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Michigan nursing home sued for imprisoning and ransoming woman

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GretchRHammond

This article first appeared on Daily Koz

Mimi Brun and her mother, Virginia Wahab. Brun filed a lawsuit alleging a nursing home abused its guardianship of her mother due to an unpaid debt.

Mimi Brun and her mother, Virginia Wahab

A number of studies have found that the greatest fear expressed by senior citizens, a demographic that’s exponentially growing in number in this country, is not death but the eradication of their independence if they are forced to live in a nursing facility. According to a lawsuit filed on May 8, that fear became reality for a vital and healthy Detroit-area woman, Virginia “Jean” Wahab, who spent two years falsely imprisoned in a Waterford, Michigan, nursing home owned by Lourdes, Inc., and sponsored by the Dominican Sisters of Peace religious order. The home demanded payment of what amounted to a ransom of $25,000 to release Wahab from the facility.

“Mom was a fearless, independent woman before Lourdes took control of her,” Wahab’s daughter and caregiver Mimi Brun said. “When I finally got her out of there, it took me a long time to wean her off all the unnecessary anti-psychotic and anti-depressive drugs they had been giving her.”

Brun is the plaintiff in the lawsuit, which claims her mother was subject to false imprisonment, negligence, breach of contract, malicious prosecution, abuse of court process, and the intentional infliction of emotional distress. Filed in the Oakland County Circuit Court, the complaint is a first for Michigan and comes on the heels of Attorney General Dana Nessel’s creation of an Elder Abuse Task Force.

Brun said that although her mother had been living alone before her ordeal began in 2016, by the time she was able to secure Wahab’s release after a protracted legal battle, “She couldn’t stand up. She was terrified of being locked in a room and of someone coming to take her back to Lourdes.”

Before Wahab passed away at the end of April, mother and daughter were finally able to spend a precious few months together after having been kept apart by a court order obtained by Lourdes that severed Brun’s visitation rights.

Short-term rehab to long-term guardianship

According to the complaint, the family’s problems began in February 2016, when Wahab was admitted to Lourdes Senior Community, a $21 million nonprofit organization housing 250 residents at four facilities, for short-term rehabilitation following a recommendation from her doctor. By April 2016, Wahab’s insurance company, Health Alliance Plan, had terminated Wahab’s Medicare benefits at Lourdes, stating that she needed no further services or medication and was “medically stable for discharge.”

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TS Radio Network: Whistleblower’s..Follow-up on the Dangerous Business of Probate in Michigan

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Join us this evening April 11, 2019 at 7:00 pm CST

5:00 pm PST…6:00 pm MST…7:00 pm CST…8:00 pm EST

Listen Live → HERE!

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TS Radio Network: TnT Tanya TalkS —EXPOSE-IMPOSE-REFORM!

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Join us Sunday evening February 17, 2019 at 7:00 CST!

5:30 pm PST…6:30 pm MST…7:30 pm CST…8:30 pm EST

Listen Live →HERE!

Call in number 917-388-4520

Hit #1 immediately when Blogtalk answers to speak to the host.

Hosted by Tanya Hathaway

All shows are archived and available 24/7 so you can listen at your convenience.

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EXPOSE-IMPOSE-REFORM!

Please tune in tonight at 5:30 Pacific, 6:30 Mountain, 7:30 Central, and 8:30 Eastern time on Tanya Hathaway’s “TNT Tanya TalkS; Where your voice is heard-and your story is told” on the legendary producer and whistleblower- Marti Oakley’s “TS Radio Network” . You can also tune in to Stephen Burke’s KLRB, 89.9 FM Christian Radio as he broadcasts our show live straight from Stuart Oklahoma who love broadcasts this show three every Sunday with exception to the 3rd (Sunday) each month.

Last week we heard from Gretchen Rachel Hammond; multi award-winning investigative journalist, who by continually pouring herself into her job-with dignity and strength- found out by doing so- just how much is at risk in the arena of corruption: when it comes to doing something about it. Reporting it!

We continue to report the truth- telling from victim’s and advocates well-vetted testimony, and with stead-fast collaboration of efforts are making headway- at least they are beginning to listen. More

TS Radio Network: Tanya TalkS w/Gretchen Hammond & James Treat

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Join us Sunday evening February 10, 2019 at 7:00 CST!

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TS Radio Network: Gretchen Rachel Hammond & The Dangerous Business of Probate in Michigan

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Join us this evening February 4, 2019 at 7:00 pm CST More

Missing in Southfield, Michigan: Gretchen Hammond…journalist documenting probate abuses

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This is extremely disturbing news, EVERYONE, and a CALL TO ACTION. Below is a December 27, 2018 post about Gretchen Rachel Hammond, an American journalist who reportedly went missing in Southfield, Michigan, on or around December 20, 2018.

“I am posting on behalf of Gretchen Rachel Hammond family who are very worried about her. They have not heard from her for nearly a week and she did not come home for Christmas. They have reached out to her friends in Chicago and the folks she was working with in Detroit and they do not know where she is. Her cell phone goes to voicemail. The last time she reached out to them, she said she was heading to the library in Southfield Michigan. That was on December 20. Please reach out to me if you have any information.”

This development follows the post below by Gretchen about news of a threat she received.

If you know anything, please let us know at “The Face of Vulnerability” — https://www.facebook.com/TheFaceOfVulnerability — and we’ll forward the information to Mary Spaler who circulated the above missing person alert.

Gretchen Rachel Hammond

My source at the Probate Court reached out to me yesterday to let me know that I am now in considerable danger. They did not specify what “danger” entails: an attempt to discredit me before the story is published, the use of the Oakland County Sheriffs to concoct a reason to throw me behind bars (a tactic already used on a rather outspoken activist) or something quite worse. A physical attack was not ruled out. The point is, they have had quite enough of me and, if this were any other time, one might easily laugh it off.

My team is safe. I have managed to keep them completely anonymous. My research, that includes court documents, accounts, interviews and all relevant data, is also in trusted hands on both coasts via continually updated and mailed flash drives and I’m building alliances across the country on a daily basis.

“These are extremely powerful people,” I was told. “You have become radioactive to them so you need to do something about your security. There is a lot at stake here for a lot of people so make sure you take precautions.”

Anyone reading this has become a part of my heeding such a warning and I would ask you all to somehow ensure the following is protected via safety in numbers: My name is Gretchen Rachel Hammond. I am a journalist investigating systemic elder abuse and exploitation at the Oakland County Probate Court in Michigan. My team’s discoveries thus far have entered the realm of the horrifying. Thousands of elderly and vulnerable lives are in ruins or extinguished. Their homes have passed through the the hands of a disturbing group of people.

And I will not stop until this story is in print.

Guardians from Hell: Part 2 Update into Investigation of systemic guardianship abuse in Northern Michigan

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Gretchen Rachel Hammond
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“June 27 was petition day at the Oakland County Court. As soon as people saw my press badge, I was approached by at least 15-20 different families all begging me to write about their case. It was as if I had carried a loaf of bread into a village of starving people. Midway through the morning, I was escorted out of the building by at least a half-dozen sheriff’s deputies who were acting on orders of the courts judicial attorney Ryan Deel’s claims that I had not been given permission by the clerk of the court to be there.”
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After the above article was published detailing elder abuse by professional guardians in Northern Michigan, I visited the Oakland County Probate Court to watch a June 27 hearing on a petition for visitation brought by Mimi Brun who has not seen her mother Virginia Wahab for the two-years since Mimi’s power of attorney was tossed out Wahab had been assigned a professional guardian Jon Munger.What is happening in Oakland County is systemic and in literally hundreds of pages of documents I have already collected, I am seeing the same pattern in multiple cases involving at least six professional attorney/guardians there and three out of the four judges.

The guardians are alerted to a new admission by a nursing home with whom they have a downstream relationship. The nursing home then files a petition for guardianship which is granted by an Oakland County judge regardless of an existing power of attorney or whether or not the senior or his/her/their family is represented by counsel. The guardian then immediately halts visitation by the family members. In complete control of his ward’s medical and financial life, he proceeds to strip the estate, sell the house at far below market cost and bill the ward thousands. Within months, the ward has been declared both incapacitated and destitute. The guardian then applies for Medicaid benefits on behalf of the nursing home. Both the guardian and the nursing home make a tremendous profit while the ward is left to rot, often in a substandard facility.

In the Wahab case, detailed in the article, the reason that Munger had been assigned was stated as a past due-bill owed Lourdes and a need for the organization to apply for Medicaid benefits for Wahab. There is no Michigan statute that allows for a petition to be made or a guardian to be assigned because a nursing facility is owed money. 

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