Archive for the ‘Perjury’ Category

Nashville lawyer admits to stealing $1.3 million, gets 18 years in prison

November 16, 2013

A well-known Nashville probate attorney was sentenced Friday to 18 years in prison after admitting to stealing $1.3 million from three clients, including the late father of a severely disabled woman.

Dressed in an orange prison jumpsuit, John E. Clemmons, 66, entered his guilty plea to three counts of theft, perjury and TennCare fraud in a barely audible voice. Under the plea agreement he could be eligible for parole after serving about five years and four months. Absent the plea deal, Clemmons could have faced jail terms of up to 30 years on the theft counts alone.

Clemmons, who already had pleaded guilty to stealing more than $60,000 from a fourth ward in Rutherford County, could face more charges as an investigation into dozens of other cases continues. His license to practice law was suspended indefinitely last spring when details of the Rutherford case began to emerge.

In all four cases, Clemmons had been appointed as a conservator of wards whom the courts had concluded were unable to look after their own affairs.

Assistant District Attorney General James W. Milam told Judge Steve Dozier that Clemmons has agreed to cooperate and “is cooperating” in that ongoing probe. Milam declined to discuss the details of the investigation

Under the agreement the victims, whose losses range from $172,506 to $771,009, will first collect restitution from bonds posted by Clemmons in the three cases and then from a state fund established to reimburse victims of attorney misconduct. The amount due after that, Milam said, will be Clemmons responsibility.

Milam said Clemmons filed false reports with the Davidson Probate Court and instead of the expenses he reported spending, wrote checks to himself. He also filed a false application for TennCare coverage for one of his clients.

Flanked by his attorneys, Paul Housch and Bob Lynch, Clemmons told Dozier the plea deal had been explained to him and that he had agreed to it.

Clemmons had turned himself in last week in anticipation of the plea deal. He will remain in custody and be turned over to the Tennessee Department of Corrections.

Action on the case came as some of the victims registered last minute pleas to Dozier urging him to reject the plea deal and order the Clemmons to make full restitution.

Ronnie Dismang, whose severely disabled cousin was one of the victims, wrote that she has been trying for months to learn how Clemmons was able to steal so much without detection by the courts or attorneys involved in the case.

Dismang wrote that whenever she asked how Clemmons could have gotten away with the thefts “I would get legal runaround.”

“John E. Clemmons does not deserve a plea deal for committing fraud against his conservator victims,” she wrote. “He should be required and ordered by the court to make full restitution to the victims’ families.”

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Nashville lawyer admits to stealing $1.3 million, gets 18 years in prison

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Ex-councilwoman in Hagerstown indicted on theft, perjury charges

September 14, 2013

HAGERSTOWN, Maryland — A Washington County grand jury has indicted a formerly Hagerstown city councilwoman on theft and perjury charges for money allegedly taken from an estate.

The indictment against Kelly S. Cromer was filed in court on Tuesday. It alleges that Cromer, an attorney, stole thousands of dollars from the estate of a woman who died in 2011 and from two of her grandchildren.

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Ex-councilwoman in Hagerstown indicted on theft, perjury charges

Ex-judge avoids jail for fleecing woman

August 6, 2013

A former Alameda County Superior Court judge charged with swindling a 97-year-old neighbor out of her life savings pleaded no contest Thursday to elder abuse and perjury and will not face jail time.

Paul Seeman, who was originally charged with dozens of felony counts, is expected to be sentenced to five years of probation Oct. 22 as part of a plea deal with prosecutors. He will be ordered not to live with or act as a caregiver for an elder or dependent adult other than family members or act as a fiduciary for anyone, authorities said.

District Attorney Nancy O’Malley said, “Seeman has paid for his breach of trust as a judicial officer, and he has paid for his financial abuse of the elderly victim who has since passed away. He will never serve in a position of trust or authority again, as a result of these convictions. Justice is served through the resolution of this case.”

Seeman, 58, of Berkeley has declined to discuss the case. His attorney, Laurel Headley, declined to comment Thursday.

In the charges filed last year, authorities said Seeman had befriended Anne Nutting, his neighbor across the street on Santa Barbara Road in the Berkeley hills, and obtained powers of attorney for her and her husband, who died in 1999.

He then used those powers to gain control of Nutting’s finances, sold her art works and barred her from her house from 1999 to 2007 while she lived in a hotel at the Berkeley Marina, prosecutors said. She died in 2010, but not before consulting with an attorney who then contacted police.

Seeman was also accused of lying about his financial transactions with Nutting in his sworn statements of economic interests, and with misusing judicial staff.

Seeman acknowledged to police that he had put himself in an “awfully bad situation” while handling Nutting’s financial affairs. He told a Berkeley police detective that it was “clearly a mistake for me to stay as enmeshed with her as I did,” authorities said.

At the same time, Seeman said he didn’t believe he had “done anything unethical or inappropriate,” district attorney’s Inspector Kathy Boyovich wrote in an 87-page search-warrant affidavit filed in Superior Court.

Seeman resigned from the bench in March. As a result of his convictions, he is barred from seeking judicial office and disbarred from practicing law in California.

Full Article and Source:
Ex-judge avoids jail for fleecing woman

See Also:
Judge Paul Seeman, Charged With Elder Abuse, Resigns

Alameda County judge charged in elder abuse case to take leave of absence; affidavit outlines charges

CA: Alameda County Judge Charged With Elder Theft

MN: Maple Grove Councilwoman Accused of Financial Exploitation, Perjury

February 1, 2013

Maple Grove city councilwoman LeAnn Sargent has been charged with perjury and financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult.

According to a search warrant filed in Hennepin County last October, LeAnn Sargent became the center of a family financial mess after her 85-year-old father, Robert Bobleter, died in March 2012. The warrant explains Sargent’s siblings became suspicious when $346 was all that was left in their father’s bank account.
Investigators learned Sargent had been granted power of attorney for her father in 2008. He lived with Sargent and her husband for the last two years of his life while he received hospice care.

Investigators say Sargent also used her power of attorney to maximize her inheritance as her father neared death, taking out a $58,000 mortgage on a cabin that she was to share with her brother under a 2010 amendment to the 2008 trust agreement which previously left the cabin solely to Bobleter’s son.

Just days after that mortgage was funded, Bobleter transferred $38,836.37 to pay an outstanding balance on the mortgage loan for Bobleter’s Maple Grove home, which was to be left as a special gift to Sargent.

Sargent and her husband, Scott, voluntarily filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy a year before her father died. They swore by affidavit their combined gross annual income for 2011 was $88,000, but made no mention Sargent was receiving money from her father, or expected anything from inheritance.

Full Article and Source:
Maple Grove Councilwoman Accused of Financial Exploitation, Perjury

Alameda County judge charged in elder abuse case to take leave of absence; affidavit outlines charges

July 10, 2012

It reads like an outline for a B-grade detective novel: A reclusive elderly couple with no close relatives lives in a house crammed with jewelry, stamp collections, stock certificates and dozens of pieces of art worth, conservatively, $3 million. Throw in a huge model train collection, too. And rats. Don’t forget the rats.

Because it’s the discovery of the rats by city health inspectors that eventually forces the couple to go live in a hotel, leaving their fortunes behind in their Berkeley home, intermingled with mounds of trash. But they assume they are taken care of — their neighbor is a lawyer, soon to become an Alameda County Superior Court judge. The couple places him in charge of their belongings and money, trusting him to manage their estate while they are away.

It is not, however, a novel. According to new details revealed this week in an 87-page affidavit written by a veteran District Attorney inspector, it is how Superior Court Judge Paul Seeman, 57, came to be arrested June 14 and charged with elder theft and perjury. He is free on $525,000 bail after pleading not guilty. The case is scheduled for a court hearing next month; Seeman won a motion at his arraignment to not attend minor legal proceedings

He “does not intend to return to the bench until this matter is resolved,” his lawyer, Laurel Headley, said in a prepared statement issued Thursday. Headley declined to take questions, but the statement said the judge is looking forward to “all the facts in this case coming to light in a fair and complete” trial.

Seeman could also be impeached by the state Assembly, and the State Commission on Judicial Power is mulling suspending him as the criminal charges unfold. If convicted, Seeman, who then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed to the bench in 2009, would immediately be forced from office.

Seeman told police that he was just trying to help the couple, Lee and Anne Nutting. Lee Nutting, a chemist who worked for Hills Brother’s Coffee, died in 1999. Anne Nutting, who headed the Berkeley Public Library’s Art and Music Department, was still struggling with Seeman to regain control of her assets when she died in 2010 at 97, the affidavit states.

Full Article and Source:
Alameda County judge charged in elder abuse case to take leave of absence; affidavit outlines charges

See Also:
CA: Alameda County Judge Charged With Elder Theft