Archive for the ‘Police’ Category

Fmr. Pinole Police Commander Arrested for Financial Elder Abuse

December 2, 2012

A former police commander is in county jail in Oakland. The one-time Pinole cop is accused of the financial abuse of an 82-year-old woman.

Pleasanton police arrested Matthew Messier after a four month investigation. They discovered Messier and his wife took control of the 82-year-old’s home, bank account, cars and safety deposit box — assets amounting to about $750,000.

Matthew Messier, 36, was a commander with the Pinole Police Department when investigators say he used his position of authority to convince the Pleasanton woman to sign over all her assets.

“Property and other assets probably range is estimated about $750,000,” Pleasanton Police Sgt. Kurt Schlehuber said.

Schlehuber was one of the investigators in the case that began in July when a social worker with the county’s adult protective services noticed some problems with the woman’s assets. Schlehuber says Messier’s wife, 30-year-old Elizabeth Regalado, was also involved.

“They gained the trust of the victim including an actual trust of the victim’s estate where they were named as trustees,” Schlehuber said.

The Alameda County districts attorney’s complaint lists 14 counts of financial elder abuse that range from grand theft to practicing law without a license. Regalado is being charged with conspiracy.

Source:
Fmr. Pinole Police Commander Arrested for Financial Elder Abuse

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Woman’s Competency Debated in Estate Battle Involving City Detective

December 1, 2012

Attorneys embroiled in claim that a Portsmouth police detective is exploiting an allegedly incompetent elderly woman in order to inherit her significant estate faced off Thursday in Superior Court.

Squaring off in Rockingham Superior Court before Judge Peter Hurd were Portsmouth attorney James Ritzo and Hampton attorney Gary Holmes. Both lawyers met in Probate Court, where each argued their side of the accusations involving the local woman and her relationship to local detective Aaron Goodwin. The woman, who will be 94 in December and whose competency is being disputed, has an estate that includes an $805,000 waterfront home, according to Portsmouth assessing records.
 
Goodwin, who denies any wrongdoing, is named as a beneficiary of her new trust, which was filed in June with the county probate court.
 
During the roughly 40-minute proceedings, Ritzo argued Goodwin provided companionship to the elderly woman so he’d “inherit the entire estate.”
 
Ritzo told the court the woman was his client the past 25 years and during the last 10 years has suffered “increasingly” from dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and failing eyesight. He told the court he drafted several wills for the woman, most recently in 2009, and that they remained fairly consistent over the years.
 
That changed, according to Ritzo, shortly after Goodwin met the woman in November 2010, when she called police about a prowler. “She called me up two weeks after that and said ‘I want to change my will because I’m in love with Mr. Goodwin and I want to leave my entire estate to him,'” Ritzo said.

Full Article and Source:
Woman’s Competency Debated in Estate Battle Involving City Detective

 

Lawyer: Cop is Exploiting Elderly Woman

November 7, 2012

A Superior Court judge is scheduled to preside over a hearing Thursday regarding allegations that a Portsmouth police detective is exploiting an incompetent elderly woman to inherit her significant estate.

The detective, Aaron Goodwin, 33, denies any wrongdoing. Meanwhile, the New Hampshire attorney general’s office and Bureau of Elderly Affairs have stated there’s no evidence of a crime, while Portsmouth police brass say the accusations largely pertain to off-duty activity.

The woman, who will be 94 in December and whose competency is being disputed, has an estate that includes an $805,000 waterfront home with boat docks and an in-ground swimming pool, according to Portsmouth assessing records. When recently asked if Goodwin is named as a beneficiary of her new trust, which was filed in June with the county probate court, the woman told Seacoast Media Group, “You bet he is.”

“It’s my money and my house and I’ll do as I please,” she said.

Making accusations in a Rockingham County Superior Court probate motion that Goodwin provided companionship to the woman so he’d “inherit the entire estate” is attorney James Ritzo. The Portsmouth lawyer filed a motion with the court stating the elderly woman was his client for the past 25 years and during the last 10 years, he alleges, she has suffered “increasingly” from dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and failing eyesight.

In his motion, Ritzo wrote that he drafted several wills for the woman, most recently in 2009, and that they remained fairly consistent over the years. Instead of billing the elderly client regularly during those 25 years, Ritzo wrote, he had an agreement stating he’d be paid a percentage of her estate “for past services.”

That changed, Ritzo claims in his motion, shortly after the detective met the elderly woman in November 2010, when she called police about a prowler. Two weeks later, Ritzo wrote in court documents, the woman asked him to change her will so she could “leave her entire estate to detective Aaron Goodwin.”

Full Article and Source:
Lawyer: Cop is Exploiting Elderly Woman