The guardianship system in this country is dysfunctional which allows for predatory practices by so-called “guardians” to victimize their “wards.” For the most part these practices are ignored and covered-up even when documentation is presented to government entities – as if these government entities were/are complicit. (See attachment 1.)
In Massachusetts it has been demonstrated that courts rubber-stamp accountings in guardianship cases, remove documents from files, alter documents; that clerks engage in unauthorized use of professional credentials to alter and manipulate court records, parties, party designations and case filings and records; courts engage in threats and harassment when questioned concerning its dubious conduct. (See attachment 2.)
Help for victims is rare. There are two cases in Massachusetts that come to the fore. See the Kenneth E. Simon case (which reflects similar duplicitous conduct seen in the Eklund case) where Judge Steinberg found that the attorneys “engaged in a joint enterprise,”…..acted “in bad faith and their egregious litigation conduct was designed to make the proceedings as costly as possible….” (See attachment 3.)
Also, refer to the Bartley J. King case where Judge Botsford wrote that the law firm engaged in “unnecessary overlawyering” and overbilling in light of the fact…”[t]hat the theories advanced by the contestants were not ‘overly complex’.” (See attachment 4.)
Recently, in Florida, as reported by the Bleakley Bavol Law Firm, the jury in the Oliver Wilson Bivins, Sr. case found that the guardianship attorneys “had breached both their professional and fiduciary duties [to their] incapacitated ward…[and] engaged in actions that increased their own….fees to the detriment of Mr. Bivins’ guardianship estate.” (See attachment 5.)
In Nevada in March 2017, the Las Vegas Review Journal reported that a professional guardian was indicted on 212 felony charges for victimizing 150 individuals, fraudulent billing, and organizing and directing a “criminal syndicate” to engage in exploiting vulnerable individuals, theft, etc. (See attachment 6.)
In July 2017, another Nevada case was reported in the NY Times: “Calls for Court Reform as Legal Guardians Abuse Older Adults.” In this case, the professional guardian had the ward transfer $200,000 into a joint account to benefit the guardian; the guardian then transferred $195,000 into her own account.
In June 2013, the guardian had notified the ward’s daughter that she could no longer care for the ward, but then refused to allow the daughter access to her father. It was found that the guardian had neglected the ward’s medical needs and was in need of money – i.e., she had thousands of dollars in gambling debt.
The court (July 2014), however, allowed said guardian to retain sole guardianship while an investigation ensued. Three months later she was charged with “felony exploitation of a vulnerable person.” A trial followed in which the guardian was convicted ( April 2015) on the felony exploitation charge and theft pursuant to the transfer of $195,000 to her own account.
This criminal conduct notwithstanding, the ward was retained in the guardian’s home until his death on July 3, 2015. Why? (See attachment 7.)
These cases from state to state have a common thread, a similar playbook – a legalized, court sanctioned theft of liberty, life, and property; follow the money – i.e., vulnerable individuals with any significant assets will be targets for human rights and civil rights abuses – as attorney guardians charge much much more than non-lawyer professional guardians.
For additional delineation of professional guardian and court abuses of vulnerable individuals, see “Why Wings [don’t] fly” (attachment 8), and “How The Elderly Lose Their Rights” (attachment9).