Losing Freedom: The ABC Action News I-Team Investigates Florida’s Guardianship Program

She met friends for lunch, went shopping at thrift stores and spent dozens of hours at her feed store and at home.

That’s what we discovered when the I-Team followed Patricia Johnson for five straight days.

But only once, for approximately 20 minutes, did we see Johnson go to an assisted living facility to check on one of her 50 incapacitated wards.

That’s not surprising to some of their family members.

“When you walk into the nursing home and they’re like ‘we never see her here, we can never get a hold of her, she’s very hard to reach,’” said Amy Eldridge, whose grandmother Rita Eldridge was one of Johnson’s wards.

When asked whether Johnson comes to visit her mother Rebie Jimenez often, Cindy Lee replied, “My mother says no. But then when I ask the staff there, they say never. “

Bills from Johnson’s wards’ files indicate she’s working hard on her wards’ behalf.

Under Florida law, Johnson is allowed to use her wards’ own money to pay herself $70 an hour for things like banking, opening mail and paying visits.

Her bills can only be submitted twice a year for each ward and have to be approved by a judge.

The I-Team spent more than two weeks pulling hundreds of Johnson’s bills from court files and entering them into a spreadsheet.

We discovered that from January 1st, 2010 to December 31st, 2012 Johnson’s bills added up to $260,000, an average of nearly $87,000 a year.

Full Article and Source:
Losing Freedom: The I-Team Investigates Florida’s Guardianship Program

See Also:
ABC Action News I-Team Personal Stories

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24 Responses to “Losing Freedom: The ABC Action News I-Team Investigates Florida’s Guardianship Program”

  1. Thelma Says:

    It's wonderful to see the ABC series publicize the "guardianship" outrage – and more media has to inform the public to be aware of the greedy guardians and their abusive behavior and breach of duty.

  2. Thelma Says:

    It's wonderful to see the ABC series publicize the "guardianship" outrage – and more media has to inform the public to be aware of the greedy guardians and their abusive behavior and breach of duty.

  3. Kathleen Says:

    Most people really don't know this is going on, when you tell them they can't believe it. I tell everyone I can. This is an outrage! Thanks ABC Action I-Team for these stories. Patricia Johnson should be brought up on criminal charges.

  4. Kathleen Says:

    Most people really don't know this is going on, when you tell them they can't believe it. I tell everyone I can. This is an outrage! Thanks ABC Action I-Team for these stories. Patricia Johnson should be brought up on criminal charges.

  5. StandUp Says:

    What an investigation! Thank you ABC!

  6. StandUp Says:

    What an investigation! Thank you ABC!

  7. Grateful NASGA Florida member Says:

    Well look at this from FLORIDA: conviction for felony scheming to defraud!!! How many Adele Fletchers are there hidden in the guardianship files while the G Team hides behind 'approved by the court' which is an invitation to scrutinize the court. Thank you ABC I Team for the opportunity to let the debating and discussions begin. from: Grateful NASGA Florida member.Do You Remember Adele Fletcher?Dear Gus Bilirakis:To help refresh your memory, as a Tampa area attorney you assisted your client with improperly guardianizing Adele Fletcher, which resulted in yourclient's conviction for felony scheming to defraud.You did not come to your client's aid during her criminal trial. Below are your documents that facilitated this fraud, which may assist in refreshing your recall of events: The document at right provides a summary of the closing days in Adele Fletcher's' life. Please review the information for accuracy and let us know if you have any questions. Pdf: SummaryThe two documents below reveal what turned out to be implausible reasons for your claimed need to take away a senior citizen's freedom to live. Pdf: Incapacity page 1 / Incapacity page 2The next two documents below reflect your "investigation" attested to under penalty of perjury that Adele Fletcher had no money or assets. You may recall that your meeting with Adele, in her home, to discuss what to do with her inheritance, that added an additional tax liability, to her existing income, and existing accounts with her stock broker, was arranged for you and Fran Lang by Adele's stock broker. A reasonable assumption that you did not raise during your investigation is that the mere existence of a stock broker in Adele's life points to the presence of assets. Pdf: Indigent page 1 / Indigent page 2The document below shows that eventually you found Adele Fletcher indeed had money and assets, but by that time the assets previously hidden from the court's knowledge were securely under your control by way of your client Fran Lang. Pdf: Terminate Insolvency For additional reading about your client's conviction you can review a news article at this web site: http://www.sptimes.com/…/Pasco/Ex_guardian_gets_prob.shtml You can also watch a short video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQ5GrH5aPMg The Friends of Adele FletcherIf you need further assistance please email us at: AdeleRemembered@gmail.comhttp://adeleremembered.mynetworksolutions.com/Pasco: Ex-guardian gets probation http://www.sptimes.com"She's a despicable person," Pittman said of Lang. "When you steal the money of people who can't even help themselves, what is that?"

  8. Grateful NASGA Florida member Says:

    Well look at this from FLORIDA: conviction for felony scheming to defraud!!! How many Adele Fletchers are there hidden in the guardianship files while the G Team hides behind 'approved by the court' which is an invitation to scrutinize the court. Thank you ABC I Team for the opportunity to let the debating and discussions begin. from: Grateful NASGA Florida member.Do You Remember Adele Fletcher?Dear Gus Bilirakis:To help refresh your memory, as a Tampa area attorney you assisted your client with improperly guardianizing Adele Fletcher, which resulted in yourclient's conviction for felony scheming to defraud.You did not come to your client's aid during her criminal trial. Below are your documents that facilitated this fraud, which may assist in refreshing your recall of events: The document at right provides a summary of the closing days in Adele Fletcher's' life. Please review the information for accuracy and let us know if you have any questions. Pdf: SummaryThe two documents below reveal what turned out to be implausible reasons for your claimed need to take away a senior citizen's freedom to live. Pdf: Incapacity page 1 / Incapacity page 2The next two documents below reflect your "investigation" attested to under penalty of perjury that Adele Fletcher had no money or assets. You may recall that your meeting with Adele, in her home, to discuss what to do with her inheritance, that added an additional tax liability, to her existing income, and existing accounts with her stock broker, was arranged for you and Fran Lang by Adele's stock broker. A reasonable assumption that you did not raise during your investigation is that the mere existence of a stock broker in Adele's life points to the presence of assets. Pdf: Indigent page 1 / Indigent page 2The document below shows that eventually you found Adele Fletcher indeed had money and assets, but by that time the assets previously hidden from the court's knowledge were securely under your control by way of your client Fran Lang. Pdf: Terminate Insolvency For additional reading about your client's conviction you can review a news article at this web site: http://www.sptimes.com/…/Pasco/Ex_guardian_gets_prob.shtml You can also watch a short video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQ5GrH5aPMg The Friends of Adele FletcherIf you need further assistance please email us at: AdeleRemembered@gmail.comhttp://adeleremembered.mynetworksolutions.com/Pasco: Ex-guardian gets probation http://www.sptimes.com"She's a despicable person," Pittman said of Lang. "When you steal the money of people who can't even help themselves, what is that?"

  9. Anonymous Says:

    What? Patricia Johnson hasn't been removed yet?

  10. Anonymous Says:

    What? Patricia Johnson hasn't been removed yet?

  11. magpie Says:

    Last year I tried to get the local news stations interested in my mother's guardianship situation caused by my "sister" , but no one was interested. My sister has stolen from my mother and yet the state of Fl is working with her to continue stealing from mother. I am glad to see that maybe there is some hope for those forced into becoming wards of the state. I have tried everything but cannot afford to continue the fight against the state. It is usually family members working with state to steal the money from the"ward".

  12. magpie Says:

    Last year I tried to get the local news stations interested in my mother's guardianship situation caused by my "sister" , but no one was interested. My sister has stolen from my mother and yet the state of Fl is working with her to continue stealing from mother. I am glad to see that maybe there is some hope for those forced into becoming wards of the state. I have tried everything but cannot afford to continue the fight against the state. It is usually family members working with state to steal the money from the"ward".

  13. Debbie Says:

    Are you sure she only billed one person on that visit to the facility? I just bet she billed several.

  14. Debbie Says:

    Are you sure she only billed one person on that visit to the facility? I just bet she billed several.

  15. Barbara Says:

    ABC has become my favorite news station!

  16. Barbara Says:

    ABC has become my favorite news station!

  17. Finny Says:

    Thank you for posting Marked for Destruction, Grateful. I have read the book and it is shocking and indicative that nothing has changed since Adele went through her nightmare.

  18. Finny Says:

    Thank you for posting Marked for Destruction, Grateful. I have read the book and it is shocking and indicative that nothing has changed since Adele went through her nightmare.

  19. Phyllis Says:

    Wow, I was already impressed by ABC but they are far exceeding themselves with fine reporting.Thank you Adam Walser and ABC!

  20. Phyllis Says:

    Wow, I was already impressed by ABC but they are far exceeding themselves with fine reporting.Thank you Adam Walser and ABC!

  21. magpie Says:

    I wish someone would have listened to me but instead the judge, the lawyers, including my mother's were all in on the game. Shame on me for trusting our court system. We live in a world where everything can be taken away in a moment notice. If not for my greedy sister,my mother could be enjoying her last years and making her own decision. She chose to trust my greedy sister and now she is ward of the state. I tried to fight for her but I could not bankrupt myself because I would never win, and the state can stretch this out until she passes on aand they will continue even after her death. My only saving grace is that I stopped my sister before she got it all, so now the state will have my father's hard earned money. I feel that the situation that wealtny seniors get into is usually caused by trusting a family member. My mother caused her own problem. It still is wrong but you can never beat the government.

  22. magpie Says:

    I wish someone would have listened to me but instead the judge, the lawyers, including my mother's were all in on the game. Shame on me for trusting our court system. We live in a world where everything can be taken away in a moment notice. If not for my greedy sister,my mother could be enjoying her last years and making her own decision. She chose to trust my greedy sister and now she is ward of the state. I tried to fight for her but I could not bankrupt myself because I would never win, and the state can stretch this out until she passes on aand they will continue even after her death. My only saving grace is that I stopped my sister before she got it all, so now the state will have my father's hard earned money. I feel that the situation that wealtny seniors get into is usually caused by trusting a family member. My mother caused her own problem. It still is wrong but you can never beat the government.

  23. Anonymous Says:

    I wish the ABC news team would investigate some guardians, attorneys, and judges in Cook County, IL. Rehabilitation Nursing Resoures (owned by Pamela Chwala), Rehab Assist, Judge Lynne Kawamoto (recently "retired") , Judge Maureen Connors, Judge Jane Stuart (who pays taxes on President Obama's property) are all good places to start. Attorneys Miriam Solo, Amy McCarty (Monahan & Cohen), Ruben Garcia, Cynthia Farenga, Karen Bowes, would all provide for some interesting news stories.Kudos to ABC news! We would welcome you to help in Chicago!!!!

  24. Anonymous Says:

    I wish the ABC news team would investigate some guardians, attorneys, and judges in Cook County, IL. Rehabilitation Nursing Resoures (owned by Pamela Chwala), Rehab Assist, Judge Lynne Kawamoto (recently "retired") , Judge Maureen Connors, Judge Jane Stuart (who pays taxes on President Obama's property) are all good places to start. Attorneys Miriam Solo, Amy McCarty (Monahan & Cohen), Ruben Garcia, Cynthia Farenga, Karen Bowes, would all provide for some interesting news stories.Kudos to ABC news! We would welcome you to help in Chicago!!!!

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