Saturday, February 13, 2016

EM man accused of financially exploiting his grandmother

Editor's note: This Shark believes that the Probate Court of Cook County allowed the forger of Alice R. Gore's annuity checks to go unpunished.  Lucius Verenus, Schoolmaster, ProbateSharks.com


EM man accused of financially exploiting his grandmother
  •        
Posted: Thursday, February 11, 2016 6:23 pm
An East Moline man is charged with forging checks in his grandmother's name, exploiting her out of several thousand dollars. During the last month, Christian M. Lannan, 19, is accused of writing more than $10,000 in checks to himself, forging the signature of his 74-year-old grandmother and cashing the checks, according to charges filed this week.
 
East Moline Police Lt. Darren Gault said officers were called about 1:15 p.m. Wednesday to Triumph Community Bank, 701 Avenue of the Cities, for a report of a suspicious person cashing checks.
Through further investigation, police determined Mr. Lannan allegedly took the checks from his grandmother and cashed them for "large amounts of money," Lt. Gault said.
Mr. Lannan was arrested and made an initial appearance the same day in Rock Island County Circuit Court.
He is charged with financial exploitation of an elderly person. The Class 2 felony alleges he "knowingly and illegally" used assets or resources of his grandmother, with whom he held a "position of trust."
He also faces four counts of Class 3 felony forgery, alleging he cashed the fraudulent checks on several occasions between Jan. 1 and Wednesday.
Lt. Gault said police recovered some of the funds, and the case remained under investigation.
Mr. Lannan is held on a $75,000 bond and must post at least 10 percent -- or $7,500 -- to be released.
However, a judge's order signed Thursday prohibits him from posting bond before a hearing is held to determine the source of money he may use to bond out.
The order was granted on a motion filed by Assistant State's Attorney Justin Umlah, who wrote that Mr. Lannan also faces charges in two other pending felony cases.
Those charges accuse Mr. Lannan of possessing cannabis, with the intent to deliver, on two different dates and also of possessing less than 15 grams of a substance containing Alprazolam.
Mr. Lannan had obtained thousands of dollars by "means of deception" and "admitted to moving tens of thousands of dollars of narcotics," Mr. Umlah wrote in the motion.
He added that, according to police, Mr. Lannan was not employed and had "no legitimate source of currency" to use as bond.
Mr. Lannan is represented by the Rock Island County public defender's office and is scheduled for a Feb. 23 preliminary hearing in the forgery case.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Great doubts about the integrity of the members of the legal profession

A large plurality of the American public has indicated great doubts about the integrity of the members of the legal profession.  Hardly a day goes by without a substantial number of the public disparaging the 2nd oldest profession.   The problem that the profession enjoys is the fact that so many of the most outrageous of the remarks have an element of truth to them and all we, the American public, has to do is open a newspaper and it is rare that something negative concerning the profession does not jump out at you.

The 'coverup' of elder cleansing has my focus as it has affected me personally and when I called on Illinois Judicial officials to do an investigation of several cases that came to my attention (none of which I was of record in) Attempts were made to intimidate me.  The First attempt was about as blatant as could be - the three miscreant attorneys involved in the Mary Sykes case 09 P 4585 threatened me to stop my investigation.   When I did not, they went to court and sought sanctions against me.   The presiding judge who admitted on page 90 and following of her evidence deposition that she was wired  (i.e. had her mind made up to rule adversely prior to hearing a word of evidence) actually directed that sanctions were to imposed upon me.   The fact that she lacked jurisdiction over me did not deter her.  Finally, after I wrote to the Attorney General of the United States the attorney disciplinary commission came after me and in an attempt to shut me up I got a four year suspension of my law license.  (This did not shut me up, as after more than 1/2 century before the bar I am not intimidated by criminals or cover-ups).

All that said, we know that the ABA knows about the JoAnne Denison case and the soviet style censorship that the miscreant criminals engaged in the elder cleansing operation in Illinois sought to impose.   The Article read:

LEGAL ETHICS

Lawyer's blog posts about 'sleazy world of probate' bring ethics complaint

POSTED FEB 04, 2013 01:20 PM CST

Corrected: A patent and trademark lawyer who blogged about alleged corruption in Chicago’s “sleazy world of probate” is facing an ethics complaint that accuses her of undermining the administration of justice.
Chicago lawyer Joanne Denison is accused of knowing that her statements were false or made in reckless disregard of the truth, the National Law Journal reports. The Legal Profession Blog links to the complaint.
Denison began blogging after a judge refused her application to represent a client who was seeking appointment as guardian for her mother. The client’s sister was later appointed guardian.
The court had disqualified Denison because she had notarized signatures for the client and the client’s mother on a document giving the client her mother’s interest in a lawsuit. The court had found that the mother may have been suffering from dementia at the time, the ethics complaint said.
According to the complaint, Denison’s blog posts had claimed impropriety and financial exploitation in the case. Among other things, her blog claimed “garden variety theft, embezzlement, malpractice and malfeasance by attorneys and the court.”
Denison had published a disclaimer. “Sorry, but portions of this blog have to be entertaining so we can get the word out,” she wrote. “There is most certainly a great deal of (stinging) truth in it.”
Denison told the NLJ she has no plans to take down her blog. “Why would I shut up when there’s corruption going on in the courts?” she said.
Corrected on Feb. 5 to say Denison has no plans to take down her blog. 
 

As everyone who has examined the Cook County probate file 09 P 4585 has learned, the allegations made by the Attorney Disciplinary Commission were patently false and the administrator of the IARDC and several attorneys employed by the IARDC are actively in violation of Rule 8.3 and 18 USCA 371 and 18 USCA 242 engaged in a 'cover up' and effort to protect the criminal activities disclosed in the Court file.

[NB.  the criminal activities were: 1) seizing Mary Sykes and removing her from the County of Cook to isolate her from family and HELP, 2) committing fraud as to service of process - i.e. providing the Sheriff with an address to serve Mary where each of the miscreants and the presiding judge knew she did not reside, 3) failing to serve a summons on Mary as required by 755 ILCs 5/11a - 10, 4) failing to serve prior notice of any hearing as to Mary's competence of close (near) family members such as her two sisters and younger daughter, 5) failing to hold a hearing as required by statute and in particular failing to require petition to prove Mary's incompetency by clear and convincing evidence. 6) failing to inventory some 3 million dollars in assets including gold coins valued at a million dollars (see Gloria Sykes affidavit)]

Literally thousands of similar cases exist and many innocent victims and family members have been subjected to unspeakable crimes by corrupt jurists, lawyers, judicial officials and Mr. Larkin and his gang of 18 USCA 371 co-conspirators.    No prosecution - that we know of - has commenced and the miscreants appear to be free to continue to prey on the elderly and the disabled.    (In another venue - it appears that the USA is prosecuting lawyer Seth Gillman for his miscreant conduct as a banker and in the hospice activity - goggle suggests that next Friday is the trial date)

As a lawyer who paid dues to the American Bar Association for many years I am personally disappointed that the legal profession is AFRAID to comply with the oath that every lawyer takes upon admission to the Bar.    The legal profession when hearing of the JoAnne Denison matter is it had any INTEGRITY should have as a single entity got out the tar and feathers and amass knocked down the doors of the Supreme Court of Illinois and the Illinois attorney registration and disciplinary commission.     Lawyer who are intimidated and afraid to stand up for the RULE OF LAW and the Constitution of the United STates amongst the most despicable creatures on earth.    

The American Bar Association in standing silent while Attorney Denison is openly and notoriously denied her First and Fifth Amendment Rights is reprehensible and devoid of any claim of integrity.    The SCOTUS has made in very clear in the Alvarez case that even socially unacceptable speech is protected by the First Amendment.   Disclosure of corrupt jurists, criminal conduct by lawyers and others is not only protected by required.   The ABA rule 8.3 requires such disclosure!    However, if a lawyer does disclose criminal conduct by certain clouted political or judicial miscreants the lawyer can expect to lose his/her law license.

The shame that the ABA has cast on the legal profession by its benign neglect of its 8.3 obligation is shameful and casts ill repute not only on the ABA but on every lawyer in America.    If lawyers do not stand up for the Constitution and the Rule of Law - there is no rule of law!   

One more point!    Every preteen  in Illinois prior to being promoted and allowed to enter High School has to take a Constitution test and demonstrate knowledge of America's core principles.    The article quoted supra concerning Attorney Denison demonstrates that lawyers employed as jurists, as part of disciplinary process, ***** apparently are ignorant of the very information that pre-teens must demonstrate knowledge of to be allowed to enter high school.     How can these lawyers in good faith charge clients fees for services?      These individuals by claiming to be lawyers are engaged in a serious deceptive practice and should return to consumers - and the public - the pecuniary remuneration that they received while lacking the condition precedent for honestly taking the oath as an attorney and the knowledge that is required to enter secondary school.

Shame!
Ken Ditkowsky

Kane Overcomes Ouster Effort in Pa. Senate

Kane Overcomes Ouster Effort in Pa. Senate

     HARRISBURG, Pa. (CN) - Pennsylvania's embattled attorney general will stay in power, the state Supreme Court ruled Wednesday, finding Kathleen Kane is able to fulfill the duties of her office despite the suspension of her law license.
     The Senate voted 29-19 against removing the sitting attorney general, a feat would have been unprecedented in Pennsylvania, after Republicans failed to bring enough Democrats on board.
     The two-thirds vote needed Wednesday fell short by only 4 of the required 33 senators, finding that the main duties of an attorney general are managerial and do not require a law license to fulfill.
     "I am happy to continue this effort, finish the mission I pledged to carry out and the job for which I was elected to serve," Kane said in a statement.
     The Senate had called its vote this week after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court refused to reinstate Kane's law license, having suspended it last year upon the recommendation of a state disciplinary board.
     Pennsylvania's first woman and Democrat elected to the position of attorney general, Kane has faced down calls from Gov. Tom Wolf to resign and will go to trial this summer in Montgomery County Circuit Court on charges of perjury, obstruction and official oppression.
     Prosecutors contend that Kane leaked documents to embarrass political rivals, and then lied about it under oath.
     Journalists who reported on the leaked materials, which implicate judges and prosecutors involved in the Jerry Sandusky investigation, meanwhile are resisting efforts by the state to identify their source.
     Though the Philadelphia Media Network agreed to provide the state with copies of the documents its reporter received, prosecutors want the originals so that they can test them for fingerprints and DNA they hope will implicate Kane as the source.
     In refusing to do so, Chris Brennan, who first reported the documents for the Philadelphia Daily News, has cited the Shield Law, which has for over 50 years protected reporters and news outlets from being forced to identify confidential sources.
     Brennan now reports for the Philadelphia Inquirer, another title under the Philadelphia Media Network umbrella.
     The court is set to rule on the matter soon after holding a hearing Friday that pitted Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele against the media outlet's attorney, Michael Schwartz.
     In her unsuccessful appeal to reinstate her license, Kane had objected to Justice J. Michael Eakin's involvement in the September decision, but the court said Kane waited too long to seek Eakin's recusal.
     A state ethics board suspended the Republican Eakin in late December based on inappropriate emails from him that surfaced in the leak.
     Eakin's emails represent a fragment of the hundreds of pornographic or racially insensitive emails exchanged between state officials and judges that came to light when Kane investigated the prosecution of former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky on sex-abuse charges. Media outlets have christened the scandal Porngate.
     Kane is set to appear at pretrial hearing on March 22, with the trial itself kicking off on Aug. 8.

Ted Nugent's 'anti-Semitic' rant sparks outrage; gun owners call for NRA ouster

Ted Nugent's 'anti-Semitic' rant sparks outrage; gun owners call for NRA ouster

Ted Nugent
This Aug. 16, 2013 file photo shows Ted Nugent performing at Rams Head Live in Baltimore. (Photo by Owen Sweeney | Invision via The Associated Press)
Ben Axelson | baxelson@syracuse.comBy Ben Axelson | baxelson@syracuse.com 
Follow on Twitter 
on February 11, 2016 at 11:41 AM, updated February 11, 2016 at 11:48 AM
1.2kshares
The National Rifle Association is facing mounting pressure from gun owners to distance itself from longtime board member Ted Nugent after the "Cat Scratch Fever" rocker posted shocking anti-Semitic images and messages on Facebook.
On Monday, Nugent posted a photo of 12 prominent American Jews and accused them of being the driving force "behind gun control." The post called Michael Bloomberg the "Jew York City Mayor and also mentioned Sen. Chuck Schumer, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, among others. He called them "punks" and said they would "deny us the basic human right to self defense and to keep and bear arms while many of them have paid hired armed security." An Israeli flag appears next to each photo.
The image has circled in white supremacist groups for years, according to theAnti-Defamation League.
In a later post, Nugent shared a photo of Nazis rounding up Jews, and described both Jews and gun control advocates as "soulless sheep to slaughter." He alsodescribed Jews who support gun control as "Nazis in disguise."
He also blasted Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership after the group criticized his anti-Semitic post.
Nugent's posts faced huge backlash and triggered calls of anti-Semitism, The Washington Post reported. Some regular supporters said he went too far, and many followers who agree with his pro-2nd Amendment stance called on the NRA to kick Nugent off the board.
Bob Owens, editor of the pro-gun site BearingArms.com, said many gun rights advocates are "simply done with Nugent."
"They're tired of feeling that they have to defend his half-baked rhetoric and simple-minded outbursts," Owens wrote. "Many people are calling for him to resign from the NRA Board and for him to have his membership stripped from him."
Owens said Nugent "owes the world a sincere apology," and has no business on the board if he can't do that.
Gun owners took to the comments on Nugent's original post to register their displeasure.
"Uncle Ted, I support (many) of your viewpoints, and have been a long term fan of your music, but this time you've gone way over the line," wrote one user who also called the post "disgraceful."
"You sank low here," wrote another user. "I am a Jewish conservative gun owner. This is just [expletive] hate. I've always supported you, but [expletive] you Ted."
"As a religious Jew who testified with you in the Michigan Senate for relaxing gun laws and strengthening the 2nd Amendment, I'm absolutely disgusted but not at all surprised that you are showing what I always suspected: that you are a Jew-hater and a piece of crap," wrote conservative political commentator Debbie Schlussel.
Robert Farago, publisher of pro gun The Truth About Guns website called Nugent's remarks "disgusting" and said the NRA needed to take action.
"The NRA should distance itself from Mr. Nugent. They should revoke his membership and remove him from their Board," Farago wrote.
Jewish Human Rights groups have also denounced Nugent, the Huffington Postreported.
"Ted Nugent has every right to advocate against gun control laws. However he won't be getting a free pass for his anti-Semitic bigotry," said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, in a statement. "There are Jews on both sides of the gun control controversy and Nugent knows it. He owes our community an apology. He can start by removing the offensive graphic and if he won't, we urge Facebook to do it for him."
"Regardless of one's views on gun control, this kind of scapegoating of an entire religious group is completely unacceptable and completely divorced from reality," said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League.
Facebook has responded to users reporting the incident by saying that the post "doesn't violate our Community Standards" regarding hate speech.
The NRA issued a statement to the Washington Post, saying, "individual board members do not speak for the NRA." The organization has been silent on the matter on social media channels.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Judge in Post series moved from guardianship

Editor's note: Your ProbateShark would love to see a Chicago Tribune series on guardianship fraud by the Probate Court of Cook County.  Lucius Verenus, Schoolmaster, ProbateSharks.com

 

Judge in Post series moved from guardianship cases


By John Pacenti - Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Circuit Judge Martin Colin’s tenure as a probate judge is over in the wake of The Palm Beach Post’s investigation into the the veteran jurist and his wife in the guardianships of incapacitated seniors.
But it remains to be seen whether he still has a role in guardianship through a mediation program he helps coordinate.
Palm Beach County Chief Circuit Judge Jeffrey Colbath, with little fanfare, posted Colin’s transfer on the judicial circuit’s website on Tuesday, moving him from the Probate & Guardianship Division in Delray Beach to the Civil Circuit division in the central courthouse in West Palm Beach.
He is also no longer hearing Family Division cases and will instead hear civil disputes and hold jury trials involving disputes in amounts of more than $15,000.
The move was buried on the circuit’s website and not readily seen without searching an announcement section that appeared blank on the home page.
Circuit Judge Jaimie Goodman will take Colin’s place, hearing guardianship, probate and family cases in the South County Courthouse.
Colin assumes Goodman’s docket as of Monday in the circuit civil division. Colin said he will not seek re-election following The Post’s series, Guardianship: A Broken Trust.
Colin’s transfer comes just as the Florida Senate approved legislation that would give Florida its first regulatory authority over professional guardians. The bill – along with one passed this past year – is in response to complaints of guardians bilking the savings of the elderly as appointed officers of the court.
Many of these elderly seniors — called wards — suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or some other form of dementia.
Colbath did not respond to a request through his spokesperson to comment. He also would not answer repeated queries about whether Colin will continue in his role coordinating the court’s elder care program, a mediation program for guardianship disputes, where many former judges work. Chief Judge Colbath’s father, for example, former Chief Judge Walter N. Colbath Jr., is listed as a mediator for a local company.
Also, it appears that Colbath is not taking any direct action regarding Colin’s wife, Elizabeth “Betsy” Savitt, a professional guardian who has taken tens of thousands of dollars from the life savings of incapacitated seniors prior to court approval in guardianships and in follow-up probate cases.
The couple’s finances improved substantially after Savitt became a guardian in 2011 after years of foreclosures, liens and unpaid loans to private individuals.
As a court-appointed professional guardian, Savitt takes over the lives of seniors and other adults who no longer can care for themselves, managing their finances, medical care and whether they can remain in their homes. She has access to hundreds of thousands of dollars. She was a tennis pro before she became a guardian.
The families of these seniors, backed by reams of court documents, say that besides taking fees without court approval, Savitt double-billed, funneled money to relatives of the ward who are suspected of financial — and even physical abuse. In numerous cases, she was accused by families of creating unnecessary litigation in order to generate more fees for herself and the cadre of attorneys who represent her.
Those attorneys regularly appeared in front of Colin, sometimes seeking his approval for generous fees in other cases. When The Post started investigating, Colin started shedding their cases: 115 recusals from July 1 to Dec. 31.
Colin’s colleagues on the bench presided over his wife’s cases. Currently, she has at least two guardianships but has also been involved in managing special-needs trusts and as a personal representative of estates.
Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Gerald Kogan told The Post for its series that Savitt’s role as a professional guardian created an appearance of impropriety for Colin that put him in jeopardy of violating the state’s judicial canons.
Savitt and Colin have denied any wrongdoing.
Colin didn’t hear Savitt’s cases, but his colleagues do – particularly Circuit Judge David French, a friend who once planned a cruise vacation with the both of them.
French, for now, appears to be staying put in the Probate & Guardianship Division. Earlier this month, Colbath announced a five-point plan that directed all “current” south county judges to recuse themselves from Savitt’s cases so it is uncertain whether Judge Goodman will be hearing Savitt’s cases.
Colbath’s plan also includes training for probate judges and their staff, standardization of billing practices and a wheel system to provide random assignments of guardians to cases.
Dr. Sam Sugar, who has led the charge for legislative reform in Florida as head of Americans Against Abusive Probate Guardianship, said Colbath has not gone far enough.
“The response from Judge Colbath is an outrage and reinforces the widely held and growing perception that the Florida court system does not deserve the trust of the people,” he said.
“Years of blatant conflicts of interest, looting of innocent people’s entire estates, self serving protection of rapacious guardians and lawyers has resulted in no discipline, no consequences, but every indication that this egregious system will continue.”
For Skender Hoti, Colbath’s actions smack of a whitewash.
Hoti is the restaurateur who in February 2012 watched as Savitt – assisting a family guardian — tried to seize possessions from one of his homes using an order by Colin. Hoti claims he is still missing cash, jewelry and other possessions.
Hoti cared for Gwendolyn Batson for decades before the senior’s brother sought to find her incapacitated and seize her assets.
Hoti said Colbath’s changes are sweeping the problem under the rug.
“We’ve been caught so we will change clothing and continue as usual,” Hoti said. “A septic tank plumbing would be more appropriate.”
While Colbath shook up the judiciary with Colin’s move, lawmakers aimed to do the same to professional guardians. The Senate unanimously passed a bill Wednesday to provide the state’s first real regulatory authority over the burgeoning industry, while the House’s Judiciary Committee unanimously advanced a bill that would do the same.
SB 232,is sponsored by Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice, while its House companion HB 403 is sponsored by Rep. Larry Ahern, R-Seminole.
“I think a year from now this is going to be the top issue on 20/20 and 60 Minutes,” Detert said before the vote. “I think with this bill we will have the strongest law in the nation.”
The bill would create the Office of Public and Professional Guardians and give the state the power to investigate and discipline professional guardians. The bill has received support from Americans Against Abusive Probate Guardianship, Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida State Guardianship Association.
Ahern, speaking to the Judiciary Committee, said reports of guardians taking financial advantage of the elderly person they are sworn to protect are overwhelming. He told lawmakers that they don’t want to read another story of guardianship abuse.
Jodi Rich, whose uncle was in a contentious guardianship under Savitt, said bills are a good sign of change for the industry to hold bad professional guardians accountable.
“It’s a good idea that the state now looks out for seniors’ welfare,” she said.
Not everybody, though, was a fan.
During public comment in front of the House Judiciary Committee, the bill came under fire for not addressing how new standards will be formulated and was called a Band-Aid on a massive wound.
“It is all about the money,” said guardianship reform advocate Douglas Franks of Pensacola, who has fought a professional guardian on behalf of his mother. “Isolate, medicate and steal the estate — that is what these people go by.”
Staff writer Christine Stapleton contributed to this story.

It is now quite clear that the IARDC is in league with the miscreants


To: Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission
Copy:  United States Department of Justice
From: Ken Ditkowsky
Date: Feb 10, 2016
It is now quite clear that the IARDC is in league with the miscreants who are actively engaged in the elder cleansings of senior citizens and disabled people as all attempts to get the IARDC to engage in calling for an HONEST INVESTIGATION have failed.   In fact the IARDC has suspended Ms. JoAnne Denison and me for making such a call.   Rule 8.3 and 18 USCA 4 require persons who lack political clout to report these felonies to law enforcement, however, unilaterally Mr. Larkin and those individuals (including attorneys ostensibly working for the IARDC) in violation of 18 UsCA 371 and 18 USCA 242 have engaged in a serious cover- up and violation of core civil rights of those persons who comply with 18 UsCA 4 and other Federal statutes.
The Seth Gilman case has been cited as another clear example of the favoritism that prevails in Illinois and in particular the IARDC.
As the victims are all persons who are entitled to protection under the Americans with Disabilities act (title 2) and abuse, exploitation, deprivation of civil, human and property rights are not REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS a copy of this complaint letter is forwarded to the Department of Justice.   (the other reporting e-mails have also been forwarded)
Please let this e-mail be a complaint against Jerome Larkin and every attorney employed by the IaRDC who has engaged in the cover-up of this elder cleansing scandal and the corruption of the Courts by corrupt judges, lawyers, and others.    (This includes the cover-up of Judge Connor's evidence deposition in which on page 90 and following she admits to being 'fixed.')
The following article appeared in September 2015 and relates to the Gillman case.  
Exclusive: Passages Hospice Was ‘Corrupt To The Top,’ Says Former Employee
September 28, 2015Politics and Law, Society and CultureNo Comments
BY DANIEL GAITAN | daniel@lifemattersmedia.org
Denise Brunson only lasted a year and a half at Passages Hospice as a certified nursing assistant.
During her short time there, however, she witnessed what the FBI calls “an extensive scheme” to obtain higher Medicare payments by fraudulently providing hospice services to seniors who did not qualify for the care.
Brunson said she and other co-workers were “bullied” by higher-ups and told not to ask any questions. “In the middle of you speaking with them about your concerns, BAM you’re fired,” Brunson told Life Matters Media. “I always had something to say.”
Passages Hospice Founder Seth Gillman. Honorable Mention in the 2013 Torch Awards for Marketplace Ethics, hosted by the Better Business Bureau. YouTube.
Passages Hospice Founder Seth Gillman. Honorable Mention in the 2013 Torch Awards for Marketplace Ethics, hosted by the Better Business Bureau. Image credit: YouTube.
Partial owner Seth Gillman, 46, who founded the Lisle, Illinois-based for-profit company in 2005, was first charged in 2014 with health care fraud and conspiracy to defraud the government.
Fraud charges were later brought against Gwen Hilsabeck, who served as co-administrator; Carmen Velez, who served as director of clinical services and director of nurses for the Chicago region; and Angela Armenta, who served as director of certified nursing assistants for the Chicago region.
They were all released on bond and pleaded not guilty. Their trial is set for Feb. 16, 2016, an official with the Department of Justice told LMM.
From 2008 to 2009, Brunson said she was responsible for driving to various nursing homes across northeastern Illinois and providing hospice care services to patients. Brunson said Passages would “butter” nursing homes with baseball tickets, bonuses, “whatever you want” to make them more willing to accept Passages’ services. Passages did not operate its own inpatient facility, instead deploying clinicians to nursing homes and private residences throughout the Midwest.
Between 2008 and 2012, the FBI maintains that Gillman, Hilsabeck and Passages allegedly paid bonuses to nursing directors and certified nursing assistant directors to increase the number of patients receiving general inpatient hospice care. In 2012, Medicare’s daily reimbursement for general inpatient care was $671.84; the daily payment for routine care or home care was much lower, $151.23. Some patients may not have needed anything.
Hospice care is usually reserved for patients with a life-expectancy of six months or less.
“A lot of my patients really didn’t need to be on hospice,” Brunson said. “A lot of the patients that I had didn’t need to be on continuous care, and they would just shove me in there.”
It was common, Brunson said, to spend nights treating healthy patients and then be called to work the day shift in the morning.
Read the FBI's complaint
Read the FBI’s statement
“They never cared about giving us any time to sleep.” Following a night shift, Brunson said she was unexpectedly fired by Armenta for complaining about back pain. Turnover was “extremely high.”
Brunson’s claims were echoed by another former employee who asked not to be named as she continues to work in a similar industry.
“I left the company a few months before the indictment, after I couldn’t ignore my gut,” she said. “I was in the dark about the fraud, but I knew deep down I couldn’t be a part of that company anymore. I was appalled to find out how many people were involved in the deceit.”
Brunson said she only met Gillman once, during a “schmooze and groove” party between his many vacations. She hopes Gillman and Armenta are held responsible for their alleged actions.
“They had people working for them undercover somehow that would come into the facilities to spy on you,” she said. “People would come in, literally, and follow me around, ask me questions to see what I knew and what I didn’t know. It was ridiculous.
- See more at: Exclusive: Passages Hospice Was 'Corrupt To The Top,' Says Former Employee - Life Matters Media 


image





Exclusive: Passages Hospice Was 'Corrupt To The Top,' S...
Denise Brunson only lasted a year and a half at Passages Hospice as a certified nursing assistant.
View on www.lifemattersmedia.org
Preview by Yahoo

It should be noted that health care fraud is in the billions of dollars and this is not a victimless crime  - health care costs have a 700% fraud surcharge.  People such as Jerome Larkin who aid and abet this massive fraud with their cover-up are culpable.   A good citizen reports criminal activity and the report of public officials and judges who engage in criminal activity is NOT akin to yelling fire in a crowded theater as Larkin argued before the Supreme Court of Illinois.
Ken Ditkowsky
www.ditkowskylawoffice.com

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Senate unanimous in support for elderly-abuse protections

Senate unanimous in support for elderly-abuse protections


News Mitchell,South Dakota 57301 http://www.mitchellrepublic.com/sites/all/themes/mitchellrepublic_theme/images/social_default_image.png
The Daily Republic
Senate unanimous in support for elderly-abuse protections
Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301
PIERRE—A package of protections for elderly people in South Dakota against emotional and financial abuse won approval Wednesday from the state Senate.

The vote was 35-0. SB 54 now goes to the House of Representatives.
ADVERTISING
 
Sen. David Novstrup, R-Aberdeen, sponsored the legislation last year establishing the task force.
David Gilbertson, chief justice for the South Dakota Supreme Court, had suggested the topic.
"Some people have described elder abuse as hiding in plain sight or a silent crisis," Novstrup said.
The task force made 16 recommendations. Ten are contained in the legislation.
One of the changes calls for emotional abuse to be classified as a Class 1 misdemeanor crime, punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of $2,000.
The Legislative Research Council estimated the impact of adding the emotional-abuse misdemeanor at $1,054 per year.
That is based on the likelihood of nine arrests and one conviction per year, with an average jail sentence of 10 days costing $105.40 per day.
Physical abuse or neglect of an elder person or a disabled person is already a Class 6 felony, punishable by up to two years in state prison and a fine of $4,000.
There were 53 physical abuse cases from Jan. 1, 2010, through Dec. 31, 2015, with seven convictions, according to the LRC.
The average time served for those convictions was 730 days in prison.
Another change allows financial institutions to report suspicious situations to the state attorney general office.
The LRC report said the U.S. Census Bureau estimated there are approximately 128,000 South Dakotans who are older than age 65.