Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
Friday, April 17, 2009
By Stephen T. Watson NEWS STAFF REPORTER
Three people used charm, lies and threats to persuade an elderly Buffalo woman to give them more than $100,000 before they were arrested this week, according to Buffalo police.
Possibly as far back as 2002, the three became acquainted with the victim and came up with a variety of reasons why she needed to give them thousands of dollars at a time from her bank account.
Their hard-luck tales turned to threats of violence if the flow of money stopped, and the scheme ended only after Erie County Adult Protective Services alerted police.
“They befriended her in the neighborhood, and she trusted them,” said Michael J. DeGeorge, Buffalo Police Department spokesman. “They would keep coming to her for large sums of money.”
So Far Away
I have drifted so far away from the normal proceduresof growing old......... or young! I have seen things that I cannot forgive....... things that I will take to my grave!
I don`t remember the America that our parents sacrificedand paid a very dear price to give to us. It is long gone!Completely meaningless! So far away! So far away! Butnot that long, ago! What happened? How did things getso far away?
If my Father could see how my Mom died and what happenedto the rest of his family because of a forced guardianship,he would puke in his grave! And so would you! The life and money they stole! I just wish I could be as strong as he was. "No, they didn`t beat me, Dad, they beat us all!"
And it continues, today! Everyday of the week an elderlyperson is forced into a guardianship for their "protection!"But here is the bottom line,........ only if they have some money!And you know the rest of the story! Trusts, inheritances, willsare dissolved. Everything this person owns is liquidated! Andas the courts will tell you, it is done to "care" for this elderly person! But that is not, even, close to being true! It is done to make iteasier for the lawyers, guardians, courts, county agencies, etc.,to rip off entire estates from the elderly and it has been going on for many years in this country! It has to stop!
I m sorry you feel this way, It is almost as if we have become a nation of thieves and no body is watching : what you've described happened to me and to so many other people that I can no longer keep up with them all!
Bear Valley,California USA
A Victorville couple was sentenced to county jail on felony charges connected to real estate fraud and financial elder abuse. Joe Warf (51) and Tracy Warf (41) appeared in Victorville Superior Court on Friday, April 10, 2009. The pair was sentenced to 250 days and 365 days county jail, respectively, for financial elder abuse. Both will be placed on formal supervised probation for five years at the conclusion of their sentences.
In June 2008, Joe and Tracy Warf deceived the 94-year-old victim into signing over his San Bernardino home to them. The San Bernardino County District Attorney's Real Estate Fraud Unit conducted an investigation and arrested Joe and Tracy Warf on November 24, 2009.
The court has already ordered that title to the San Bernardino house be transferred back into the victim's name.
By Naomi Lakritz, Calgary Herald
There's a new and troubling catchphrase in danger of picking up steam out there: the recession made me do it.
This week, Margaret Grant, 48, of Moncton, was sent to prison for four years for failing to provide the necessities of life for her elderly mother, whom she kept in a chair for long months in her filthy home. Grant's mom, Kathleen, 78, developed advanced gangrene, and pressure sores so terrible that the judge said parts of her bones and some of her internal organs were visible. Rescue came too late, and the mother died shortly after being taken to the hospital.
Also this week, it was reported that the recession is causing a huge spike in domestic abuse.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Whenever I think about what lies ahead wondering if I have the courage, the determination to do what must or can be done, I remember that I carry my dad inside me. He is half of every cell of my body. The courage and determination that he possessed are mine -- I just have to reach out and take it. - Franciene
Friday, April 10, 2009
Even though our President has confirmed that we are no longer a Christian Nation with Christian principles, a lot of us are still celebrating Good Friday.
Happy and peaceful Easter with your loved ones, enjoy your family as I no longer have mine that was destroyed by exploitation and greed while the authorities that would have been in charge of protecting our elders looked the "other way" calling the abuse a "civil matter" and piling on to cash in on the misery and misfortune of others.
Good Friday is observed on the Friday before Easter Sunday. On this day Christians commemorate the passion, or suffering, and death on the cross of the Lord, Jesus Christ.
Many Christians spend this day in fasting, prayer, repentance, and meditation on the agony and suffering of Christ on the cross. (For a more detailed explanation about Christ's death, see Why Did Jesus Have to Die?)
The biblical account of Jesus' death on the cross, or crucifixion, his burial and his resurrection, or raising from the dead, can be found in the following passages of Scripture: Matthew 27:27-28:8; Mark 15:16-16:19; Luke 23:26-24:35; and John 19:16-20:30.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Our loved ones must be protected. Because of this abusive process, I have not seen or spoken to my mother for over two years, and almost all of her little nest egg has been spent. Before it happened in my family, I had never even heard of guardianship or conservatorship.
Please send this info to all of your contact and ask them to pass it on. You can learn more at http://www.stopguardianabuse.org
here is the video:
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
San Jose,California,USA by by Heidi Turner
J.B. says that he and his grandmother have been victimized by financial abuse. Specifically, his grandmother is a victim of financial elder abuse and this abuse has had a severe impact on J's life, leaving him broke and homeless—living in an extended-stay hotel with the help of a non-profit organization and relying on doctors to provide him with pro bono medical care.
"I can't access my own money [which is in an insurance policy], but having that money in my name is blocking me from getting benefits and help with an attorney," J says. "Would you believe that a forgery by one person would land someone else homeless on the street?
"J says the situation started when his grandmother decided to buy him and his brother an insurance policy on her life.
"The intent was to give us some of her estate," J says. "But, she was taken advantage of by her insurance agent. She bought a quarter of a million dollar policy death benefit on her life.
"In order to get the most commission, the agent had to sell the policy as an estate-planning tool, but Grandma didn't have a big enough estate to need the benefits he was selling.
"The insurance agent duped her, took advantage of her and manipulated her, but he didn't take her money, he took ours because she gifted it to us. The insurance agent was scamming an elder. His commission was $22,000 out of $144,000 that was put in.
"We wrote a joint letter [giving their grandmother permission to borrow the money] and we get a letter back saying that the signatures on the letter don't match the signatures on file.
How could it not match when we didn't sign anything? I looked at my grandmother's contract and our signatures aren't on the contract. The company said that my brother and I are owners and are in complete control of the policy. "I didn't know the policy was fraudulent, I was just suspicious."
In the meantime, J continued to struggle with his illness and ran out of money. His employment until he was sick consisted of being trained as a surgeon, which does not count towards SSI benefits, so J applied for disability and multiple doctors stated how severe his illness was. Unfortunately, the life insurance policy J's grandmother took out for him and his brother counted against him. Because J is listed as an owner of the policy, he does not qualify for disability benefits.
"I have nothing. I have been living in my car and my doctor continues to treat me pro bono, even to this day, and helps me get compassionate fills from the pharmacy. I was first denied SSDI in March 2007. A year went by with me fighting the insurance company and they are still ignoring the forgeries. Then, I find out that the policy is dwindling in assets and that the benefits are nothing if she [J's grandmother] survives past a certain age. She bought this as a whole life policy.
"There is $25,000 still in the policy and half is mine, but I have no access because it is jointly owned with my brother. The company knows that the signature was forged because they admit that whoever signed my name also signed my brother's. I was in Thailand when I supposedly signed those papers. So, I have no access to the money, the cash value in the policy is dwindling, and, because I own that life insurance policy—rather than being the beneficiary—I don't qualify for benefits.
"This all started with an insurance agent who wanted a big, fat commission. The insurance company assures my grandmother that when she dies we will get the death benefit—but they don't say we will get $250,000, just that we will get the death benefit. It's tricky wording so you don't know what is going on."
Abridged for E.A. Read it all here=>>
The general rule with elders seems to be, "TAKE THEIR MONEY,BEFORE SOMEONE ELSE DOES" and so the first one to get their hands on the elders money wins the purse and civil actions are almost impossible to achieve any kind of just outcome for anyone except for the
attorneys serving as mediators who see an elder in distress as money in their pockets through outlandish fees in never ending court procedures.
Trust no one! Survival rules! Be Wary of Financial products designed to rip you off! If you want
to be sure your money goes to someone else place them as joint owners on the account, or have a TOD (Transfer on Death Benefit)
My parents spent thousands on estate planning documents,wills,trusts,codicils,POA's, Surrogate powers.
It was all worthless, none of it meant anything! When my mother became incapacitated , people came out of the woodwork and invalidated her will, re wrote her POA's without her knowledge, (She did not understand what she was signing) when she gave her money and jewelry away)
Last Updated: 4/6/2009
As the economy worsens, incidences of elder financial abuse are reportedly on the rise. The elderly are particularly vulnerable to scams or to financial abuse by family members in need of money.
A recent study found that up to one million older Americans may be targeted yearly. Family members and caregivers are the culprits in 55 percent of cases, although financial losses are higher with investment fraud scams.
While it is impossible to guarantee that an elderly loved one is not the victim of financial abuse, there are some steps you can take to reduce the chances. One option is to have more than one family member involved in caring for the loved one. You can also encourage the elder to get involved in community activities to ensure he or she has a wide range of support. Using direct deposit as much as possible is also helpful. And of course you should always screen caregivers carefully and verify references.
Financial abuse can be very difficult to detect. The following are some signs that a loved one may be the victim of this kind of abuse:
If you suspect someone of being financially abused, there are several actions you can take:
Monday, April 6, 2009
"Spinning" the U.S. Passport--The Public Relations arm of the U.S. government takes a "stab" at your travel documents
by Janet Phelan
The latest edition of the US Passport exhibits what appears to be an Orwellian effort to deny the damage to the American dream our country has suffered in the last few years. Not content to spin the television news, the major newsprints and magazines, the US government has conjured up new travel documents that can only be considered a premeditated leap into a propagandistic fairyland.
A fearsome eagle is emblazoned across the photo page, which in prior editions demurely depicted only a photo of the passport holder, name and place of issue. One enters the new passport experience to find page after page of anachronistic American hype. Sprawled across the formerly blank visa pages, one now encounters Mt. Rushmore, the Mayflower, The Declaration of Independence, more bald eagles communing with buffalo and the obligatory Statue of Liberty, to name a few of the tried-and-true patriotic symbols of an American dream that has been reduced to rubble. Each page of the new "spun" passport also contains a statement from one of America's statesmen or visionaries of yore, including a few who may have been assassinated for trying to bring the American dream to fruition.
You got it--John F. Kennedy intones, from beyond the grave to "Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty." On November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas, JFK paid that price.
Similarly, Martin Luther King, another one of the victims of the rash of sixties' political murders, boldly states that "We have a great dream. It started way back in 1776, and God grant that America will be true to her dream." Well, Martin, you were as true as they get, all right. I hope you and the Kennedy boys are not getting apopleptic about what has transpired in the last forty plus years, up there in the Big Peace Rally in the sky.
George Washington also makes an appearance, exhorting us to "raise a standard to which the wise and honest may repair." The judges in our courts, who are now with shocking regularity violating statutory and constitutional law, might like to revisit that one.
The new passport is inclusive and egalitarian. The Mohawks have their soundbite here, declaring that "We send thanks to all the Animal life in the world. They have many things to teach us as people. We are glad they are still here and we hope it will always be so." The fact that the American Indians were the first victims of what is now commonplace American genocidal policies is not mentioned here. Given the recent disclosure of the plans by the US Department of Navy to "take" (kill) over 2 million marine animals in war training exercises off the Pacific Coast, looks like the hopes of the Mohawks have ended up in the burial grounds.
Not to worry, ladies. You too have a representative voice in the pages of the new passport. Anna Julia Cooper, author, educator and daughter of a slave, reminds us that "The cause of freedom is not a cause of a race or a sect, a party or a class--it is the cause of humankind, and the very birthright of humanity." I'd sure like to hear from all the vulnerable widows who were funneled into conservatorship programs, stripped of their property and their rights, then drugged to death in nursing homes as to how Cooper's vision played out for them.
The final page of the new "spun" passport exhibits a photo from space, depicting the earth, the moon and what appears to be a man-made satellite, possibly of the "spy" persuasion.
Adding injury to insult, the opposing page reads, "This document contains sensitive electronics. For best performance, do not bend, perforate or expose to extreme temperatures."
Hold on a minute here. "Sensitive electronics?" Could it be that the new passport, trumpeting the sanctity of our freedoms and liberties, actually contains a microchip? Could it be that this passport therefore contains a surveillance/tracking device? And is that spy satellite on the opposing page actually one of those satellites that can track RFID microchips?
And all this while I thought that the new passport was merely an exercise in verbal "spin." Could it be that this piece of thinly disguised propaganda is another means to tag, track and locate?
The initial efforts at creating identification systems in the US began as a means to identify runaway slaves. In otherwords, human property. Strange, I don't see anything about the history of slavery in this new passport. And what's the real intent of this micro-chipping frenzy anyway?
The only declassified document available concerning the "Clandestine Tagging, Tracking and Locating" program (http://blog.wired.com/defense/files/Richardson_Continuous.pdf )states that the capabilities of this program, initiated under SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND are "Classified." The highly technical verbiage in the CTTL document has some disturbing and apparently lethal implications as to what the "Classified" end result might be for someone who is "tagged, tracked and located." Could it be that....OMG!! The passport is...AARRGHHH...I can't breathe....call 911....NO, DON'T CALL 911!! Get me a chaplain, a doctor, paramedic, anyone QUICK!!
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Submitted by attorney Maria Gallo credit Osceola Clerk of Court
What is a Baker Act?
A Baker Act is a means of providing individuals with emergency services and temporary detention for mental health evaluation and treatment when required, either on a voluntary or an involuntary basis.
How are voluntary and involuntary Baker Act Admissions different?
A voluntary Baker Act is when a person 18 years of age or older, or a parent or guardian of a person age 17 or under, makes application for admission to a facility for observation, diagnosis or treatment.
An involuntary Baker Act is when a person is taken to a receiving facility for involuntary examination when there is reason to believe that he or she is mentally ill and because of his or her mental illness, the person has refused voluntary examination; the person is unable to determine for himself or herself whether examination is necessary and without care or treatment, the person is likely to suffer from neglect or refuse to care for himself or herself and such refusal could pose a threat of harm to his or her well being; and there is a substantial likelihood that without care or treatment, the person will cause serious bodily harm to himself, herself or others in the near future as evidenced by recent behavior.
Are there other criteria to know if a Baker Act is appropriate?
Yes, there is additional criteria for a voluntary and involuntary Baker Act not included here. For example, a law enforcement officer may transport an individual to a facility for evaluation if there is reason to believe that the individual's behavior meets statutory guidelines for involuntary examination.
What is an ExParte Petition for Involuntary Examination?
If you are willing to swear in a Petition for Involuntary Examination that you have personally witnessed an individual causing harm to themselves or others, an "ExParte" for an Involuntary Examination can be completed at the Clerk's Office, Mental Health Division.
What is the procedure for filing the Petition and Affidavit Seeking ExParte Order Requiring Involuntary Examination?
A family member or interested person may fill out the petition and affidavit in the Clerk's Office. You will need to provide proper identification and have personally witnessed the individual's actions.
What happens after I file the Petition and Affidavit?
Your sworn affidavit will be reviewed by the court. If the court believes, based on the evidence provided in the petition and affidavit, the judge will enter an order for the sheriff to pick up and transport the person to the nearest receiving facility.
When will the order be served on the person?
The sheriff will make every attempt to take the person into custody and transport the person to a facility. If the person cannot be located by the sheriff, the sheriff will hold the order for seven (7) days and continue attempts to take the person into custody.
How long will the order hold the person in a facility?
A person may not be detained for more than 72 hours.
Lexington, Kentucky USA - By Jack Cross/President of Home Instead Senior Care as published in the The Local Lexington
Mary is 86 and lives alone in a small cluttered apartment. The food in the refrigerator looks long passed its “sell by” date.
Mary has been wearing the same dress for weeks, and she cannot remember when she last had a shower or a nutritious meal. Her adult son lives near but is not interested. Her adult daughter also lives near. She is somewhat involved with her mother, but she has a family and career and is unwilling or unable to improve the situation.
Unfortunately, this scenario is all too common today. It’s an example of elder abuse by neglect, and elder abuse is on the rise in Massachusetts.
I recently spoke with Marissa Hamilton, of Protective Services at Minuteman Senior Services in Burlington, to get an update on the situation.
According to Marissa, calls in to Minuteman reporting possible elder abuse are up 20 percent as of January 2009. A Boston Globe article on the subject in February mentioned two other similar agencies whose number of reports in a recent four-month period hit record highs for both their 30 years of operation.
The overall increase in the senior p0pulation accounts for some of the rise, as does a greater amount of outreach about the issue to “mandated reporters” — people in positions of responsibility such as police, firefighters, health and home-care personnel etc.
However, the major recent change that everyone agrees is adding so greatly to the problem is the current state of the economy.
Neglect of elders due to limited time and resources on the part of their children, issues of affording care and medications, and a heightened level of stress among both seniors themselves and their children and other caregivers are all more prevalent today than they were a year ago.
Seniors are especially at risk for financial exploitation, suffering not only from theft itself, but also from verbal abuse and even physical violence during arguments over money.
Other categories of abuse that the regional senior services agencies respond to are physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect.
According to literature from the Protective Services office, you should seek help if your caregiver or a family member or acquaintance:
· Is hurting you or threatening to hurt you
· Won’t let you see friends, family or your doctor
· Is not providing food and medications (or is having medications stolen)
· Is taking money or things of value
· Is signing your name without permission
· Is asking you to sign papers you don’t understand
The reporting process, as Marissa describes it, is very straightforward. It is designed to encourage anyone who sees a possible cause for concern to take action, or anyone who feels threatened to feel secure about asking for help.
At the Elder Abuse Minuteman hotline number (781-272-7177) or the statewide hotline (800-922-2275) the caller can remain anonymous. A Minuteman staff member consults with the caller to evaluate the problem and determine whether it constitutes abuse or not.
For problems categorized as suspected abuse, an investigation is opened and a caseworker assigned. The outcome of the investigation is generally a service plan to help resolve the situation and make sure that it does not reoccur.
The resources that can be called into play are extensive and include medical assistance, housing, in-home help, transportation, education, legal services, institution placement, plus social and material assistance.
If the abuse victim is in some imminent danger, Protective Services will take immediate action to help or protect them. This could involve actions beginning with contacting local health or public safety organizations, to taking out a restraining order, to actually getting the victim to a safe house or respite facility, if necessary.
The identity of the person reporting the abusive situation is always protected and kept completely confidential.
It is unfortunate, of course, that the state of the economy is impacting attempts at aid as well. The Globe account mentions that budget cuts affecting protective service agencies have started to force them to “triage” cases, giving priority to the most serious. Limited resources may mean that some situations cannot be fully resolved, as staff would like.
If you suspect abuse or are experiencing it yourself, seek help before it’s too late. Anyone can report suspected abuse, even a casual observer.
If you are a caregiver and are feeling ready to crack, ask for help too.
Jack Cross is President of Home Instead Senior Care-Lexington, a provider of companionship and home care for the elderly. He can be reached at 781-402-0060 or
firstname.lastname@example.org. See his Web site at www.homeinstead.com/404.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Janet Phelan has requested that the March 6, 2009 post on elderabusehelp. org be retracted. On March 28th she issued the following statement:
It would be best if you would remove the recent post on your webpage, alluding to the $800,000 theft by Melodie Scott. I have had several legal and accounting professionals look at the ledger,and the reactions are mixed. While one accountant and one lawyer concurred in my evaluation, a couple of others did not. I think it would be best to remove the post until this matter has been completely evaluated and determined.
I have engaged legal services and will be shortly issuing a demand letter to Horspool, Scott and the Bank for all records pertaining to the Phelan Family Trust. If they ignore this demand letter, as they have ignored recent requests for financial documents revelant to the Phelan Family Trust, I will issue a Motion to Compel.
As there is a possibility that my assessment that over $800,000 was lifted off the top of the Trust by Melodie Scott was inaccurate, I wish to apologize if I erroneously stated that this figure reveals the extent of her financial misconduct.