Home

TS Radio Network: Coz & Marti “In the Mix: News and Updates 11/8

Leave a comment

 

Join us live Friday November 8, 2019 at 7:00 pm CST!

More

TENNESSEE COURTS OK’s HIDING LEGAL & FINANCIAL DOCS

Leave a comment

StopProbateFraud.com

Follow us on Twitter: @Stopfraud4

Attorneys & Fiduciaries hid Legal, Accounting, Securities and other Records from Trustees

Nashville, Tennessee­­ | Team Reporting by SPF

Tennessee is now the only the only state in the nation that allows attorneys and financial principals to hide and destroy legal and financial records from others involved in a legal and financial transaction.

Tennessee’s appeals court has upheld a lower-court ruling in a breach of fiduciary duty case involving the accountings for an estate out of Williamson County. The ruling wipes out centuries of black-letter law and makes it legal in Tennessee for attorneys, bankers, brokers, realtors and other fiduciaries to hide legal and financial records from clients, beneficiaries—and the courts.

Williamson County Tennessee Judge James Martin III

The original ruling was made by Judge James G. Martin in a claim involving the accounting for an estate and trusts based in the small town of Leiper’s Fork.

At the federal level, and in all other states, if an attorney or fiduciary hides or destroys legal and financial records, or hides records from their client-beneficiaries, it is considered a breach of fiduciary duty, fraud and/or obstruction of justice.

The ruling from Tennessee’s courts is a seismic shift in their laws and alters what people can expect from the legal and financial professionals they employ—and are subject to—when doing business in the Volunteer state.

A DRILL-DOWN: BIG NAMES TIED TO A SMALL CASE

The case was a simple one with a common theme: The widow of a Tennessee man wanted more money than she had agreed to when she signed the pre-nuptial with her spouse. To get more money, the widow teamed up with her attorney to hide and destroy the records of those assets from the man’s sons, who were trustees and beneficiaries of the estate.

Court records show that the estate itself was relatively small, with less than $200,000 subject to probate. (Many of the family’s assets had been placed into trusts.) More

Proactive Legislation And The Inclusion Of Seniors In Our Society Are Steps To Protecting Them Against Predators

Leave a comment

Posted by: National Association to Stop Guardianship Abuse

Full Article & Source:
Proactive Legislation And The Inclusion Of Seniors In Our Society Are Steps To Protecting Them Against Predators

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

A disturbing aspect of an  elder law and trusts and estates practice is the discovery of elder abuse. According to the National Institute on Aging, hundreds of thousands of adults over the age of 60 are abused, neglected, or financially exploited each year. Elder abuse includes physical, emotional, and sexual abuse in addition to neglect and abandonment.  The perpetrators are often relatives or friends who have influence over the individual who may be vulnerable due to illness, disability, or age. Sometimes the abuse occurs at the hands of caregivers, whether in the home or in a facility.

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has introduced bipartisan legislation to help protect the elderly and infirmed by improving health care worker hiring practices in long-term care and medical facilities. Too often the elderly and infirmed are harmed as a result of the individuals working in the very facilities that are charged with helping rehabilitate them.

The Promote Responsible Oversight and Targeted Employee Background Check Transparency for Seniors Act, also known as “PROTECTS,” is an act that would expand access to the National Practitioner Data Bank for Medicare and Medicaid providers to conduct background checks on employees. Specifically, PROTECTS would include Medicaid/Medicare-certified skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, hospice programs, and pharmacies.

The Act has been endorsed by the American Health Care Association and the National Association for Home Care & Hospice. The aforesaid Data Bank would reveal malpractice for potential employees and assist facility administrators in their hiring and consequently affect the standards of care.

More

Judge: Guardian must return $3.8 million in Gadsden case

Leave a comment

By William Thornton
An Etowah County woman will end up returning more than $3.85 million to her mother’s estate as the result of a judge’s ruling.
The case, decided last month in Etowah County Circuit Court, dealt with the conservatory and custodial duties of a woman appointed co-conservator of her mother. Circuit Judge George Day Jr., ruled that the woman, who has not been charged with any crime, “breached her fiduciary duty to her mother’s Conservatorship estate, has failed to properly account for her actions and the funds and assets under her control, all of which has caused substantial damage” to the estate.
Additionally, the Court awarded a judgment against the daughter in relation to the custodial accounts for the incapacitated woman’s granddaughter, totaling $393,509.
Chris Hamer and Rebecca Wright of the Hamer Law Group represented the incapacitated woman’s conservator, an attorney who was appointed after the daughter resigned as conservator. The case has also generated a federal court action.
“This case represents the most egregious breach of fiduciary duties we’ve ever seen,” Hamer said in a statement. “Cases involving misappropriation and misuse of assets by family members appointed as fiduciaries are especially distressing for all involved.”
As a result of the decision, all money in the estate has been accounted for, attorneys said. According to court documents, the daughter of the incapacitated woman became conservator of her then-77-year-old mother in 2014. The woman, who died earlier this year, had 12 children.

More

Tampa Bay area hospitals seeking to strip away patients’ rights, I-Team investigation finds

1 Comment

Posted by NASGA

 

 

 

 

By: Adam Walser

TAMPA, Fla. — Hospitals across the Florida are paying lawyers to go to court to take away patients’ rights, a three-month I-Team investigation uncovered.

I-Team Investigator Adam Walser found hospitals in Orlando, Miami, West Palm Beach, Naples and other Florida cities paying private attorneys to file hundreds of court petitions to put patients into guardianship.

An I-Team review of state court records found:

  • Tampa Bay area hospitals, including those owned by Baycare, AdventHealth and HCA, went to court to put more than 100 patients into guardianship since 2017 alone.
  • Tampa General Hospital filed five nearly identical court documents seeking guardianship for patients, describing each as having “disorganized thinking and poor cognition.” A hospital spokeswoman said TGH spent $28,000 on guardianship cases so far in just 2019.
  • An attorney for Florida Hospital Altamonte requested guardianship for a patient because her “Kia Soul that was almost paid off… may be repossessed.”

Tampa guardianship attorney Gerald Hemness questioned hospitals’ widespread use of guardianship.

“Certainly, missing a payment on a car doesn’t seem like it would be a financial emergency,” said Hemness. More

Ohio Confronts Elder-Fraud 

Leave a comment

StopProbateFraud.com

October 18, 2019 —For immediate release.

Steubenville, Ohio

Team Reporting from www.stopprobatefraud.com

 

Facing the glare of the elder-fraud spotlight, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost (left) is sending his top experts to address the problem in a  Steubenville public forum.

Titled “Protecting the Unprotected” the forum will be held from 12:30  pm to 4:00 pm on Wednesday, October 23, 2019 at the Towers Building, 500 Market Street, in the 2nd floor conference room.

Ohio has battled elder-fraud for years, and the state is again in the hot-seat due to a racketeering case brought by Dr. Mehdi Saghafi from Cleveland. A racket is a crime at both state and federal levels and can be spotted when the those billing to “fix” or “manage” a  problem are the same people that caused the problem in the first place.

Dr. Saghafi’s claim is that his family was the victim of financial exploitation when his 80-year old wife was trapped in the legal maze of a court-ordered guardianship. The family claims that once  “captured” in the court system, attorneys and accountants targeted the family’s assets and  billed the family hundreds of thousands of dollars for the ”care” of his wife.

Just months before that racketeering suit was allowed to proceed,  there was the FBI investigation of Ohio Judge Diane Vettori-Caraballo (shown   left). The judge was indicted and pled guilty to charges stemming from her theft of over $100,000 from an estate for which she was the court-appointed administrator. For more on that story, go here: https://wp.me/p9585T-gD

Ohio is not alone in the fight against fraud. Weeks ago, Michigan’s Attorney General Dana Nessel fired four of her state’s probate administrators after complaints that the attorneys had used their court-power to drain the assets of estates they controlled. See this link for  details: https://wp.me/p9585T-fH

Over the summer, Florida’s probate system made national headlines when court-appointed guardian Rebecca Fierle (right) was accused of causing the death of a man who was in her care by issuing a “Do Not Resuscitate” (DNR) order—without informing or getting the consent of the man who was “not to be resuscitated.” For more on this fraud story, go here: https://wp.me/p9585T-gt

Yost’s Steubenville event features nearly a dozen speakers including four with state-wide experience in elder-fraud investigation and prosecution: Sylvia Pla-Raith; Kevin Barbeau, CFE; Michael Kaizar, CPA CFE; Kelly Igoe, JD. The session offers residents of the region a place to meet and learn about the “red flags of fraud” from Ohio’s experts in elder financial fraud.

The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) calls fraud “theft by deceit,” and “theft with a smile and is prosecuted every day across the USA. But in cases where the “mark” or victim is an incapacitated and/or elderly person, the issues can expand from simple fraud into a RICO and civil rights cases.

“Many people don’t know that there are thousands of people in guardianships in Ohio,” says Rosanna Miller (shown right  with her father, Clair) who is a member of the advocacy group  “Ohio Coalition to End Probate Corruption” (OCEPC). The Ohio coalition is just one of nearly a dozen grass-roots groups across the United States who  fight guardianship and elder financial abuse including  NASGA,  AAAPG and VGPR.

New federal elder-care legislation (U.S. H.R. 4174) details that there are approximately 1.3 million elderly adults in the United States who have their lives controlled in a guardianship.  These vulnerable adults have amassed roughly 50 billion dollars in assets. These figures will get bigger with the aging of the “boomer” generation and the rise in life-expectancy.

The Steubenville forum is designed to help people learn how to spot and stop fraud from the best and brightest in the area of elder fraud prevention and prosecution. The speakers will detail the warning signs of elder financial exploitation and financial crimes and give attendees tools and strategies to assist victims of financial exploitation.

In addition to the state-level experts, there will be local Jefferson-County speakers as well, including Sheriff Fred J. Abdalla; Jefferson County Attorney Jane Hanlin; Marie Holt, Ericka Kirkpatrick and probate Judge Joseph Corabi.  The forum is designed to give people in the community a local contact when they need expertise in the elder financial fraud area. Q&A sessions are expected, time permitting.

The event is free but the room holds only 125 people. Please use this link to pre-register:

https://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Elder-Financial-Exploitation-Symposium

——————————————

 

www.stopprobatefraud.com is a news and information site focused on helping people spot and stop fraud in probates, trusts, estates and guardianships. Contact our team at: stopprobatefraud@gmail.com

 

Follow us on Twitter: @StopFraud4

 

TS Radio Network: Australia Talks Back 10/21

Leave a comment

Join us live Monday evening October 21 , 2019 at 7:00 pm CST!

This show airs live at 10: 00 a.m. Tuesday morning In Australia

More

Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: