Thursday, May 17, 2007

A Family Destroyed by Greed

Co written by Ray Fernandez and L.B.

Clara G. Fernandez was moves out of her home in Key West after she was diagnosed with Dementia,Forgetfulness,Afraid to make decisions and Depression.

Judge Von Hof didn't buy it, and he sent Clara back home to Key West in order for Judge Richard Payne to hold a hearing and determine Clara's residency and mental capacity.

Judge Richard Payne questioned Clara, who gave testimony, and he questioned Clara's friends and determined that Key West, Florida is where Clara resided and where she should and wanted to be.

There was a long paper trail of 'Theft by Power of Attorney', 'Conversion by Power of Attorney' for personal gain, 'Exploitation', 'Abuse and Neglect', including the report from the Department of Elder Affairs admitting that Clara's cognitive powers were on the decline as a result of frequent relocation's across four(4) counties, and being moved to different locations 5 times in less than one(1) year.

As the famliy attempted to alert authorities, special investigator Mr. Hamilton from the Monroe County Sheriff's office (MCSO) could only come up with this to say about the whole ordeal to the one brother who was trying to help free his mother from being held against her will; "Your brother says the same things you are saying about him". And that was that, Clara was still being held captive and her Trust was vacated of Real Estate,Bonds and other assets.

And so this is the extent of a serious case of an elder being exploited and abused ,.."A single investigator decides that nothing is going on as these are just two brothers who disagree", and so the elder is left out of the equation and the case is neglected as a result of the decision of the one investigator who decides to take the easy way out of the case and calls the whole investigation "a sibling rivalry".

Can you imagine a bank robber getting off Scot free, by alleging he didn't do it just by pointing his finger at someone else? You or I could not get off a speeding ticket by pointing the finger at another motorist along side of us by claiming that someone else was speeding! !

Why should it be any different for suspected perpetrators of elder abuse!

Unfortunately for many elders authorities often times are not willing to invest the time to separate fact from fiction.

Unlike the career of Dr. Fernandez whp when separated from his wife went on a hunger strike until he passed out in the parking lot of the Winter Haven, Florida Police Headquarters parking lot after driving 10 hours in the post hurricane blinding rain of 2004 and being denied access to see his wife.

Dr. Fernandez gave the best years of his life to public service and was called "The Quincy of the Keys" because of his ability to solve difficult crimes.

But he was not to be paid back in kind, and died of a broken heart on January 9Th 2005, three days after Judge Richard Payne decreed in a 'Motion to Determine Residency', that Clara's place was in Key West alongside her husband.

It is a difficult and dark day in Florida and elsewhere if we as a society turn our backs on our elders during their most difficult hours.


Anonymous said...

Something needs to be done to protect our elderly from abuse/exploitation. A few years ago, my grandmother was approached by her son with some papers. My grandmother, who has Alzheimer's and doesn’t read or speak English, unknowingly signed a Quit Claim Deed handing over her house to a corporation whose President, Vice-President, and Secretary are my uncle’s three children. Of course, no one in the family was aware of this until my mother tried looking for cheaper house insurance for my grandparents when she learned that my grandmother and grandfather no longer owned the house. Since then, this has been a never ending battle in court. Elder Affairs was contacted many years ago. They sent a case manager out to the house, yet nothing was done. My mother paid over $10,000 dollars to one attorney who didn’t do anything to resolve this case. This case was referred to Comprehensive Care who hasn’t done anything to settle this case. Worse yet, they recently asked the judge that they no longer want to represent my grandmother because they are having a difficult time reaching my uncle and his attorney. How could this be happening? This has been in and out of court since 9/22/04. My grandmother is 90 years old and her memory has deteriorated greatly. What recourse do we have? What can we do when our legal system seems to be failing us? When my mom went to court yesterday, the judge did not have the case file, no longer remembered the case, and was pleased to hear that my uncle doesn’t mind my grandmother living in the house, “her own home!” Why hasn’t anyone been able to void the quick claim deed?

I hope that you will continue to write about this problem. We need to fight to protect our elderly from abuse/exploitation from strangers, family members, and the legal system. I have contacted my state representatives, and I will continue to write until something gets done.

Thank you for you time,

Jenny Rodriguez

Anonymous said...

To Ray, Hi, I am guessing to address this to you. My Attorney told me about a case she had won for a woman in lower Westchester Cnty who's caregiver and daughter had done the same thing. She told me about this because I was about to hire the daughter as my realestate broker to sell my house. vivianlee2

Ray said...

Dear Jenny;

Thanks for writing in, I know I am not alone on this, there seems to be a whole lot of people cashing in on the older generation, and then again why not, it's easy money with very litle, if any risk of prosecution.

The reason why no one has been able to void the Quit Claim Deed transferred over by trickery, is because you haven't paid the legal ramson.

If you are not prepared to pay at least $100,000 in legal ramson money, then chances are slim that your grandmother will ever get her house back.