Archive for the ‘District Attorney’ Category

Greeley Funeral Services Provider Sought on Charges of Bilking the Elderly

December 11, 2012

Greeley police are trying to track down a former funeral-services provider who allegedly collected money from elderly people for pre-paid funeral services and then left town.

An arrest warrant has been issued for 44-year-old Paul Acuna, who authorities believe is living in the San Diego area. The Weld County district attorney’s office has charged him with several felonies, including two counts of theft from an at-risk adult and 10 counts of forgery.

Acuna owned Paul’s Funeral Service in Greeley. He allegedly told his prepaid-services clients that if his business closed, their accounts would be transferred to another business, which did not happen after his business closed in April and no refunds were issued, prosecutors said. Acuna also is being investigated for allegedly sending fraudulent bills for funeral assistance to the Colorado Department of Human Services.

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Greeley Funeral Services Provider Sought on Charges of Bilking the Elderly

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Erie County DA Announces Financial Elder Abuse Case Grand Larceny Conviction

November 12, 2012

Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita, III announced that 40 year old Charmesa Brown of 32 Linda Drive, Cheektowaga, pleaded guilty, as charged, this afternoon to Grand Larceny in the Second Degree and Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree before County Court Judge Thomas P. Franczyk. These are the highest charges for which the defendant could have been convicted had she gone to trial.

Brown admitted that during the period between October 6, 2010 and July 11, 2012, while employed as an Administrator with Basset Manor, 245 Bassett Road, Williamsville, she stole a total of $110,174 from an elderly patient. Brown agreed to assist the victim by writing checks to the facility, but also wrote checks payable to herself. Brown did not report those earnings on her New York State Income Tax return. The nursing facility has agreed to make the victim whole.

This is the third major financial elder abuse conviction obtained by the Erie County District Attorney’s Office within the last month. On October 17, 2012, paralegal Pamela Blood pleaded guilty, as charged, to Grand Larceny in the Second Degree and Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, in connection with an embezzlement of over $300,000 from an elderly client. On October 30, 2012, con-man Richard Kesick pleaded guilty to bilking a 91 year old priest out of more than $500,000.

District Attorneys’ Association President and Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance, Jr. announced the formation of the New York White Collar Crime Task late last month.

Ms. Brown is scheduled to be sentenced on February 1, 2013, at 9:30 a.m. before Judge Franczyk; she faces maximum prison sentence of 19 years.

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Another Financial Elder Abuse Case Leads to Grand Larceny Conviction

DeKalb Co DA Candidate was Suspended by State Bar

October 26, 2010

One of DeKalb County’s two candidates for district attorney has been suspended twice by the State Bar of Georgia.

Decatur attorney Constance Pinson Heard is running against former DeKalb Solicitor-General Robert James.

The two are competing for the seat vacated by Gwen Keyes Fleming, who resigned last month to become a regional administrator with the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

Records obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution show Heard was suspended twice for violating State Bar standards. James has no complaints with the Bar, according to its records.

The state Supreme Court found Heard guilty of three Bar standards: dishonesty and fraud; willful abandonment to the detriment of her clients; and commingling clients’ funds with her own.

The director of the National Institute for Teaching Ethics & Professionalism, who is not involved in the DeKalb race, said he would be concerned about any lawyer who violated those specific standards.

“I have no hesitation in saying that someone who has been suspended for violating [these standards] should not be a candidate for district attorney.” said Clark D. Cunningham, who also teaches law and ethics at the Georgia State University College of Law.

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DeKalb DA Candidate was Suspended by State Bar

Former DA Indicted

December 22, 2009

After presiding over Kimble County grand juries for three decades, former District Attorney Ron Sutton has been indicted there on two charges of misapplication of fiduciary property, a third-degree felony, officials said.

Sutton, lead prosecutor in the 198th judicial district from 1976 until last year, declined to comment when reached at his Junction home.

Special prosecutor Bill Turner said the indictment issued Wednesday concerns expenditures of seized funds for travel and staff bonuses, in “a continuing course of conduct,” from January 2002 until Dec. 31, 2008, when Sutton retired.

Sutton was served with arrest warrants at the Kimble County Jail Thursday afternoon, then booked and released on a personal recognizance bond, officials said.

Turner, the district attorney in Brazos County who was appointed special prosecutor on the case in August, said: “The investigation is complete, from our end.”

Sutton previously defended his use of the forfeiture account funded by seizures from criminal suspects, which statutes say must go for law enforcement purposes. He dismissed criticism as “much ado about nothing.”

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Former Hill County DA Indicted”

Federal Probe of Rita Hunter Tenure

August 16, 2009
The files of county wards while Rita Hunter was public administrator will stay locked away for the time being.

Dean Dankelson, Jasper County prosecutor, said that access to the files is being limited at the request of federal authorities. Hunter told Probate Judge David Mouton there is no way she can answer questions before the court about former wards’ estates without file access.

Dankelson said he is keeping the materials locked away at the request of the U.S. attorney’s office.

Officials announced last month that federal authorities had taken over a probe into operations of the administrator’s office during Hunter’s tenure. Investigators with the Missouri State Highway Patrol started the probe in January after Hunter left office and took with her all the files of wards under the care of the public administrator’s office. She later returned about 30 boxes of files, and additional materials were recovered as a result of a search warrant.

Full Article and Source:
Feds want file access denied

See also:
Former Administrator Rita Hunter

Rita Hunter was registered with the National Guardianship Association (NGA) during her tenure. Angie Cassavecchia Ashens, Jasper County Public Administrator is now registered with the NGA.

>Guardian Could Face Charges

July 26, 2009

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An adult guardian could face charges for taking money in exchange for allowing a Houston doctor access to a child. The child was one of at least four who had been sexually abused for years by the grandfatherly surgeon, prosecutors said.

Orthopedic surgeon Bernard Zacharia Albina was arrested on five charges stemming from years of alleged sexual abuse of four prepubescent boys. He is expected to be arraigned in state district court.

Harris County Assistant District Attorney Eric Devlin said a guardian for one of the children could face charges for taking money for allowing access to one of the children. He said statutes of limitations may hinder prosecution, but a charge could be levied as part of an ongoing conspiracy.

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DA: Accused molester paid victim $155,000

Guardian Could Face Charges

July 26, 2009
An adult guardian could face charges for taking money in exchange for allowing a Houston doctor access to a child. The child was one of at least four who had been sexually abused for years by the grandfatherly surgeon, prosecutors said.

Orthopedic surgeon Bernard Zacharia Albina was arrested on five charges stemming from years of alleged sexual abuse of four prepubescent boys. He is expected to be arraigned in state district court.

Harris County Assistant District Attorney Eric Devlin said a guardian for one of the children could face charges for taking money for allowing access to one of the children. He said statutes of limitations may hinder prosecution, but a charge could be levied as part of an ongoing conspiracy.

Full Article and Source:
DA: Accused molester paid victim $155,000

>Attorney General Intervention

July 20, 2009

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The state attorney general claimed victory in a legal battle stemming from 2005 that challenged the legitimacy of a sales agreement in which an elderly woman agreed to sell her home to two men for less than half of what it was worth at the time.

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal intervened after Mona Lee Johnson agreed to sell her home, estimated to be worth $1.2 million, for $500,000, a month before she passed away.

The Attorney General’s Office alleged that her neighbor, Mark Lovallo, had urged Johnson to sign off on the sales option while she was sick in the hospital. The deal also included her longtime accountant, David Alfano.

Blumenthal said that Johnson never intended to approve the deal, which would have significantly lowered the amount of money that would have been donated to eight of her favorite charities. Johnson’s will divided nearly all of her $1.5 million estate to charities including the Greenwich Library and Perrot Memorial Library in Old Greenwich.

Blumenthal: “I fought successfully to stop this suspect agreement denying hundreds of thousands of dollars to charities intended to benefit from the home’s sale. In charity law, the donor’s wishes are paramount. This donor never wished to sell her home at a bargain-basement price, significantly slashing the proceeds to charities named in her will.”

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Attorney general intervenes in Greenwich estate case

Attorney General Intervention

July 20, 2009
The state attorney general claimed victory in a legal battle stemming from 2005 that challenged the legitimacy of a sales agreement in which an elderly woman agreed to sell her home to two men for less than half of what it was worth at the time.

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal intervened after Mona Lee Johnson agreed to sell her home, estimated to be worth $1.2 million, for $500,000, a month before she passed away.

The Attorney General’s Office alleged that her neighbor, Mark Lovallo, had urged Johnson to sign off on the sales option while she was sick in the hospital. The deal also included her longtime accountant, David Alfano.

Blumenthal said that Johnson never intended to approve the deal, which would have significantly lowered the amount of money that would have been donated to eight of her favorite charities. Johnson’s will divided nearly all of her $1.5 million estate to charities including the Greenwich Library and Perrot Memorial Library in Old Greenwich.

Blumenthal: “I fought successfully to stop this suspect agreement denying hundreds of thousands of dollars to charities intended to benefit from the home’s sale. In charity law, the donor’s wishes are paramount. This donor never wished to sell her home at a bargain-basement price, significantly slashing the proceeds to charities named in her will.”

Full Article and Source:
Attorney general intervenes in Greenwich estate case

Real Estate Scam

July 7, 2009
State security officers served a search warrant at the office of a man charged with senior exploitation, as more victims continue to come forward in an investigation of a real estate scam.

Five more potential victims of Jamal Eljawaidi, also known as Jean Marc, came forward after Secretary of State Ross Miller issued an arrest warrant for him last week. Eljawaidi is still at large.

Eljawaidi initially was sought for elder exploitation in December 2004. The recent victims say they fell for investments with the real estate developer from 2005 through 2008.

In one case Eljwaidi took $400,000 from a 67-year-old man, who has been diagnosed with several mentally incapacitating conditions. Investigators said that Eljwaidi told the man he would be an equal partner in a commercial real estate venture.

Instead, Eljwaidi used up to $600,000, including the man’s money, to live a lavish lifestyle while leaving the elderly man destitute.

With evidence gathered by investigators with the search warrant, Eljwaidi could face new charges including securities fraud, sale of unregistered securities, obtaining money under false pretenses and racketeering.

Eljwaidi’s attorney, Steve Wolfson, also a Las Vegas City councilman, said in Justice Court recently that his client was out of the country. However, the Nevada Attorney General’s Office said it has information that he is in the United States.

Anyone who knows where to find Eljwaidi or who invested with him or his companies, Babuski LLC and JKG Development, or anyone who believes they may have been a victim, is asked to call the Secretary of State’s Office in Las Vegas at 486-2440, or (775) 688-1855 in Carson City.

Full Article and Source:
Officials searching for man accused of senior exploitation