I am most saddened by how the IARDC has treated you and the ISC has sanctioned such treatment: when I saw my Mother on the 22nd of June, 2013, I told her you too were trying to help her. As you know, she contacted me I believe in Feb. 2010 and begged me to “find” you and “hire” you to “save” her life. The conversation is stoned in my memory: if you need money to pay (attorney), my Mother told me, take it from my mattress. The next day the mattress was gone and so was the at least $20,000 cash (mostly $100 bills). You are correct that there is a pack of attorneys who parade around on the 18th floor empowered by a few judges who do what needs to be done to protect them. For at least 4 years I have learned a lot about this Cottage Industry of Attorneys, complete with Guardians Ad Litem, who use the Probate Division to launder money. It’s easier than you have described.
As you know every year the court appointed guardian must provide the court with an inventory of the Ward’s assets. In the Sykes case, Carolyn Toerpe would claim, for example, she paid the property taxes, insurance and mortgage on Mother’s home. I would object and provide the Court good evidence that the taxes, insurance and mortgage was not paid (in this case, mother’s home was put into foreclosure). The amount of money equaled at least $18,000. Judge Stuart role plays so the record gives the impression she gives a damn, but after putting Toerpe under oath and asking a series of question to her, she would then allow GAL Stern to ask questions too. Satisfied that Toerpe paid the mortgage, property taxes and insurance on the home, approves the inventory: no proof of payments are required.
Another example is medical expenses. My mother has very good insurance with Blue Cross Blue Shield and of course Medicare. However, one year Toerpe inventories medical and medication expenses totaling at leas $10,000. I objected, providing the court proof that mother has insurance coverage for all of the medical, dental, and pharmaceutical expenses. Again, the show goes on: Judge Stuart places Toerpe under oath asks a few questions then Adam Stern (GAL) asks a few questions, and the inventory is approved. Two years ago Toerpe got approved $5000 to pay for dental and new partials for my mother and yet when I saw her on June 22, 2013, her teeth were rotting and she had no front teeth and could not chew. The loss of weight and rotting teeth evidence no new partials were purchased and the money Toerpe claimed when for my mother’s dental care, was not spent on mother’s health. Mother has had pyorrhea for most of her life and she had great dental care and healthy teeth until she was forced under Toerpe’s care.
This is how the money is laundered under the nose of the Judges and with the Court’s rubber stamp. One last fact. My mother’s home was worth at least $425,000: Toerpe sold it for cash for $238,000. Not one penny was inventoried. The home and mother’s assets were a part of a Living Revocable Trust —
Stern, Farenga and Schmiedel admitted under oath that they were paid attorney fees from mother’s assets: Stern $15,000: Farenga $15,000 and Schmiedel $12,000 with Schmiedel testifying that mother owes him and the law-firm of Fischel and Kahn where he is associated yet another over $200,000 (the exact amount he stole from my medical funds/bankruptcy estate from the Lumberman’s settlement). The law of the Probate is that the attorneys and GAL’s must file fee petitions within 90 days — there has never been any fee petitions filed — until now. Since the Court converted all of my assets to my bankruptcy estate into the possession of Toerpe and granted Stern, Farenga and Schmiedel to file fee petitions *****
So for the sake of this email, let’s do the math. In plain sight, at least $500,000 cash has been laundered through the Probate case of In Re. the Estate of Mary G. Sykes. Half of it is my money! Mother had gold and silver coins in the US Bank safe box, but I had at least $350,000 of my own coins stored in the safe box. Mother had her will and new trust in the box with a laundry list of who got what? Toerpe did not inherit any of the coins from Daddy or All Bibby — Al Bibby gave me all of his coins. Daddy left his to Mother and me and Mom left me as the sole beneficiary to the valuables in the box.
But the Probate Court is able to live above the Law and so the Cottage Industry of Probate attorneys and guardian ad litem’s are empowered to launder the estates of the elderly, disabled and all people, such as myself, who dare to stand up and say, “No. You can’t do this”.
I don’t mean to sound so cavalier, Ken, but the end game is always the same in these situations, and I need to stay focused on my next move(s): the end game being that once Stern, Schmiedel, Farenga, and Toerpe have all of Mother’s money (which they already do) and all of my money and assets, which they almost do, then they will either over medicate or suffocate my mother. Although my mother has her last resting place paid for at All Saints Cemetary in Morton Grove, I am certain Toerpe will cremate her, sell mother’s site (will get at least $15000) and bury mother’s ashes next to her mother (grandma) where there is a lot available. This was of course not my mother’s wishes, but thus far, none of my mother’s advance directives have been acknowledged — and clearly it was my mother’s wish, desire, and intent to have an order of protection placed on Toerpe which would have prevented Toerpe from doing all that she had done.
I imagine Ken that had Schmiedel, Stern, and Farenga won the sanction claim against you (the appeal) they would have been each many thousands of dollars happier — and, would have done to you to other attorneys who tried to step in and help the elderly and disabled. That said, now the IARDC and the ISC has sent a clear and loud message to any attorney who would do the right thing, to not accept a probate case where the alleged disabled person has wealth. It was a sad day for me, and I know my mother, to learn that you have been suspended from practicing law — but it’s a sadder day for all of the people of Illinois knowing that we have no protections from a highly active and aggressive cottage industry of attorneys who are empowered by the IARDC, ISC and of course the Probate Judges who wish to partake in the laundering of the well-earned assets/money of the elderly and disabled.
Gloria Jean Sykes
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