Archive for the ‘Veteran Affairs’ Category
A WWII Veteran known for his integrity and love of family, he worked hard his entire life to give them the best upbringing and memories he possibly could. He taught his young ones to always be honest and to keep their word without hesitation. To him, that was ultimately important and his example served well.
Little did he know, as he raised his children in honor and honesty, that one day he would be the victim of a breach of trust by one, who should have been his champion, during a devastating medical crisis. He trusted and he was betrayed. Never again shall his life be as once promised.
Deceit won the battle that day, but the truth was not conquered.
Truth fights on and strives to win the war against those who deny care for profit and because they can.
Truth and knowledge will bring the deceit and trickery into the light and hopefully prevent others from being denied proper care at critical moments. People deserve better than that. People should be able to trust the caregivers and providers. People deserve the chance to recover and live on in dignity and with purpose to whatever degree is theirs to behold. People should and it is time eyes are opened and the truth be seen by a population unaware. It’s time people rather than profits trump and honesty prevail.
A Breach of Trust is never acceptable and it shan’t be silently tolerated!
Be intolerant — add your voice in objection to deceit and trickery that wrongfully denies coverage!
Joining us will be Ginny Johnson, whose father, a WW2 veteran became the victim of a predatory guardian. Ginny continues to fight for justice for her father who survived WW2 as a prisoner of war….then died a prisoner of an abusive guardianship.
Captain Hugh Johnson:
Led the 303rd Bomber Group on 26 missions against Nazi forces
“Hell’s Angels” earned the Distinguished Unit Citation
Dad’s B-17 was shot down in 1945 – MIA and German POW
Dad died on June 15, 2012.
One year after Theriault was appointed guardian
Expected burial as an honored combat veteran
Theriault ordered body cremated immediately
Prevented autopsy requested by Ginny
Theriault charged Hugh’s estate $95/hr.
Court did not impose any limits on charges.
Theriault sold $2M family home for $700K.
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Humana Inc., one of the nation’s largest managed-care companies, was accused in a Federal lawsuit yesterday of misleading health plan members by failing to disclose financial incentives to doctors and case reviewers intended to keep down costs by limiting or denying care.
The suit, filed on behalf of workers in Florida and Texas, asked a United States District Court in Miami to certify a class action on behalf of more than six million customers of Humana health plans nationwide. The suit seeks triple damages under the Federal anti-racketeering law. No amounts were specified.
The plaintiffs say they did not get the health coverage that they thought they were selecting because the company did not disclose incentives to doctors to deny care.
Joseph Sellers, a Washington lawyer who represents the plaintiffs in Miami, said the suit did not question whether managed care was a good idea or whether cost should be a factor. Instead, the suit contends that there was a ”breach of trust” because plan members thought that medical guidelines would solely determine their treatment.
A woman responsible for managing funds for wards of the state has been indicted for allegedly embezzling $52,000 in public funds, federal prosecutors said.
Heidi Lacerte was indicted on a single count of embezzlement for allegedly taking money from the Office of Public Guardian between February and October 2010, according to prosecutors.
The stolen money was Social Security and Department of Veterans Affairs benefits meant to cover “current medical and fiscal needs” of beneficiaries who were under the public guardian’s care, according to the indictment.
The Office of Public Guardian is a nonprofit group established in 1979 to provide advocacy and guardianship for people whose family is unable to serve as a guardian. Part of Lacerte’s job as an estate manager required her to manage the finances of individuals who received services from the Office of Public Guardian, prosecutors said. The indictment was filed in U.S. District Court alongside a plea agreement struck with federal prosecutors.
Federal prosecutors said that the funds were kept in an account held by the OPG, so it could be tapped as needed. But around Feb. 23, 2010, Lacerte began pilfering money from the fund by “having checks written to herself drawn against beneficiaries’ funds,” according to an indictment. Prosecutors say she also purchased gift cards and took cash intended for beneficiary accounts for her own use.
Court documents do not say how Lacerte’s alleged theft was discovered. Terms of the plea deal do not reveal what prosecutors may recommend for a sentence, but Lacerte faces up to 10 years in federal prison and up to a $250,000 fine.
The indictment and plea agreement was made public Nov. 8 in U.S. District Court. Lacerte is expected to enter her guilty plea on Nov. 30 before U.S. Judge Steven McAuliffe in federal court.
Full Article and Source:
Public Guardian Worker Charged With Embezzling
Our current Veterans and heroes of past wars often fall victim to unlawful and abusive guardianship / conservatorship, either as a result of disability or advanced age. The numbers continue to grow.
The pirates target our young disabled Veterans – lured by their veteran’s benefits, disability pensions, and now even their Social Security benefits. Our aging Veterans are even more tempting – perhaps they have well-managed, nice sized estates to go with their pensions.
Denied the very rights and liberties they fought for; confined in nursing homes; left to languish; receiving perhaps just a pittance for their personal use from their guardians – after years of service and sacrifice to our country, is this what our Veterans have to look forward to?
Supporting the troops and our fallen heroes should mean supporting them not only when we need them – but also when they need us. And they need us fighting for them when they become vulnerable.
Source: NASGA: Veterans in Peril
The majority of those cases were mild; but, even mild traumatic brain injuries can be highly disruptive to daily life. Unlike severe brain injuries, mild TBI can be harder to detect. Sometimes a mild TBI is not recognized for weeks or even months after an accident. Recent publicity has focused attention on studies demonstrating that TBI is often not recognized in athletes until long after the injury occurs. For example, we now understand that even with specially designed helmets, NFL players may manifest severe disability years after their careers are over.
With nearly a quarter of a million service members suffering a TBI over the last decade, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has been funneling money into brain injury research. With a better understanding of traumatic brain injury, TBI sufferers stand to benefit from a broader range of treatment alternatives.
All of this groundbreaking research could help TBI sufferers lead more normal, healthy lives. But one thing it won’t do is reduce the significant costs associated with treating TBI or eliminate the significant impact TBI has on issues involving quality and enjoyment of life.
Join us this evening as Linda Kincaid, Elder Advocate, and Dr. Robert Fettgather, discuss the use of psychotropic drugs in massive doses used to render elderly and disabled adults, chemically restrained. Many times these drugs are used simply to render the victim incompetent and unable to function.
Also joining us will be Ginny Johnson, whose father, a WW2 veteran became the victim of a predatory guardian.
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The court-appointed guardian of a now-deceased Vietnam veteran has been found in contempt of court and threatened with an indefinite jail term while a specially appointed master tries to unravel what became of thousands of dollars of the veteran’s assets.
In a case that a participant says is one of a kind, the former guardian, George Phillips, has been ordered to repay the estate of his uncle, Harold C. Hill, for thousands of dollars in rent payments while Hill was a permanent resident at the Alvin C. York Veterans Medical Center in Murfreesboro.
Phillips was, in effect, paying himself since he was Hill’s landlord.
Dozens of payments from Hill’s bank account have been challenged dating to 2005, when he was first placed in a guardianship.
“The disbursements made for utilities were almost 10 times the amount of the actual utility bill for the apartment the ward (Hill) resided in,” one court filing states.
“I’ve been doing this for a while, and this is a first. It seems that every time we look, something else turns up,” said Michael Knowlton, the attorney representing Regions Bank, which took over the guardianship after Davidson Probate Judge David Randy Kennedy removed Phillips early this year. Regions Bank had previously become involved at the request of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Full Article and Source:
Veteran’s guardian found in contempt
About 200 organizations are marketing financial and estate planning services to help pension claimants with excess assets qualify for the VA’s Aid and Attendance and other pension benefits, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) concludes after a year-long investigation.
Citing abuses among these firms, the agency recommends that Congress consider establishing a look-back and penalty period for pension claimants who transfer assets for less than fair market value prior to applying for pension benefits, similar to Medicaid. The GAO says the VA agrees that look-back and penalty periods for asset transfers are needed, and the New York Times reports that a bipartisan group of senators plans to introduce legislation giving the VA look-back authority. The Times also notes that a senior official at the VA says the department is drafting new regulations that would clarify the types of asset transfers that might disqualify a pension applicant.
The GAO unveiled its findings in testimony at a June 6, 2012, Senate hearing, where lawmakers also heard from a VA official, veterans advocates and a woman whose father was victimized by one of the unscrupulous “pension poachers,” as Senate aging committee chair Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI) dubbed them.
“While these organizations may be legally entitled to operate,” said witness Lori Perkio of the American Legion, “it is unclear as to whether or not they are truly serving the best interests of the veterans and their families.” In Florida, for example, Perkio claimed that “American Legion service officers have run across a growing number of lawyers specializing in elder law who contact veterans directly through assisted living facilities (ALFs) with promises of how to divert income and assets to qualify for VA pension. Many of these attorneys do not provide follow up assistance with the ultimate pension claims process.”
Full Article and Source:
GAO Calls for Asset Transfer Rules for VA Pension Applicants, Legislation Planned