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TS Radio Network: Gretchen Rachel Hammond….Michigan Rats Are Fleeing The Ship

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Gretchen Rachel Hammond, investigative reporter, fills us in on the after shock of her expose’ on Oakland county Probate Court, Michigan.  Gretchen’s five part series, fully documented in tedious detail the corruption and abuses that have been on going for years!  The number of lives destroyed while predators in the system were given ownership and control of vulnerable elderly an disabled individuals, allowing them to warehouse these people and help themselves to their assets is a national disgrace.  All of it done within the full view of the state’s attorney general, Dana Nessel.  She wasn’t the only AG to turn a blind eye, just the last in a long line.

“It seems the guardians and judges at the Oakland County Probate Court have been doing a bit of house cleaning since August:

Elderly and developmentally disabled victims are getting moved out of unlicensed group homes.

Small refunds are being offered to victim family members on the proviso that they sign a form saying they received a refund for “accidental over billing.”

Guardians are trying to close out cases and get rid of their own assets (such as half million dollar homes).

Files in case dockets are being altered or removed (such as accounts, change of address forms and ex parte orders).

As of last week, the court’s only public access computer (the one my team and I used to research case files without paying $1-per-page) is gone.”

Tune in as Gretchen fills us in on the recent activity in Michigan.  Amazing what a top-notch investigative journalist can do!

What’s Happening in Michigan?

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Update from Gretchen Rachel Hammond about Oakland Co. (MI) Probate Court which she investigated thoroughly for her five-part series, “The Fortress.” ( https://www.dailykos.com/…/-The-Fortress-Part-One-of-Five-U…).
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From Gretchen: Good, sneaky and bad news.

It seems the guardians and judges at the Oakland County Probate Court have been doing a bit of house cleaning since August:

Elderly and developmentally disabled victims are getting moved out of unlicensed group homes.

Small refunds are being offered to victim family members on the proviso that they sign a form saying they received a refund for “accidental over billing.”

Guardians are trying to close out cases and get rid of their own assets (such as half million dollar homes).

Files in case dockets are being altered or removed (such as accounts, change of address forms and ex parte orders).

As of last week, the court’s only public access computer (the one my team and I used to research case files without paying $1-per-page) is gone.

So, the good: removal of victims from unlicensed group homes.

The sneaky: small refund as long as you agree to saying. “No worries. Small oops. Could have happened to anyone.”

The bad: destruction of evidence and hiding assets. If Dana Nessel was really investigating these crimes, one would imagine that such activity would be a naughty no-no.

#indictmentsnotinitiatives #explainyourselfdana

The Fortress Part Three of Five: Profiting from Protection

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Investigative reporter Gretchen Hammond exposes alleged massive elder abuse & Exploitation Ring Michigan probate court

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massive elder abuse exposed

LOS ANGELES , CA, USA, August 26, 2019 /EINPresswire.com/ — INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER GRETCHEN RACHEL HAMMOND EXPOSES

ALLEGED MASSIVE ELDER ABUSE AND EXPLOITATION RING IN MIGHIGAN PROBATE COURTS

The guardianship system isn’t new; in fact, it’s rooted in medieval English law. Every US state still uses some form of the system, which, at its best, is designed to protect citizens who are no longer able to protect themselves by declaring them wards of the state. We know, of course, that the system is rarely at its best, with increasing reports of abuse cropping up nationwide, prompting Congressional calls for reform.

But the level of controversy over how guardianship cases are handled in one Detroit-area probate courtroom has reached such heights, the story reads more like Orwellian fiction than it does a model of the American experience.

An unsettling number of accusations have been leveraged against the court, citing abuse, neglect, robbery, and exploitation, often in cases that arguably didn’t merit guardianship in the first place. In as little as a year, “incapacitated wards” are stripped of the entirety of their savings and possessions and rendered completely reliant upon social services and benefits such as Medicaid. Even high-profile families, including the estates of Rosa Parks and Aretha Franklin, have been drawn into the quagmire.

Award-winning investigative journalist Gretchen Rachel Hammond spent the past 13 months independently investigating a systemic problem at the Oakland County Probate Court, which has allegedly been shielded by the highest levels of Michigan government for the past 30-some years. With the help of a forensic accountant, three Wayne State University Journalism School researchers, and thousands of corroborating documents, she has published a first-of-its-kind exploration into the court system, its four judges, four guardians, and the stories behind more than 2,200 wards.

Background:

In July 2018, Hammond engaged in a freelance, self-funded investigation to determine if alleged abuses at the Oakland County Probate Court were systemic.

Discoveries include the forced separation of families and isolation of the vulnerable; fraudulent petitions for guardianship by Adult Protective Services investigators; massive overbilling; the forced removal of individuals from their homes and the placement of them in nursing facilities or unlicensed group homes with subhuman living conditions; real estate fraud; and missing assets that number in the millions of dollars.

The investigation met with constant challenges, including threats and harassment by Oakland County Sheriff’s officers. A surreal March 12, 2019 four-hour meeting between Hammond’s team and Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s staff led to a new line of inquiry and discoveries of campaign ties between Nessel, Whitmer and Oakland County Probate Court Chief Judge Kathleen Ryan and her family.

Biography

Gretchen Rachel Hammond is an award-winning freelance investigative journalist based out of Chicago. Her work has won or been nominated for four successive Chicago Press Club awards, been recognized by the National Association of Lesbian and Gay Journalists (NLGJA), and covered topics such as criminal justice, abuse at ICE detention facilities, and alleged discrimination on the part of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services leading to the unnecessary separation of children from their parents.

GRETCHEN IS AVAIL FOR INTERVIEW AND THE FULL 5 PART SERIES IS AVAIL

CONTACT: ROGER NEAL @ NEAL PR
323-366-2796

ROGER NEAL
NEAL PR
+1 323-366-2796
email us here

Here’s the link to the series:  https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2019/8/23/1880784/-The-Fortress-Part-One-of-Five-Unacknowledged-and-Unprotected?_=2019-08-23T12:17:56.838-07:00

 

And the link for the PR:
https://www.einnews.com/pr_news/494414243/investigative-reporter-gretchen-hammond-exposes-alleged-massive-elder-abuse-exploitation-ring-michigan-probate-court?fbclid=IwAR2mlTgYogGi4tYX3KNXQi_SH2Cm7O35q6GKS__7TJJex3Lny714sokFMWs

The Fortress Part One of Five: Unacknowledged and Unprotected.

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A Michigan court tasked with protecting its most vulnerable citizens has become home to a roiling controversy charging abuse, exploitation, robbery and neglect.

By Gretchen Rachel Hammond 

In the frigid, early morning of Monday, March 25, 2019, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel held a press conference announcing a task force primarily charged with reforming a court system rooted in medieval English law.

According to state and national activists, it’s a system that has been left unchecked for decades and is now so broken that it has led to unprecedented judicial overreach and the eradication of the constitutional, civil and human rights of thousands of Americans who have suffered from resulting neglect, isolation, abuse, torture and theft on a massive scale, allegedly at the hands of the same individuals assigned to protect them.

Both in Michigan and nationwide, the system is called “guardianship” and/or “conservatorship.” Once assigned to an individual that a probate or family court judge declares “legally incapacitated” and unable to manage their own affairs, often a complete stranger in the form of a court-appointed guardian or conservator assumes control over every aspect of that person’s life.

Every last possession, penny and decision is handed over to one of Michigan’s professional guardians and conservators culled from a pool of county public administrators, estate and probate attorneys or private guardianship companies.

In as little as a year, wards have been rendered completely indigent and reliant upon social services and benefits such as Medicaid. Their homes are gone, as are their savings accounts, IRAs, investment accounts, cars, personal belongings, keepsakes, heirlooms, jewelry and even their clothing. Every dollar of their social security, disability income or pensions falls under the control of their guardians with the exception of an allowance as low as $60 per month.

Inevitably, it’s the developmentally disabled and exponentially growing senior populations who are the most affected not only in Michigan but nationwide. Advocates for both groups claim that guardianship, by design, results in a “civil death” for those who are subjected to it and that, although free from any charges of wrongdoing, a person under guardianship has less rights than an imprisoned felon.

Pro-guardianship organizations claim such statements are histrionic; that a guardian has simply assumed the rights of an incapacitated individual, also called a “ward,” as a protective barrier against those who would exploit them. More

TS Radio Network: Coz & Marti …Live with Gretchen Hammond

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Join us live Friday August 23 , 2019 at 7:00 pm CST!

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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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