared incompetent by the court. Many of the adults are referred to the court by local nursing homes, Adult Protective Services, local mental health services or Wood Lane. Some of the older adults are no longer able to look out for their best interests and don’t have family members to help. Some of the younger adults have developmental disabilities and lack family to take that role.

“They have nobody to care for them,” Woessner said. “Bottom line – this isn’t going to be going away.”

So every once in a while, the judge makes a pitch for people willing to serve as volunteer guardians with Wood County Probate Court. The work can be time intensive – but also rewarding. Oftentimes, long-term relationships are created, he said.

On good days, the volunteers might go to the movies or out to dinner with their match. On bad days, the guardians might have to give permission for medical procedures or be with the person at the end of their life. 

Wood County’s guardianship program is currently a “piecemeal system,” Woessner said. While attorneys often provide similar guardianship services, the volunteers can often respond faster to needs, Woessner said.

Plus “everytime a lawyer does this, it’s being billed,” he added.

The volunteers do not handle any monetary issues.

“We purposefully keep them out of volatile situations,” he said.

Hancock County officials have approached Woessner about forming a joint guardianship program, with Hancock County Probate Court having office space and employing a person to be in charge. Wood County would hire a case manager and help with the expenses of the joint program.

“It’s a good program. It can help us,” Woessner told the county commissioners. “As our population ages, it’s going to be something needed more.”

Also in attendance at the meeting with the county commissioners were leaders of Wood County Developmental Disabilities, Wood County Alcohol Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services, and Wood County Adult Protective Services.

Dave Wigent, director of Wood County Job and Family Services, agreed the need is increasing.

“The baby boomers are coming into this category,” he said.

Wood County Commissioner Doris Herringshaw said the commissioners support the program, and will await figures of how much funding is being sought.

“Hopefully we can add this. But we’ve got to see the numbers,” she said.

To qualify, a volunteer must be 21 years or older, fill out an application and go through a background check. They must complete six hours of training, then three hours of continuing education each year. The volunteers must make at least once a month face-to-face contact with the person they are matched with.

Anyone interested in becoming a Volunteer Guardian may call Wood County Probate Court at 419-354-9230, and speak with Jennifer Robeson, office manager for probate court.

Full Article & Source:
Teaming up to meet the growing needs local older and disabled residents without guardians

Friday, July 21, 2023

Rethinking Guardianship: I AM MY RIGHTS

Rethinking Guardianship: I AM MY RIGHTS

John Amos' Son K.C. Arrested for Allegedly Threatening to Kill Sister Shannon After Elder Abuse Claims

The 'Good Times' actor accused daughter Shannon of "elderly abuse" last month

By Stephanie Wenger

John Amos’ son Kelly C. "K.C." Amos is facing legal trouble after allegedly making threats against his sister Shannon.

According to the complaint obtained by PEOPLE, K.C., 52, was arrested on Saturday in West Orange, New Jersey after allegedly threatening to “kill Shannon Amos with the purpose to put her in imminent fear of death.”

The filing states that Shannon believed “the immediacy of the threat and the likelihood that it would be carried out” after K.C. allegedly sent her text messages with photos of firearms and gang affiliations. The alleged threat made Shannon “fear for her life.”

Shannon claimed that K.C. sent her “terroristic threats” which included a video of him shooting a handgun and showed authorities text messages which read, "gonna sleep much better tonight big sis" attached to the photo of the handgun. Another photo of a rifle was captioned, "that big one can clean a turkey out from 3 football fields away,” according to the filing.  

In the complaint, she alleged that K.C. has bipolar disorder and she “fears that he may carry out threats from messages sent through text and is in fear for her life.”

Shannon also claimed to police that K.C. believed that she had hired a person to kill him and he was retaliating because he thought his life was in danger, per the filing.

PEOPLE has reached out to reps for John and Shannon. At this time, it is unclear if K.C. has retained legal representation.

The arrest comes a month after John, 83, claimed he was the victim of "elderly abuse" at the hands of his daughter, Shannon. In a video shared on social media by K.C., the Good Times and Roots star made his allegations against Shannon, claiming that he felt she had "taken advantage" of him, even going so far as to set up a GoFundMe page for his "legal, medical, future housing, and care expenses." (The page has since been taken down.)

She would be the primary suspect — if you would,” John said, in a video filmed from his hospital bed as he made a phone call. “I don’t know if that’s the right term to use or not. But she’s the one that I would attribute my elderly abuse to. It’s definitely a case of elderly abuse."

In the clip, John was asked by a caller on the phone — presumably from law enforcement or from a legal team — about what problems he'd been experiencing. 

He responded by saying he was hospitalized due to "water retention and a couple of other issues — all of which have been corrected, or at least addressed." He also insisted that he was "very capable" and "very confident" in his medical team — but his main concern was his daughter, who he claimed had "taken advantage of me."

K.C.'s video cut off before John could go into further detail. "There are many different aspects to this situation. It’s interesting how many people have made a conclusion while we are still discovering new elements every single day. 🤷🏾‍♂️,” K.C. captioned the clip, which was posted to both TikTok and Instagram

John's claim came after news broke that Shannon filed a complaint alleging that her father was "the victim of elder abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation."

In response to the claims against her, a representative for Shannon told PEOPLE, "Ms. Amos is disheartened at the continuation of false and defamatory statements being made against her by, or on behalf of, or in connection with news reports based on social media posts by Mr. Kelly K.C. Amos. ... She is exploring all legal remedies available to her. Ms. Amos hopes this matter will be resolved soon through the proper authorities."

In a statement to PEOPLE at the time, John addressed the video K.C. shared and told his fans that he was "not in the distressed condition as described in the GoFundMe page," and was "doing well."

Shannon initially shared her concerns about her father in a lengthy Instagram caption on June 8. She alleged she received "a distressing call" from him, informing her that he was in the hospital "in immense pain" and "hanging by a thread" in the ICU.

She went on to claim that "his home had been violated, striped of anything valuable," and that she was "collaborating with the Colorado Bureau of Investigations and local authorities, determined to bring the perpetrators to justice." 

John has since disputed his daughter's claims, telling PEOPLE in a statement that "I am not in ICU, nor was I ever fighting for my life."

"To all of my fans, I want you to know that I am doing well." he said. "First, I want the GoFundMe campaign about me to stop immediately and the funds subsequently returned to those who made donations. My son and I will reveal more information at the appropriate time."

Full Article & Source:
John Amos' Son K.C. Arrested for Allegedly Threatening to Kill Sister Shannon After Elder Abuse Claims

See Also:
John Amos’ daughter speaks out against her brother amid elder abuse investigation

John Amos' Son Removed as Medical Power of Attorney

CBI investigating allegations of possible elder abuse against actor John Amos

John Amos, 83, 'is doing well' following elder abuse allegations

John Amos Accuses Daughter of 'Elder Abuse' After Denying Her GoFundMe Health Claims: 'She Would be the Primary Suspect'

As elder abuse rises in Alabama adult foster care needed to bring comfort and security to the vulnerable

By Williesha Morris 

When vulnerable Alabamians need care and comfort but don’t need the advanced services provided by a nursing home, adult foster care providers open up their homes.

The Adult Protective Services division of the Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR) monitors cases of abuse and exploitation and recruits foster care providers for around the clock attention.

“An adult foster home is a home that’s based in the community, and (care providers) open their home to someone who is an elderly or disabled adult at risk for abuse or neglect,” said Billie Robinson, program supervisor. “So, it’s a community setting.”

In 2022, DHR received 12,033 reports of abuse, exploitation, or neglect, an increase of 115% in the last decade. Nationwide, according to the National Council on Aging, one in 10 Americans aged 60 and older has experienced some form of elder abuse. DHR communications director Dominic Binkley said this increase can be attributed to a growing aging population and DHR increasing awareness about this problem.

Valinda Young of Millbrook has been an adult foster care provider for three years. She loves giving people the security and freedom they otherwise wouldn’t receive.

“In return, they give me a lot of joy because it gives me companionship. We do pretty much everything together,” Young said. She normally lives alone, “so, it’s just been a blessing all the way around.”

Foster care provider applicants must go through a detailed approval process. Homes must have sufficient and comfortable space for the occupant, lock guns and medications, and provide balanced meals, among other requirements.

Besides the stringent approval process, Young said you don’t need special skills to become a foster care provider. The only thing required is an openness to love and be loved in return. She said there are challenges to caring for other adults, many of whom have special medical needs and are unaccustomed to unrestricted movement in a home. However, the experience is like adding new members to the family.

She shared that the first person she welcomed into her home had no intention of staying. This adult was planning on finding her own accommodations. But after living with Young, she didn’t want to leave. Young loves taking them shopping and on vacations, but love and attention are what’s most important.

“They’re happy with anything you want to do,” Young said. “It is so neat. It’s like you don’t have to do a whole lot of stuff. It’s just the little things they’re just totally excited about.”

DHR hopes to recruit at least one adult foster care provider in each county. For more information, go to DHR’s adult foster care website.

Full Article & Source:
As elder abuse rises in Alabama adult foster care needed to bring comfort and security to the vulnerable

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Silicon Valley family exposes need to reform conservatorship law

by Moryt Milo

According to data on Santa Clara County homelessness, a staggering 42% of individuals on the street reported suffering from psychiatric or emotional conditions in 2019. Photo by Moryt Milo.

When Andy was 20 years old he had his head bashed into the cement during an unprovoked attack. Severely beaten, his mother thought he was gone, but Andy survived. A month later, he started hearing unexplained voices.

Andy’s symptoms worsened during the next few months, and his mother, Kathryn, took him to San Jose Medical Center which admitted him into psychiatric care. Over the next year as he lost touch with reality, he was diagnosed with schizophrenia, a severe mental illness that not only affects a person’s ability to think clearly, but also causes psychosis. Yet throughout his treatment plan, no doctor ever considered his traumatic brain injury as the cause for his sudden change in behavior.

“The excuse they used was it would disrupt the insurance billing if they changed the diagnosis,” Kathryn told San José Spotlight. The family has asked that only their first names be used to protect their privacy.

For the next 28 years, Kathryn became entangled in California’s broken mental health care system, stripping her of any power to advocate on her son’s behalf, while the laws enabled Andy to have complete authority over his care. The result left Andy psychotic and unable to care for himself.

Kathryn became the unwanted beneficiary of the state’s 50-year revamp to its mental health system, which put patient rights ahead of medical care. With limited options, she fought unsuccessfully to get Andy hospitalized while petitioning for a Lanterman Petris Short (LPS) Conservatorship, she said.

State Sen. Susan Eggman is looking to amend the LPS language under Senate Bill 43 to improve the odds for families like Kathryn’s, while incorporating guardrails to help defuse the opposition. The behavioral health bill passed through the Assembly Judiciary Committee on July 11 with bipartisan support. Advocates are hopeful it will make its way to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk.

The modernization of LPS

LPS, enacted in 1967, is for adults deemed to have serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. The petition for this involuntary commitment can only be requested by the psychiatrist treating the individual. It’s then submitted to Santa Clara County Superior Court Probate Division and, if approved, the individual becomes a ward of the county’s public guardian for an undetermined period of time.

The bar for approval is high due to the subjective definition of “gravely disabled”—a mental health disorder where the individual is unable to provide for their basic personal needs such as food, clothing or shelter.

Under SB 43, the newly proposed language would add the inability to manage medical care and personal safety, and include individuals with substance use to the current definition of gravely disabled criteria.

The guardrails would require other alternative treatments including Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) and CARE Court to be considered before a conservatorship is recommended.

“All along the principle has been: what is the less intrusive level of care an individual needs to be safe and supportive,” Randall Hagar, a mental health advocate who’s worked with Eggman for more than 10 years on legislation, told San José Spotlight. “The question is where does the person belong, it’s a clinical determination. Could they survive safely in the community with AOT or CARE Court.”

The revolving door

As Andy’s mental health deteriorated at San Jose Medical Center, doctors advised Kathryn to move her son into the county system at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (VMC) to capitalize on wraparound services that included long-term treatment and housing. But moving from private pay to MediCal didn’t pan out as hoped.

“From that point he was constantly struggling. He never was stable. He was moved around from hospital to hospital,” Kathryn said.  “He would stay with me in between hospitalization, but then be moved into a board and care facility where no one managed his care.”

Andy’s life became a revolving door of hospitalization failures. He’d be hospitalized for three months to help him stabilize, discharged and then shuffled off to another board and care facility that provided limited support. The cycle was never-ending and Andy never got better.

Kathryn said the last seven years, from 2015 through 2022, were exceptionally bad when he was connected with a county provider—which she doesn’t want to name for fear of retaliation—that moved him into five different substandard board and care homes. One time he was given a mattress in a garage surrounded by chemicals and unsafe items. Another time he was crammed into a garage that housed 12 mattresses, his mother said.

Andy was shuffled from one board and care to another. At this location he was given a mattress in a garage next to chemicals and unsafe items. Photo courtesy of Kathryn.

Every time he became symptomatic, the provider called him out for bad behavior as an excuse to move him.  It wasn’t his fault, Kathryn said. They did nothing to help stabilize his psychosis and paranoia. The stress become so severe Andy would punch himself in the face, causing large cysts that became infected. When the paramedics came to move him for the fifth time, they took one look and transported him to San Jose Regional Medical Center.

“I begged them to keep him there until there was an opening at VMC, but they just let him go,” she said. “He was so sick. Off his meds. It was just awful. He walked away and became homeless.”

Kathryn had lost her son to the streets after trying everything to get him conserved. She went to the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. The county mental health board. She pleaded with hospitals, told them she had filed for AOT,  but every avenue turned into a dead end because families have limited rights once their child is no longer a minor and patient privacy laws kick in.

Dozens of groups oppose SB 43

Law Foundation of Silicon Valley attorney Melanie Roland said voluntary treatment should always be the goal. Her organization along with dozens of groups are vehemently opposed to SB 43.

By including new language pertaining to individuals with substance use, SB 43 expands the definition by an “incredible amount,”Roland told San José Spotlight.

Involuntary treatment is not a solution, she said, adding California is a coercive system that causes more people to be picked up by law enforcement and placed on involuntary holds that can lead to long-term hospitalizations. This results in a lack of available beds for others who need them, Roland said.

“The system we have created is one of mental health duress,” she said.

Roland said Sen. Eggman has a false impression about how SB 43 will better help those needing the most acute level of care.

“The expanded criteria will allow more people to be taken in on holds and that’s it,” Roland said. “It doesn’t mean anyone will be given more medical treatment. Absent a court order, no one will have to do anything.”

In Santa Clara County, 313 people were temporarily conserved and 566 were permanently conserved between 2020-21, according to the California Involuntary Detention Data Report. The number of individuals placed on a 72-hour hold in the county was 128 and 117 were put on 14-day holds. Statewide, more than 2,000 people were put on temporary conservatorships and 8,368 people were placed on permanent conservatorships, not including those in jails. The number for statewide 72-hour holds was roughly 120,000 people and about 48,000 for 14 days.

Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Stephen Manley said the expansion of the gravely disabled definition could lead to more petitions filed if SB 43 becomes law. Manley has been an outspoken critic of the dire need for more beds and residential treatment facilities, as the state’s various initiatives and programs look for ways to house the chronically mentally ill who are homeless.

“The court would be (and already is) left with very few options and long wait times in trying to help place individuals in appropriate treatment,” he told San José Spotlight.

Manley’s denunciation over the lack of mental health and substance use services is one point everyone agrees on. On one end, Roland said if involuntary treatment wasn’t the default, and more community treatment centers were available, her clients could be receptive to medications on their terms. Hagar said the lack of a continuum of care throughout the state affects capacity and creates ongoing bottlenecks, causing people to fall through the safety net and relapse as they try to step-down in their recovery.

Kathryn’s safety net shredded decades ago.

But she refused to give up and sometimes prayers are heard. In December 2022, as Kathryn turned the corner to pick up a McDonald’s order for her 86-year-old passenger, there was Andy sitting on the curb.

After filing six missing person reports, happenstance brought them to the same spot a year and a half later. It took Kathryn 30 minutes to convince the police to take her son across the street to VMC emergency psychiatric services. The police kept telling her he had his rights and if he didn’t want to go they couldn’t make him.

“I am thinking, ‘He has poop all over his pants and you don’t think that qualifies as gravely disabled?'” she said.

This time the doctors filed for the conservatorship, and at age 48 Andy is finally receiving proper treatment. It’s been six months and Kathryn said her son is beginning to show insight into his illness. She has no doubt why.

“I consider this conservatorship as saving my son’s life,” she said.

Full Article & Source:
Silicon Valley family exposes need to reform conservatorship law

New drug on horizon in fight against early Alzheimer’s

by Joseph Choi and Nathaniel Weixel 

Patients in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers may have another drug by the end of this year that could slow inevitable memory loss.

Eli Lilly said it expects the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to act by the end of the year on its application for approval of its monoclonal antibody called donanemab.


Donanemab slowed Alzheimer’s disease progression by 35 percent relative to placebo in an 18-month clinical trial that enrolled 1,700 patients with early-stage disease. 


In practical terms, that translated to delaying progression by about four months. It also means the drug performs at least as well as the newly approved Leqembi (lecanemab), which was found to reduce progression by about 27 percent.


Both donanemab and Leqembi are part of a new class of Alzheimer’s drugs called anti-amyloid treatments, because they target amyloid plaque in patients’ brains. They offer promise, but serious questions remain.


Both significantly reduce the levels of plaque, but there’s debate about how much that will actually help.


Supporters argue that for the patients who benefit, the drugs can stave off memory loss long enough to buy them a few extra months with family and loved ones.


The main safety concern is brain swelling or bleeding, which is often mild but sometimes can be serious or even fatal. During Lilly’s trial, three deaths were attributed to the drug. 


Patients using the treatments need repeated brain scans to monitor for those side effects, which can be costly if they’re not covered by Medicare or private insurance.  


The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Monday proposed to expand its coverage of PET scans that are used to help diagnose Alzheimer’s disease, which would likely ease at least some of the cost concerns. Currently, Medicare will only cover one PET scan per lifetime of a patient, and then only if they are participating in clinical trials.

Full Article & Source:
New drug on horizon in fight against early Alzheimer’s

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Atlanta father-son team develop app to help people with intellectual disabilities

By Hope Dean 

Click to watch video

ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - A Georgia State University student and his father have joined forces to develop an app benefiting people with intellectual disabilities.

Called “Let Me Do It,” the app helps users make decisions through a personalized choice tree, according to a GSU statement. Angad Sahgal and his father Amit said the app will empower people with Down syndrome, autism, and other disabilities to live more independent lives.

“It reinforces the fact that Angad has the independence and capability of making his decisions but can do with some help to navigate the steps to arrive at that decision,” Amit said.

Angad attends GSU’s IDEAL program, which works with students who have developmental disorders. He has also served as Georgia’s Youth Ambassador for the Center on Youth Voice, Youth Choice, a national organization that helps young people with disabilities make decisions about guardianship.

“As a person with a disability, entrepreneurship has allowed me to pursue my dreams and pave the way for the next generation of disabled entrepreneurs,” Angad said. “I know what it means to work with limitations and turn them into opportunities.”

The app is being funded by the Main Street Entrepreneurs Seed Fund, which comes out of GSU’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute, and Synergies Work, an Atlanta-based nonprofit.

The app launches in November. Amit said that the app will one day support people with sensory disabilities and the elderly population, too.

Full Article & Source:
Atlanta father-son team develop app to help people with intellectual disabilities

Video shows K-9 deputy help track down missing elderly woman in the woods in Cobb County

Full Article & Source:
Video shows K-9 deputy help track down missing elderly woman in the woods in Cobb County

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

'I DIDN'T TAKE ADVANTAGE' Wendy Williams’ son claims he used her AmEx to ‘pay for her treatment’ after he was accused of charging $100K to card

by Jessica Finn

WENDY Williams' son has claimed he used her American Express card to help pay for her treatment after he was accused of charging $100,000 to the card.

Kevin Hunter Jr, 22, exclusively spoke to The U.S. Sun about his concern for his mother's well-being, and defended himself against accusations that he stole from her.

Wendy Williams' son defended himself against allegations he used his abused his access to his mother's AmEx card
Wendy Williams' son defended himself against allegations he used his abused his access to his mother's AmEx cardCredit: Getty
Kevin Hunter Jr said that he used his mother's AmEx card to help pay for her care
Kevin Hunter Jr said that he used his mother's AmEx card to help pay for her careCredit: Romain Maurice for The US Sun

The 22-year-old college student said that his use of Wendy's AmEx card was first brought up as an issue in guardianship court after Wells Fargo petitioned to have a guardian take over the TV star's affairs. 

"In court, they brought up the American Express situation. They made this a much bigger issue. When she was here [in Florida] the AmEx card was our only source of paying for things," he claimed.

Wells Fargo had frozen the 58-year-old star's accounts in January of 2022 among allegations that she was of "unsound mind."

"The AmEx was the only source of paying for things after that, especially when it came to doctors' appointments and private planes to get her to and from appointments in New York.

"I had to look for ways to transport her. If we had to get to an appointment up there [in New York], we would have to book a private plane, if we had to make a certain appointment down here- we had to book it on the AmEx," Wendy's son explained. 

Kevin Jr. said that while his mother was in his care in Florida from late 2021 until the spring of 2022, he insisted her health improve before she returned to work.

He claimed he believed that Wendy's manager at the time, Bernie Young, and her financial advisor for Wells Fargo wanted him to return the star to New York City to get her back to work.

Kevin said of the advisor Bernie's insistence Wendy return to New York: "They knew that in having her here [in Florida], they were losing a lot of their earnings.

"Having her here in an environment where the number one priority isn't being at The Wendy Williams Show, or to be at certain appointments or whatever, they were more annoyed by the fact that they didn't have the control that they have had over her all these years- from my perspective.

"Because when she's in New York, it's a lot easier to pull her around to certain places and have her isolated away from the family so that she doesn't have any other influences to make choices that are for her health and not for financial benefit."

Wendy's only son also admitted that using the star's American Express card was never an issue before the guardianship hearings.

"I have always used the AmEx, always. Before everything that happened, ever since I was young, starting in the 6th grade, she always allowed me access to a credit card, whether it was for an emergency or because I wanted something."

"And what she would do was she would read her credit card statement at the end of the month, and I never took advantage of it," Wendy's son said. 

"It was never something that she would ever say it was inconvenient or anything like that- it was always something she wanted to do because she wanted me to enjoy certain access to things, as her son," Kevin said of what was normal for him, growing up in the wealthy household

He claimed that he believed once people in her orbit who were employed by Wendy saw how serious he was about her health, that that is when issues rose about his involvement. 

"Once everyone else got involved and saw who I am in all of this- and that I was very serious about keeping her in a state of healing, and that I wasn't going to take a certain amount of money to bring her back to New York, I said 'Listen I appreciate that offer,' but once I made that clear, that I was very serious, then it became about certain 'evidence' being brought against me, and transactions were brought against me to make it seem like I was taking advantage of her American Express account.

"The reality of the situation was I have never had a reason to go behind her back to buy something that I would want. If anything she'd offer to get things and I would say, 'Mom that's a lot.'

"I don't post on Instagram, I don't care about those things. I don't care about being flashy." 

"But when it came to the AmEx, they were like, 'Look how much he uses his mom's AmEx,' and saying I was taking advantage of her and using it for my own intentions, and that was not the case."

Wendy's son added that during this time, while she was locked out of her Wells Fargo accounts and was in his care, he was also locked out of the accounts that were earmarked for his college needs.

"They had also locked me out of my school accounts, so anything that I would normally be able to pay for on my own through my school accounts, they had locked me out of. So we had to use the AmEx to get through."


Wendy was placed in guardianship after Wells Fargo froze her bank accounts as they suspected the star was the victim of "financial exploitation, dementia, or undue influence," according to court papers first revealed by The U.S. Sun. 

Kevin said: "It's been really sad what's been allowed to happen, and ever since the court hearings ended, something just has to be brought to light about what's going on and how much people are taking in this situation.

"In terms of who is there now, people have put other things in front of her actually healing and getting better, and unfortunately, unlike many other alcoholics, she is worth a lot more money."

Kevin hit out at guardian Sabrina Morrissey's handling of Wendy, and her lack of communication with the star's family. 

"I don't feel like Sabrina has done a great job at all.

"I think that based on her actions, I'd have to assume something is going on that she's not telling me.

"There is a lot of her pushing away of myself and everybody down here, and saying that she's not going give updates. She's really vague with updates."

Sabrina Morrissey did not respond to The U.S. Sun's request for comment.


Ultimately, Kevin insists that his mother absolutely should not have been working, she should not continue to work and she should be focusing on her health and her recovery.

Kevin said: "I think that it's best for her to have to prioritize her health first.

"Nobody around her will tell her this, but she doesn't have to be working.

"She needs to take a break from trying to progress her career and just be proud of what she's accomplished."

When asked if he had a plan in all of this, Wendy's son said: "The plan is that I am hoping and praying that the people who are up there [in New York] with her right now don't lead her down the path to where something can't happen to help her. 

"If there was a way or if there was a plan I could think of I wouldn't be here doing this interview. I would be doing something that I could do."
Kevin added that he thinks something has gone seriously wrong with the way things have been set up for Wendy.

"In terms of what is and what isn't; when she was with me, none of these articles of her not looking well ever came out. When she got dragged back up there [to New York City] after the court hearings, that started happening, and from that perspective, something has gone wrong."

Kevin said he is holding onto hope.

"I'm praying that whoever is in control now doesn't ruin whatever hope there is for her to get back up again."

Full Article & Source:
'I DIDN'T TAKE ADVANTAGE' Wendy Williams’ son claims he used her AmEx to ‘pay for her treatment’ after he was accused of charging $100K to card

See Also:
Wendy Williams’ Ex Sells House Amid Big Money Troubles

Wendy Williams' Son Comes Forward To Say She's Being Exploited In Bombshell First Interview

Wendy Williams' Guardian Cuts Family Ties Amid $40 Million Dollar Fortune Grab

Wendy Williams makes 1st appearance since wellness center stay: exclusive photos

Wendy Williams’ son Kevin Jr gets power of attorney as Wells Fargo freezes her accounts

NJ judge under investigation for ‘inappropriate’ TikTok videos

Briana Vannozzi, Anchor | July 5, 2023 | Law & Public Safety, More Issues

Bergen County Judge Gary Wilcox is under investigation for making numerous TikTok videos that show him lip-syncing to songs containing profanity, sexual references and racist terms. According to a complaint filed by the state’s committee on judicial conduct, the “inappropriate” videos were posted under a pseudonym.

In some of the videos, Wilcox was wearing judicial robes; in one, he was in bed. The complaint says he violated the Code of Judicial Conduct and “exhibited poor judgment” and “disrespect” for the judiciary. Wilcox and his attorney say they are preparing to file a response to the complaint, but say they believe there was not a “desire to do harm” in making the videos.

Full Article & Source:
NJ judge under investigation for ‘inappropriate’ TikTok videos

Long Beach woman arrested after allegedly choking elderly uncle in front of caretaker

By Emily Holshouser

A woman has been arrested on suspicion of elder abuse and attempted murder after she allegedly choked her elderly uncle last month in his home, injuring him, authorities said. The man died weeks later.

The Long Beach Police Department responded to the 2600 block of Fanwood Avenue on June 8 for a report of someone being choked. Officers found a woman leaning over an elderly man with her hands around his neck. The woman, 52-year-old Long Beach resident Jennifer Dail, was taken into custody.

Firefighters treated the man, 83-year-old Long Beach resident James Brooks, at the scene, and he declined to be taken to a hospital.

Elder abuse investigators arrived at the scene and found that Dail, who was Brooks’ former caretaker, called 911 either during or after the choking. Another caretaker who was at the home gave details about Brooks to dispatchers on Dail’s phone.

The caretaker’s role in the incident is unknown at this time, but they are not being investigated as a suspect. It is not clear what led to the choking.

Several days later, Brooks complained of throat pain and his health began to decline. On June 14, he was found unresponsive in his home and was pronounced dead. His death was ruled a homicide on June 30.

Dail has been booked for attempted murder and is being held at Long Beach City Jail. Her bail was set at $1 million. Her charges, according to the Long Beach Police Department, are expected to be amended from attempted murder to murder.

Full Article & Source:
Long Beach woman arrested after allegedly choking elderly uncle in front of caretaker

Monday, July 17, 2023

Wendy Williams’ Ex Sells House Amid Big Money Troubles

By Ellie Mason

Wendy Williams‘ ex-husband is being forced to sell his house in Florida amid some big money troubles.

Wendy’s ex-husband Kevin Hunter has to sell the home in Parkland, Florida, months after losing a court battle against his ex-wife.  As money troubles mount, Kevin found himself forced to make some difficult decisions. Read on to find out why Kevin is struggling after a divorce from Wendy, and learn about his now-for-sale Florida home.

Kevin’s Money Troubles Mount After Divorce From Wendy

In April 2019, Wendy Williams filed to divorce her husband of two decades, Kevin Hunter. The divorce was finalized in January 2020.

The split came after rumors that Kevin was unfaithful and fathered a child with his mistress. Wendy confirmed that Kevin’s infidelity was her reason for seeking a divorce. Kevin did not confirm the rumors of his actions, but did say at the time that he was, “not proud of my recent actions.”

Kevin was granted alimony checks from the court at the time the divorce was finalized. Meanwhile, Wendy walked away with exclusive rights to Wendy Williams Productions. The court awarded Wendy the money in their joint bank account, while he kept his cars and separate businesses. However, financial guardianship eventually walled Wendy’s money off as her health took a turn for the worse following their divorce.

Wells Fargo asked the court for financial guardianship. The institution claimed an advisor believed Wendy was a victim of financial exploitation. As a result of the guardianship, Kevin has not received alimony checks since April 2022. He went to court earlier this year to try to restart the alimony checks but lost his bid.

Wendy Williams’ Ex-Husband Sells House Amid Some Big Money Woes

Now that Kevin Hunter can no longer get money from Wendy Williams, his financial troubles are mounting.

According to Kevin, he does not have the money to pay his bills without the alimony checks. As a result, Kevin put his Parkland, Florida, home up for sale. Kevin bought the house soon after the divorce from Wendy, finalizing the sale in 2020 for $795K. Kevin’s new partner, Sharina, lived in the home with him after the pair left New Jersey.

Kevin Hunter – The Wendy Williams Show – 99 JAMZ, YouTube

The Florida home itself is a 5-bedroom, 5-bathroom home boasting 3,425 sqft. Kevin first listed it in April for $1.3 million. With the housing market booming in Florida, Kevin’s Parkland home was soon under contract. By June 30, the sale was awaiting final approval.

Full Article & Source:
Wendy Williams’ Ex Sells House Amid Big Money Troubles

See Also:
Wendy Williams' Son Comes Forward To Say She's Being Exploited In Bombshell First Interview

Wendy Williams' Guardian Cuts Family Ties Amid $40 Million Dollar Fortune Grab

Wendy Williams makes 1st appearance since wellness center stay: exclusive photos

Wendy Williams’ son Kevin Jr gets power of attorney as Wells Fargo freezes her accounts

Daughter charged with misusing mother’s bank accounts

 By Ed Lewis

WRIGHT TWP. — A woman accused by Rice Township police of using funds from her mother’s financial accounts for personal expenses and pleasure was arraigned Tuesday.

Tracy Connolly, 52, of Valley Stream Park, spent in excess of $257,588 while she was designated power-of-attorney over her mother’s accounts from June 2018 to December 2020, according to court records.

Police in court records say Connolly used her mother’s funds to open a money market account and made purchases of a vehicle, beer, alcohol, tobacco, household items and groceries, beauty products, repairs and maintenance, and restaurant meals.

Another sister when she became power-of-attorney noticed the financial discrepancies in December 2020 and reported the alleged thefts.

An audit showed a total of $257,588.16 as missing from the mother’s accounts.

Police obtained an arrest warrant for Connolly on Friday charging her with financial exploitation of a dependant person, theft, access device fraud and misapply entrust.

Connolly was arraigned by District Judge Ferris Webby in Wright Township and released on $25,000 unsecured bail.

Full Article & Source:
Daughter charged with misusing mother’s bank accounts

Flint woman, 66, charged with embezzlement after draining man's finances, AG says

by Jakkar Aimery

A Flint woman faces embezzlement charges after allegedly taking large sums of money from a man she had an affair with as his cognitive state declined, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said Monday.

Constance Marie Roberts, 66, was arraigned Monday in Flint's 67th District Court on four counts of embezzling $100,000 or more from a vulnerable adult and four counts of failure to file taxes after allegedly taking large sums of money and multiple vehicles from the victim, Nessel said in a news release.

Roberts allegedly had a long-term relationship with an unidentified married man 20 years older than her, who would occasionally give Roberts small gifts of money and property. As the victim "started to exhibit cognitive decline," Roberts allegedly drained the victim’s checking and savings accounts, with a combined balance of approximately $3 million dollars, between 2018 and 2021, Nessel said.

Additionally, Roberts, according to authorities, failed to report the income on her Michigan tax returns.

“Many older adults have saved for retirement their entire working lives, and sadly they must also plan to protect their assets from people in their lives who would take advantage of them,” Nessel said. “My office will continue to investigate and prosecute complaints of financial exploitation committed against seniors and other vulnerable adults.”  

Each count of embezzlement is a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. The tax counts are felonies punishable by up to 5 years in prison, the attorney general said.

A probable cause conference is scheduled for July 20.

Full Article & Source:
Flint woman, 66, charged with embezzlement after draining man's finances, AG says

Sunday, July 16, 2023

New law makes it harder to exploit seniors with neurocognitive disorders

A Bexar County judge worked for years on a bill prevent senior citizen exploitation. Now it's becoming law.

Andrew Moore

SAN ANTONIO — Senior citizens and mentality disabled individuals with neurodegenerative diseases can be easily exploited by supposed friends and caretakers who are looking for cash. 

Thanks to a loophole in state law, those individuals sometimes get away with it. That's why Bexar County Probate Judge Veronica Vasquez worked with Senator José Menéndez and other lawmakers this session to end that loophole with S.B. 576.

Judge Vasquez began her position in Bexar County Probate Court 2 in 2018. She told KENS 5 she sees elements of senior exploitation routinely in her cases. 

"Elder abuse and exploitation is a huge problem," Vasquez said. "We preside over hearing emergency removals and hearing of adult protective services....When it's an allegation of abuse and they need to remove them from the home, they have to go through the probate court to try and do that." 

Vasquez said during those cases, they sometimes find that family members or caregivers convinced a senior with dementia or Alzheimer's disease to write them a check or withdraw money for personal reasons. 

"They get them to write a check, get their bank account information, or take them to the bank and have them remove cash. That's typically what we see," Vasquez said. 

Vasquez told KENS 5 the senior's family sometimes tries to get the money back, but there was previously no laws preventing caretakers from getting a loan from an elderly individual they are friendly with. This is still the case if the person has a neurocognitive disorder. Even if the caretaker didn't intend to give the money back, claiming that they would repay the money would still help them avoid criminal charges. 

"When it became a criminal offense, this was their scapegoat to say, "they let me borrow it and I intended to pay them back and I still intend to pay them back," Vasquez said. "How can you prove it one way or the other, especially when your victim now has dementia and they can't remember?" 

Fortunately, lawmakers passed S.B. 576 and the Governor signed the law in June. The bill states that if the offender "knew or should have known" that the  elderly individual "had been diagnosed with dementia, Alzheimer ’s disease, or a related disorder," then the transfer of money or other property is automatically presumed to be "wrongful" in that situation. Vasquez said the offender can then be charged with financial abuse of an elderly individual. This means the offender can no longer protect themselves by claiming the the money or property was loaned. 

Vasquez said she worked with the Elder Abuse and Exploitation Task-Force for three years to get the legislation passed. It failed in 2021 but passed in the last session. The bill passed with a unanimous vote in the Texas Senate this year. 

"We're finally able to do it and it is an exciting day," Vasquez said. "It's amazing to see that this made it through."

The bill will go into effect on September 1, 2023, though it also states it will also apply to still apply to any offense committed previous to that date.

Full Article & Source:
New law makes it harder to exploit seniors with neurocognitive disorders

Bloomington man donates power chair to man battling ALS who had his stolen

Investigators say they recovered the stolen SUV on Tuesday afternoon that contained a wheelchair belonging to Kyle Schultz​, a 26-year-old who lives with ALS.

Bloomington man donates power chair to man battling ALS who had his stolen

H.E.L.P.S. - Helping Elders Learn to Prevent Scams

Losing money to fraud, scams, and exploitation can be devastating to anyone, but especially to an older adult, who may not be able to replace what was lost.  Many have worked a lifetime building a savings to be able to retire and it is precisely because of that savings that seniors are vulnerable. 

Sheriff Greg Seabolt is introducing a new program to help elders learn about scams / fraud and internet safety so they can be aware of and how to prevent being scammed.     

The Randolph County Sheriff’s Office Community Outreach, in conjunction with the Randolph County Public Library System’s Digital Services Librarian, will be presenting programs for citizens about scams/frauds and ways to prevent them and ways to protect yourself when using the internet.  

Know someone who may benefit? Two sessions have been scheduled for August 16th at the Asheboro Public Library, located at 201 Worth St., Asheboro, at 9 am, and again at 2 pm.  For future sessions, check the Sheriff’s Office “News” on their website, the Randolph County Library calendar, follow our social media pages or give us a call for program dates or to schedule a presentation.

Randolph County Sheriff’s Office 

727 McDowell Rd., 

Asheboro, NC 27205


Dep. Chris Martin, Community Outreach – 336-628-2443

Randolph County Public Library 

201 Worth St. 

Asheboro, NC 27203

Phone: 336-318-6800

H.E.L.P.S. - Helping Elders Learn to Prevent Scams