THE TRAGEDY OF GUARDIANSHIP FRAUD
14 IDEAS TO REDUCE ELDER ABUSE AND FRAUD
# 1 Board of Supervisors over guardianship matters to be a combination of personnel from organizations such as Adult Protective Services, County Sheriff, County Prosecutor, and ACLU since the civil rights of a person are being relinquished.
# 2 CASA volunteers who are not connected to any of the law firms that represent guardianship organizations to make a thorough evaluation and investigation of the alleged vulnerable adult that includes interviews with all family members, close friends and family physician.
# 3 Bank financial statements, stock, bonds, treasury notes and real property holdings, and tax records showing the alleged vulnerable adults assets at time of guardianship and quarterly thereafter to be available for an outside audit.
# 4 Liabilities of alleged vulnerable adult to be paid regularly such as utility bills, mortgage payments, taxes, etc. or missed payments to automatically trigger an outside investigation.
# 5 Provable record of on-going daily physical and mental stimulation of alleged vulnerable adult.
# 6 Visitors must be allowed to see and/or talk to the alleged vulnerable adult unless the person personally tells the family member or friend that they do not wish to see them. Refusal of visits by guardians to require a formal investigation if family member or friend states a belief in misconduct that is suspicious to the Board of Supervisors.
# 7 Disputes in guardianship matters mandated to go into mediation and/or arbitration rather than through the courts including any initial attempts to take a person into guardianship through the courts prior to CASA involvement.
#8 Attending physician to remain the one used by the alleged vulnerable adult, or in the absence of a physician, a physician named jointly by guardian and family members.
# 9 Medical personnel are allowed to explain the words used in documents such as psych reports to friends and family of alleged vulnerable adults with being sanctioned.
# 10 All efforts must be made to accommodate the alleged vulnerable adult to stay in their own home with family members or caretakers rather than through guardianship unless there is serious proof through a formal investigation by CASA volunteers that it is in the best interest of the alleged vulnerable adult to be moved.
# 11 All efforts must be made to free the alleged vulnerable adult from guardianship should their condition appear to improve.
# 12 Files on guardianship cases may not be sealed by the courts.
# 13 Blood tests required at the time of death for anyone under the care of others whether on the basis of formal guardianship or other type of care-giver. Actual cause of death to be noted on Certificate of Death.
# 14 Mandatory requirement for attorneys who have knowledge of possible criminal activities carried out by attorneys in alleged vulnerable adult fraud cases to report it to the Office of Prosecutor or Attorney General without fear of ethic charges as in the case of Ditkowsky.
NASGA, National Association to Stop Guardianship Abuse, has adopted a three part theme to succinctly describe the legally sanctioned exploitative guardianship process: Isolate, Medicate, Take the Estate."
This request for stronger legislation to fight elder abuse and fraud is in memory of James Kane, brother-in-law of Michael Larsen. Jim’s life-long friend from their service in Vietnam, Edward O. Mott of Bellevue, Washington, is believed to be a victim of guardianship fraud. Ed sent Jim an email requesting his help in early 2011; Jim’s poor health prevented him from traveling to Washington. With the help of Seattle investigators and from Jim’s conversations with Ed and several of Ed’s other life-long friends, a terrifying tale emerges of greed, betrayal, false imprisonment, isolation and psychotropic drugs used to rob Ed of his inheritance.
Baby Boomers need to have an awareness of what is being called the Number One Crime against elderly adults. We hope this information serves that purpose.