Articles on this Page
- 11/05/17--23:00: _INOVA GATE: The Abd...
- 11/06/17--15:17: _Tonight on T. S. Ra...
- 11/06/17--22:30: _When a power of att...
- 11/06/17--22:45: _Fee-Based Guardian ...
- 11/06/17--23:00: _CHARGE V. SHARMIAN ...
- 11/07/17--22:00: _DHS sends letters t...
- 11/07/17--22:30: _Former district jud...
- 11/07/17--23:00: _Who guards the guar...
- 11/08/17--22:00: _More clarity now av...
- 11/08/17--22:30: _Woman Accused Of St...
- 11/08/17--23:00: _How did a 9-year-ol...
- 11/09/17--11:08: _Tonight on Whistleb...
- 11/09/17--22:30: _Champaign man who s...
- 11/09/17--22:45: _The Case Against Ka...
- 11/09/17--23:00: _Attorney steals mil...
- 11/10/17--15:14: _Tonight on T. S. Ra...
- 11/10/17--23:00: _98-Year-Old Aleen C...
- 11/10/17--22:00: _Man arrested for nu...
- 11/10/17--22:30: _Bring Kip Home
- 11/11/17--22:00: _FOX 5 I-Team finds ...
- 11/05/17--23:00: INOVA GATE: The Abduction of Anastasia Adams
- 11/06/17--22:30: When a power of attorney is not enough
- 11/06/17--22:45: Fee-Based Guardian Carol Hershey - Pennhurst Connection
- 11/07/17--22:30: Former district judge sentenced for theft, mishandling funds
- 11/07/17--23:00: Who guards the guardians? Estate planning questioned in hearing
- 11/08/17--22:30: Woman Accused Of Stealing $851,000 From Elderly, Disabled
- 11/08/17--23:00: How did a 9-year-old boy who is disabled buy a $240K house?
- 'God ... makes no mistakes': Warned baby could die, couple rejected treatment, police say
- 3 days in ‘house of horrors’ for woman held captive in Lansing
- Former Lansing medical office manager reaches embezzlement plea deal
- 11/09/17--22:30: Champaign man who swindled elderly woman in his care gets 7 years
- 11/09/17--22:45: The Case Against Katherine Kealoha Just Keeps Getting Worse
- 11/10/17--22:00: Man arrested for numerous financial crimes, exploiting the elderly
- 11/10/17--22:30: Bring Kip Home
- 11/11/17--22:00: FOX 5 I-Team finds 42 percent of GA nursing homes below average
Day 258 – More Weight Loss & New Trailers on INOVA GATE
Nov 4, 2017 — It has been 258 days since my sister Anastasia was abducted by Inova Fairfax hospital and their two designated guardians; 258 days since she has known the comfort and security of her family and her own bed.
Anastasia has lost still more weight. She did not have any extra weight to lose. She was rail thin before, now her hands and shoulders are skeletal. You can see and count the vertebra of her spine.
The past couple of visits she has been panting as she breathes. Anastasia watches my every move as I sit next to her and hardly takes her eyes off me. It is as if she is trying to memorize my face. Today she would briefly close her eyes and then quickly open them again to make sure I was still sitting next to her. She was constantly looking me in the eye. If I lowered my head as I took notes she would moan softly. It breaks my heart. She wants to come home.
Anastasia was also burning up today. You could feel the heat coming off her from 6 inches away. She also appeared somewhat dehydrated again. I mentioned it to the nurse after they brought her out to the lobby for our one hour visit. The nurse took her back to her room for 15-20 minutes and when she brought her back said she did not have a fever that she was hot because it was warm in the building and outside. Based on Anastasia’s appearance and her demeanor I’d put money on it that she was in fact running a fever. How can I tell? This is one of those things that I am not at liberty to discuss, but suffice it to say it is almost a sure bet.
I miss my sister terribly and want her home where she will be safe and well cared for, where her life will be valued.
Prayers, prayers, and more prayers.
There are two new trailers out for Inova Gate, a short version 8:18 minutes and extended version 12:36 minutes. Please watch and distribute widely. I can only link one video so will link the extended and post the link to the Short Version:
Full Article & Source:
INOVA GATE: The Abduction of Anastasia Adams
5:00 pm PST … 6:00 pm MST … 7:00 pm CST … 8:00 pm EST
Hosted by Marti Oakley, with Luanne Fleming, Robin Austin and Katherine Hines
Under its duty to the public, Congress has repeatedly failed to act to protect the public from the system of probate in all its forms. Declaring a living, breathing individual dead in the law (civil death) is equal in its consequences to a natural death. They make this declaration of death under the guise of "ward of the state". Once a ward, you have no rights whatsoever. Prisoners who have committed the worst crimes imaginable have more rights [reserved than a "ward of the state". Under this system, the elderly, the disabled and children are trafficked by the government for profit. This system of human trafficking is the result of Congress's failure to act within its duty to the public. As congress is charged under the Constitution for the United States with organizing the courts, it stands to reason these probate courts could not exist without their complicity and their abject failure to act to protect the public from these professional predators.
Inferior Courts Clause Art 111 Sect. 2 Clause 1
https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/articleiii Section 1:
The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. (this bill S 178 relieves congress of its duty to end these administrative tribunals and to make laws protecting the public from professional predators and to organize the courts). (emphasis, mine)
LISTEN to the show live or listen to the archive later
The agent might be a spouse or child, a sibling or even a close friend. However, there are many times when a power of attorney falls short of accomplishing what an individual needs, either because of legal requirements that were inadvertently omitted or because of problems with mental capacity.
For example, the Commonwealth of Kentucky requires a specific provision within a power of attorney for an agent to transfer real property. This means that a power of attorney cannot simply rely on a general catchall provision to buy or sell property. In fact, a power of attorney is not required to be filed with the county clerk except for the transfer of real estate.
Likewise, the power to create, revoke, terminate or amend a trust must be clearly specified within a power of attorney document. Trust creation and termination can be crucial if the principal is applying for veteran’s benefits, Medicaid benefits or requires a special needs trust. At the time when a principal most needs the protection of a trust to obtain necessary benefits, the agent often finds his or her hands tied.
A power of attorney also may not be enough to protect the principal if the principal refuses to give up power during incapacity. A statutorily perfect power of attorney will not prevent a principal from making poor choices. Similarly, an individual with a severe mental disorder or dementia may be unable to protect himself or herself from exploitation with a power of attorney.
In these cases, a power of attorney will fail to truly protect the principal. For agents who have lost the mental capacity to sign a new document, it likely is that a guardianship proceeding will be necessary to prevent the principal from acting on his or her own, and to provide a means for the agent to meet the principal’s needs.
To protect yourself or a loved one, review your current power of attorney. Make sure the document includes any provisions that may be necessary in the future, or in case of an emergency. If you do not want an agent to have immediate powers, consider a “springing” power of attorney, a document that would not empower the agent until your disability. To protect yourself against your own future poor judgment, consider placing assets into a trust that includes specific provisions for your impairment.
Take a proactive approach to protect yourself and your family. Review your power of attorney to make sure it will protect you when it’s most needed.
Cynthia T. Griffin is a local attorney for Burnett Casey Griffin, PLLC.
Full Article & Source:
When a power of attorney is not enough
Court-appointed, fee-based guardian Carol Hershey is exposed for having 100s of wards and allowing one of them to remain in conditions that the PA attorney general's office found so deplorable, they filed legal action against them.
Full Article & Source:
Fee-Based Guardian Carol Hershey - Pennhurst Connection
|Sharmian Sowards and mother Wanda Worley|
The Nov. 2 criminal court hearing is to be followed by a hearing Nov. 6 at 11 a.m., on a petition brought by Worley to remove Rowan as her guardian. It will take place in Wayne County Probate Court in front of Judge David Braxton, Room #1303 at the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center.
Braxton is to consider a so-called “Independent Medical Evaluation” (IME) of Worley done by the Probate Court’s regularly-appointed psychologist George Fleming, Jr, Ph.D.
Worley has been denied access to his report, although it is her own medical record. Fleming is not a psychiatrist, and appears to have worked primarily at Probate Court since his graduation as a Ph.D.
See http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/Official-declaration-of-Wanda-Worley-1.pdf for text of petition.)
Sowards represented herself during the jury trial in 33rd District Court in Woodhaven, MI.
During her cross-examination of the complainant Rowan, she asked whether she knew Debbie Fox and Randy Robinson, children of another Rowan ward, Gayle Robinson, who was forced from her home in Westland to a nursing home. They were waiting to testify about injustices in their mother’s case.
Rowan said she did, but then blurted out, “Why do you have a reporter in the court who doesn’t report the facts?” referring to this reporter.
|33rd District Court Judge Jennifer Coleman Hesson|
She later condemned Rowan’s challenge to the media’s integrity.
Judge Hesson excused the jury and held a half-hour conference in chambers with assistant prosecutor Kathleen Tulacz and attorney Kelly Leimback, who assisted Sowards during the trial.
When court reconvened, AP Tulacz announced that the “complainant” Mary Rowan no longer wished to participate in the proceedings and moved for dismissal of the charges. Judge Hesson firmly ordered the charges dismissed “with prejudice,” meaning they cannot be brought again.
During an impassioned opening statement, Sowards said, “Our system should be made to help people get well so they can go back home to their families, not warehouse them and throw them away.”
She described Rowan’s first attempt to seize her mother and place her in a group home. Sowards said she called an ambulance to take Worley to Wyandotte General Hospital Sept. 7, 2016 because of ailments she was suffering related to previous surgery on her sciatic nerve.
However, doctors there admitted Worley to the psychiatric ward, then refused to let Sowards see her mother. Sowards said she was concerned that they were giving her mother addictive pain medications from which she had been helping wean her.
During cross-examination, Rowan denied that she herself had seen Worley in the hospital. But she admitted that “my provider Wendy Barber met your mother there and said she was an appropriate candidate” to be placed in Barber’s group home. (Click to Continue)
Full Article & Source:
CHARGE V. SHARMIAN FOR DEFENDING MOM FROM GUARDIAN MARY ROWAN DISMISSED W/PREJUDICE
"We sincerely regret this action," the letter states. "Should the state Legislature act to restore funding for the ADvantage Waiver before December 1, 2017, DHS will notify you as quickly as possible. "
The Oklahoma Department of Human Services sent letters out to ADvantage participants on Tuesday, notifying them the program would be eliminated Nov. 30.
“We regret to inform you DHS must eliminate the ADvantage Waiver effective December 1, 2017,” the letter states. “Your participation in the ADvantage Waiver will be funded until November 30, 2017. Since elimination of the ADvantage Waiver affects everyone receiving services through it, there is no right to appeal this action.”
The ADvantage Waiver Program is designed to help seniors and adults with disabilities live at home, rather than in a nursing home or a similar type of adult care.
DHS reported the program serves more than 21,000 people and the loss will impact about 450 providers.
The agency estimated when the program is eliminated, about 10,000 of those served will be forced into nursing homes. DHS noted the state doesn’t have enough nursing homes to accommodate those people.
DHS lost $69 million of its state funding for Fiscal Year 2018. Last week, the agency submitted a revised budget to the Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services.
The revised budget included eliminations of DHS services, including the ADvantage program. It also would eliminate funding for adult day services for seniors and adults with disabilities and in-home services for seniors, including home-delivered meals and home-making services.
DHS spokesman Jeff Wagner said the agency will send additional letters to participants by Nov. 20 to tell them whether they are eligible for regular Medicaid benefits. If they are, they likely qualify for nursing-home care, he said.
“We sincerely regret this action,” the letter states. “Should the state Legislature act to restore funding for the ADvantage Waiver before December 1, 2017, DHS will notify you as quickly as possible. ”
On Monday, state lawmakers agreed to pull more than $100 million from the state’s Rainy Day Fund, to be sent to the Department of Humans Services, Oklahoma Health Care Authority and the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. However, that would not fill the state’s $215 million budget shortfall.
DHS would receive about $29 million of the $69 million lost.
Full Article & Source:
DHS sends letters to seniors, disabled adults notifying of home-care program elimination
Dougherty's words came back to haunt him Monday.
The old case was referenced several times as he was sentenced before visiting Senior Judge John L. Braxton of Philadelphia County, for a similar theft that ended his nearly 18-year career as a district judge in May 2016.
Dougherty, 58, of Wyomissing admitted at his guilty plea on Sept. 20 that he stole nearly $100,000 from a volunteer fire company organization and mishandled more than $15,000 from his court office.
Braxton said that he wouldn't be harsh, as Dougherty had asked when he was the victim, but said the ex-district judge must pay his debt for violating the public trust.
Braxton sentenced him to six to 23 months in Berks County Prison followed by five years of probation. Dougherty, also a former police officer, was placed in handcuffs immediately and taken to the prison Monday night.
“I do not believe you are a bad man, but that you engaged in bad behaviors,” Braxton said, adding that the case's significance stretches beyond Dougherty in trying to restore the community's faith in the judicial system.
“I have to bring this to closure … not with just a slap on the wrist to send you home and play house arrest,” the judge said.
The penalty fell between requests from Deputy Attorney General Michelle Laucella and defense attorney Allan L. Sodomsky.
Laucella asked for at least one year in state prison, while Sodomsky asked for house arrest and probation.
Braxton and the attorney general's office handled the case to avoid potential conflicts of interest.
What went wrong?
Before imposing the sentence, Braxton said the unknown reason for Dougherty's fall from grace and where the money went still “truly troubles me” and “boggles my mind.”
“I just don't understand what was going on in the mind of this man,” Braxton said. “He has all of what is reflective of what a quality life is. … What went wrong with the good things?”
Authorities said that Dougherty stole $97,780 from the Wyomissing Fire Company's volunteer component, where he served as treasurer, from November 2008 to September 2015, and also mishandled $15,251 from his court office in September and October 2015.
When investigators asked about the missing funds, Dougherty told them that it was spent on “life,” not exciting things like “drugs or prostitutes.”
Laucella said that her office never gained a clear understanding of where the money went or why the court's finances were mishandled.
Dougherty didn't answer that question either Monday, but hinted at an explanation.
“Someone I cared deeply for needed more of me than I had,” he said. “I made decisions with my heart and not my head and I lost my way.”
Dougherty apologized to his family, specifically his wife, Susan, for making her wear “the scarlet letter that only I deserve.”
He said he will make the fire company whole again and hopes one day his the organization's members will forgive him for his betrayal.
Dougherty was ordered Monday to pay about $70,000 more to the organization after already paying back $27,780.
“I'm not an evil man and I'm no danger to society,” Dougherty said. “I'm not really even a bad person. I just made a bad decision.”
Dougherty was making an annual salary of $88,290 when he was charged in the case. He resigned shortly afterward and lost his pension when he pleaded guilty Sept. 20 to theft by unlawful taking and misapplication of public funds.
He will receive the pension he earned with the Cumru Township Police Department. Before entering law enforcement, Dougherty spent four years in the Navy, including three as an administrator at the Pentagon.
Dougherty's wife and five friends gave statements on his behalf, speaking of various times he came to their aid, calling him loving, dedicated and dependable.
Sodomsky said that he believed the sentence was fair and that Braxton thoughtfully weighed Dougherty's crimes against the rest of his life.
“I'm thankful that the matter's over,” Sodomsky said. “It's a sad day for our justice system.”
Laucella was also satisfied with the sentence and said she believed justice was served. She thanked the many individuals from the fire company organization and court office who testified before the state investigating grand jury and came to the sentencing.
“Without these people and their testimony, we wouldn't have been able to move forward,” she said. “It just shows that there are good people out there.”
Prosecutors said that the money taken from the fire company was largely made up of donations. As treasurer, Dougherty maintained the group's financial records.
Authorities said that his records were full of discrepancies and the balances did not match the actual money in the accounts.
Laucella said that investigators found Dougherty made 127 unauthorized cash withdrawals from the savings account in seven years, noting that bank records did not go back any further.
No one from the organization spoke at the sentencing, but its president, Richard Bare, wrote in a statement they have been subjected to ridicule and that trust in the organization has eroded. He said the theft crippled the organization financially, draining its account to barely $1,000.
The organization does not respond to fires, but does community education on fire prevention and safety, and also preserves firefighting history through a small museum and antique fire engine.
Bare said that Wyomissing Borough Council took on many of those responsibilities in the past year because the organization didn't have enough to buy a charger and batteries for the antique engine so that it could be used at two annual parades.
Bare said the organization “implemented financial safeguards for this to never happen again” and hopes other volunteer organizations do the same.
Two former clerks testified about the tense atmosphere in the court office as the investigation played out.
The investigation began when authorities discovered discrepancies in the amounts in the court's bank account and what was reported to the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts.
The district court collects fines, restitution and court costs in civil and criminal cases and is required to make daily deposits.
Dougherty made the nightly deposits for his office and had final authority over the court's finances.
Investigators determined $15,251 was unaccounted for and questioned Dougherty about the missing funds in early October 2015. He claimed he didn't have the money.
But Dougherty deposited the full amount 20 days later on Oct. 27, 2015, the day before he was subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury.
Former clerk James Caltagirone said that he considered Dougherty to be a close friend as well as an employer.
He said he was at the district judge's side and called for an ambulance when Dougherty fell down stairs the morning he was to turn himself into authorities.
Caltagirone also asked Dougherty to one day pay him back for the $3,000 loan he gave him in April 2015.
Former clerk Margaret Yatron said that she was shocked when she found out what was happening and didn't know how to handle it.
“The tension and fear of him catching on that we knew what was going on was unbelievable,” she said, noting the court employees were initially suspects, too. “It was 15 months that we were there and knew it.”
Full Article & Source:
Former district judge sentenced for theft, mishandling funds
How to ensure that estate plans and trust directives are honored if you or your loved one become incapacitated and are placed under a court-ordered guardianship?
That question from state Sen. Nancy Rodriguez, D-Santa Fe, came during the rollout of some 18 proposed guardianship reforms to the health and human services committee of the state Legislature on Friday. The proposals are the product of six months of study by a state Supreme Court appointed commission.
For Rodriguez, the issue of planning for the care of an incapacitated loved one hit close to home.
“Conservators and guardians seem to have quite a bit of authority, in fact, all the authority to take over someone’s finances, their accounts that were going to belong to that person,” she said. “Does that mean a conservator or a guardian also has the authority if a trust is in place for that individual, that (the conservator has) access to the trust? That, too?”
Guardianship commission chairwoman Wendy York responded that under New Mexico’s current system that could happen.
“One of the issues that we heard repeatedly from members of the public was that very issue,” York added. “When a person had an estate plan in place or a trust in place that a conservator could determine that that money should go in a different direction for care of that person.”
Rodriguez explained her worries as the mother of a special needs daughter.
“My daughter now lives in heaven. She had an illness a few years ago. One of the things that crossed my mind all the time was, ‘Oh, my gosh, I hope God keeps me here long enough. I don’t want her to be alone, because she couldn’t take care of herself.’
“I was prepared then to do a trust, specifically for her, thinking back then there would be no way that anyone would have a chance … to possibly make any changes to that trust. I wanted the most secure way to know that our daughter would have enough money for medical needs or whatever it may be.”
“What happens to parents who put a trust in place? To me there should be a document that’s solid stone, that doesn’t get changed,” Rodriguez said.
York, a retired state district judge from Albuquerque, said judges in guardianship cases are confronted with so many different scenarios,”it’s difficult to say there should never be a situation in which a trust would not need to be invaded for the protected person.”
But under a commission proposal, she added, judges in New Mexico would have to make specific findings of fact if they deviate from a protected person’s advance directive, trust, will or estate plan.
“So that the judge goes through the exercise of saying, ‘OK, why am I doing this when the protected person has put another plan in place?” York said.
State Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino, D-Albuquerque, a guardianship commission member, added, “What this does is, it reinforces the notion that the trust takes precedence, unless …. And we don’t have that in law now. Right now the conservator has a great deal of latitude in convincing the court into overturning the trust.”
Rodriguez echoed others on the committee who voiced support for the reforms, which so far don’t have a projected price tag.
“If it was up to me, I would get every one of these (recommendations) into statute,” Rodriguez said, “because we cannot see this happening anymore. Not to one person, at all, anywhere. I think we need to prioritize our funds at the state level. Do what’s right here.”
The legislative hearing, in which no vote was taken, touched upon the lessons learned from the downfall of a leading New Mexico guardianship firm, Ayudando Guardians, whose two top executives are facing federal charges of embezzling more than $4 million of clients’ money. Its clientele included military veterans and special needs or developmentally disabled people. Another Albuquerque firm, Desert State Life Management, is alleged to have diverted millions of dollars set aside in trusts for special needs and elderly clients, but no criminal charges have been filed.
Even with “meager” funding next fiscal year, the state’s budget priorities need to be adjusted, Rodriguez said. “This is something that we cannot let continue to happen.”
State Rep. Christine Trujillo, D-Albuquerque, said the Legislature needs to act now.
“There’s no other option for us except to move forward. If we continue to allow this without any oversight and accountability … then we just continue to perpetuate the problem. It should be our political will to make sure this gets done.”
State Rep. Joanne Ferrary, D-Las Cruces, said district judges she has spoken with stressed the importance of conducting audits. “Without admitting anything, I think they (the judges) were aware of the problems,” Ferrary said.
Guardianship companies file annual reports with the courts. But the commission is proposing the legislature fund investigators or auditors who would review such reports and alert the judge in the case about “red flags.”
Ortiz y Pino, a longtime advocate of reform, said the state hasn’t provided adequate resources for oversight of guardianship cases.
Legislative action is needed because the system is “no longer trusted” in New Mexico, he said.
“It operates under a shadow of suspicion … that we may not be doing the best for our loved ones,” Ortiz y Pino said. “We need to restore a level of confidence in the guardianship/conservatorship system in the state. To do that, we need more adequate financing.”
Full Article & Source:
Who guards the guardians? Estate planning questioned in hearing
|Rachel N. Jordan, an attorney|
Q: How has the law on making medical decisions for incapacitated patients changed?
A: When a patient is incapacitated and unable to provide informed consent, health care providers in the past have faced a great deal of uncertainty regarding who could make medical decisions on behalf of the patient. This particularly has been an issue when a patient hasn't designated a legal representative and the family members disagree on the best course of action. However, the Oklahoma Legislature recently passed legislation that provides hospitals and other health care providers with clear guidance on what to do in these situations. While not specifically covered, the new law appears to permit individuals who fit specific criteria to make decisions regarding affirmative health care treatment (such as authorizing surgery), as well as decisions to terminate treatment, including life-sustaining treatment (such as discontinuation of a ventilator).
Q: Who now can make decisions on behalf of incapacitated patients?
A: The new law states that when an adult patient is unable to provide consent due to the fact that he or she is persistently unconscious, incompetent or mentally or physically incapable of communicating, another individual that's available and willing may make health care decisions for the patient in the following order of priority: legally appointed guardian, health care proxy designated by the patient, attorney-in-fact with health care decision authority, spouse, adult child, parents, adult sibling, and other adult relative in order of kinship. If members of a class disagree (e.g., the patient has three children, and two consent and one doesn't), a majority within the class may decide. If the patient hasn't designated a legal representative, and no family members are available and willing to act on the patient's behalf, a close friend may provide the requisite consent if he or she signs an affidavit stating that he or she has maintained regular contact with the patient and is familiar with the patient's personal values. The affidavit should include specific facts and circumstances that document such contact. Finally, certain persons charged with and/or convicted of certain crimes or offenses (such as physical or verbal abuse or exploitation) are disqualified from acting on behalf of an incapacitated patient.
Q: What happens if the decision maker doesn't know the incapacitated person's wishes?
A: An individual making health care decisions pursuant to this statute must do so based on the known intentions, personal views and best interests of the patient. If there's sufficient evidence of the patient's wishes, those wishes must control. If there isn't sufficient evidence of the patient's wishes, the decisions must be based on the reasonable judgment of the individual deciding. In the event that either a provider or member of another class believes this standard has been violated, he or she may petition the court for a different health care decision.
Full Article & Source:
More clarity now available on making medical decisions for incapacitated patients
Sheila Grochowski, 70, gained access to the victims’ bank accounts through her employment with Barbara H. Hance Associates, a firm appointed by probate courts to handle the financial affairs of people under conservatorships.
According to the warrant for Grochowski’s arrest, she forged the signature of the firm’s owner, Barbara Hance, on 591 checks and two withdrawal slips and stole $851,811 between January 2010 and May 2016, when Hance fired Grochowski.
Hance could not be reached for comment Monday evening.
Authorities do not know where the money went, but when confronted by Hance in early 2015 about the embezzlement of $4,829, Grochowski admitted the forgery and said she needed the money for medical expenses, according to the warrant for Grochowski’s arrest.
After that incident, Hance kept Grochowski as an employee, set up a repayment plan and did not notify police.
In May 2016 more problems with checks were found, and Hance determined that Grochowski’s alleged thefts were more extensive. A forensic audit by an accounting firm, and a review of thousands of pages of Grochowski’s bank records by Avon Det. Edward Espinoza and state Inspector Jack Bannan revealed the extent of Grochowski’s alleged thefts.
The investigators identified 25 people they say were victimized by Grochowski, including her own father who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and was under a conservatorship. Grochowski allegedly wrote herself checks from her father’s accounts and listed herself as executor of his estate, although he was still alive.
The investigators also found that in 1988 Grochowski was charged by Torrington police with first-degree larceny, second-degree larceny and third-degree forgery. She was convicted in November 1989 and sentenced to five years in prison.
In signing the warrant for Grochowski’s arrest, Hartford Superior Court Judge Laura F. Baldini set bail at $750,000. At Grochowski’s arraignment Monday in Hartford, Judge Tammy Nguyen-O’Dowd released Grochowski on a promise to appear in court.
Full Article & Source:
Woman Accused Of Stealing $851,000 From Elderly, Disabled
CHARLOTTE - Haiden Rivera is a 9-year-old boy with severe physical and mental disabilities. Since shortly after birth, he has had brain damage, cerebral palsy and other health problems. As his attorneys wrote in court documents, he "will never work, live independently, have a family, or even have the capacity to care for himself."
Three years ago, Haiden paid $240,000 for a house on the outskirts of Charlotte.
Now, one or both of his parents could face criminal charges and be held liable for hundreds of thousands of dollars drained from his estate.
Haiden was born Sept. 12, 2008, in an Army hospital at Fort Hood, Texas. Within hours, he had a series of seizures and exhibited signs of brain damage, court records show. He was airlifted to another hospital and eventually diagnosed with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy.
“He wasn’t crying when he was born,” his mother, Kasie Rivera, would later tell the Killeen Daily Herald, a newspaper near Fort Hood. “I knew that something wasn’t right. He wasn’t moving; he didn’t cry. He wouldn’t drink out of a bottle.”
Kasie Rivera and her husband, Higinio Rivera III, who was a soldier when Haiden was born, later sued, alleging negligence by military doctors before and during their son’s birth.
In 2013, Justice Department officials settled the lawsuit for $6.5 million.
Most of the money was placed into a reversionary trust that can only be used for Haiden’s medical care — if he dies before the funds are depleted, the balance is returned to the government.
About $550,000, however, went directly to Haiden.
Kasie Rivera told the Daily Herald that her son, 5 years old at the time, was nonverbal and required a feeding tube to survive.
"I fought for (Haiden) because I knew in my heart that there was injustice done, and it’s a sense of pride and relief knowing I was able to fight for him,” she said.
After Higinio Rivera was granted an early discharge from his enlistment, the family — the couple has another son — moved to Michigan.
The settlement check from the Justice Department would be paid directly to Haiden, so Kasie Rivera petitioned the Eaton County Probate Court to be named conservator of her son’s estate.
'Wild personal spending'
‘Makes my blood boil’
Full Article & Source:
How did a 9-year-old boy who is disabled buy a $240K house?
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Whistleblowers! is brought to you in coordination with Marcel Reid and the Whistleblower’s Annual Summit, in Washington D.C.
Yolanda Bell joins us to expose the medical kidnapping of her sister Anastasia and INOVA Fairfax's Virginia stated intention to withdraw nutrition causing Anastasia's death within 10-14 days. This is,in my personal opinion, medical murder. Having taken guardianship as a result of Yolanda refusing to agree to having Anastasia discharged with a 10 inch bloodclot still present in her arm, Anastasia has suffered immense physical and emotional distress while being held involuntarily by this hospital and particpating facilities. The Abduction of Anastasia Adams
As of yesterday, because of the flurry of calls about Anastasia, visitation is severly restricted, so much so that several priests were refused to be allowed to see her last evening. Anastasia is being held The Envoy of Alexandria, Virginia.
As in all these guardianship cases, isolation, the forbidding of touching or comforting the victim, is the standard or is so limited that it is torturous for those subjected to it. What has happened to Anastasia Adams under the care of INOVA is inhumane and the deterioration of her overall health is well documented and noted and supported with photos and reports. Now, after failing to care for this woman, they want to arbitrarily end her life.
IF this is the end for Anastasia....at least let her be returned to her family so that her final days are spent with those she loves and those who love her instead of in the hands of strangers who apparently have no ethics, morals or compassion.
LISTEN to the show live or listen to the archive later
|Mark A. Stites|
Judge Heidi Ladd also ordered Mark Stites, 64, to repay $5,000.01 to the estate of the woman from whom he stole over a period of years while he acted as her caretaker, power of attorney and tax preparer.
"He siphoned funds from a dependent, vulnerable, helpless, victim. He knew not to commingle the funds. He was draining her assets to the point she had to go on public aid," said Ladd.
Stites pleaded guilty in May to financial exploitation of a person over 80, admitting that between June 2007 and February 2013, he withdrew more than $5,000 from two bank accounts belonging to the woman and used it fraudulently.
The woman was 96 when she died in 2016, just three months after the criminal charges had been filed against Stites, and three years after the financial improprieties first came to light.
The veteran jurist expressed frustration that the paper trail presented her by Assistant State's Attorney Joel Fletcher and defense attorney Blake Weaver of Urbana could not paint a clear picture of what happened to the money that once belonged to the elderly widow who spent her last days in the Champaign County Nursing Home supported by taxpayers.
Ladd heard testimony that the woman's husband, who preceded her in death in 2007, left money to Stites to care for his wife. Some of it he intended for Stites; most was for the care of his wife, who needed long-term nursing care.
Testimony also showed that Stites combined money for the woman's care with his own business accounts, and did pay many of her expenses.
It was in 2013 when Stites sought advice from an attorney with the Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation on how to get the woman on Medicaid, after an initial denial, that his mishandling of her money came to the attention of authorities.
That attorney, Valerie McWilliams, testified she thought that it was "extremely odd" given Stites' background as a professional bookkeeper and tax preparer that he would admit to commingling the woman's funds with his own.
She also felt, given what Stites had told her about the woman's assets and income, that she should have enough money to pay for her own care.
Ladd said she wanted the appellate court to know that she felt Stites had stolen far more from the woman but could not order a higher restitution figure because of the incompleteness of the evidence and the records that were before her.
After Stites' plea, Ladd heard evidence in aggravation and mitigation over two days as the attorneys attempted to come to a restitution figure.
Fletcher urged the judge to impose restitution of almost $315,000 while Weaver declined to offer an estimate, saying "somebody smarter than me will have to do that."
"I simply have no reasonable basis factually to determine what that is," Ladd said of the real loss.
Fletcher argued that Stites was in a "position of trust" and "routinely exploited that trust for years on end."
He told the judge he was not naive enough to think that Stites could or would repay the woman's estate the $315,000. He urged the judge to impose the eight-year sentence he agreed to at the time of Stites' plea. The most Stites could have received was 15 years in prison.
Weaver acknowledged Stites had "abused a fiduciary relationship" but reminded the judge of how Stites and his wife were at the beck and call of the woman for years and took on her care because she had no heirs.
He painted a picture of his client as someone in over his head who still didn't own his pickup truck or his own home, even after helping himself to the woman's money.
"I regret all that's happened. I don't understand a lot of it," Stites told Ladd, maintaining there was never any criminal intent on his part.
Ladd said Stites was minimizing his role and said as a business man educated in bookkeeping and tax preparation, that at the very least he knew not to combine the woman's assets with his own.
"In November 2011, he wrote three checks (from her account) for $155,000 and put it in his own work account. For him to commingle, shows he is up to no good," said Ladd. "I believe he took a large amount from her estate but I don't know how much."
Noting Stites' prior theft conviction for stealing from his employer in 2001 — that sentence included $88,000 in restitution — Ladd said he "didn't get the message the first time."
Stites was given credit on his sentence for 45 days already served. He is eligible for day-for-day good time in prison.
Full Article & Source:
Champaign man who swindled elderly woman in his care gets 7 years
Full Article & Source:
The Case Against Katherine Kealoha Just Keeps Getting Worse
|Attorney steals millions, severely disabled San Antonio woman among the victims|
She was born with quadriplegic cerebral palsy from medical mistakes made when she was born. By the age of 12, she beat cancer. She's had double-eye and hip surgeries.
She has always been a fighter.
The most recent obstacle she has had to overcome has possibly been the hardest to accept.
Dagani was robbed of her life savings, a house and her remaining money from a $2 million medical malpractice settlement. The major theft is at this hands of her former attorney Robert Graham.
"He took everything that I had. He took all my finances and left me with absolutely nothing," said Dagani.
Her neurological disorder affects her ability to move and speak. She also needs speech, physical and occupational therapy. The money would provide care for her special needs throughout her life.
It was in a special needs trust fund that Graham was trusted to handle.
In September, Graham pleaded guilty to several counts of major theft, exploitation of an elderly or vulnerable person and destroying evidence.
The once-trusted, Las Vegas lawyer is believed to have embezzled more than $17 million. Officials believe he had more than 50 victims.
His victims were among the most vulnerable of clients; disabled, elderly, special needs, and even orphans.
"Like why me? First, it was medical malpractice when I was born. Now, it's legal malpractice," said Dagani.
As part of his plea deal agreement, restitution was ordered but the Clark County District Attorney's office believes it's unlikely anyone will get their money... leaving Sharona helpless.
"How could he do this to people?," said Dagani.
Medicaid only covers 51 hours of at-home care per week but Sharona needs 24-hour help. She relies on her caregivers from the time she wakes up until the time she goes to bed.
Without her money, she cannot afford the basic necessities of life.
"I'm really struggling financially. I can barely afford rent, let alone power, water," said Dagani.
Sharona's strong faith in God has helped her keep going.
If you would like to help Sharona, you can donate here.
Full Article & Source:
Attorney steals millions, severely disabled San Antonio woman among the victims
Mike Volpe is a nationally recognized journalist and reporter who has written and extensively documented the corruption of the courts and how this corruption adversely affects families and individuals.
Tanya Hathaway is an activist, writer and public speaker about the injustices in Oklahoma. Her page is linked below:
Injustice in Oklahoma Exposed is exposing the corruption in the Oklahoma judicial system.
Tanya will relate the corruption in her own case for openers, and then we will move on to these families:
Tonight, we visit with three families
1st guest / Kelly Kimble..mother of Goody Romeo McNeary
2nd guest./ Donna Hughes...mother of Tracie Hughes
3rd guest / Lisa Knight...mother of now 8 yr old Sarah Knight
This will be the first in a series of expose's in the Oklahoma judicial system.
This 98-year-old grandmother doesn’t just write birthday cards to family members – she also writes thousands of letters to military members who are deployed overseas.
Aileen Cooper started writing to service members sometime after WWII. In the past six years alone, the senior has written almost 7,000 letters.
All of her notes are four pages long, and all of them are different from one other. For those of you who aren’t math buffs, that’s about 28,000 pages of thoughtful, individualized writing.
Though her hand must cramp up from time to time, Aileen has made it abundantly clear that she is going to keep writing for as long as she possibly can.
Full Article and Source:
98-Year-Old Has Written Almost 7,000 Letters to Soldiers in Six Years
WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – A man has been arrested on numerous counts of financial card theft, identity fraud, and financial exploitation of the elderly.
On Monday, The Columbus Police Department’s Financial Crimes Unit arrested 40-year-old Jeremy Pritchett and charged him with 17 counts of financial transaction card theft, 14 counts of identity fraud, and 10 counts of financial exploitation of an elderly person.
An investigation conducted revealed 14 victims in this case. The majority of the victims were over the age of 65 and were living on a fixed income.
Columbus Police say the two-month investigation began in September when a woman who identified herself as a member of Hurricane Irma evacuees seeking shelter in Columbus, visited the Wells Fargo bank on 13th Street in Uptown Columbus.
Police say the woman asked for her savings account balance, listed at $90,000, but explained Pritchett was said to be the only person who could give her the account statement. Further investigation led police to the discovery of the alleged crimes connected to Pritchett.
We spoke to Financial Managing Partner Tyler Townsend, of Townsend Wealth Management, who says people should always be cautious with their finances and credit.
"We need to think our information is already out there," says Townsend. "What that means is we need to freeze our credit now. That way no one can take a loan in your name."
Pritchett will make his first Recorder’s Court hearing on November 9 at 9 a.m. ET.
Full Article & Source:
Man arrested for numerous financial crimes, exploiting the elderly
Source: Bring Kip Home
ATLANTA - This is something to think about if you are facing a nursing home decision for a loved one. More than 40 percent of all homes in Georgia are ranked below average, with half of those ranked well below average in quality.
That is according to a FOX 5 I-Team calculation of Medicare's 5-star ranking system, which you can link to at the bottom of this report.
We calculated that a high number of low ranked Georgia nursing homes while researching a report about a woman who struggled to find her brother the best care she could. What she got, she says, was a nursing home nightmare.
Wendy Samples has vivid memories of her big brother. But Ed Morris was not just any boy. He was deaf from the age of 2, learning to love sign language. His way to survive, then later thrive, living his life on his own.
“He was just one of the sweetest caring guys, he was the guy who would do anything for you,” says Samples.
Then, earlier this year, Ed Morris at the age of 56, was diagnosed with a disease that would devastate that life. She says he had spinal stenosis which caused paralysis so he could no longer use sign language.
Ed Morris had emergency surgery on his neck at St. Joseph's hospital. The stenosis left him completely paralyzed, he wore a halo to keep his head in place, and he was on a ventilator due to a tracheotomy. After a month in acute care, the family moved him to Douglasville Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
But, about a month later, Wendy said the Douglasville center called and said her brother was sick and had been rushed to Intensive Care at St. Joseph's hospital. There, the family was stunned at what they found. Spelled out in his medical records, and in complaints to the state - later filed by Wendy.
His medical records show Ed Morris had "maggots in his skin around the halo site, as well as stage 4 wounds - commonly called bedsores - and foul odor from his (tracheotomy) trach site."
Medical records showed St. Joseph's was so concerned about what it found, an employee immediately alerted the state ombudsman - a nursing care advocate - and asked her to follow up with Douglasville Health and Rehab and find out what went wrong.
After the ordeal, Wendy Samples saw Medicare's review of nursing homes in Georgia for the first time... Once again, she was stunned.
Medicare rated Douglasville Nursing and Rehab as Much Below Average. With an overall rating of 1 out of a possible 5 stars, including 24 health citations in the past year, 6 of them considered "immediate jeopardy" to patients.
Medicare fined the facility $235,799 after one inspection in October of 2016. One issue: a staff member mixed a laxative with a Pine-Sol cleaner, thinking it was green tea, and gave it to a resident. Inspection notes show "the resident sustaining burning in her throat and requiring a transfer to the hospital."
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services wrote us to say Douglasville Nursing paid its fine and "achieved substantial compliance" in April of this year.
The Douglasville Nursing and Rehab nursing home director issued a statement saying, due to privacy rights, she can't discuss residents. She pointed out her home was surveyed twice this year and "no substandard quality of care deficiencies" were found.
Wendy Samples says her brother was moved to several different nursing homes. She says the open wound on his back never healed, he got pneumonia over and over, and 3 months after leaving Douglasville, he died in a different facility.
“I miss him greatly. He was wonderful,” says Samples.
Former US Attorney John Horn spent years battle elder abuse in the US Attorney's office. His team used creative legal tactics to criminally prosecute nursing home owners for neglect and abuse. He doesn't know anything about the case in Douglasville. But, he was surprised when we showed him Medicare statistics that show 42 percent of all nursing homes in Georgia are rated below average or much below average.
“It does surprise me,” says Horn. “What we are concerned about is, any percentage whatever it is, is too high.”
So how do you protect yourself and your loved ones? Based on our talks with former US Attorney John Horn, Wendy Samples, and nursing home advocates here are our recommendations for dealing with a loved one in any nursing home situation.
Start here. The Medicare nursing home comparison website. Just plug in your home’s name and you can see its Medicare ratings and inspection reports.
If you feel like there is abuse going on in a nursing home, here is one place to file a complaint. We strongly recommend that you take action if you feel a loved one has been neglected or harmed.
AARP has a wealth of information about being a caregiver, comparing costs, and options while taking care of a loved one.
Propublica has done a fabulous job of gathering nursing home data and making it easy to search. Inspection reports, deficiencies, and penalties are easily within your reach.
The Department of Justice has set up Elder Justice Task Forces. The Elder Justice Task Forces. Another place to turn for complaints and information about nursing homes in our area.
Full Article & Source:
FOX 5 I-Team finds 42 percent of GA nursing homes below average