Archive for the ‘scheme’ Category

Political Groups Bilking Elderly for Donations Through Mailers

May 4, 2013
Mabel, 95, has developed significant memory and cognitive issues. Because of her age and health problems, her niece and nephew believes some charities are taking advantage of her by asking for money.

“I find it despicable. I find it unethical,” said Mabel’s niece, Charlene Cogan.

They are concerned about an endless deluge of mail donation solicitations. Dozens arrived in the last two weeks, the majority of which were on issues important to the elderly.

“Social Security reform, or medical care, those are the things,” said Mabel’s nephew Gralen Britto.
“It was so obvious, the more she paid, the more letters they would send,” said Charlene. For Mabel, it started out small. Her niece said it was small checks at first for 5, 10, 15, 20 dollars. And it quickly got out of hand.

“I looked at her checkbook and that month she had spent about $1000 in contributions,” said Charlene.

Our investigation shows the often highly hyped and verbally supercharged solicitations are rarely tax deductible because they are for political advocacy.

“The language is such that it becomes scarier. It becomes more, ‘if you don’t do this, the outcome is going to be tragic to you,'” said Gralen.

In sorting the bags of Mabel’s mail, we counted sixty-six solicitations from a single group. It operates under a half-dozen project names.

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Political Groups Bilking Elderly for Donations Through Mailers

Lawyer strikes plea deal in bilking of widow

March 15, 2013

Cherry Hill lawyer Michael Kwasnik, under federal investigation in an alleged $8.5 million Ponzi scheme, has pleaded guilty to state money-laundering charges in the theft of $1.1 million from a 96-year-old widow.

The New Jersey Attorney General’s Office said that under the plea agreement, signed quietly in late January, Kwasnik will repay the estate of the Cherry Hill woman, who died sometime after he was indicted on Nov. 7, 2011.

Kwasnik remains the focus of a federal criminal probe into the scheme that authorities say was used to bilk dozens of elderly victims.

“The plea agreement does not in any way affect any potential criminal charges that would be filed in connection with the Ponzi scheme,” said Peter Aseltine, a spokesman for Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa.

Kwasnik is scheduled for sentencing May 10 before Superior Court Judge Irvin J. Snyder. He will serve no time beyond the five months he spent in the Camden County Jail after his arrest. He agreed to repay the estate by the end of his up-to-five-year probationary period, the Attorney General’s Office said.

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Lawyer strikes plea deal in bilking of widow