Sunday, January 31, 2010
Posted: 29 Jan 2010 08:47 PM PST
With a vote of 39 to 1, the Texas State Bar Board of Directors voted today to recommend to the Supreme Court of Texas that legal clients not receive additional consumer protections that would flow from “customers” being informed as to whether or not their lawyers carry professional liability (aka malpractice) insurance.
Here’s the deal. When you go to a doctor, except for seriously flaked-out circumstances, he/she has professional liability insurance (PLI). The same is increasingly true for other professionals. It’s the cost of being a prudent business operator in today’s litigious society. And what causes today’s society to be so litigious?
One influence is certainly the entitlement mentality shepherding our country’s migration into the Land of the Gimme-Gimmes and the Home of the I-Want-Mores. Another influence - the legal industry, those who help perpetuate society’s ability to pursue frivolous or baseless legal action.
The pursuit of justice can be a righteous act. Other times, though, it’s opportunism. But worst of all, contrived legal disputes are becoming increasingly common.
It’s a great gig to wield a double-edged sword of potential prosperity by pursuing business entities through either litigation or the prospect of a lucrative insurance settlement. And along the way, corrupt and blatantly dishonest - even criminal - acts can and do occur.
At EstateofDenial.com, we follow cases in which probate venues and probate instruments (wills, trusts, guardianships and powers of attorney) are used to loot assets of the dead, disabled or incapacitated. Assaulting the personal freedom and lifelong asset accumulation of honest, hard-working Americans is an ugly business being seen with greater frequency.
The legal industry wants disputes between lawyers and clients relegated to Bar-operated disciplinary processes viewed by many as, at best, neutered. Despite sometimes obvious criminality, law enforcement is often resistant to act therefore relegating legal abuse victims to pay-to-play civil venues.
With the “self-policing” legal industry poised to protect its own and civil courts providing expense recourse that is out-of-reach to many complainants, potential pressures toward consumer protections such as liability insurance pose one last threat. Talk about an industry that knows how to give it but not how to take it.
Today’s vote sends a clear message that the legal industry wants to maintain an uneven playing field. Whether here in Texas or elsewhere, people should be concerned.
To learn more about the background of this vote, see Texas attorneys resist malpractice insurance disclosure or Texas legal consumers beware upcoming liability insurance disclosure vote.
Notes from Editor:
Previously we talked about how *mothers guilty of victimless crimes such as simple drug possession were given life sentences with no chance for parole for 15 years, in contrast the legal industry (racket) gets slaps in the wrists for crimes involving multiple victims whose life have been disrupted by the theft of lifetimes of toil, hard work and savings for the golden age which has now become the nightmare from hell from which there is no recourse other than civil litigation which most older victims are unable to pursue because of age, time and money constraints.
EstateOfDenial.Com deserves the highest level of recognition and support for tireless continuing to document the continual abuse by legal practitioners of the captive audience, which is vulnerable elders who turn to them for help.
With the light sentences, often commuted,forgiven,in lieu of probation, agreements of reimbursement, most often not honored , is then any wonder that the crime of elder financial abuse continues un abated by the same people whose facade is to protect the people they often prey upon?
The amount of corruption by the self policing legal industry is beyond the scope of this blog and the study and documentation there of would fill volumes....
Again hats of to EoD for continuing to document these abuses:
- Rondos heads to jail
- Lawyers’ ‘inheritance’ of Simon estate escalates
- Graziano attorney claims entrapment
Irene Masiello brought to our attention that there are protocols, however there are some important questions that must be asked regarding elder protection in financial exploitation cases which is being called the crime of the 21st century which according to the 1998 National Elder Abuse Incidence Study, only 20% of elder abuse cases are reported. Other studies suggest as few as 7% of cases are reported.
Such crimes include embezzlement, false pretense, trick and device, and undue influence. Perpetrators may try to obtain the victim’s assets through the use of legal documents such as joint tenancy agreements, powers of attorney, quitclaim deeds, wills, or trusts in addition to simple theft and forgery.
*Is there any law which mandates that the protocol be used in any specific situation?
*Do they define any of the specific criteria included in recommended checklists that should trigger their use?
*Do they require any specific questions be asked under any specific circumstances?
- Dependence upon the perpetrator
- Emotional Manipulation or Exploitation of Vulnerability
1. Isolation from pertinent information, friends, relatives, or usual advisors. Common causes that need documentation are:
a.Naturally occurring, or pre-existing history of poor or non-existent relationships. Examples include: hostile relationships with family existing before the suspected abuse, a lack of living relatives, or having few friendships.
b.Medical disorders affecting the body or the brain are common causes of isolation. Examples include: diabetes, heart disease, deafness, blindness, dementia, depression, or other psychiatric illnesses.
c.Perpetrator interference is another common cause. Examples include: blocking telephone calls, intercepting mail, blocking visitors, or "chaperoning" (i.e., the perpetrator is present whenever victim has contact with others).
d.Geographic or technological isolation is the least common cause. Victims cannot contact or have access to friends, family, relatives, or appropriate professionals. Examples include: lack of telephone or lack of transportation.
2. Dependence upon the perpetrator. Common causes that need documentation are:
a. Physical dependence: Examples include food preparation, taking victim to physicians, etc.
b. Emotional dependence: Examples include sweetheart scams, unemployed son moving back in with widowed mother, new boyfriend/girlfriend.
c. Information dependence: Examples include professionals/advisors who misuse positions of trust to manipulate their victims.
3. Emotional Manipulation - Any emotion may be manipulated, but the most common emotion to be manipulated is fear.or Exploitation of Vulnerability - The perpetrator may exploit a victim’s known or suspected vulnerability.
a.Emotional manipulation often centers on issues of companionship/friendship and safety/security. Promises that these will be maintained if the victim complies, or threats that these will be lost if the victim disobeys, are common.
b.Examine the statements and behavior of both the suspect and victim for evidence of emotional manipulation. It is especially important to document any changed or altered behavior.
c.Exploitation of vulnerabilities includes behaviors such as providing alcohol to a drinker in exchange for benefits; having a vision-impaired person sign a legal document; or misrepresenting documents to the cognitively impaired.
4. Acquiescence - The victim appears to consent or submit, but does so because of items 1, 2, and 3.
a.Document the victim’s history of submitting to others, in addition to his or her general behavior.
b.The perpetrator may not directly ask the victim to give money or property.
c.If there is no acquiescence by the victim, consider other prosecutable acts, such as embezzlement, false pretense, or trick and device.
5. Loss – This refers to actual financial loss.
a.Financial loss is usually necessary for criminal prosecution. It is helpful, but not always necessary, for civil litigation.
b.Document all financial losses in chronological order, to help organize evidence associated with each loss.
Undue Influence Worksheets for Police, APS, and Probate Investigators Page 4 of 8
Copyright © 2002 by Bennett Blum, M.D. and Tom Feledy, M.B.A. All Rights Reserved.
Be careful about talking about Christianity in public! That is the message being sent out this week as arguments have moved to the appellate court level in a California case in which a man talking to two willing strangers in a shopping mall was arrested because the subject of the conversation was God.
We are all aware of the Christian symbols being removed from public spaces, prayer banned from schools, and that the USA as claimed by its top CEO is no longer a Christian Nation, but when we hear of people being actually arrested because of it, then it is worth mentioning it in the long slippery slope headed to where ever it is that we are headed.
"Singling out religious speech for punishment violates our most basic principles of free expression," said PJI President Brad Dacus. "If anyone can be arrested for wearing a Christian T-shirt or mentioning God in a shopping mall, we have lost not only our freedom, but our sanity as a society."
PJI affiliate attorney Timothy Smith, of the Sacramento firm McKinley & Smith, served pro bono as Snatchko's lead counsel in the trial court and continues to serve as part of the appellate team.
Will Americans wake up out of their lethargy in time to save our civilization as each right is successively stripped away until there are none left?
Friday, January 29, 2010
There are professional protocols (and have been for years!) that are accepted by legal and medical professionals, social workers, courts, etc. in most of the Western Hemisphere which were created by [Rabbi] Bennett Blum, MD (co-author of "suicide by cop").
Dr. Blum's work pertains specifically to undue influence, diminished capacity, when to call a psychiatrist for professional evaluation, understanding the medical criteria, what infirmities (physical, mental, nutritional) lead to diminishing capacity, explanation of medical terms, types of dementia, warning signs, etc, in my book.
In the afterword of 2nd edition of my book, Dr. Blum generously added his brilliant, easy to understand, pioneering work (see above) through the use of his acronyms, "IDEAL" &"PARADISE 2" simplify complex issues so that a layman can easily apply and document his protocols through use of his work sheets which are contained in my book.
My book also provides lists of the components of dysfunctional families, et al. such as substance abuse, personality attributes (in abuser and victim) and issues, etc, the early warning signs that the elderly are "at risk", what behaviors are early red flags, etc.
Paradise Costs-A Victim's Daughter Fights Back against Elder Abuse was invited and is now part of the largest government data base for scholarly, academic and professional information on elder abuse, neglect and exploitation at the U of Delaware. See: www.ParadiseCosts.com
Irene A. Masiello
Author: Paradise Costs- A Victim's Daughter Fights Back Against Elder Abuse
Afterword by: Bennett Blum, M.D.
"Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has" - Margaret Mead
Confidentially notice-this e-mail and its attachment(s) are solely intended for the addressed recipient. It may contain confidential information that is copyrighted, proprietary or legally privileged. If you are not the intended recipient please destroy this e-mail and its attachments and notify the sender.
(c) Copyright, Irene A. Masiello, all rights reserved
Chris Proffitt/Eyewitness NewsHamilton County - A legal battle is brewing over one of Indiana's biggest family fortunes. The daughter of the late shopping center tycoon Mel Simon is challenging changes to her father's will that gives hundred of millions of dollars more to her stepmother and cuts of million to Indianapolis charities.
The complaint, filed last week in a Hamilton County court, is a glimpse into the private lives of a public family and the upcoming legal battle over the fortune of its patriarch.
82-year-old shopping center tycoon Mel Simon left an estate valued at $1.3 billion upon his death in September. But according to court documents, one of Simon's three children, Deborah Simon, accused her father's second wife, Bren, of coercing her ill husband nearly a year ago into signing a new estate plan that, in effect, gives her everything.
Deborah Simon contends the changes essentially eliminate all charitable donations Mel Simon made in his previous will, including $10 million to the Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis and many other organizations.
The complaint alleges that Mel Simon was so ill that he was unable to sign the new will and trust agreement himself and that someone had to move his hand as he allegedly signed both documents.
"This is going to be a huge legal battle that will take years to resolve," said Andrew Mayoras, attorney and author.
Andrew Mayoras is an attorney and author of the book, "Trial and Heirs: Famous Fortune Fights." He says the burden of proof in the case falls on Mel Simon's daughter Deborah.
"Most states, including Indiana, the courts presume the will or trust was valid unless the person challenging can bring forth very specific and concrete information that he didn't know who his family was, what his property was and how his family treated him and that's a high burden to meet," Mayoras said.
Legal experts call these high-profile legal battles the dirty laundry of the wealthy and deceased played out in public and there are few like the upcoming fight over Mel Simon's riches.
Deborah Simon we have a saying, "You snooze, you lose" sorry that you fell sleep at the wheel now it looks like legal man will be the beneficiary, they call families like yours "Dysfunctional" they waited all their lives for an opportunity like this. The legal profession thrives, they live for this.
Because this is a very common occurrence there are those out there that are calling for protocols to protect the elders from becoming caught in the crossfire that is often fatal to a frail older person.
To implement guidelines and protocol that would prevent this from happening would be a simple matter (if) the resolve was there and (if) this wasn't a cottage industry that spins off un quantifiable benefits to an array of personnel that are involved with the dispute and that in likelihood will provide benefits for a lot of persons, not withstanding the intended legal heirs for many years to come.....
Deborah although it might be a bit late for you as it was for me, but for others out there with
older parents, please take our experience as a warning, I wish someone would have warned me as I am warning you.
All it takes is one fall, one visit to the hospital, chances are if your parents have some money saved up, they are in someone's watch list. Someone who is just waiting for the right opportunity to present itself, and that it does in ways un expecting and naive family members seldom expect.
Rule of Thumb: The general rule is once the elder becomes frail , affected by old age, dementia, Alzheimer, he is fair game and the first one to get to him gets the loot! If he is willing to share it with an army of personnel that specialize is this type of scam, there will be plenty of help in disqualifying the legitimate heirs and making sure the original intent of the Testator is muddled beyond recognition....
Deborah, it looks like you will be spending a good portion of the rest of your life in court! We wish you luck ..
by Ray Fernandez
As private Citizens we are not allowed to "Take Care of Our Own" when our parents get old and need help, however "Taking Care of Their Own" takes on a new meaning when applied to the legal profession.
Convicted lawyer Karyn McConnell Hancock who admitted to stealing more than $624,000 from 22 clients over six years was sentenced on January 15, 2009 to four years in prison. * I know of people who are non attorneys and who have been convicted of possessing controlled substances, a victimless crime whose life has been turned upside down with long mandatory prison sentences.
It has been learned that attorney Jerry Phillips filed a motion for judicial release requesting that visiting Judge David Faulkner grant her early release after serving only one year of her sentence this motion was recently filed on January 21,2010.
Authorities claim that Authorities said McConnell Hancock would put money into an attorney escrow account for clients of personal-injury cases, probate matters, and real-estate issues, and divert some of the funds for personal use. What a nice business this lawyering business is ! Isn't it?
Attorney Karyn McConnell on April 9 was sentenced to two years of probation with a three-month suspended jail sentence, a $300 fine, and 40 hours of community service. On an non related charge.
More information on this story can be found at the Toledo Blade
* Gloria VanWrinkle a mother of children children, ages 10 and 6 , her crime was possessing one-sixteenth of an ounce of cocaine, equivalent to less than two artificial sweetener packets. Sentenced to life with no chance of parole for 15 years.
Every 20 seconds, someone in the United States is arrested for a drug violation. Every week, on average, a new jail or prison is built to lock up more people in the world's largest penal system.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Now I have been disowned as a family member...I basically have lost my entire life over this. Why on earth would they do such a thing? Do they think that people will want to use the hotline if they do this sort of thing?
I have contacted an attorney concerning this matter...
I have no idea what to do...
It said on the website that I would be exempt from testifying in court, and that I would remain anonymous...
Dear Mindy :
I have had a very negative experience with the Division of Children and Families (DCF) when my mother Clara G. Fernandez was being abused by a discontented sibling, Adalberto J. Fernandez and his partner William Hart of Winter Haven ,because they felt they had been short changed when she wrote her will and testament , they rendered her incapacitated and took over her assets, after being given the circle jerk we were referred to the Elder Protective Services for help and we had hoped that they could make a difference, (before she was harmed) they did, unfortunately it was for the worst !
They often turn family members one against the other, this enable the State to take custody of the elder triggering off a very lucrative chain of events of which there is an entire cottage industry built around......
If anyone has any thing to say to Mindy would you please write to her:
We are aware of this problem and have been in situations of where State agencies not only hindered but blocked, and threatened to take action should we proceed to press forward with complaints of elder abuse so we are glad that someone found the nerve to blow the whistle on this wide spread and common practice for state agencies to stifle,block, hinder elder abuse investigations often hiding behind a veil of secrecy...
Investigators were stonewalled by the New Mexico Human Services Department (HSD) and Health Department, according to the Fraud Division’s 2009 annual report to the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
HSD administers the state Medicaid program with help from the Health Department. The agencies hindered “many” fraud and elder abuse investigations during 2008 and 2009, according to the report.
“It appears that the (HSD) inappropriately filters the information they provide to the Fraud Division,” the report states. “[T]his sterilization has inhibited our ability to access and prosecute both fraud and abuse claims.”
According to the report, investigators were unable to obtain pharmaceutical pricing or patient care data. Investigators were also repeatedly unable to secure copies of contracts with the state’s four Medicaid managed care organizations — Lovelace Community Health, Molina, Presbyterian Health Plan and Blue Cross/Blue Shield New Mexico — from either HSD or the managed care organizations themselves, the report states.
The June 2009 report followed a January 2009 audit by the Legislative Finance Committee, which called for an evaluation of how exactly HSD combats Medicaid fraud.
“It appears that both the (HSD) and Department of Health…review and, on occasion, redirect the Division’s data or documents requests, instead of allowing a free flow of information as anticipated by Medicaid regulations and the Memorandum of Understanding between (HSD) and the Division,” the report states.
Fraud Division Director Elizabeth Staley did not respond to emailed questions about the report and could not comment due to a busy schedule related to the legislative session, according to spokesman Phillip Sisneros.
“The Human Services Department was unaware of this report until now and is surprised by the allegations,” HSD spokeswoman Betina Gonzales McCracken told The Independent. “The HSD Medical Assistance Division meets with the (Fraud Division) monthly. During these meetings, the issues described in the report have never been mentioned.”
Secretary of Health Alfredo Vigil said in a single-sentence e-mail to The Independent:“We believe we have been cooperative in providing any documents that the Attorney General’s Office has requested.”
The Independent’s public records requests to the Fraud Division and state and federal agencies have not yet been fulfilled.
“This just goes to show the importance of the free flow of information,” New Mexico Foundation for Open Government Executive Director Sarah Welsh said.
“It’s not just reporters who are harmed when agencies withhold information, or try to spin it – it’s citizen activists, candidates for public office, business owners, legislators and in this case, even the state’s top law-enforcement agency. …What happens to the victims and perpetrators of (elder) abuse while we fight over documents? In a democracy we’re all responsible for government oversight, and our system of checks and balances simply doesn’t work without access to unfiltered information. I hope that bringing this to HSD’s attention will resolve this issue and head off any future ones.”Source=>>
Monday, January 25, 2010
By Martha Stewart for the The Huffington Post
As the health care bill winds its way through Congress, sparking passions, heated debate and countless news stories, I have been struck by the dearth of discussion about a looming health care crisis: In 2011, the first of 78 million baby boomers will start turning 65. We, as a nation, are utterly unprepared for this rapidly approaching "silver tsunami."
We do not have enough doctors skilled in the care of the very demographic group with the greatest overall health care needs. And we do not provide proper support for the more than 48 million men and women who, according to a recent report from the National Alliance for Caregiving, are caring for older family members and friends.
Our population is growing older and living longer. Life expectancy in the United States is at an all-time high of nearly 78 years. The oldest old, those who are age 85 and over, are the fastest growing segment of the population. Yet very few doctors are trained in the care of the elderly.
Do you know that there is currently one geriatrician to every 10,000 baby boomers? There are about three times as many cosmetic surgeons, a fact that speaks volumes about how we view aging in this country.
With the increase in the elderly population comes a concomitant increase in informal caregivers. Because around-the-clock home care runs as high as $150,000 per year (not including rent or food) and, depending on where you live, residence in an assisted living facility can easily cost $4,000 per month (none of which is covered by Medicare), more than 75 percent of Americans receiving long-term care rely solely on family and friends to provide assistance.
The vast majority of these caregivers are women, most of whom devote an average of 19 hours a week to their caregiving role, often while also holding down a paying job. Many are caring for young children and their aging parents at the same time. And many more, surveys show, have used all of their savings or cut back on their own health care spending in order to cover the cost of caregiving for their relative.
I come to these issues as the daughter of a woman who lived to the age of 93. My mother remained actively engaged in life and healthy nearly to the end. Still, we came to know first-hand some of the issues that need to be managed and the constant worry that shadows every day. What if she falls? What if she takes her medicine twice or, as was more likely with my mother, what if she decides not to take them at all?
My family's experience opened my eyes to the challenges facing countless Americans and their families, and inspired me to found the Martha Stewart Center for Living at the Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York City. At the Center, which is dedicated to my mother, our mission is to help people live longer, healthier, productive lives even as they grow older. We also aim to develop new models of care for people over the age of 65 that will help our country and the world better meet the healthcare demands of an aging population.
There is an urgent need for innovative ideas and new paradigms -- and no quick fixes. But there are steps we can and should take. First, we must recognize that older adults are an idiosyncratic population with a broad spectrum of needs from the frail and fading Alzheimer's patient to the physically and mentally active senior like, for example, Clint Eastwood who at age 79 is arguably at the height of his creative powers. And we must educate doctors--whether or not they are geriatricians--so they can better understand and serve this demographic.
At Mt. Sinai [in NYC], every medical student is required to do at least some of their training at the Center for Living. No matter what specialty of medicine these doctors ultimately choose, they will be better prepared to work with our rapidly aging population.
Passage of the C.L.A.S.S. Act, a national long-term care insurance program that is currently part of both the House and Senate health care bills, could also make a difference. Introduced by the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy, the C.L.A.S.S. Act (short for Community Living Assistance Services and Support) would allow people to purchase long-term care insurance through payroll deductions and to receive cash to pay for home care, adult day programs, assisted living or nursing homes. The program's fiscal soundness has come under fire from certain quarters. There's no question that new legislation must be well-designed and viable over the long term, but, at the same time, we must not lose sight of a pressing need for solutions that will offer older adults and their families some financial protection.
We're all in this together. Whether or not you care about older people, you will, if you're lucky, be one of them. It's not just a demographic. It's personal -- it's you, your parents, your aunts, uncles, friends and children. We need to do a better job caring for this population -- and supporting those who care for them.
Martha Stewart is the founder of the Martha Stewart Center for Living at Mt. Sinai and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.
America's Impending Master Class Dictatorship
Article courtesy of EstateOf Denial.Com
Juanita Ann Canley sentenced to jail, probation
January 9, 2009
Santa Paula News
District Attorney Gregory D. Totten recently announced that Juanita Ann Canley, aka Juanita Browne (DOB 1/17/59) of Ventura, has been placed on five years of probation and ordered to serve 270 days in the Ventura County Jail.
District Attorney Gregory D. Totten recently announced that Juanita Ann Canley, aka Juanita Browne (DOB 1/17/59) of Ventura, has been placed on five years of probation and ordered to serve 270 days in the Ventura County Jail. Canley was sentenced for the thefts she committed and kickbacks she received when she was employed as a deputy public guardian for Ventura County.
The Ventura County Public Guardian’s Office is the conservator of last resort for individuals who are unable to manage their own affairs and have no family members willing or able to take on responsibility for their physical and financial well being.
After a five-week trial in September and October of 2008, a jury found Canley guilty of one count of felony bribery, nine counts of felony theft of public funds, four counts of felony receiving stolen property, and one count of misdemeanor theft from a dependent person. This matter was investigated by the District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department also assisted in the initial investigation.
Canley, a former deputy public guardian, abused her position of trust by using money she held on behalf of her clients to make purchases for herself and others. Among other things, Canley bought jewelry, hats, clothing, wigs, cosmetics, perfume, CDs, and electronic equipment. She then submitted false receipts to the Public Guardian’s Office, causing the cost of the items to be charged to Public Guardian clients.
Search warrants served on Canley’s home by the District Attorney’s Office also uncovered property that had been taken from the estates of deceased Public Guardian clients, as well as current clients who were elderly or suffering from grave disabilities. Investigators found coins, stamps, jewelry and electronic equipment, including a television that Canley was using in her upstairs den, which belonged to a Public Guardian client.
Canley was also convicted of engaging in a kickback scheme with Hiep Le, a custodian employed by the County of Ventura.
Canley hired Le to clean out homes of Public Guardian clients after they were moved to care facilities. She set the price for the clean-outs and told Le how much to return to her in cash. In one instance, she told Le to add a “no show” worker to the invoice so she could get $1,500 from the amount paid by the victim. Le often placed cash in an envelope and slid it through the window of Canley’s car, which was parked in the Government Center parking lot. In return, Le continued to receive work from Canley.
Hiep Le previously pleaded guilty to one count of felony bribery. Le cooperated with the investigation and testified against Canley at her trial. His sentencing was to be held on January 7 in courtroom 46 in front of Judge Riley.
The allegations against Canley were revealed during an investigation of Esther Torres-Anaya, also a former deputy public guardian. Torres-Anaya stole and cashed checks belonging to Public Guardian clients totaling more than $93,000. Torres-Anaya pleaded guilty to 47 felony counts and was sentenced to 64 months in state prison.
On January 21 at 8:30 a.m., Judge Rebecca Riley will hold further hearings to determine the amount of restitution owed by Canley. On behalf of the victims, the Public Guardian’s Office is requesting $6,995 in restitution plus the return of television sets, jewelry, coins, stamps, clothes and other stolen items.
If there is one theme that we see over and over is this "I would have never thought this could happen to an individual in this country.” Even though the media is allowed to mention individual cases now and then , they are not allowed to tie it all in and make the connection and those who have enjoyed an unexpected career change, blogs who are not regulated(yet) can withstand the heat even though some of us have had to leave the country in order to be able to speak freely without fear of retribution and we have been busy documenting case after case yet it never ceases to amaze me how surprised people act when caught in the dragnet that is becoming ever increasingly hungry for your parents accumulated cash stash.
If there is one thing that we all have in common including , Janet Phelan, Lou Ann Anderson,
Tom Fields, Irene Masiello and of course myself along with many thousands of others is this...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Jan. 21, 2010
CONTACT: HOLLY L. PEFFER,
P.O. Box 206 A, Derrick City, PA 16727
BRADFORD, Pa. – U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak (Rep.-7th District) is urging the Pennsylvania Department of Aging to investigate how a longtime Bradford resident has been held for nearly three years in an assisted-living facility in Florida against her wishes and those of her loved ones.
Rita Denmark, 79, who suffers from age-apparent dementia, is under a court-appointed Florida guardianship. However, she is a resident of Pennsylvania, and neither she nor her family wants her in Florida.
In a letter dated Jan. 12, 2010, Sestak urged Acting Department of Aging Secretary John M. Hall to “please also investigate this matter, since the question of residency appears to be an issue.” Sestak further asked that he be informed of developments in the matter.
After exhausting her personal financial resources for legal fees and travel over the past three years, Denmark’s daughter, Holly L. Peffer of Derrick City outside Bradford, contacted the Congressman for help this month.
Peffer, herself certified by the National Guardianship Association Inc., said “There are currently pending motions and notices before both the Pennsylvania and Florida courts” arguing that the Florida court had no jurisdiction to appoint a guardian for a Pennsylvania resident.
A member of the National Association to Stop Guardianship Abuse, Peffer said of the situation: “I would not wish this nightmare on my worst enemy… I would have never thought this could happen to an individual in this country.”
“It has been quite a learning experience, and when the Congressman’s letter arrived in my mailbox on Saturday my heart was filled with joy to know that my mother really does matter.”
Peffer said she has come to realize that her family’s situation is only one, of thousands of cases in the United States where guardianship of an elderly person appears to benefit only a professional guardian. It appears, these professional guardians are accountable to no one. Currently legally prohibited from contact with her mother, Peffer says she and other friends and family are sincerely concerned for Denmark’s health and well-being under this guardian’s care for a variety of reasons, including conditions found during on-site visits to the facility where Denmark is being held and whether that type of facility is appropriate for Denmark at all.
Now, however, Peffer hopes that the attention from Sestak and the Department of Aging will see her mother home by spring.
PLEASE NOTE: Peffer has detailed records of the case history, and may be contacted for further information or interviews at the phone or addresses above.
The Disturbing Case of the Estate of Judge John L. Phillips
David Mark Greaves
August 6, 2009
Our Times Press
“The Brooklyn Supreme Court Guardianship Program has been hijacked by Mafia-style crime”, charges Reverend Samuel Boykin, court-appointed guardian for Judge John Phillips, the “Kung Fu Judge.” Phillips was a Brooklyn Civil Court Judge for 13 years serving two terms between 1976 and 1994. Boykin is the first family member in a long line of court-appointed guardians to take charge of Judge Phillips’ estate after he was declared mentally incompetent by District Attorney Charles Hynes’ office in 2001.
His story should serve as a cautionary tale for all.
“Judge John L. Phillips said to me regularly that if all of these illegal activities can be successfully committed against a judge, they can be committed against anyone,” says Reverend Boykin.
That the tale is long and sordid is a matter of record. Writing in Our Time Press in 2007, reporter Mary Alice Miller has chronicled many of the misdeeds and charges. The New York Law Journal has had extensive coverage. In the hands of judge-appointed guardians, the estate has gone from a value of over $10 million to $18,000 and three properties, including the famous Slave Theater on Harriet Ross Tubman Avenue, aka Fulton Street.
So far only Maria Leyna Albertina and attorney Emani P. Taylor have paid a price for their roles in the saga. Ms. Albertina was sentenced in January to 5-15 years for mortgage fraud activity, some of which involved Judge Phillips’ property.
Attorney Taylor, a former interim guardian for Judge Phillips, has been suspended from the practice of law. As reported in the New York Law Journal, January 2008, a unanimous panel of Justices in the Appellate Division wrote that, “At a minimum, [Taylor] withdrew funds from the guardianship account as legal fees without court permission, at worst, she intentionally converted guardianship funds.” She was later ordered to repay $403,149 for mishandling the Judge’s affairs. An application has been made to The Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection to recoup those monies. The fund responded on April 23rd of this year that in addition to needing proof of payment and various other conditions met, “The Fund must await the conclusion of the underlying disciplinary matters pending against Ms. Taylor before proceeding further.”
Of larger concern is what has happened to judicial oversight of the court-appointed guardians and of the whole Guardianship program. As Boykin says in his complaint to Comptroller William Thompson, “There were 12 judges involved in the Judge John L. Phillips Guardianship case, either involved in overseeing the case as presiding judges, issuing decision orders, judicial hearing judges, administrator judges, judges sealing records. We believe none of these judges are legally able to state they were not aware of the illegal activities going on in the Judge John L. Phillips Guardianship case, we believe the case is a good example” of the need for oversight of the Guardianship program.
Reverend Boykin has also filed a complaint with Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s Public Integrity Bureau. They, in turn, have referred the matter to Ms. Sherrill Spatz, Inspector General of the New York State Unified Court System, writing, “After careful review of the documents, we have determined that the issues mentioned pertain to your office….for whatever action you deem appropriate.”
In his letter to Assistant District Attorney Robert Renzulli in the Asset Forfeiture Bureau of D.A. Charles Hynes’ office, Boykin outlines how the Phillips estate has been systematically looted by mortgage fraud including “illegal conveyances, illegal sales and forgery of deeds.” And he asks if anyone is going to pay for these crimes?
We should start to hear other shoes dropping in this case. If not, then the silence will mark the all clear for business as usual, and the only thing sure other than death and taxes will be mortgage and financial fraud as legal vultures pick over the estates of primarily the weak and sick, but really, anyone at all.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Editor's note: Desperate Americans are attempting to use the RICO ACT for those unfamiliar with the term, RICO stands for the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. We at EA doubt that our esteemed Probate Judges who are beyond reproach and answer to no one except in the most blatant acts of pilfering, the attorneys who are under the cover of the ABA and the Guardians who are above the law and answer to no one can be tied in to racketeering and held accountable, we must however give them a B for effort!
Courtesy of EstateOfDenial.Com
Catherine O’Laughlin requests that the FTC consider joint complaints recently filed to the FTC regarding Elder Abuse by professionals as a result of activities which constitute racketeering from a RICO Enterprise. The RICO Act makes it unlawful for any person to conduct or participate directly or indirectly of an enterprise though a pattern of racketeering activity.
Under 18 U.S.C. Section 1962 (c) the complaints filed with the FTC will establish the (1) the conduct (2) the enterprise (3) a pattern and finally (4) the racketeering activity.
The most critical element of the RICO violation is a pattern of racketeering activity. This outline will demonstrate with particularity as to the time, place and contents of false representations, with the identity of the person making those representations and what was obtained by fraud. These persons involved in the commission of fraud will show repeatedly the pattern of licensed professionals regulated by State statutory agencies that showed reckless disregard and negligence towards the victims of crime. These are ongoing activities which are profoundly institutionalized and pose a harmful threat to democracy and the well being of vulnerable citizens, mainly the elderly, the disabled, and minor children.
The relationship between the attorneys and the conservator/guardian is that their private enterprise fronts as a legitimate business which renders services to the State Courts and to its citizens under a strict oath of ethical conduct and statutes of law. The enterprises are the law offices and the persons involved in the racketeering are the conservator-guardians who are not employees of that enterprise but interact in the commission of fraud with these enterprises. Mail fraud is incident to the essential part of the scheme which defrauded the victims and clearly satisfies the element of mail fraud.
Isaiah James May was born a little after 5 p.m. on Oct. 24, 2009, and was scheduled to die this past week – on Wednesday, Jan. 20 – just short of his three-month birthday.
That was the day chosen by Canada's publicly funded, government health service as the deadline for Isaiah to recover from his traumatic birth or be taken off life-support.
He's won a reprieve ... but for how long?
Friday, January 22, 2010
Vitamin B12 shots for weight loss, healthy skin , reducing stress, energy boosters, and so much more.
Because of that experience and my doctor’s words about how great these shots are for one’s overall health I have decided to make them a new part of my health regime. Some people get them once a month while others get them as often as twice a week
“The typical dose is 1000 mcg (thousand micrograms), only aproximately 100 mcg of that is absorbed per shot.”
A site where you can learn all about this supplement see FAQ,Testimonials and order any supplies:
Please Support Team Rubicon as they are doing this on their own!
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
To all those that have written to us to express your concern, the tragedy that's unfolding in Haiti has not affected us here at all. Clara is thriving and doing quite well and she is enjoying her life to the fullest! Clara G. Fernandez, who recently celebrated her 93rd birthday, is healthy and happy surrounded by her loving family members.
Clara escaped from Cuba and to the U.S in 1960 after having all her material wealth confiscated by the Castro Government, she was accompanied by her husband Dr. A.J. Fernandez who became a very influential and well known in the United States, M.D. writing for the A.M.A.and received numerous awards and recognitions after volunteering his services to the U.S. Navy and Cancer Research Institute.
After being forcefully separated from her husband in August 2004, Clara was forced to immigrate once again to escape the confiscation of her savings, and most of all, to avoid being forced to live in a nursing home against her will thus losing her freedom, her will to live, and her dignity.
Dr. A.J. Fernandez who died on January 9, 2006 because of the stress of this separation from his wife Clara and never understood why they were torn apart after 58 years of marriage., However; due to a sympathetic
Judge VonHoff , and very good attorney, Adrian P. Thomas, the efforts of family members who never gave up on Clara and many hundreds of thosands dollars in legal fees, Mr. Thomas was able to help A.J. realize his last wishes to see his wife Clara, however so briefly, one more time before he died.(see Video on YouTube )
After receiving several confiscation letters here=>> and threats to forced her to live in a nursing home isolated from her family and friends, Clara's family decided that she would be safer living abroad and she then made the arrangements to live overseas with her family.
I must admit, we all are really enjoying life without constant harassment of the Florida Children and Family (DCF), APS, who investigated our family a total of seven (7) times. And what a relief in not having to go to hearings every other week, while attorneys siphon off the saving, sacrificed in blood, sweat and tears of a generation of personal and collective sacrifice.
We no longer have to fight tooth and nail in order to have the right to have our parents live with us in the twilight of their years without having their every last penny taken from them for the benefit of others. WE the family, are really enjoying feeling that our home is really our home without having to pay costly Real Estate Taxes, Disproportionate Insurance bills. And what a blessing it is not seeing the mail carrier delivering threatening mail every day with never ending interest charges, late fees, bills, and the like. (The only bill we get is the electric bill, and it is hand delivered and runs approx. $100.00 USD a month including A/C cost.)
And what a difference in all of our lives, that we now feel we have control over our own destiny as we are not living in a Paternal State who attempts to control every move that we make.
"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty." Thomas Jefferson
On September 7th, 2008 I wrote on E.A. that soon world events would happen that would eclipse efforts to reform elder protection laws, I get very little satisfaction from saying "I told you so" but It's time to get your priorities in order and take action to protect your family in case of an emergency.
Do you have fuel in case that supplies are disrupted you can make emergency trips?
Do you have enough food for your family to survive in case supplies are disrupted?
Do you have water purification candles with which to make water drinkable?
Do you have silver and gold coins that you can use to buy food in case a banking holiday is declared and/or banks close?
Do you have enough iodine pills to get your family through a nuclear emergency?
It's time to get your priorities in order and hope for the best but prepare for the worst!
The Haitians are poor and did expect to have to go without food water or medicines and did not prepare ahead of time , what is going to be your excuse?
Here is some sites you will find useful in your planning, at times like this it is better to err on the side of caution.....http://www.pwgazette.com/gravity.htm
update 01/19/10 1:22 AM
Judy Siegel-Itzkovich , THE JERUSALEM POST
- “Shabbat from hell. Everywhere, the acrid smell of bodies hangs in the air. It’s just like the stories we are told of the Holocaust - thousands of bodies everywhere. You have to understand that the situation is true madness, and the more time passes, there are more and more bodies, in numbers that cannot be grasped. It is beyond comprehension.”
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Elderly And Children are being pushed aside in Haiti earthquake aftermath as looting and gun-fights break out and Haiti sinks into total anarchy....
As anger and fears of violence grew amid desperate shortages of food, water and medical supplies, bands of machete-wielding earthquake survivor yesterday roamed through the ruins of Port-au-Prince.
By Philip Sherwell and Patrick Sawer
Published: 7:28PM GMT 16 Jan 2010
Sporadic violence, looting and gang-related gunfire broke out under sweltering Caribbean skies even as thousands of US forces awaited deployment from a newly-arrived aircraft carrier sitting in the waters off the city.
In chaotic scenes, United Nations food trucks were rushed by hungry people clamouring for handouts of nutritional biscuits and water purification tablets. Children and the elderly were pushed aside in the crush.
"Somebody wanted to carjack him," said Mr Jean, who arrived in the city on Thursday and put his staff to work clearing bodies. "Two shots."
In one particularly shocking incident, a looter was spotted hauling a corpse from a coffin at a city cemetery so that he could drive away with the wooden box. There were reports of armed gangs setting up roadblocks to demand money and essential supplies from passing lorries and the UN said that the poor security situation meant it could not reach outlying areas with aid operations.
In the Iron Market, one of the poorest neighbourhoods, teenage looters scuttled over the concrete debris and ignored piles of dead bodies on the street in their desperate bid to dig out supplies.
"People are hungry, thirsty. They are left on their own," said Leon Meleste, an Adventist sporting a white "New York" baseball cap.
"It is increasingly dangerous. The police doesn't exist, people are doing what they want."
Former US president Bill Clinton, the UN special envoy to Haiti, urged Americans not to be deterred from supporting the relief effort as his wife Hillary, the secretary of state, flew in to the country to discuss the aid operation.
"You may see some things in the next seven or 10 days that don't just tug at your heart strings but upset you," Mr Clinton said. "You may see a lot of very angry people, you may see some people looting, you may see some people doing and saying some things you don't like."
US troops are due to be deployed this weekend to help the distribution of aid and quell the threat of violence. But for now the Haitian capital, a tense and insecure place at the best of times, has no effective police force.
And the security situation worsened when the collapse of Port-au-Prince's main prison left 4,000 convicts free to escape. A local policeman, standing near the jail, rifle at the ready said: "All the bandits of the city are now on the streets. They are robbing people. It is a big problem."
Evelyne Buino, a young beautician, said: "Men suddenly appeared with machetes to steal money. This is just the beginning." Harold Marzouka, a Haitian-American businessman, said: "If aid doesn't start pouring in at a significant level, there will be serious consequences on the streets. People are in the shocked and frightened stage. The next phase is survival."
The shortage of water remains the gravest problem. People have been walking the streets carrying empty plastic bottles gathering water from broken pipes and gutters. The city's supplies dried up following the rupture of the municipal pipeline.
Even before Tuesday's earthquake, most Haitians depended on water from a huge underground natural reservoir delivered by truckers. But many of the drivers are now too scared to deliver supplies after a number of them were attacked as they drove into the city.
One significant piece of good news that a UN warehouse, though damaged in the quake, had not been looted, as initially reported - allowing aid workers to begin distributing the 6,000 tons of food supplies inside.
Oxfam had water supplies in Haiti left over from a 2008 storm and has managed to get some 2,000 and 5,000-litre tanks into the city. US military officials say helicopters are ferrying in water and other supplies from the USS Carl Vinson, while the US multinational Procter & Gamble Co. is sending 3 million water-purifying packets along with cash donations for earthquake relief.
The structure of government and law and order all but disappeared in the days following the quake. But on the ground some Haitians were trying to fill the power vacuum and implement their own self-help operation, encouraged by the city's Radio Metropole, which urged residents: "Organise neighbourhood committees to avoid chaos and prevent people looting shops and houses."
Milero Cedamou, the 33-year-old owner of a small water delivery company, twice drove his small tanker truck 10 miles outside Port-au-Prince, paying $25 for each fill-up before returning to a tent city where thousands of homeless people were living.
Mr Cedamou said: "This is a crisis of unspeakable magnitude, it's normal for every Haitian to help. This is not charity."
Jean Ponce, a 36-year-old mason, was among 200 people holding plastic buckets who clustered around the truck - adorned with the slogan "Wait for God" on its side - when it returned. He lost one of his children in the quake and said the bucketful he collected would be the first drinkable water his four surviving children tasted since the disaster struck. "This is nearly like a miracle," Mr Ponce said.
The uncertain security situation has also taken a toll on efforts to provide desperately-needed medical care. At dusk on Friday, security advisors to a team of Belgian doctors and nurses told them to leave a field hospital where hundreds of critically-wounded Haitians were being treated after shots were heard nearby.
Clearly frustrated, the medics reluctantly packed their equipment as patients who had waited more than two days implored them not to abandon the tents. Several had suffered life-threatening head injuries and blood loss from roadside amputations conducted without anaesthetic to free them from collapsed buildings.
In a remarkable scene, Sanjay Gupta, CNN's chief medical correspondent and a practising surgeon, worked at the makeshift clinic through the night, turning his crew and the network's private security team into an emergency medical unit.
"What is striking to me as a physician is that patients who just had surgery, patients who are critically ill are essentially being left here, nobody to care for them," Dr Gupta said. "I've never been in a situation like this. This is quite ridiculous."
Gen Russel Honore, the retired US army commander who became a hero in New Orleans after leading the belated military relief operation following Hurricane Katrina, said the evacuation was unforgivable and urged greater co-operation between US forces and the UN.
He made comparisons with the chaos of Katrina when initial reports of rampant looting and snipers hampered the initial relief mission. But even there, he said, no medical staff walked away. "Search and rescue must trump security," he said.
Haiti and America's Historic Debt
On Haiti: Devil is in the details
The US is failing Haiti – again
Haitians pray, cry for help in the ruins
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Posted: 15 Jan 2010 01:34 PM PST
Elderly Woman Forced Into State Custody
Shigeko Skarvan, a widow and “forced” patient of over seven years finally has hope. Through a close friend, Robert Neuser, Shigeko’s unfortunate circumstances are being voiced. Robert contacted the US~Observer to tell a horrifying story of abuse. Shigeko was admitted to Manitowac County Health Center alomst eight years ago when she suffered a stroke according to court records and has since been sent to a lock down facility (Trempealeau County HCC) and treated for numerous health problems which have been reported as completely false. Robert has been trying to get Shigeko removed from Trempealeau County Health Care Center with no such luck as of yet.
According to court documents, the state now controls Shigeko’s monthly income, real estate and all personal assets. It has been reported that Shigeko has been wrongfully diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder by Dr. Ruben Adams in order to keep her medicated against her will. Robert Neuser stated, “Shigeko is not allowed to talk to me on the phone because she refuses to take the medication.” What was simply reported a stroke has turned into a loss of every freedom Shigeko once had. While attempting to contact the Omsbudsman of Wisconsin, this reporter was given numerous contact names and numbers which have led nowhere. I have contacted Trempealeau County HCC in an attempt to talk to Shigeko, but wasn’t allowed. I contacted her previous attorney and was told that he wasn’t allowed to give client information wihtout consent. I have left numerous messages for Shigeko’s former legal guardian, Rhonda Trader with no return phone calls. I have contacted Phillip Borreson with the Trempealeau HCC and was told that he won’t be returning calls until after Jan. 1st, 2010. Why all the secrecy and what could make all of these people unwilling to speak with a journalist if they have nothing to hide?
Shigeko reportedly has family in Japan who will be contacted next. With help from the US~Observer, Robert Neuser looks forward to getting Shigeko’s life back for her soon.
If you have any information about Shigeko or someone else being held against their will, please contact the US~Observer at 541-474-7885.
Friday, January 15, 2010
Janet will be interviewed on Herzog's show tomorrow (Saturday) at 5 p.m. ET on the issue of court corruption, conservatorships and Melodie Scott's death threat. Tune in at and listen live.
By Katie Mulvaney, Journal Staff Writer Projo.Com
BOSTON — A federal appeals court panel that includes retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter appeared perplexed Tuesday by the dismissal of a lawsuit that accuses the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families of widespread abuse and neglect of children in state foster care.
Rhode Island Child Advocate Jametta O. Alston and the New York-based advocacy group Children’s Rights asked the First U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn Senior U.S. District Judge Ronald R. Lagueux’s dismissal of the lawsuit alleging the system was underfunded, understaffed and mismanaged, and that children were being molested, beaten and shuffled from home to home while in state foster care. They argued that Lagueux had used a law intended to guarantee children access to the federal courts instead to bar them from seeking justice.
The DCYF countered that Lagueux was correct in finding that the children’s interests were already being served in state Family Court, where guardians had been appointed to handle each child’s case.
“The District Court judge did find these … children have the ability to have their voices heard,” Asst. Attorney General Brenda D. Baum said.
But those arguments did not sit well with the appeals court judges. Lagueux’s ruling seemed to chronicle years of mistreatment of children in state care, only to reject the three “next friends” chosen to represent the children in bringing the lawsuit in U.S. District Court, noted Senior Judge Norman H. Stahl.
Didn’t Lagueux have the duty to then name appropriate people to take on the children’s federal case? Stahl asked. A minor may only bring suit when represented by a “next friend” or guardian appointed by the court. By dismissing the case, the judge is essentially saying “what is going on is good enough?” Stahl said.
Souter echoed that reasoning. “He’s throwing up his hands and throwing the case out,” said Souter, who returned to the appeals court for the first time since his retirement.
The record, Baum said, is thick with Family Court documents that show active engagement in the children’s cases. Souter replied that Family Court involvement is not in question. What is, he said, is whether “insufficient things are being done to protect children.”
Alston’s case may target the DCYF, Baum said, but Family Court is also involved in decision making. “It can’t be limited to them.”
The case, Souter said, boils down to whether the Family Court and the DCYF are doing the best they can. Alston is claiming, he said, that the next friends are needed because the system “does not provide minimum things that need to be provided.”
Susan Lambiase, associate director of Children’s Rights, argued that the Family Court guardians were not appropriate to represent the children in federal court because they were part of the system the suit seeks to overhaul.
She asked the appeals court to develop a test to gauge whether a next friend is qualified not on how close he or she is to the child, but on whether the person has a “good-faith interest in seeking justice” on a child’s behalf.
“[The next friends] are not ideologues,” Lambiase said. “They are here on behalf of the children.”
Alston and Children’s Rights filed the suit in 2007 on behalf of the 3,000 children in state custody following the death of T.J. Wright, a Woonsocket toddler beaten to death by his aunt and her boyfriend while in DCYF care. The suit initially named 10 children as plaintiffs and sought class-action status, saying their civil rights were being violated.
Alston appointed “next friends” to represent the children, including one child’s former foster mother, another’s past school psychologist and a Brown University professor who specializes in child maltreatment.
Lagueux dismissed the suit, saying Alston had no authority to proceed because the children were already under state Family Court jurisdiction. The three “next friends,” he said, had limited or nonexistent relationships with the children.
Alston wept after Tuesday’s arguments. “This is the first time I’ve heard judges understand the plight of children in their care,” she said. “It’s the first time I’ve seen how facts and justice can blend.”
Jim Lee, chief of the attorney general’s civil division, was more circumspect. “I think they see it as a serious case, and they’re going to give it serious consideration.” He was accompanied by Kevin Aucoin, chief counsel of the DCYF.
Shocking state secret: PATRIOT ACT illegal spy domestic terror campaign against Whistleblowing TIs
Chris Zucker is a targeted individual (TI) due to his whistleblowing, only one of millions of innocent American citizens illegally, covertly watched and only one of an untold number of those under shocking attack enabled by the USA PATRIOT Act's illegal surveillance component that he calls a "government-mob program" and government calls "state secrets." The term domestic terror is also apropos, and albeit homegrown, it has little or nothing to do with Muslims, except perpetrators' racist exploitation of them as scapegoats.
Read it all here =>>Examiner.com
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
by Janet Phelan as published in Scamraiders.Com
“Conservator Provided Proper Treatment, judge rules” declared the headline in the Press Enterprise on July 20, 2007.
The article, by PE reporter John Berry, was brief and to the point. San Bernardino County Superior Court Judge Michael Welch ruled that Elizabeth Fairbanks, who suffered a head injury in 2005 before dying from pneumonia in 2006, received appropriate medical care from her conservator, Melodie Z. Scott, President of C.A.R. E. Inc.
The article by Berry omitted one basic fact. Elizabeth Fairbanks died of pneumonia because
Melodie Z. Scott ordered antibiotics withheld from her charge, when Fairbanks fell ill.
When confronted with the omission in Berry’s story, the managing editor of the Press Enterprise, John Gryka, had only this to say: “No comment.”
Back in 2005, the Los Angeles Time ran a much touted series on conservatorship, entitled “Guardians for Profit.” Once again, Melodie Scott was in the spotlight. The kick-off story to the four part series focused on the plight of Helen Jones, under conservatorship with Melodie Scott. While the Times claimed that they “examined the work of California’s professional
conservators, reviewing more than 2400 cases, including every one they handled in Southern California between 1997 and 2003, the Times reporters failed to report on the repeated complaint of the family members — that their beloved parents were dying prematurely due to the actions of the professional conservators.
It didn’t take much time or effort to figure that out. A few visits to the basement of Riverside Probate Court produced names of family members of conservatees of Melodie Scott. A review of local phone books provided numbers.
The stories were notable in their similarity. Doris Baker’s catheter was ordered removed against Doctor’s orders, but on order of Melodie Scott, who had obtained Power of Health Care over the elderly woman. As a result, according to Baker’s daughter-in-law, Johanna , Doris died an excruciating and premature death. According to Judy Lampuu, her aunt, Ann Cole, wasn’t even unhealthy when Melodie Scott obtained conservatorship over her. As the family was kept away from Ann, Judy states she has some concerns as to how she died, so quickly, under the care of the woman whose nickname is “the Black Widow.”
The continued cover-up in the mainstream media of “the
Probate Murders” provides insight into the political nature of these crimes.
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution follows:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of
the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
The behavior by the press reveals complicity in covering up these crimes. The reluctance to address these crimes against the most vulnerable of our citizens, the elderly and disabled, is perpetuated by the State Attorney General, who is refusing to legally accept or acknowledge petitions for redress. The Press is failing in its mandate to watch-dog the courts, the AG’s office and the activities of agents of the court, the professional conservators.
The San Bernardino Sun has been equally culpable in failing to report the conservatorship issue. Jeff Horwitz had been assigned to this story, but according to his editor, Frank Pine, Horwitz had failed to substantiate any of the allegations.
In conversation, Horwitz expressed to me that he had concern that C.A.R.E. was using unlicensed contractors to make repairs to the homes of the elderly conservatees. Having
documentation of far more serious violations, I then personally delivered to Horwitz court and other documents conclusively proving theft, embezzlement and worse by C.A.R.E., and collusion with members of the justice system in covering up her crimes.
No subsequent story under Horwitz’s byline, or any other byline, ever appeared in the Sun about Melodie Scott. In an email to a Jeremy Price, Sun Managing Editor Frank Pine insisted allegations against C.A.R.E. and Melodie Scott had been unfounded. Pine has not returned calls from this reporter requesting verification on the accuracy of his statement, given this reporter’s personal knowledge of what Horwitz had in his files.
Back in 2002, I had scheduled an appointment with a television news reporter to turn over my files on Melodie Scott. The appointment was firm, but on the day of the appointment the reporter never showed up at her office.
The L.A. Times again soiled itself through the behavior of Times reporter Evelyn LaRubia, who showed up at a demonstration in front of the San Bernardino County Courthouse in October of 2006. The demonstration was planned by and held in support of Beth Fairbanks, who was contesting Melodie Scott’s dispensation of her mother and her mother’s estate, previously mentioned in terms of Berry’s coverage. The picket signs held by the demonstrators pointedly addressed what the Times had failed to address in their much-hailed series: that the elderly were dying prematurely under the "care" being dispensed by Scott. The picket signs blared out the message and no one could possibly miss it: "HOW DID ELIZABETH FAIRBANKS DIE?" "HOW DID DORIS BAKER DIE?" "STOP KILLING OUR PARENTS FOR FINANCIAL GAIN!"
LaRubia failed to file a story on the demonstration, which was covered by the Press Enterprise and the local ABC affiliate. When this reporter contacted LaRubia to find out what impelled her decision not to cover the event, she stated that the L.A. Times doesn’t cover the Inland Empire.
The Los Angeles Times Inland Empire edition is published Monday through Friday.