Archive for March, 2009

>Judge Adjourned Sentencing

March 31, 2009

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Oneida County Court Judge Michael L. Dwyer “reluctantly” adjourned the sentencing of former financial adviser Dorene Dorn after she hired a new attorney.

Dorn was due to be sentenced Monday after she was found guilty in early February of second-degree grand larceny and fourth-degree conspiracy related to the thefts of more than $350,000 from an elderly client between 2003 and 2004.

But after Dorn recently hired attorney Frank Policelli to replace attorney Les Lewis, who had represented Dorn throughout the trial, Dwyer agreed to postpone the sentencing until Monday, May 11.

Full Article and Source:
Judge ‘reluctantly’ adjourns Dorn sentencing

A generous $20,000 gift from an elderly Utica man to his attorney Mary Helene Hamlin set in motion the scheme that ultimately would drain more than $350,000 from his estate, Hamlin said in Oneida County Court. Hamlin pleaded guilty to second-degree grand larceny.

During her plea, Hamlin explained how the funds of John B. Hatfield Sr. were unknowingly transferred from his account to her trust fund and other accounts between 2003 and 2004.

Although Hamlin accepted her own guilt, she did not hesitate to mention another woman’s role in the misappropriation of funds that left Hatfield’s estate roughly half its size by the time of his death in early 2005.

Hamlin’s co-defendant, Dorene Dorn, could be seen writing notes from the back of the courtroom as Hamlin repeatedly implicated Dorn.

Hamlin said of the stolen funds: “Some went to Dorene, some went to me.”

Full Article and Source:
Ex-attorney pleads guilty in theft from client

More information:
Hamlin testifies against Dorn, now jury to deliberate

Defendant doesn’t take the stand in Dorn case

Dorene Dorn found guilty of grand larceny and conspiracy

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Judge Adjourned Sentencing

March 31, 2009
Oneida County Court Judge Michael L. Dwyer “reluctantly” adjourned the sentencing of former financial adviser Dorene Dorn after she hired a new attorney.

Dorn was due to be sentenced Monday after she was found guilty in early February of second-degree grand larceny and fourth-degree conspiracy related to the thefts of more than $350,000 from an elderly client between 2003 and 2004.

But after Dorn recently hired attorney Frank Policelli to replace attorney Les Lewis, who had represented Dorn throughout the trial, Dwyer agreed to postpone the sentencing until Monday, May 11.

Full Article and Source:
Judge ‘reluctantly’ adjourns Dorn sentencing

A generous $20,000 gift from an elderly Utica man to his attorney Mary Helene Hamlin set in motion the scheme that ultimately would drain more than $350,000 from his estate, Hamlin said in Oneida County Court. Hamlin pleaded guilty to second-degree grand larceny.

During her plea, Hamlin explained how the funds of John B. Hatfield Sr. were unknowingly transferred from his account to her trust fund and other accounts between 2003 and 2004.

Although Hamlin accepted her own guilt, she did not hesitate to mention another woman’s role in the misappropriation of funds that left Hatfield’s estate roughly half its size by the time of his death in early 2005.

Hamlin’s co-defendant, Dorene Dorn, could be seen writing notes from the back of the courtroom as Hamlin repeatedly implicated Dorn.

Hamlin said of the stolen funds: “Some went to Dorene, some went to me.”

Full Article and Source:
Ex-attorney pleads guilty in theft from client

More information:
Hamlin testifies against Dorn, now jury to deliberate

Defendant doesn’t take the stand in Dorn case

Dorene Dorn found guilty of grand larceny and conspiracy

>Guardian Ad Litem Authority

March 31, 2009

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On January 7, 2006, the Crawford County Department of Job and Family Services removed two-month-old C.T. from the custody of his mother, Naomi Agapay.

Two days later the common pleas court awarded temporary custody of C.T. to the Department of Job and Family Services (DJFS), and appointed Geoffrey Stoll as the child’s guardian ad litem. A guardian ad litem is a person appointed by a court as guardian of an infant or child to act on his behalf. For the time being, C.T. was placed in foster care.

In March 2006, the court adjudicated C.T. a dependent child. One month later the court adopted the DJFS’s case plan to address safety issues for the child. Naomi responded to that by filing a motion to modify the dispositional order and to return C.T. to her custody.

But the DJFS had other plans; it filed a motion to extend the period of temporary custody. In January 2007, following a hearing, the court denied Naomi’s motion and extended temporary custody by DJFS for an additional six months.

Later in January, Geoffrey Stoll filed a motion requesting that the court grant permanent custody of C.T. to the DJFS. Neither Naomi nor DJFS filed a memorandum opposing Stoll’s motion. Following a hearing on Stoll’s motion, the court terminated Naomi’s parental rights and committed C.T. to the permanent custody of the DJFS on June 28, 2007.

Upon review, however, the court of appeals reversed the judgment of the trial court. The court of appeals ruled that the matter should go back to the trial court on the basis that Stoll, as a guardian ad litem, lacked standing to file a motion for permanent custody.

After that ruling, the case came before the Supreme Court of Ohio for a final review.

How did the court of appeals reach the conclusion that Stoll lacked standing?

“By a seven-to-zero vote, we concluded that a guardian ad litem has authority under Ohio law to file and prosecute a motion to terminate parental rights and award permanent custody in a child welfare case.”

Full Article and Source:
Guardian ad litem has wide latitude to act for children

Guardian Ad Litem Authority

March 31, 2009
On January 7, 2006, the Crawford County Department of Job and Family Services removed two-month-old C.T. from the custody of his mother, Naomi Agapay.

Two days later the common pleas court awarded temporary custody of C.T. to the Department of Job and Family Services (DJFS), and appointed Geoffrey Stoll as the child’s guardian ad litem. A guardian ad litem is a person appointed by a court as guardian of an infant or child to act on his behalf. For the time being, C.T. was placed in foster care.

In March 2006, the court adjudicated C.T. a dependent child. One month later the court adopted the DJFS’s case plan to address safety issues for the child. Naomi responded to that by filing a motion to modify the dispositional order and to return C.T. to her custody.

But the DJFS had other plans; it filed a motion to extend the period of temporary custody. In January 2007, following a hearing, the court denied Naomi’s motion and extended temporary custody by DJFS for an additional six months.

Later in January, Geoffrey Stoll filed a motion requesting that the court grant permanent custody of C.T. to the DJFS. Neither Naomi nor DJFS filed a memorandum opposing Stoll’s motion. Following a hearing on Stoll’s motion, the court terminated Naomi’s parental rights and committed C.T. to the permanent custody of the DJFS on June 28, 2007.

Upon review, however, the court of appeals reversed the judgment of the trial court. The court of appeals ruled that the matter should go back to the trial court on the basis that Stoll, as a guardian ad litem, lacked standing to file a motion for permanent custody.

After that ruling, the case came before the Supreme Court of Ohio for a final review.

How did the court of appeals reach the conclusion that Stoll lacked standing?

“By a seven-to-zero vote, we concluded that a guardian ad litem has authority under Ohio law to file and prosecute a motion to terminate parental rights and award permanent custody in a child welfare case.”

Full Article and Source:
Guardian ad litem has wide latitude to act for children

>"Tough Choices" Budget

March 31, 2009

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According to Chancellor William B. Chandler IV is the Delaware Office of the Public Guardian, the office of last resort for those who can no longer manage their own affairs and have no one else to do it.

More staff, more money, more tools are needed to address the increasing demand, and Chandler, the top judicial officer in the Court of Chancery, which oversees the Office of the Public Guardian, noted in a letter to Gov. Jack Markell that a July review by the National Guardianship Association will bring other recommendations.

“It is no exaggeration to say that the ability of the Office of the Public Guardian to accommodate its wards is at the breaking point,” Chandler wrote.

The timing for those requests couldn’t be much worse, with Markell and all state agencies looking for ways to plug an estimated $750 million gouge in 2010 revenue. In his budget address this month, the governor acknowledged that legitimate requests and services had been cut from his “tough choices” budget. The Office of Public Guardian’s already small $500,000 budget would be trimmed a bit more.

Full Article and Source:
Guardians of helpless ask Del. for help

"Tough Choices" Budget

March 31, 2009
According to Chancellor William B. Chandler IV is the Delaware Office of the Public Guardian, the office of last resort for those who can no longer manage their own affairs and have no one else to do it.

More staff, more money, more tools are needed to address the increasing demand, and Chandler, the top judicial officer in the Court of Chancery, which oversees the Office of the Public Guardian, noted in a letter to Gov. Jack Markell that a July review by the National Guardianship Association will bring other recommendations.

“It is no exaggeration to say that the ability of the Office of the Public Guardian to accommodate its wards is at the breaking point,” Chandler wrote.

The timing for those requests couldn’t be much worse, with Markell and all state agencies looking for ways to plug an estimated $750 million gouge in 2010 revenue. In his budget address this month, the governor acknowledged that legitimate requests and services had been cut from his “tough choices” budget. The Office of Public Guardian’s already small $500,000 budget would be trimmed a bit more.

Full Article and Source:
Guardians of helpless ask Del. for help

>Guardian Accused of Exploitation

March 30, 2009

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The court trusted Cindy Laws to look after the lives of incapacitated and vulnerable people. Now she’s charged with exploiting one of them.

Laws is accused of felony “abuse, exploitation or neglect of a vulnerable adult” for allegedly stealing more than $6,000 from a 93-year-old woman with dementia.

Laws was a member of the Twin Falls County Board of Community Guardians, and court records show the court appointed her guardian of at least three incapacitated people. The court has since removed her as a guardian.

Twin Falls County commissioner George Urie, who serves on the board said that an “indirect effect” of the case against Laws filed this week in Twin Falls 5th District Court was that the county’s board stopped taking new clients.

Three people who were recently under Laws’ guardianship are unable to care for themselves and live on Social Security payments from the government.

The criminal case against Laws unfolded after an adult protection investigator with Area IV Office on Aging asked Laws to sign a “release of information” on Jan. 7. “The release was obtained in connection with an investigation of possible wrongdoing.”

The probe turned to Laws when investigators discovered the 93-year-old victim got billed for cell phone service that she is not receiving, along with other questionable charges.

Full Article and Source:
Guardian accused of exploiting elderly woman

More information:
S. Idaho guardian charged with exploiting woman

Guardian Accused of Exploitation

March 30, 2009
The court trusted Cindy Laws to look after the lives of incapacitated and vulnerable people. Now she’s charged with exploiting one of them.

Laws is accused of felony “abuse, exploitation or neglect of a vulnerable adult” for allegedly stealing more than $6,000 from a 93-year-old woman with dementia.

Laws was a member of the Twin Falls County Board of Community Guardians, and court records show the court appointed her guardian of at least three incapacitated people. The court has since removed her as a guardian.

Twin Falls County commissioner George Urie, who serves on the board said that an “indirect effect” of the case against Laws filed this week in Twin Falls 5th District Court was that the county’s board stopped taking new clients.

Three people who were recently under Laws’ guardianship are unable to care for themselves and live on Social Security payments from the government.

The criminal case against Laws unfolded after an adult protection investigator with Area IV Office on Aging asked Laws to sign a “release of information” on Jan. 7. “The release was obtained in connection with an investigation of possible wrongdoing.”

The probe turned to Laws when investigators discovered the 93-year-old victim got billed for cell phone service that she is not receiving, along with other questionable charges.

Full Article and Source:
Guardian accused of exploiting elderly woman

More information:
S. Idaho guardian charged with exploiting woman

>Will Forger Gets Jail

March 30, 2009

>

Authorities claim Edward Blomfield forged the will of Beverly Graham after she was shot and killed in her apartment by Jennifer San Marco just before San Marco went on a shooting spree at the Goleta U.S. Postal Service distribution center in January 2006, killing six others and then herself. The forged will left Graham’s entire estate, estimated to be worth $750,000, to Blomfield.

Less than a month after Graham’s death, Blomfield produced the will, which Graham’s family immediately contested in probate court. As the result of a complicated civil suit, in which a forensic examiner determined the will was forged, Blomfield was ordered to pay $340,000 in restitution to the Graham family and indicted in criminal court for burglary, financial elder abuse, forgery, conspiracy, and two counts of perjury. Blomfield pled guilty to all charges.

He will serve one year in Santa Barbara County Jail and five years of felony probation. Judge Brian Hill also granted District Attorney Mary Barron two additional requests: that Blomfield not be allowed to act in a fiduciary capacity for anyone and that any current or future employers know of his psychiatric condition.

Full Article and Source:
Will Forger Gets One Year in Jail, Probation

Will Forger Gets Jail

March 30, 2009
Authorities claim Edward Blomfield forged the will of Beverly Graham after she was shot and killed in her apartment by Jennifer San Marco just before San Marco went on a shooting spree at the Goleta U.S. Postal Service distribution center in January 2006, killing six others and then herself. The forged will left Graham’s entire estate, estimated to be worth $750,000, to Blomfield.

Less than a month after Graham’s death, Blomfield produced the will, which Graham’s family immediately contested in probate court. As the result of a complicated civil suit, in which a forensic examiner determined the will was forged, Blomfield was ordered to pay $340,000 in restitution to the Graham family and indicted in criminal court for burglary, financial elder abuse, forgery, conspiracy, and two counts of perjury. Blomfield pled guilty to all charges.

He will serve one year in Santa Barbara County Jail and five years of felony probation. Judge Brian Hill also granted District Attorney Mary Barron two additional requests: that Blomfield not be allowed to act in a fiduciary capacity for anyone and that any current or future employers know of his psychiatric condition.

Full Article and Source:
Will Forger Gets One Year in Jail, Probation