Monday, August 27, 2007

Massive Elder Fraud Takes in $191 Million


By: JOHN HALL - Staff Writer The Californian

For the next two to three months, a jury will hear testimony from close to 50 alleged victims as the long-awaited trial of three men in the largest fraud case against the elderly in Riverside County history begins.Daniel William Heath, 50, of Chino Hills; his father, John William Heath, 81, of Covina; and Denis Timothy O'Brien, 53, of Yorba Linda are accused of running a massive pyramid scheme in which an estimated $191 million was raised.

A Carlsbad man, Larre Jaye Schlarmann, pleaded guilty in November 2005 and received a 15-year prison sentence in exchange for his plea. Prosecutors said Schlarmann, who was an investor in a now-leveled golf practice range on Antelope Road in Menifee, was one of the lesser participants in the alleged schemes.

The three remaining defendants face a variety of felony charges, including selling unqualified securities, elder abuse, violating a court order to stop selling securities, selling securities by misrepresentation, grand theft, burglary and money laundering.

Victims' stories Many of the victims invested their entire life savings, prosecutors say. Authorities have estimated that any money victims may be able to get back will probably be in the neighborhood of 15 cents on the dollar.When called to testify at the trial, witnesses will tell the jury how they met and then were allegedly scammed by the defendants.In an article published in The Californian shortly after arrests were first made in the case, a Wildomar woman described what happened to her and her husband.Joyce Lee Brown, then 67, said she and her 72-year-old husband Dave invested more than $100,000 in 2002, then saw nothing but small interest checks.

"He sounded so sincere, and the (sales) pitch was great. He talked like a legitimate family man who was eager to really help us out."Instead, Brown said, they are left with nothing and have had to substantially alter their lifestyle. She and her husband can't just decide to go golfing, to a movie or out to a nice dinner on a whim like they could before the loss of their money."And now we're afraid to trust anyone anymore," she added.

Contact staff writer John Hall at (951) 676-4315, Ext. 2628, or jhall@californian.com.

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To follow our earlier theme, please notice how if anyones else steals the money it becomes theft, if Financial Elder Abusers are involved then it is referred to " Money they Raised." I would not be surprised if they are given Jail time but their sentence is suspended or given Fines that they Don't have to pay!

Related Posts: Former Social Worker from Dept of Health and Human Services Joins the Fray Stealing from Elders : Albert Bouchard, 47, of Limestone, who pleaded guilty to theft, was sentenced Friday in Aroostook County Superior Court to two years in prison, with all but 30 days suspended.

Other related posts : Bilking the Elderly, With Corporate Assistance

A Pennsylvania Homeward Bound company is found guilty of defrauding elders for years and is fined, but the Amount will not be collected

Social Worker Do What?

And if anyone is wondering why they took $191 million before anyone decided to act , do your math, 10% of the take, simply put these types of businesses pay 10% as overhead (Protection money) Have you any idea how much protection or influence 10% or $19.000,000 million dollars can buy? Does that explains how the organizations last for decades sometimes before they are taken down, hey Elder Financial Abuse is alive and well and it is Big Business.

Related Posts: Woman in Florida Pockets 2 Million in Child and Elder Abuse Operation that lasted 14 Years and Bilking the Elderly, With Corporate Assistance

2 comments:

Mary Day said...

Thanks for sharing this story on You Tube & your blog -
Elder abuse and exploitation are public health issues!

Mary E. Day
Managing LTC Ombudsman
Pro Seniors, Inc.
513-458-5515 / mday@proseniors.org / www.proseniors.org

Sue said...

My name is Sue and I have been volunteering for an Assisted Living Home in the Winter Springs, FL area for about 4 years. I am concerned about the quality of services available to the elderly at the home where I volunteer. I am interested in becoming a volunteer ombudsman/spokesman for the elderly. Can you direct me to the right organization to get training for this type of volunteer work? Thank you for your time.