Archive for the ‘Georgia’ Category

Bond set for Ga. trio in elderly exploitation case

November 19, 2013

— Bond has been set for two college students whose mother is accused of scamming an elderly man out of money they paid tuition with.

Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent Danny Jackson told the Rome News-Tribune ( ) 54-year-old Kathryn Dawsey and her 19 and 22-year-old daughters were set to appear in court Monday.

Jackson says Kathryn Dawsey is accused of convincing the 91-year-old victim to grant her power of attorney. Jackson says she made transactions from his account after a court order restricted her from accessing his money.

Court officials say Dawsey is being held without bond in the Marion County jail on charges of theft and exploitation of an elderly adult.

Dawsey’s daughters face similar charges, and their bonds have been set at $50,000. It’s unclear if they have attorneys.

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Bond set for Ga. trio in elderly exploitation case

More than 70 charges filed in investigation of cruelty at Ga. Alzheimer’s facility

July 8, 2013

Almost two dozen former employees of a Georgia center for people with Alzheimer’s disease are facing more than 70 charges in an investigation of cruelty to patients.

Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents say the charges stem from a three-month investigation of Alzheimer’s Care of Commerce, about 65 miles northeast of Atlanta.

Agents used a warrant Tuesday to search for evidence. The investigation uncovered accounts of physical abuse, such as staff members striking patients and throwing water on them.

Authorities say warrants for the arrests of 21 former and present employees were issued. Charges include cruelty to people 65 or older and accusations of abuse, neglect and financial exploitation.
A telephone message left at the center Tuesday morning was not immediately returned.

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More than 70 charges filed in investigation of cruelty at Ga. Alzheimer’s facility

Georgia Banker Accused of Financial Exploitation

May 31, 2013

Police say Wells Fargo personal banker is accused of stealing about $10,600 from an elderly customer’s account.

Atlanta police spokeswoman Kim Jones says Daniel Araujo befriended a 90-year-old bank customer and asked her to sign what she thought was a transfer slip from her checking to savings account.

Jones says the form was actually a withdrawal slip.

The bank says it’s cooperating with police and the customer won’t suffer any loss.

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Atlanta Bank Employee Accused Theft, Financial Exploitation of an Elderly Person

GA: Lawyer Discipline Cases Include Suspension, License Surrender

May 25, 2013

In the Supreme Court of Georgia
Decided: May 20, 2013S13Y0399.

This disciplinary matter is before the Court on the petition of Dale E. Calomeni (State Bar No. 105311) for voluntary discipline. In his petition, Calomeni admits violations of Rules 1.2, 1.15 (I), and 5.3 (d) of the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct, see Bar Rule 4-102 (d), and for these violations, he agrees to accept a Review Panel reprimand.1 The State Bar has no objection to the petition, but for the reasons that follow, we reject it. According to the petition, Calomeni was retained to represent a client in the enforcement of a divorce decree. Calomeni successfully pursued garnishment as a remedy for his client, and he collected $17,510.28 for his client through the garnishment process. Calomeni, however, failed to notify his client that he had collected and received these funds, and he failed to put the funds into his trust account, apparently because he believed that the client owed him at least as much in fees. The client later asked Calomeni for a meeting to discuss her bill, but Calomeni declined to meet with her. Eventually, the client filed a petition for arbitration with the State Bar Fee Arbitration Program, and she was awarded a portion of the amount that Calomeni had retained as a fee, which Calomeni now has paid to her in full. Calomeni admits that this conduct amounts to a violation of Rule 1.15 (I).

The petition also shows that Calomeni employed a disbarred lawyer as a paralegal. Calomeni failed to take appropriate measures to prevent this disbarred lawyer from having direct contact and communications with his clients concerning legal matters, and Calomeni permitted the disbarred lawyer to have direct contact with more than one of his clients on numerous occasions. Calomeni admits that this conduct amounts to a violation of Rule 5.3 (d).

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Lawyer Discipline: Cases Include Suspension, License Surrender

Georgia High Court Accepts Voluntary Discipline of Attorney

May 9, 2013

The Georgia Supreme Court has accepted a petition for voluntary discipline for an Albany attorney, officials said Monday.

photoJohnnie Mae Graham, who has represented many high-profile clients including former Downtown Manager Don Buie and Municipal Court Judge Willie Weaver, was named in the action made public by the court Monday.
The court also recommended a review panel reprimand of Graham.
According to court records, Graham admitted that a client hired her to represent him in a civil case against an insurance company and that she miscalculated the statute of limitations regarding her client’s breach-of-contract claim and did not file suit before the claim expired.
Ultimately, Graham didn’t file any pleadings in regards to the case and, at the same time, her client filed for bankruptcy protection from the court, and, when the bankruptcy court attempted to contact Graham in regards to the civil suit, court records show that she wasn’t prompt in responding either general inquiries or a subpoena.

Georgia Governor Signs Elder Abuse Bill

May 7, 2013

Governor Nathan Deal made a stop in Moultrie to sign a bill for elder abuse.
The Elder Abuse Act passed the House with a unanimous vote. During his stop in southwest Georgia to sign the bill, Governor Deal stated this shows how much lawmakers are dedicated to protecting those who can’t protect themselves.

“I think it indicates an acknowledgement on the part of the general assembly that they probably have heard of examples of elder abuse in their particular parts of the state and they came together and said this is something that really does need to be done,” said Governor Nathan Deal, (R)-Georgia.

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Governor Nathan Deal Signs Elder Abuse Bill

Family Protests Placing Elderly Woman in Assisted Living

April 3, 2013

“Justice! We want justice! Free our grandmother! We want to take care of her!”

About 16 protesters outside the Whitfield County Courthouse Monday afternoon shouted and held signs to call attention to what they said was an unfair decision that resulted in an elderly family member being moved against her will into an assisted living facility.

Pam Akins said her mother-in-law, who is an Alzheimer’s patient, and the mother-in-law’s husband had lived with her and her husband, Marty, since October in their Dalton home. The Akins said caregivers sat with the older couple during the day when family members weren’t at home to watch them. Then other family members decided the woman would be better off in a nursing home, Akins said.

According to Akins, Probate Judge Sheri Blevins granted rights to those family members who have since placed the woman in professional care. That decision is under appeal.

Robert McCurry, an attorney for those family members, Greg and Rhonda Epperson, said guardianship and the best interest of the woman — not necessarily where she would live — was considered when Blevins rendered a decision March 1 after several hours of testimony. “The court heard from numerous witnesses, including a licensed neurologist (who) determined it was in (the woman’s) best interest that my client be named the guardian,” McCurry said.

Blevins declined comment because of state laws that prohibit the release of information about guardianship cases. “On pending cases, and unfortunately in this particular case, those records are sealed, and I’m not allowed to give any information at all,” Blevins said. “Hopefully an order will be coming out soon.”

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Family Protests Placing Elderly Woman in Assisted Living

Georgia legislators focusing more on elder abuse

March 4, 2013

ATLANTA | When 300 retirees from across the state made the early morning bus rides to the Capitol to talk to legislators last week, Bruce Fletcher was among the 35 coming from Augusta.

As a member of the local Alzheimer’s Association board, he wanted to fight the hallway crowds to meet face to face with local lawmakers like Rep. Barbara Sims, R-Augusta, to ask for their support of senior-citizens’ issues this legislative session. They were recognizable by their purple T-shirts and stickers saying “4 Seniors.”

“We think it’s important to be here and let them see us,” Fletcher said.

From all observers, the reception at the Capitol is warm now compared to the recent past, partly due to the graying of the Baby Boom, improved longevity and the rise of women in leadership.

“When I was first in the House years ago, laws were more strict for animal abuse than for elder abuse,” said Sen. Renee Unterman, R-Buford. “I used to say ‘In Georgia it’s okay to kick your granny but not your dog.’ ”


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Georgia legislators focusing more on elder abuse

Woman gets 30 years for exploiting elderly, disabled adults

February 28, 2013

A DeKalb County woman was sentenced to 30 years — 20 behind bars — for exploiting elderly and disabled adults in her care.

Bobbie Ward, 50, was also ordered to pay $14,229 in restitution to one of the victims, according to the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office. Ward, a former Cedar Grove Middle School secretary, was convicted last month on 21 charges stemming from her treatment of six adults in her care over a five-year period.

The charges included neglect of disabled and elderly adults, exploitation of disabled and elderly adults, false imprisonment of an elder person, forgery in the first degree and 13 separate counts of identity fraud.

“This sentence sends a resounding message that elder and disabled adult exploitation will not be tolerated in DeKalb County,” District Attorney Robert James said in emailed statement. “She relentlessly preyed on vulnerable adults and exploited them for her own personal financial gain.”

Prosecutors contend that Ward took disabled and elderly adults into her home and then housed them in unsafe and unsanitary conditions, while proving inadequate food and medication. She then used their identities to make a profit for herself.

One elderly victim who had been locked in his room escaped from her house through a window, breaking his foot, James said. Ward took money from the victims’ bank accounts and forged their names on government checks without their permission, according to evidence presented in court.

Ward was first indicted on the charges in 2011, then re-indicted last year when more victims were discovered. She was arrested March 8, 2012, on her birthday, for failing to show up for a court appearance and has remained jailed since then, records show.

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Woman gets 30 years for exploiting elderly, disabled adults

GA Woman Convicted of Elder Abuse

January 29, 2013

Former Cedar Grove Middle School secretary Bobbie Neil Ward is facing decades in prison after a DeKalb jury found her guilty of 21 of 25 counts of wide-ranging crimes against disabled and elderly victims on Jan. 16.

Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 25.

Ward was on trial on a 25-count indictment of abuse and exploitation of disabled adults, identity fraud, forgery, false imprisonment, and neglect and exploitation of an elderly person.

A grand jury said she committed the crimes between August 2006 and November 2011 when she claimed to own a home health care service but instead fraudulently used bank accounts, pensions and Social Security numbers of her clients.

During her trial, which began on Jan. 7, DeKalb Superior Court Judge Tangela Barrie severed two of the counts – one count for aggravated assault and one count for disabled adult abuse – from the indictment.

Ward will face those charges at a later date.

DeKalb District Attorney Robert James applauded the guilty verdict and said justice was served.

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Woman Convicted of Elder Abuse