It is a New Yorker’s nightmare: losing all that a family has worked for, even down to the place they call home. But what if it was all taken in the name of protection?
Ann Masotti, a born-and-raised Bronxite, says that she and her 31 year-old daughter have been “exiled” to Texas in the wake of a protracted legal battle over the estate of her late ex-husband, Vito. Ann and Vito adopted Andrea, nicknamed Andi, from Hungary when she was six years old. Andi is autistic, and during the year after Vito’s death in 2006 she experienced mental health troubles and became suicidal. She was hospitalized multiple times and could not seem to stabilize.
Ann found a residential facility about 50 miles north of the city that she believed could help, and sought to place Andi there. However, this placement would have cost more than Ann says she could reasonably afford. Ann asked the Westchester County Surrogate’s Court to allow her to withdraw funds from Vito’s estate to pay for Andi’s treatment. Vito had always intended for his estate to go to his daughter, says Ann, and after he was diagnosed with cancer he set up a will and trust with his long-time tax attorney specifying that intent.
There was one major problem. In 2005, Joseph Pisani, a former state senator and lawyer who had previously been disbarred on federal charges of fraud, embezzlement, and tax evasion, had cozied up to Vito in his last months. Pisani and Vito had changed the will and named Pisani as Executor and Trustee of the estate, including a rental property that reportedly generated revenue income substantial enough to sustain Andi for the rest of her life. Pisani refused to release any of the funds. Instead, he drained them, dissipating accounts and paying himself and other attorneys he hired with the money from Andrea’s estate.
Pisani claimed in court records that he was looking after Andrea’s well-being and had her best interests in mind. As a fiduciary Pisani was supposed to file an accounting of the estate with the court when requested and upon closing, but the one accounting Pisani did file in 10 years was rejected by the court and never corrected.
Ann tried every legal remedy she could think of, including applying for legal guardianship of her adult daughter under Article 81 of the Mental Hygiene Law, but nothing succeeded in removing Pisani’s hold over the accounts. Even after Ann successfully had Pisani removed as Trustee, the court kept him on as Executor. Meanwhile, as Andi bounced from facility to facility, Ann paid for her daughter’s care out of her own pocket. After Andi’s last stint at a facility in Houston, they settled in Texas, unable to afford to return to New York.
“Nobody could make up this stuff,” says Masotti. “It’s worse than any crime novel that you could pick up. And it’s true.”
Hopes for action dashed
Ann Masotti took her complaints to the New York State Attorney General’s office twice. The first time, in 2008, the office was headed by Andrew Cuomo. In a phone call, Ann says, his office responded that they had deemed her detailed, documented complaint to be without merit. The second time, in 2014, Masotti addressed her complaint to Eric Schneiderman. The response on his behalf came from the office’s Public Integrity Bureau: By their determination the complaint did not warrant action. The office did not provide a reason.
Now, more alleged victims of guardianship abuse and trust fraud have come forward to say that Schneiderman’s office refused to investigate their complaints, even after reaching out to them directly in an apparent show of good faith. Lately, Albany has been talking about fixing the state’s adult guardianship system, which even a longstanding judge says is “broken,” but victims have yet to experience relief or see justice. As a new Attorney General takes the helm, will justice be served?
“The Attorney General’s Office is the chief law enforcement officer for the state. It’s their responsibility to accept and process complaints for serious infractions,” says Dr. Sam Sugar, founder of Americans Against Abusive Probate Guardianship. “When they establish a policy of ignoring complaints that are well-documented, they are breaking their own laws and their oath to uphold the constitution of the United States and the constitutions of their individual states, all of whom make it clear that discrimination against anyone for any reason is illegal.”
The Attorney General’s Office and Governor Cuomo’s office did not respond to requests for comment.
Guardianship is a legal system designed to protect people who are incapable of managing their own personal, medical, and/or financial affairs due to mental or physical disability. Under Article 81 of New York’s Mental Hygiene Law, a person concerned with the welfare of an individual can commence a proceeding in court. From there, a judge makes a determination that the individual is incapacitated and appoints a guardian for the person. The guardian then has the legal authority to make decisions regarding the person’s property and/or care, depending upon whether they are guardians of personal needs, property management, or both. Article 81 directs guardians to consider the needs and wishes of the individual and choose the “least restrictive” interventions. The guardian can be discharged if the court is satisfied that the guardianship is no longer necessary, if the person becomes capable of managing their own affairs again, or if the person dies.
According to Michele Gartner, Esq., Special Counsel for Surrogate & Fiduciary Matters in the Office of Court Administration, there are more than 17,000 active open Article 81 guardianship cases in the state of New York. Richard Black, director of the Center for Estate Administration Reform, estimates that there are closer to 60,000 to 80,000 adults currently in guardianship in the state. Black’s estimate includes adult guardianship cases that would not fall under Article 81, such as Article 17-A guardianships in Surrogate’s Court. Black estimates that 5 to 10 percent of adult guardianships are fraudulent to some extent, costing victims and their families approximately $10 billion nationwide each year.
Although abuse cases vary, the pattern typically includes a declaration of incompetence by a judge, the appointment of a guardian — in New York, when not a family member, the guardian is generally an attorney from an approved list — and the isolation of the individual, either in their own home or in a nursing home or other facility. At that point, a person is nearly powerless against any personal care and/or financial decisions the guardian chooses to take. A guardian can enrich his/herself by billing fees for his/her time to the person’s estate, and in the absence of sufficient supervision of a guardian’s activities — for example, if he/she chooses not to submit proper accounting of the estate to the court, or if a court evaluator does not carefully review the accounting reports — there is potential for mishandling of assets.
Alleged: that $3M was taken
One such case is the nearly 13-year ordeal of Bertha Kornicki. In 2004, Bertha and her husband Manny reportedly discovered that their daughter Terri had been taking money from their accounts without their knowledge. In total, Terri was alleged to have stolen approximately $3 million from her parents over seven years. In order to protect Bertha, who had Alzheimer’s, from future exploitation, Manny and his other daughter Marian sought guardianship over Bertha under Article 81. Instead, the judge appointed as guardian attorney Ellyn Kravitz, who was unknown to the family, and agreed to appoint Bertha’s cousin Rudy Shur as co-guardian.
Marian alleges that Kravitz never marshaled the family’s assets, which allowed Terri to take more, and did not visit Bertha or attend to her personal needs. Kravitz also failed to file a final accounting when she stepped down as co-guardian.
Eventually Kravitz was replaced by another lawyer, and then another. The court received bills for the guardians’ time at rates as high as $400 and $600 per hour for tasks as menial as responding to emails and reviewing receipts. These fees were paid from Bertha’s estate. Over more than 12 years and a succession of numerous guardians, lawyers, and accountants, the estate of Bertha and Manny Kornicki trickled out. Some of the funds went to Terri, who by then had been arrested on felony theft charges and entered into a plea bargain (the grand larceny charges were dismissed, citing Manny’s death and the lack of a legally sufficient case by the DA, and she pleaded guilty to offering a false instrument for filing, a misdemeanor.)
Now, there is almost nothing left. Meanwhile, Marian charges that the guardians did nothing to help with her mother’s day-to-day care, so Marian took it over after her father’s death. “I came to the judiciary system for help because I was a victim of elder abuse and I feel that I am being treated in an abusive way by the very system I am seeking help from,” wrote Manny to the judge in 2005.
A representative for Kravitz provided the following statement: “As an elder law attorney in practice for 25 years, I’ve always held myself and my work to the highest legal and ethical standards. Any suggestion to the contrary is incorrect and misinformed.”
Marian wrote to and called the Attorney General’s office multiple times in recent years and was disappointed when the office’s only response was to forward her complaint to the Office of Court Administration, where it languished.
In recent months, conversations with Assistant Attorney General Sean Courtney and Legal Intern Micheleen C. Karnacewicz in the Public Integrity Bureau raised her hopes for action. However, other victims recently told Black, who also spoke with Courtney and Karnacewicz about nine additional cases in the state, that the office was refusing to help them after an initial conversation, so Kornicki and Black are not optimistic that the office will pursue their complaints.
Their remaining hope lies with the AG’s Charities Bureau, which Black says reached out to him May 24th requesting more information.
Bertha passed away on May 8th, the same day Attorney General Schneiderman resigned. Now, Marian hopes that the family’s guardianship ordeal will end, but first she has to wait and see if the deed to her parents’ house will be released to her. The current guardian, Deborah Rosenthal, was supposed to turn it over to Marian two years ago as part of a settlement between the sisters. Rosenthal instead proposed that a reverse mortgage be taken out on the house to increase the money in the guardianship account. Marian, who has been very active throughout nearly 13 years of guardianship proceedings, now hesitates to take any more action to obtain the deed because she fears that the legal process will drain what’s left of the estate. Says Marian, “As soon as you do something, everyone starts billing you.”
Rosenthal refused to comment on the allegations, but said, “Despite the court requesting that she do so, a law requesting that she do so, [Marian Kornicki] refused to provide the court and her sister information regarding her mother’s burial arrangements. It’s required by law. If you’re going to go and start criticizing people I think that’s an obvious criticism.”
A national issue
Guardianship and trust abuse are well-documented locally and nationally. In October 2017, The New Yorker covered guardianship abuse in Nevada, telling the story of an older couple removed from their home through guardianship proceedings. In New York state, a 2016 study estimated statewide losses due to financial exploitation of the elderly at a whopping $1.5 billion; of those cases, 15 percent involved power of attorney abuse, 6 percent involved fraud, and 4 percent involved denial of access to assets. Within the city, thefts from guardianships have been reported for more than a decade.
Errol Rappaport of Manhattan says that his mother, Frances, age 100, has been moved from her long-time home at 200 Central Park South to a place in Queens and the apartment sold after a dispute between Rappaport and his two brothers. Rappaport has reportedly been prevented from seeing his mother except with 48 hours’ advance notice, for a visit of up to two hours. Each visit is requested by email, for which the guardian, Madeleine Egelfeld, bills for 15 to 20 minutes at a rate of $450 per hour.
Egelfeld was paid at least $12,000 to $20,000 per year beginning in 2013, and hired Ellyn Kravitz as her own counsel in the matter for a sum of $123,139 as of January 2018. Egelfeld also billed for hours spent communicating with Kravitz, so that both were paid for the same time spent, a common practice known as double-billing. Through this process and a separate matter in Surrogate’s Court, Rappaport has been removed from the home where he was staying with his mother and has been unable to access his portion of the estate, which he says was to be split equally among the brothers, and is now homeless and couch-surfing at age 74.
Rappaport’s brothers declined to comment. Egelfeld did not respond to a request for comment.
On January 8, the New York State Senate held a round table on guardianship. Present at the round table were judges — including Kornicki’s judge, Hon. Arthur M. Diamond — and lawyers, practitioners, and senators. Attendees lamented a lack of data surrounding guardianship in New York as well as a lack of funding to pay guardians and court evaluators in guardianship cases. No victims of guardianship abuse were invited to speak.
Meanwhile, Ann Masotti is her daughter’s legal guardian under Article 81, yet she was unable to protect Andrea from an unscrupulous executor. It seems that this system, although designed to protect some of the most vulnerable, can fail when used by a family member in good faith but enable abuse by those who use it for personal gain.
A few years ago, Masotti and an accountant pored over financial documents submitted by Pisani to the court and found what she believes is a smoking gun: Pisani had deposited funds intended for Andrea’s escrow account into his own private bank account. Masotti went to her District Attorney, Janet DiFiore, who is now Chief Judge of New York. By the time that office got back to her, the statute of limitations on her case against Pisani had run out. Pisani died in 2016.
“There was far more care taken to protect Joseph Pisani, the felon, than to protect Andrea Masotti, the disabled young woman,” says Ann Masotti. Because the system is so entrenched and no one at the county or state level would take up her complaints, Masotti declares, “There was going to be no day of reckoning for Joe Pisani.”
30 thoughts on “They Say Legal Guardians Ripped Them Off—and the State AG Let Them Down”
Dear Alisa, On behalf of all of us that are being abused by this system, and the many others that will be abused in the future, thank you for bringing this into the light. This must be stopped – I have been informed by a new guardian that my mother is running out of money, It is unconscionable, disgusting and fraudulent that this could happen. My father, David Rappaport, who was a multimillionaire, always provided for his wife of 71 years, his children and his grandchildren. So far the attorney’s and guardian have billed more than $700,000.00 dollars, that should have been used for my mother’s well being. My mother was a very famous designer – Francesca for Damon, My mother worked hard to build the family fortune.
Please help and pass this on to anybody you know in Law enforcement, Elder Abuse, Print and electronic Media, including investigating reporters and other caring and concerned friends. We must stop this from keep happening.
In June of 2014 the “Westchester Adult Protective Services” (WAPS) appeared at my door saying that I “needed” help! For a period of over two (2) months they did everything they could to snare me into the purported “Guardianship Matrix.” We had a friend in Rye, NY – Ella Place who the system did their best envelope with a Guardianship! A group of her friends fought and after extensive court proceedings she was not burdened with a personal Guardianship – only a financial one! She had been engaged in successful litigation (felons are prohibited from acting in any Fiduciary capacity) in the Surrogate Court against Bankers Trust Company/Deutsche Bank! I know Ella believed that the purpose of the Guardianship was to control the litigation and I believe that was the reason for the attempted Guardianship of myself! The inhabitants of these courts along with their fellow travelers seem to windup with the spoils! I know of one court attorney in Surrogate’s Court who acquired a home in Scarsdale from an Estate under the Court’s wings! I have done Freedom of Information demands (FOIL) of WAPS and they flatly refuse to provide salient information! The attorneys and their friends have a very lucrative racket going and think that they have all the rat holes covered! Time shall tell if “Justice’ will show her face! In the meantime I don’t want another Widow to endure what I have been subjected to and I demand full accountability of all the minions involved as do ALL VICTIMS!
What an unbelievable story. The Ruthlessness of this criminal gang of thugs is truly beyond unbelievable. I want legal education for everyone so that we the public can protect ourselves from these cruel insatiable sociopaths. I look forward to artificial intelligence as hopefully a way that we can get power back to the people and take it away from these professional thieving scum bags.
There are so many problems with adult guardianship as practiced today, but one of the root problems is that family is easily shunted aside in favor of a court-appointed professional guardian who then depletes the estate under color of law — and the victims and their families who have suffered this type of exploitation have nowhere to go for help.
Families certainly do their share of stealing, and not all professionals are unscrupulous. But it’s just as unfair to paint all families as dysfunctional as it is to paint all professional guardians and thieves. That said, no one knows the person in guardianship and what that person wants and needs like family. There must be a concentrated effort to put family first if at all possible and professional guardians as the guardian of last resort.
You are addressing the Conspiracies of a vast network of criminality that also includes accountants and financial managers As well as judges and the overlooked but with a very lethal role the court clerks, and of course The greedy cruel, will do anything for money, self delusional lawyers.
After years of trying to get “the system” to fix itself, it’s become clear that the system is in the business of perpetuating itself.
There are trillions of dollars in play.
If we want change it will be up to “We The People” to make the change.
This is an Industry…a corrupt, collusive industry involving corrupt judges, attorneys, guardians, court clerks, on and on! Make no mistake, the stealing is very real and can happen to any family….this is exactly why this article is so important. For years major media has ignored the problem…..I personally have read articles dating back decades….the Carvel Fortune comes to mind immediately….some of the same judges were involved with that case as was Masotti, McCormack estate, Astor….on and on! The avenue of play is DELAY….if a Judge delays and roadblocks justice long enough, family members will either die off or give up from the enormous personal, financial toll it can take on a family. In collusion is every single State Office preaching ethics, yet refusing to investigate….the US Attorney’s office included. I personally wrote to Preet Bharara’s office four time in 8 years without so much as a reply. Is this truly how any citizen with a viable case against a Felon is to be treated in this State…in this Country? Believe me, this can happen to anyone at all, especially to the Disabled and elderly, our most vulnerable populations!
Yes I have noticed that the New York Times does not address the subject of court corruption With the proper depth that it deserves. It does seem to me that the media does protect our corrupt legal system. There is nowhere for victims of these Profiteering judges, court clerks and lawyers to go they are simply given the runaround and kind of passed around a little bit some of them and ripped off for fun and then tossed aside.
Thank you for writing this article and giving a voice to Mr. Rappaport and these others that are seeing their fortunes depleted and their loved ones exploited by fraudulent guardians, lawyers and judges. There must be accountability- would love to see a follow up article to find a forensic accounting company to trace the money for these families. Perhaps someone can donate their time? In the end it is the elderly loved ones that suffer needlessly.
It is absolutely shameful what these people are doing to families by literally stealing their money and lining their own pockets and I’m sure that there are family members buying off these people at the expense of another family member, as in Errol Rappaport ‘s case. His brothers and another family member has seen to it that he gets nothing. I hope that there is a lawyer and a forensic accountant willing to help him if not pro bono than on a contingency. This is something that has to be brought in the light and even the judges are suspect. If anyone knows of someone to help or if they there is someone out there that has any sort of moral indignation please contact Errol Rappaport. A 100 year old woman should not be hung out to dry by 2 of her 3 sons in the name of $ the root of all evil.
The silence on the part of the state and federal governments in regard to the common abuses carried out daily throughout the country by adult guardianships is frightening. Those people appointed to protect their wards have instead have found easy ways of enriching themselves and their associates at the expense of their wards. And while their actions may be criminal, they are able to operate with the approval of the judges in charge.
As a co-guardian of my own cousin, I was naivete enough to think that the court-appointed co-guardian I served with would provide her help. Instead, I saw how this co-guardian and the ones that followed were able to manipulate the system to take tens of thousands of dollars from her financial accounts–all under the watchful eyes of the various judges in charge. And as time went on, I discovered I could do nothing to stop it.
I am the co-guardian mentioned in the Kornicki story above, and I have made a pledge to make this adult guardianship abuse visible to the public. As the co-guardian I could do nothing, but in my profession as a book publisher, I could find someone to expose what is going on and what families can do to (try and) stop it. Two years ago I met Dr. Sam Sugar, president of the American Against Probate Guardianship (AAAPG), and two months ago we brought out his book, GUARDIANSHIPS AND THE ELDERLY: THE PERFECT CRIME.
Unless we make a commitment to bring this criminal behavior to light, I am afraid it will continue to abuse more and more seniors. This will not be easy, however with more of us working together, perhaps we can make a change
Yup, ain’t it great? Please everyone write to Judge Debra Kaplan who is spearheading elder abuse in this regard by convening a special Elder Domestic Violence Committee. Let us also be mindful Of not only court appointed guardians exploiting the vulnerable individual’s estate, but of the more common unaddressed scenario of financial exploitation by family members. This is inheritance abuse at its core, for greed at not only the safety of the frail elderly, but of trusting family members who discover that villainous family members with a Power of Attorney document just helped themselves to just about all the assets. And then you can settle the estate informally for some of the scraps, unless you want to litigate with your own funds! No winners except the attorneys, who like the system just the way it is.
I heard about Pisani from another victim in Westchester. The story of Frances and Errol Rappaport is sad, outrageous, and shocking! I am sick of greed and corruption. It is disgusting.
Court appoiinted guardians “should get a max monthly salary” instead of drawing funds from the Estate of the client.
Proven abuse by authorities, disbar.
I want to thank you again for the important article on the New York State Guardianship system on June 5 by Alisa Partlan. As a victim with my parents I have had first hand experience of this twisted system where we were not treated like human beings, but an active ATM. What my family thought was going to be a solution to my sister’s stealing turned into something much much worse – a system designed to making stealing legal. All meetings are held in secret in chambers. There is no open hearing. In Kentucky, where they have the lowest number of people in guardianship, there must be a jury trial. That is what New York needs if the State is going to continue to have guardianship. I attended the New York Elder Abuse Conference which was held at the New School on June 13, 2018. There was no discussion on court-appointed guardianship was is rampant, but ignored. This crime has been reported on since the 1980s with the Associated Press groundbreaking series on the issue. In 2001 and 2004, the New York Daily News and the New York Times wrote about victims. It is not isolated cases, it is systemic. The Times described grand jury findings of the guardianship system and how easy it is for court-appointees to steal from people that have been railroaded into guardianship. This is the New York State guardianship system in place now.
The speakers at the Elder Abuse Conference were from Adult Protective Services, the courts and the New York State Attorney General’s office. They are ignoring the complaints that we have made against professional guardians because there was not one discussion on this twisted system and there were no victims of this twisted system invited to speak. In New York, the court-appointed professional guardians are always lawyers and are court-appointed as guardians, court evaluators, court appointed lawyers for the court-appointed guardians and in my mother’s case, one of the court-appointed guardians was appointed court-appointed lawyer to herself. In addition, she always had a colleague with her that she billed for and wasn’t court appointed, but it was all approved by judges. The conference did not address this abuse and they are all complicit with the crime of conscripting vulnerable people of wealth into an already failed system.
To ‘piggy-back’ Marian Kornicki’s comments, let us not exclude the power of the Governor, and his heartless disregard for the elderly and the Disabled Community which, of course, includes our honored Veterans who have suffered in previous wars right up to present day! As caregivers grow older, the terror of leaving a vulnerable loved one behind is huge. Now that evidence emerges, daily and all across this Country, regarding a systematic collusion to steal under the guise of protection, realizing that officials such as the disgraced NY Attorney General care, one wonders if this corruption goes right up to the Governor’s office. Albany is known for corruption, for decades. Gov. Cuomo’s sudden disbanding of the Moreland Commission (for Political Ethics), was a true sign of disinterest in honest dealing. Perhaps this is the moment for change, and all decent New Yorkers ought to do their candidate homework before entering the ballot box. No one person is a ‘slam-dunk’ as long as a citizen’s vote is cast!
These three court-appointed guardianship abuse stories told by us to Alisa Partlan are not isolated. They are part of a national pattern of widespread abuse in so-called equity courts that function without juries and are prone to egregious conflicts of interest (guardians are paid from the estates that belong to other people and they control them!) and corruption that lead to the abuse we see in the above cases. They are reflective of a strategy by which the vulnerable’s assets are destroyed by greed. We are a community and we need to ask those running for governor and state senators and federal office where they stand on this issue and what they will they do to overhaul it. I spoke to a victim whose father was placed in an unwarranted guardianship that was documented in “Who’s Guarding the Guardians” which one can view on youtube and it is horrifying how he and his father were treated by this so-called system. Please ask about this at the town halls you attend and on facebook and twitter. Kentucky has the fewest guardianships – there are jury trials there (not in secret like NY) and power of attorneys cannot be ignored as they are in New York State.
The Center for Estate Administration Reform (CEAR) founded by Rick Black, a victim of a fraudulent guardianship has spearheaded the formation of nationwide coalitions of victims to advocate and demand accountability and prosecution of those that commit this fraud. It is only by joining together in this communal way that we can we stop this abuse. Rick Black can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What was originally intended as an altruistic act, managed by the local courts, to protect vulnerable adults has exploded into a relentless, dangerous and expensive sham.
Hundreds of cases each year across New York mirror the inhumane and exploitive realities of the cases Ms. Partlin highlighted in this article. The victims and their legitimate protectors have no redress when predatory attorneys and the guardians they protect target a person.
Sadly too many of these courts have been perverted to serve the legal community over the public. The New York Attorney General, state and local police have refused to engage. Those receiving federal and state funds to protect the vulnerable, disabled, and seniors have abandoned them because these courts consistently protect their allies. Prolonged litigation, while the instigator is paid by the estate of the person they are exploiting, is what the entire system embraces.
Wake up America this is criminal racketeering orchestrated by attorneys and no one is safe in New York. Reforms are long overdue and system continues to defend there is nothing to see here and all is well.
To ALL those suffering and those in or destined for this nightmarish pipeline, please see CITIZEN4JUSTICE.COM for information and support you need. Please understand, I KNOW your experiences are REAL…NOT imagined as well as the pain you feel. May God be with us ALL!
In March, 2018, a group of advocates leading the efforts to reform the Probate Court system met with District Attorney Nancy O’Malley of Alameda County, California. They presented a few compelling cases involving seniors who became involved in the Probate Court. The advocates laid out circumstances under which the senior had their financial resources deeply impacted, and in one case, nearly depleted through the processes of Probate Court. As a result, O’Malley agreed to investigate the allegations of Elder Financial Abuse in sixteen cases where complaints had been filed.
Since that time, DA O’Malley has assembled an investigative team and allocated resources to fully and thoroughly investigate each claim to determine if elder financial abuse has occurred and can be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. The team consists of attorneys who specialize in Elder and Dependent Adult Protection and in Real Estate Fraud, since all of the allegations of abuse involve seniors with property and assets.
DA O’Malley has also assigned Forensic Accountants from her office. She has also reached out to Tom Coleman, a Disabilities Rights Attorney located in Southern California.
No office in New York State has acted on any such complaints here.
More news from Alameda County, California:
“So many elders have lost their homes and businesses. We see estates taken with impunity.” reports Maxine Ussery, a co-founder of the Probate Court Movement. Linda Kincaid, another member of the group, reports that this is not just happening in Alameda County. She handles elder abuse cases all over the State of California, and it is everywhere. The Probate Courts look at elders as cash cows. O’Malley was concerned about the “Civil Death” of Elinor Frerichs, a caucasian elder who was placed under guardianship to “save” her $6 million dollar estate after she married n African American man.
The court had her marriage annulled, and Ms. Frerichs now lives in total isolation, not allowed to see friends or have access to the outside world. Court Conservator Scott Phipps placed Ms. Frerichs in a facility for dementia, even though she scored 98 percent on an acuity test in 2012 and she has not been evaluated since.
She is not allowed to attend court hearings and now her multi-million dollar estate is worth a few hundred thousand.
There are 83 members of the Probate Reform Movement represented by people who have been victimized by the Probate Court. District Attorney O’Malley has pledged to “follow the money” leaving victims encouraged that she will uncover the criminal enterprise.
As Ms. Ussery said, “Something has to be wrong when everybody is losing their estates, I mean everybody.”
New York State citizens are being victimized in Probate Court and Supreme Court where guardianships are created and maintained.
STATE SPONSORED ELDER ABUSE
We need to start calling this what it is, IT IS STATE SPONSORED ELDER ABUSE WHICH IS CAMOUFLAGED BY NETWORKS OF GUARDIANSHIP STAKEHOLDERS WHO ARE COMPRISED OF THE LEGAL COMMUNITY DEDICATED TO MAKING SURE THAT THIS FOR PROFIT SO-FAR LEGAL SCAM NEVER ENDS.
I need help my grand father is about to lose everything they will not pay his bills but is collecting and saving all his money to keep after he passes
I’m in this robbery ship, system , the law is not for all, I’m living this nightmare, the guardian in charge it’s like a magician.
The smartest thing you can do is to print out the article 81 statutes and learn them. Highlight anything pertaining to your loved ones case , and when they try to ignore a statue, point it out to your attorney and insist the statute be followed.
These scumbags ( judges, court evaluators, attorneys) are counting on the fact that you don’t know the statutes.
And don’t be so quick to trust your own attorney either, it’s one big club in the guardianship courts and they all talk. They are ALL churning the money wheel.
It is LAW that you can go to the court and request to view the entire file. This is part of the statutes. Do it. You will find things you weren’t aware were there. Bring the statute with you because they WILL attempt to tell you you can’t see the files. Record them, take names.
NYS guardianship is the biggest scam going. They only want to “ protect “ the people that have money or a mortgage free home. These abusive guardianships never happen to poor people.
Do whatever you can to steer clear of these corrupt courts .
The ruthless nature of these criminals is so unbelievable that people victims feel very alone because no one will believe them and they get the runaround by the lawyers and court clerks who are criminal co-conspirators with the judges and everyone else in power who turn a blind eye to this criminal fascist sickness within our society. It’s time to take a closer look at court clerks who operate under the radar but are the primary Engines that move forward the fraud and obstruction of justice That is destroying our democracy. court clerks slobber over the wealthy and do the bidding of lawyers and judges They freely break the law and hide behind a shield of Bureaucracy and so called confusion. I have seen it up close it is happening now in Judge Rita Melas Manhattan Surrogate Court she could go to jail prison right now the evidence is all there of her criminal conspiracies and backroom deals but she is being protected illegally protected Illegally protected. Her Corrupt low tech operation at the Manhattan probate court on Chambers Street Continues day by day it is so revolting that she gets away with it.
I am being fInancially abused by my son and daughter Guardians after they were illegally assigned my Guardians by a New York State Judge with the assistance of my assigned lawyer in New York State which is the wrong state as I am a Florida Legal Resident residing 7 months a year in Florida.
My 83 year old mother was targeted for guardianship abuse by her doctor after she complained to me “They are stealing my house.” My mother was right. When I confronted my mother’s doctor with my mother’s concerns he began drugging her with Hydromorphone and 4 days later gave her Hydrocodone. These narcotics cause confusion and dizziness. Why would a doctor be so careless? When I found my mother confused I contacted the police who refused to investigate. My mother died 2 months later drugged to death with Codeine, Morphine, Acetaminophen, Hydrocodone and Hydromorphone in the body of my 83 year old mother weighing only 81 pounds when she died. I would find out the doctors and nurses tied my mother’s right wrist to her bed to prevent her from getting help and control her.
They took her life, money, house and even stole my parent’s wedding rings.
Medicate, Isolate & Steal the Estate is what my mother’s doctor did to my mother.
I’m presently in this situation where the court appointed its own legal guardian. I petitioned for guardianship for my mom because my siblings were confiscating her funds and I was locked out from seeing her. I approached a lawyer who suggested Guardianship and began filing paperwork. To date, the court evaluator have submitted a bill for $31,000.00 for a period February 2022 to August, 2022 and the state appointed attorney for my mom who did nothing submitted a bill for $6,000.00. My mom has no savings, only her house. I need advise and help how I can appeal the order and get my mom out of the system.