Archive for April, 2009

>Judge Accused of Exploitation

April 30, 2009

>

Larry Seidlin, the weeping Anna Nicole Smith judge who has allegedly chiseled more than a half million dollars from an elderly widow in his condo building, has been removed from the woman’s will.

Actually, Seidlin’s wife and daughter are off the will, since Seidlin kept his name out of it as he worked to take over Barbara Kasler’s multi-million dollar fortune.

Kasler’s family members, caregivers, and an activist named Lyn Evans have managed to remove Seidlin from the widow’s life and possessions.

This news comes after a state investigation began into allegations of abuse and exploitation of Kasler by the Seidlins.

Mrs. Kasler called her niece, Corine Kasler, in Pensacola and asked her to take over her affairs. “With the improvement came her ability to understand that perhaps Larry Seidlin wasn’t operating in her best interests. It was the turning point.”

The will naming Seidlin’s wife, Belinda Seidlin, and daughter Dax has been revoked, says Corine Kasler, and a new will is being worked up that definitely won’t involve the judge or his family. The trustee of Kasler’s estate, Steve Fuller, and the estate’s attorney, Richard Judd, are being fired.

Full Article and Source:
Judge Seidlin’s Clan Removed From Widow’s Will

More information:
Judge Larry Under State Investigation After Elderly Abuse Complaint

DCF probes gifts to family of former Broward judge

Former judge Larry Seidlin accused of exploiting 83-year-old neighbor

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Judge Accused of Exploitation

April 30, 2009
Larry Seidlin, the weeping Anna Nicole Smith judge who has allegedly chiseled more than a half million dollars from an elderly widow in his condo building, has been removed from the woman’s will.

Actually, Seidlin’s wife and daughter are off the will, since Seidlin kept his name out of it as he worked to take over Barbara Kasler’s multi-million dollar fortune.

Kasler’s family members, caregivers, and an activist named Lyn Evans have managed to remove Seidlin from the widow’s life and possessions.

This news comes after a state investigation began into allegations of abuse and exploitation of Kasler by the Seidlins.

Mrs. Kasler called her niece, Corine Kasler, in Pensacola and asked her to take over her affairs. “With the improvement came her ability to understand that perhaps Larry Seidlin wasn’t operating in her best interests. It was the turning point.”

The will naming Seidlin’s wife, Belinda Seidlin, and daughter Dax has been revoked, says Corine Kasler, and a new will is being worked up that definitely won’t involve the judge or his family. The trustee of Kasler’s estate, Steve Fuller, and the estate’s attorney, Richard Judd, are being fired.

Full Article and Source:
Judge Seidlin’s Clan Removed From Widow’s Will

More information:
Judge Larry Under State Investigation After Elderly Abuse Complaint

DCF probes gifts to family of former Broward judge

Former judge Larry Seidlin accused of exploiting 83-year-old neighbor

Judge Accused of Exploitation

April 30, 2009
Larry Seidlin, the weeping Anna Nicole Smith judge who has allegedly chiseled more than a half million dollars from an elderly widow in his condo building, has been removed from the woman’s will.

Actually, Seidlin’s wife and daughter are off the will, since Seidlin kept his name out of it as he worked to take over Barbara Kasler’s multi-million dollar fortune.

Kasler’s family members, caregivers, and an activist named Lyn Evans have managed to remove Seidlin from the widow’s life and possessions.

This news comes after a state investigation began into allegations of abuse and exploitation of Kasler by the Seidlins.

Mrs. Kasler called her niece, Corine Kasler, in Pensacola and asked her to take over her affairs. “With the improvement came her ability to understand that perhaps Larry Seidlin wasn’t operating in her best interests. It was the turning point.”

The will naming Seidlin’s wife, Belinda Seidlin, and daughter Dax has been revoked, says Corine Kasler, and a new will is being worked up that definitely won’t involve the judge or his family. The trustee of Kasler’s estate, Steve Fuller, and the estate’s attorney, Richard Judd, are being fired.

Full Article and Source:
Judge Seidlin’s Clan Removed From Widow’s Will

More information:
Judge Larry Under State Investigation After Elderly Abuse Complaint

DCF probes gifts to family of former Broward judge

Former judge Larry Seidlin accused of exploiting 83-year-old neighbor

>Greer Files Suit

April 30, 2009

>

After watching court-appointed officials spend more than $600,000 of her money, Peggy Greer is returning to court to try to win it back.

Greer has filed suit in Hennepin County District Court, claiming that her former guardian and conservator failed to protect her assets, heed her wishes and otherwise fulfill their duties to look after her best interests.

In March 2005, a Hennepin County probate judge ruled that Greer, then recovering from painkiller addiction, was unable to make decisions for herself, and appointed Professional Fiduciary Inc. as her guardian and Wells Fargo Elder Services as her conservator.

Over the next two years, the guardian and conservator spent $672,000 on health costs, attorney’s fees and other expenses, despite objections from Greer and other family members that the spending was excessive and unjustified.

Greer won back her rights in July 2007, after her assets were exhausted and the guardian and conservator no longer opposed their dismissal.

The lawsuit accuses Wells Fargo Bank, Wells Fargo Private Bank Elder Services, PFI and Ruth Ostrom, an attorney for PFI, of breach of fiduciary duties, which it says caused Greer “severe emotional distress.”

Full Article and Source:
Out of money, Excelsior woman still fighting

See also:
Money Used Up

Greer Files Suit

April 30, 2009
After watching court-appointed officials spend more than $600,000 of her money, Peggy Greer is returning to court to try to win it back.

Greer has filed suit in Hennepin County District Court, claiming that her former guardian and conservator failed to protect her assets, heed her wishes and otherwise fulfill their duties to look after her best interests.

In March 2005, a Hennepin County probate judge ruled that Greer, then recovering from painkiller addiction, was unable to make decisions for herself, and appointed Professional Fiduciary Inc. as her guardian and Wells Fargo Elder Services as her conservator.

Over the next two years, the guardian and conservator spent $672,000 on health costs, attorney’s fees and other expenses, despite objections from Greer and other family members that the spending was excessive and unjustified.

Greer won back her rights in July 2007, after her assets were exhausted and the guardian and conservator no longer opposed their dismissal.

The lawsuit accuses Wells Fargo Bank, Wells Fargo Private Bank Elder Services, PFI and Ruth Ostrom, an attorney for PFI, of breach of fiduciary duties, which it says caused Greer “severe emotional distress.”

Full Article and Source:
Out of money, Excelsior woman still fighting

See also:
Money Used Up

>Lawyer Betrayed Client Trust

April 30, 2009

>

Nancy Clifton gave him more than $400,000 of her deceased husband’s life insurance settlement to invest. All of it was gone within three years.

M&D Construction bought a house from him in a foreclosure transaction, only to learn weeks later — and after spending thousands of dollars on renovations — that it already had been sold to someone else.

Eva Bauer sought his help in handling a disbursement from her deceased brother’s estate. Two years later, the money had vanished.

In story after story, those who turned to Kent Desselle for help or conducted business with him came away claiming huge losses that resulted in financial hardship. In the end, it was the $20,000 from a memorial fund for two murdered children that led to the downfall of the former Independence lawyer.

Desselle was disbarred by the Missouri Supreme Court. He was the subject of seven complaints filed last year, most of which accused him of mishandling clients’ money.

In its recommendation to disbar Desselle, the Disciplinary Hearing Panel issued a scathing statement: “Respondent has committed multiple offenses of taking his clients’ funds and using them for his own selfish motives and shown that he is dishonest.”

Full Article and Source:
Testimony shows disbarred lawyer repeatedly betrayed clients’ trust

Lawyer Betrayed Client Trust

April 30, 2009
Nancy Clifton gave him more than $400,000 of her deceased husband’s life insurance settlement to invest. All of it was gone within three years.

M&D Construction bought a house from him in a foreclosure transaction, only to learn weeks later — and after spending thousands of dollars on renovations — that it already had been sold to someone else.

Eva Bauer sought his help in handling a disbursement from her deceased brother’s estate. Two years later, the money had vanished.

In story after story, those who turned to Kent Desselle for help or conducted business with him came away claiming huge losses that resulted in financial hardship. In the end, it was the $20,000 from a memorial fund for two murdered children that led to the downfall of the former Independence lawyer.

Desselle was disbarred by the Missouri Supreme Court. He was the subject of seven complaints filed last year, most of which accused him of mishandling clients’ money.

In its recommendation to disbar Desselle, the Disciplinary Hearing Panel issued a scathing statement: “Respondent has committed multiple offenses of taking his clients’ funds and using them for his own selfish motives and shown that he is dishonest.”

Full Article and Source:
Testimony shows disbarred lawyer repeatedly betrayed clients’ trust

>Judge Under Investigation

April 30, 2009

>

The Upshur County district attorney said that he is investigating the Upshur County judge in a matter related to the judge accepting checks from a former lawyer.

According to the Texas Courts Code of Judicial Conduct, “a judge shall refrain from financial and business dealings that … involve the judge in frequent transactions with lawyers or persons likely to come before the court on which the judge serves.”

Upshur County Judge Dean Fowler said he accepted checks from former lawyer Robert Bennett, who was sentenced to state prison for theft and misuse of client trust fund money. Fowler said some of the checks were for referrals, which are permitted by the Judicial Conduct Code.

About half of the checks were for personal business, and District Attorney Billy Byrd said he’s trying to determine whether there were criminal or ethical violations.

Full Article and Source:
Upshur district attorney investigates county judge

More information:
Former Gilmer Attorney Investigated For Possible Ethical, Legal Violations

Judge Under Investigation

April 30, 2009
The Upshur County district attorney said that he is investigating the Upshur County judge in a matter related to the judge accepting checks from a former lawyer.

According to the Texas Courts Code of Judicial Conduct, “a judge shall refrain from financial and business dealings that … involve the judge in frequent transactions with lawyers or persons likely to come before the court on which the judge serves.”

Upshur County Judge Dean Fowler said he accepted checks from former lawyer Robert Bennett, who was sentenced to state prison for theft and misuse of client trust fund money. Fowler said some of the checks were for referrals, which are permitted by the Judicial Conduct Code.

About half of the checks were for personal business, and District Attorney Billy Byrd said he’s trying to determine whether there were criminal or ethical violations.

Full Article and Source:
Upshur district attorney investigates county judge

More information:
Former Gilmer Attorney Investigated For Possible Ethical, Legal Violations

>Lokuta Not Entitled to New Trial

April 30, 2009

>

An attorney for the state Judicial Conduct Board said in court papers that former Luzerne County Judge Ann Lokuta is not entitled to a new misconduct trial because none of the “after discovered” evidence she has produced would have resulted in a different outcome.

Francis J. Puskas, deputy chief counsel for the JCB, says the myriad of issues Lokuta raised in a 108-page brief filed last week have little to no relevance in her case, constituting an “everything but the kitchen sink” strategy to overturn the Court of Judicial Discipline’s Dec. 9 order that ousted her from office.

Lokuta is seeking to reopen her case or have the charges against her dismissed based on federal charges that were recently filed against former judges Michael Conahan and Mark Ciavarella and court administrator William Sharkey.

She contends the charges are proof that there was an ongoing conspiracy within the courthouse, orchestrated by Conahan and Ciavarella to remove her from office because she was a whistleblower who exposed various wrongdoings.

Full Article and Source:
Lokuta request criticized

See also:
Removal of Judge Reconsidered

Lokuta’s Motion Denied

Judge Wants New Hearing

Removing “Bully” Judge