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ELDER ABUSE IS A CRIME?
Res ipsa loquitur
"Of all the illegal and illicit enterprises in the world, elder exploitation is among the safest and most profitable."
Journalism is a method of inquiry and literary style that aims to provide a service to the public by the dissemination and analysis of news and other information. Journalistic integrity is based on the principles of truth, disclosure, and editorial independence. Journalistic mediums can vary diversely, from print publishing to electronic broadcasting, and from newspaper to television channels, as well as to the web, and to digital technology.
In modern society, the news media is the chief purveyor of information and opinion about public affairs. Journalism, however, is not always confined to the news media or to news itself, as journalistic communication may find its way into broader forms of expression, including literature and cinema. In some nations, the news media is still controlled by government intervention, and is not fully an independent body.
In a democratic society, however, access to free information plays a central role in creating a system of checks and balance, and in distributing power equally amongst governments, businesses, individuals, and other social entities. Access to verifiable information gathered by independent media sources, which adhere to journalistic standards, can also be of service to ordinary citizens, by empowering them with the tools they need in order to participate in the political process.
The homeowner who shot and killed a 72-year-old man with advanced Alzheimer's Disease after he rang his bell when he became lost and confused in the middle of the night might be charged in the man’s death.
Ronald Westbrook rang the doorbell of a home at 4am on Wednesday after wandering around in the dark for almost four hours in rural Walker County, Georgia, wearing just a light jacket and a straw hat in the cold 20 degree temperatures.
He had walked around three miles from his home by the time he approached the door. Sheriff Steve Wilson said he thinks he approached that particular house because the porch light was on, according to the Chattanooga Times.
A former insurance agent has been charged with financial elder abuse for allegedly forging his aunt's signature to make withdrawals from a life insurance policy he sold to her, California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said.
Myles Seishin Hanashiro, 47, was arrested on four felony counts of financial elder abuse.
"Insurance agents who prey on elders are particularly loathsome," Jones said. "Violating their fiduciary trust and responsibility by taking advantage of vulnerable seniors is simply unforgivable and I will continue use every tool at my department’s disposal to pursue and bring to justice criminals who prey on seniors."
Siblings Robert L. Fuller & Doris A. Fuller AKA Doris Fuller Stewart AKA Ijnanya Fuller [Atty. Daniel K. Lak] were found to have committed fraud, undue influence and financial elder abuse and against Mr. Thelsey L. Fuller in Los Angeles County Superior Court [BP 099211, BP 122665]. After isolating Mr. Fuller from all other family members and draining his life savings, the pair placed the fragile 92-year-old man in a convalescent hospital against his will where they abandon him to die alone and broke. In excess of $308,000.00 was stolen by the pair.
All authorities were notified, no criminal charges will be filed.
Earlier this year, hired caregiver Melissa Renee Murray bilked an elderly Fort Collins woman out of more than $45,000.
caller pretending to be a granddaughter in need of bail money for a
Peruvian jail earlier this month tricked a pair of Fort Collins
grandparents out of $16,000.
Kohler, a former Windsor business owner, was sentenced to two years in
prison Monday after pleading guilty to stealing thousands of dollars
from his elderly business partner.
the common eye, these cases are just another instance of theft. To
those more trained, they’re yet another example of the most common form
of elder abuse. A Colorado law will take effect July 2014 and offer new
hope for the sobering plight.
than 60 percent of elder abuse cases — or abuse against older adults —
involve financial exploitation. Like many of the cases above, most are
perpetrated by someone in a position of trust, typically a family member
or caregiver with a “sob story” or access to important financial
documents or credit cards, said Helen Davis, coordinator for the
Colorado Coalition for Elder Rights and Prevention and a local expert on
elder abuse issues.
Two Tualatin women face multiple felony charges in an elder abuse case that
Washington County officials say lasted several years and cost the victim an
estimated $80,000 along with priceless family heirlooms.
Detectives spent five months investigating Nichole Garlitz,
43, and Kelly Dresser, 41, after an 81-year-old man's family contacted
authorities with concerns.
The family member called the Washington County Sheriff's Office in April,
saying the two women had taken over all aspects of the victim's life, according to a
Garlitz and Dresser approached the man at a Tualatin shopping mall two years
ago, authorities said, and "struck up a friendship."
Authorities arrested Garlitz three times and Dresser four times during the past month related to the elder abuse case.
After the investigation, county officials determined $80,000
in cash, family heirlooms such as jewelry and antique furniture and other items
are unaccounted for.
The victim's family believes its farm, in the family for 100 years, is at
risk too, according to the release.
The numbers are staggering. Just one in every 44 cases of financial abuse of the elderly is ever reported.
That number is growing in Hamilton County.
The sad fact is, most elderly financial abuse, is done by either a relative, or someone close to the victim.
This is a look at what's being called, "an absolutely incredible act of betrayal."
After working so many years as a mechanic and heavy equipment operator, Tom McGinnis thought he and his wife Faye had everything they needed for retirement. But that nest egg was built on years of scrimping and saving.
"I reckon we thought we could live on love or something," he says.
Over the years, they bought commodities including gold, silver, platinum, jewelrycollectibles and valuable heirlooms, stored in this safe at home, and money saved in the bank.
When Faye McGinnis passed away three years ago, their granddaughter Jacqueline Reihl and her husband Ronnie moved in, supposedly to take care of Mr. McGinnis..
He says he suspected nothing, until one day he went to the bank and found his account cleaned out. "It had to be them," he says.
He went home to check on his safe, and found a roll of quarters, broke open on the floor. "They were lying right there," he pointed to the spot. "Right there is the paper roll they were in."
He feared the worse. "When I found all this out and they KNEW that I had found out, they left," he says.
And that's when he also discovered what they'd been up to over the past year.. buying expensive cars, TV's, computers, and hundreds of lottery tickets. He says they also took lavish trips.
"I felt like killing 'em," he remembers. "That's what I felt like."
Mr. McGinnis estimates his loss at almost $700,000 dollars.
Department LA 5 Court Convened at: 08:30 AM 11/20/2013
Honorable Mitchell L. Beckloff
Sal Jimenez , Deputy County Clerk M. Manskar , Deputy Sheriff
Linda Biche, CSR 3359 , Reporter
BP135381 1020 FULLER, EDWINA - DECEDENT
Letters of Administr
PROBATE - OTHER
Petitioner(s): Fuller, Steven
Attorney(s): Randall, Teddie J., Esq.
Continuance Number: 1 Continuance From: Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Last Date Changed: Friday, November 15, 2013 11:35 AM
Last Note Changed By: MGUAYANT
To clear probate notes "filed documents" must be submitted to Rm 429, within time frames set forth in Rule 4.4 (b) of LASC Rules. You may contact the Probate Attorney or Probate Examiner whose E-Mail address appears at the end of these notes, subject to compliance with all conditions governing the use of Interactive E-Mail. E-mail Rules are available on the Court's web site at www.LASuperiorCourt.org.
PETN FILED 10/3/13
PRIOR ORDERS: Cont to 11/20/13 to clear notes
Petnr is pers rep & son
Ltrs 3/6/13 (limited IAEA)
Supp filed 10/21/13
2nd supp filed 11/6/13
ntc/copy spec ntc William George, Marshal Oldman ok
ntc/copy heirs Steven Fuller, Sandra Arnold ok
ntc/copy spec ntc DHS ok
OTHER CASE: BP099211 (decd's consrship; petnr is consr; final acct set for 12/2/13); BP122665 (Thelsey Fuller Trust)
FACTS: Estate consists of one-half interest in r/p at 1916 N. Belhaven Ave., LA. Per Order settling the first acct in the decd's consrship, filed 4/14/11, petnr, as consr, was authorized and directed to sign a Note and Trust Deed in favor of his atty, Sandra Jones Anderson, for the sum of 41,269 to create a lien on the subj r/p for her fees. Per the same order, petnr was awarded fees in the amt of 124,700 in the form of a lien against the estate. Per a prelim title rpt dated 9/16/13, liens for atty Anderson's and petnr's fees are recorded against the subj r/p (atty Anderson's are recorded twice). Petnr alleges there is also a petn pending for fees in the approx amt of 15,000. The approx total of the outstanding liabilities (including creditor's claims filed in this estate--see below) is 314,373.56 + costs of administration.
DHS, 690.40; 8/15/13
DHS, 72,001.19; 8/14/13
Steven Fuller, 10,712.97 (funeral)
Steven Fuller, 124,700; 5/29/13 (consr fees)
Sybil Yvonne Burrell, 50,000 est; 10/25/12
The estate rp sold for 76,625.00. The proceeds are currently the only estate asset. Petnr alleges there is an outstanding jgmt, pending collections, in favor of the estate in the amt of 107,692. Order filed 3/19/12 under consrship case no. BP099211 provides petnr, as consr of the estate, is entitled to 107,692.30 from Thelsey Fuller, representing her c/p share of pension benes received by Thelsey Fuller; the sum is to be pd from the assets of the Fuller tr prior to dist to any bene. The order further provides the tee of the Fuller tr shall recoer 235,158.28 from Robert and Doris Fuller aka Doris Fuller Stewart as individuals (jointly and severally liable). PER SUPP, petnr alleges the estate cannot recover from the tr until the tr has collected these sums or sells tr r/p.
Petnr alleges a search of the records indicates no trust deed was recorded (re the fees ordered per 4/14/11 order in consrship); thus, petnr alleges the lien has the status of a creditor. There is a dispute as to the order of priority of the liens, fees, creditors and costs of admin. Per supp, petnr does not dispute that the 4/14/11 Order constitutes a valid lien.
Per Prob C 11420:
"Debts shall be paid in the following order of priority among classes of debts, except that debts owed to the United States or to this state that have preference under the laws of the United States or of this state shall be given the preference required by such laws:
"(1) Expenses of administration. With respect to obligations secured by mortgage, deed of trust, or other liens, including, but not limited to, a judgment lien, only those expenses of administration incurred that are reasonably related to the administration of the property by which obligations are secured shall be given priority over these obligations.
"(2) Obligations secured by a mortgage, deed of trust, or other lien, including, but not limited to, a judgment lien, in the order of their priority, so far as they may be paid out of the proceeds of the property subject to the lien, if the proceeds are insufficient, the part of the obligation remaining unsatisfied shall be classed with general debts.
"(3) Funeral expenses.
"(4) Expenses of last illness.
"(7) General debts, including judgments not secured by a lien and all other debts not included in a prior class."
MATTERS TO CLEAR:
E. No Order Confirming Sale of the subj r/p filed (sold per 9/11/13 M.O. & per petn). PER SUPP, pending.
i. If Anderson is a creditor, what "position" does she take as a creditor, i.e., what is the order of priority for the outstanding liabilities under Prob C 11420? - SUPP alleges after costs of admin and payment to DHS, Anderson's claim would be paid pro rata w/other creditors. Does petnr allege Steven Fuller's funeral and fee claims and Burrell's claim fall in the same category as Anderson's? - 2nd SUPP alleges the following order of priority of creditors: DHS followed by Steve Fuller and Anderson liens; then funeral expenses; lastly Burrell's claim.
1. JTD the Supplemental Order Settling First Account dated April 14, 2011, does not constitute a lien on the Estate's property, subject to priority status payable directly from escrow;
2. JTD Sandra Anderson is a creditor in equal position as other creditors and shall be paid from the Estate according to Probate Code 11420 upon finalization;
3. JTD the Supplemental Order Settling First Account dated April 14, 2011, does not supercede costs of administration and priority creditors
PA COMMENTS: The final acct & a petn for fees in the related conrship proceeding is scheduled for hrg on 12/2/13 ; query if the w/in matter s/b continued to that same date.
Note: atty Anderson 10/22 email indicates she objects, unable to attend; her email not sent to other counsel as atty alleges it is n/a on the State Bar web site. As of calendar review, 11/15, no objections filed.
Note: Petnr filed on 10/23/13 a Notice of Proposed Action re sale of the Fruller trust's one-half interest in the subject r/p; no juris in this probate proceeding over the Fuller trust.
When 77-year-old Johnnie Esco died in 2008 after a short stay at a Placerville nursing home, her husband of 60 years wanted someone held responsible – civilly and criminally.
Don Esco of Cameron Park settled his civil lawsuit against the El Dorado Care Center and its owner in 2010 for $2.9 million. The criminal matter ended quite differently this week, with California’s attorney general declining to seek a new trial against the facility’s former head nurse following a mistrial.
More than five years after the elderly woman’s death, an El Dorado County jury failed to reach a verdict in the case against Donna Darlene Palmer, charged with felony elder abuse.
Palmer, the former director of nursing at the facility, was one of two nurses charged criminally last year by the California attorney general’s office. At the time, Attorney General Kamala D. Harris’ office had announced plans to intensify efforts statewide to bring criminal cases against nursing home administrators and employees whose failings harm vulnerable patients.
The real story should be about the cases of criminal elder abuse, criminal financial elder abuse, fraud and undue influence that the AG and L.A. DA refuse to file and bring before a jury.
If one really wishes to know how justice is administered in a country, one does not question the policemen, the lawyers, the judges, or the protected members of the middle class. One goes to the unprotected--those, precisely, who need the law's protection most!--and listens to their testimony. ~ JAMES BALDWIN, The Price of the Ticket
There are more than 23 million veterans living nationwide, more than 23 million people to whom we owe gratitude for the freedoms and liberties we enjoy.
As we once again observe Veterans Day in the United States of America, we honor these brave men and women, each of whom swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution and laws of this great nation against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
Let us never forget the blank check each of them wrote to us, at the value of their lives, in service to our nation.
Many have suffered the shock and pain of combat. Some have become disabled for life; many have made the ultimate sacrifice. All who served have given up some of the best years of their life.
Now, on this day, it is a small but important matter for us to simply say “thank you” to these courageous Americans.
We support you, and we stand behind you, who stood between us and harm.
And thank you to those serving in our armed forces today, for today’s service members are tomorrow’s veterans. As we honor our veterans today we set an example for how we will receive this next generation of America’s heroes, who continue by their actions the long and honorable chain of service that stretches back to the dawn of this great nation.
America has been honored by the service of its veterans, and it will continue to be as the great people of this great nation step forward to serve, and we all remember what is owed to them.
"Semper Fi" This song is dedicated to my sister, who served 24 years in the US Marine Corps, and to the tens of thousands wounded veterans who've left flesh and blood on foreign soil (and of course those hurt at home) in service to our country.
The biggest risk to an older or disabled loved one’s finances is a relative, a friend … maybe even you.
Family, acquaintances and unrelated caregivers are most likely to exploit an older or disabled person’s finances, a new state study of the increasingly reported problem has found.
To report abuse in Oregon
Call Oregon Department of Human Services at 1-800-232-3020 or go to DHS online for other resources.
The abuse also remains difficult to prove, according to the study by the Oregon Office of Adult Abuse Prevention and Investigations. The office’s investigators were able to substantiate only 30 percent of alleged abuses reported by seniors and disabled people. The rest were either unsubstantiated or inconclusive.
Financial exploitation is the most common form of elder abuse and figures to be a significant issue as the population ages with large amounts of accumulated wealth.
She raises her hands to her snow-white hair in a gesture of frustrated bewilderment, then slowly lowers them to cover eyes filling with tears. The woman, in her 70s, is trying to explain how she wound up in a shelter that could well be where she spends the rest of her life.
While the woman was living with a close family member, officials at the Shalom Center say, her money was being drained away by people overcharging for her grocery shopping, while her body and spirit were sapped by physical neglect and emotional torment. She says she was usually ordered to "go to bed," where she lay in a dark room, upset, unable to sleep.
"She just yelled at me all the time. Screamed at me, cussed me out," the woman says of a family member. "I don't know what happened. She just got tired of me, I guess."
Marion County Deputy District Attorney John Turner, who has specialized in elder abuse since the late 1990s, said he has noticed a rise in financial abuse of older adults.
As awareness about elder abuse has risen, more people have reported cases. In addition, there is a growing population of older adults. And with digitized banking, perpetrators are having an easier time accessing their victims’ accounts.
The cases also are difficult to prosecute because the crimes often occur in trusted relationships. Victims sometimes don’t want to press charges or they aren’t able to testify, Turner said, and perpetrators take advantage of that.
Turner, who also specializes in property crime cases, said 43 elder abuse cases were submitted to the district attorney’s office between Jan. 1, 2012, and Monday.
Of those, 27 have been sentenced and four were dropped. The rest are pending, he said.
A Visalia man was charged Friday with two counts of felony elder abuse after police say he handcuffed his 75-year-old uncle to a chair in a shed.
Marcos Vincent Abrego, 48, was charged with criminal neglect under circumstances likely to produce bodily injury and another count of false imprisonment of an elder, the Tulare County District Attorney's office said.
Miguel Alvarez, 33 recalls being (at times) the only person caring for the abandoned residents of Valley Springs Manor last week, in his home that he shares with his mother, wife, son and step son October 31, 2013 in San Leandro, Calif. Alvarez started working as a part time janitor at Valley Springs Manor on October 7th and says he was supposed to be paid on the 25th but now he doesn't know if he will ever receive payment. Over time, Alvarez's hours became increasingly strange, sometimes he would be the only person in the building with the residents from 6pm-6am the next day. Alvarez says that he lived at the facility from last Tuesday until Saturday to make sure the residents were cared for. He missed his son's first day of school. By Thursday he was the only person bathing and caring for those who were still at the manor, though he is only trained as a janitor. "They just left them for dead," he said, "I didn't know what to do." Photo: Leah Millis, The Chronicle
Miguel Alvarez had never worked in a senior care home. He had never administered medications. The only reason he took the janitor job at Valley Springs Manor in early October was to save money for Christmas gifts for his children.
Yet last week, as the Castro Valley care home plunged into chaos amid a state-ordered closure, Alvarez found himself changing diapers, bathing, spoon-feeding and otherwise comforting more than a dozen seniors who had been abandoned there.
"I'm a janitor - I didn't know what I was doing. I just tried the best I could," Alvarez, 33, said Thursday at his home in San Leandro.