Archive for February, 2012

Care Home Operator Gets One-Year Prison Term for Exploitation

February 29, 2012

The Honorable Judge Richard Pollack sentenced an Oahu woman to a one-year prison term for her part in a financial exploitation scam that cost an 84-year old Oahu man more than $200,000.

Nora Bell, 46, of Ewa Beach, ran the “Classic Residential Care Home” on Hookele Street in Waianae. The victim, who suffers from age related dementia, entered the care home in 2004. Over a one-year period beginning in April 2007 and as the victim’s dementia worsened, Bell and an accomplice, Joel Tacras, carried out a scheme to systematically withdraw cash from the victim’s bank accounts, and redeem his treasury bonds, all without his knowledge. By July 2008, Bell had taken nearly all of the victim’s savings and cashed in his treasury bonds.

Full Article and Source:
Care Home Operator Gets One-Year Prison Term for Exploiting One of Her Residents

Joint Effort Will Fight Fraud Against Military Members

February 29, 2012

A new federal-state effort will fight fraud against members of the military. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the Department of Defense, and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) were joined by the New York Attorney General to announce the development of a database to combat consumer financial frauds directed at military members, veterans, and their families.

The Repeat Offenders Against Military (ROAM) Database will track completed enforcement actions against companies and individuals who repeatedly scam military personnel.

“As a former Ohio Attorney General, I know how frustrating it is to expose a scam and then see it take root in another state. The ROAM database will help law enforcement crack down on frauds that cross state lines,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “ROAM is a huge step forward in our mission to improve consumer protection for the military community.”

Joint Effort Will Fight Fraud Against Military Members

Liliane Bettencourt Exits Family Business

February 29, 2012

Liliane Bettencourt, heiress of cosmetics giant L’Oreal and France’s richest woman, has quit the board of the family business and will be replaced by her grandson.

The move comes a few months after it was found that the 89-year-old is suffering from “mixed dementia” and “modestly severe” Alzheimer’s. She was put under the guardianship of her daughter, Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers, and grandsons in October last year.

Full Article and Source:
Bettencourt Exits Family Business

See Also:
L’Oreal Heiress Loses Attempt to Free Herself From Daughter’s Guardianship

AZ: Who Will Protect Ailing Lady Who Gave Her House Away?

February 28, 2012

[H]ow did a frail old lady named Pauline come to be giving away her house to a stranger? And not only a stranger but the person who owns the state-licensed assisted living facility that was supposed to be taking care of her?

“That’s not how the system is supposed to work,” attorney Tom Asimou said. “People don’t go to the hospital, get discharged to an assisted living facility with 40 complaints and then 40 days later more than half their net worth is taken from them.”

Asimou sounded the alarm last week and to its credit, Maricopa County’s probate court sprung into action to try to protect Pauline, who has been diagnosed with dementia. Whether there is anything the court can do is an open question.

The bigger one is how a place like Golden Creek Assisted Living Home — with 40 citations in two years and a lawsuit alleging the 2010 wrongful death of one of its residents — is still operating, still getting patients from one of the state’s most prestigious hospitals.

Full Article and Source:
Who Will Protect Ailing Lady Who Gave Her House Away?

Editorial: Legal Assisted Suicide is a Recipe for Abuse

February 28, 2012

Editor, the Tribune: I am an attorney in Washington state, where assisted suicide is legal. I am also president of Choice is an Illusion, a not-for-profit corporation opposed to assisted suicide.

I disagree with Sandy Davidson (“Missourians should have a right to die”) that assisted suicide laws should be enacted in Missouri. Washington’s assisted suicide law is similar to a law in Oregon. These laws are promoted as providing patient choice. They are instead a recipe for elder abuse.

Under both the Oregon and Washington laws, an heir, who will financially benefit from the patient’s death, is allowed to actively help the patient sign up for the lethal dose. An heir can even talk for the patient during the lethal dose request process. This situation invites patient coercion, not patient choice.

More important, once the lethal dose is issued, there is no oversight, not even a required witness at the death. This creates the opportunity for someone who will benefit from the death to administer the dose without consent.

For more information about problems with legal assisted suicide, please visit

~Margaret Dore

Long-Term Hospital Patient Returning to Poland

February 28, 2012

Barbara Latasiewicz, a Polish immigrant who has lived in a La Grange hospital for 2 1/2 years, will return to Poland under an arrangement approved by a Cook County judge.

She could be flown back to Poland as soon as Tuesday, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

Latasiewicz, 60, has been in the United States illegally after overstaying a visa. She ended up at Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital in September 2009 after suffering a massive stroke while cleaning a home.

Her caretakers have been unable to find a place for her long-term care. She has no insurance or family that will care for her, and she doesn’t qualify for public aid.

The hospital has been taking care of her for more than two years even though it is a short-term care facility. Her care has cost the hospital about $1.3 million, according to the spokeswoman.

But early this month the hospital was able to arrange placement for Latasiewicz in a stroke specialty unit at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, officials said. She has a brother in that city who can visit her.

Despite objections from the Office of State Guardian, which is Latasiewicz’s legal guardian, Judge Cheryl Cesario agreed that Latasiewicz should not stay at the La Grange facility.

“This court finds without question that it is absolutely improper for a person to live in a hospital room,” the judge said.

Full Article and Source:
Long-Term Patient in La Grange Returning to Poland

YouTube: "Stop Connecticut’s Exploitation of Elders, Governor!"

February 27, 2012

Stop Connecticut’s Exploitation of Elders, Governor!

AZ Caretaker Accused of Beating Patient

February 27, 2012

A worker at a home for disabled adults is behind bars, accused of brutally beating a patient.

The patient suffered severe injuries — including broken ribs and a punctured lung. Police say Edward McClure went up to the victim on Tuesday while he was sitting in the common area of the group home in Phoenix.

McClure is accused of inappropriately touching the man, grabbing him by the throat, throwing him down, and punching him several times.

The resident suffered multiple rib fractures, and a collapsed lung.

McClure is 6’4″, 400 pounds and the victim is 150 pounds with a history of mental disability and epilepsy.

Full Article and Source:
Caretaker Accused of Beating Patient

Grannycam Captures Theft

February 27, 2012

An elderly man discovered his home health aide was stealing from him when his friend set up some “granny cams” to catch her in the act.

Carmen Vera, 42, was arrested and charged with theft.

The 73-year old victim said Vera, a home health aide employed by All About Care in Brick, had worked for him since December. Since then he noticed about $900 missing from both his armoire and wallet.

A close friend set up two secret cameras around the man’s bedroom to capture, in video form, any activity occurring in there.

Police said he had about 13 minutes of footage showing Vera “… clearly stealing.”

Full Article and Source:
‘Granny cams’ Capture Home Health Aide Stealing From Vineland Patient

The Story of Benjamin Alfano and the Debate About Who Controls End-of-Life Decisions

February 26, 2012

Repeat after me: “How is this possible?”

That is the question you will ask yourself, more than once, as we detail the last two troubling months in the life of Benjamin Alfano.

In the space of eight weeks, how is it possible that a veteran with full benefits could be trucked out of the Raleigh Hills assisted living facility he loved — on Christmas Eve, no less — and end up desperate and wounded in a locked-door dementia-care unit in Gresham?

Stripped of his telephone.

Restricted to one daily visit from his children.

Drenched in his own urine.

How is it possible that a “protected” person — in the painfully ironic parlance of the Oregon courts — and one faithfully attended by a conservator, a guardian, a lawyer and a sizable bank account could be tossed about in such a perfect storm, a tempest that culminated in Alfano’s death Feb. 26, 2011, one year ago today?

That’s the question four of Alfano’s children are still asking, four children who remained intensely involved to the bitter end in their father’s life.

A commitment to their father, by the way, that is still held against them by the overlords at the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs, the Washington County Circuit Court and Oregon’s Department of Justice.

If blame is difficult to assess in the closing chapter of Alfano’s story, the fault lines are clearly visible in the vitriolic debate about who is best qualified to make decisions — and control the finances — when the elderly cannot be trusted to make those decisions for themselves.

Full Article and Source:
The Story of Benjamin Alfano and the Debate About Who Controls End-of-Life Decisions (Part 1)