From FB–A Revolution in Psychiatry-no more psychotropic drugs! Goodbye to this nonsense, says Norway.

https://www.madinamerica.com/2017/03/the-door-to-a-revolution-in-psychiatry-cracks-open/

Åsgård psychiatric hospital in Tromsø, Norway is a rather tired-looking facility, its squat buildings mindful of institutional architecture from the Cold War era, and in terms of its geographic location, it could hardly be located further from the centers of western psychiatry. Tromsø lies 215 miles north of the Arctic Circle, with tourists coming during the winter months to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights. Yet it is in this remote outpost, on a hospital floor that had been closed but was recently refurbished, that one can find a startling sign on the door to the ward: medikamentfritt behandlingstilbud.

The translation to English: medication free treatment. And this is an initiative that the Norwegian Ministry of Health ordered its four regional health authorities to create.

Magnus Hald, at the entry to the medicine-free ward in Tromsø

The title—medication free treatment—does not precisely capture the nature of the care provided here. This is a ward for psychiatric patients who do not want to take psychiatric medications, or who want help tapering from such drugs. The governing principle on this ward, which has six beds, is that patients should have the right to choose their treatment, and that care should be organized around that choice.

“It is a new way of thinking,” said Merete Astrup, director of the medication-free unit. “Before, when people wanted help, it was always on the basis of what the hospitals wanted, and not on what the patients wanted. We were used to saying to patients, ‘this is what is best for you.’ But we are now saying to them, ‘what do you really want?’ And they can say, ‘I am free; I can decide.’”

This ward, while located far from the centers of power in western psychiatry, can be seen as a “beachhead” for dramatic change, said Magnus Hald, chief of psychiatric services at the University Hospital of North Norway. “We have to consider the patient’s perspective as equally valuable as the doctor’s perspective. If patients say this is what they want, that is good enough for me. It’s about helping people move forward in their lives in the best possible way, and we should help people move forward with the use of drugs if that is what they want, and if they want to sing a drug-free song, we should be backing them. We should be making that happen.”

As might be expected, this initiative, which has been long in the making, is roiling Norwegian psychiatry. It is a story of many dimensions: successful political organizing by user groups; pushback from academic psychiatrists; debates about the merits of psychiatric drugs; and an effort—most notably in Tromsø, but in other regions of the country too—to rethink psychiatric care.

“The debate is a lot like what you see when there is a paradigm shift threatening to happen,” Hald said.

The User Voice Is Heard

The Ministry of Health’s mandate for medicine-free treatment resulted from years of lobbying by five user organizations, which came together in 2011 to form Fellesaksjonen for Medisinfrie Behandlingsforlop (Joint Action for Drug-Free Treatment in psychiatry). What is particularly remarkable about this mandate is that it required the health ministry to override the objections of a medical profession and listen instead to a group of people that usually have little political standing in society.

When I asked the leaders of the user groups about this, they spoke—with some pride—of a political culture in Norway that strives to be inclusive of all groups. This practice has been evolving for decades, and several referred to a change in abortion law as a bellwether moment in this transformation of their society.

Prior to 1978, a woman seeking an abortion had to apply to a commission of two physicians for permission to end her pregnancy, with the application made by her physician. If married, the woman’s husband had to consent. However, with a strong feminist movement pushing for change, that year Norway passed an Abortion on Demand law, which gave the woman the right to make this choice.

That same year, Norway passed a Gender Equality Act, which stated that women and men should be given equal opportunities in education, employment, and cultural and professional advancement. Today, gender equality laws require that each gender represent at least 40% of the members of official committees, the boards of public companies, and local governmental bodies. In a similar vein, labor unions remained strong in Norway, and today businesses are expected to hold yearly meetings with their employees to discuss their operations and how they might be improved.

All of this tells of a country that was intent on creating a society where the voices of all its citizens could be heard, and this ethic spilled over into health care. It became customary for hospitals and other health care providers to set up “user councils,” with the understanding that “users should have a voice and should be listened to,” said Håkon Rian Ueland, leader of We Shall Overcome, a psychiatric survivor group. “And this isn’t only in psychiatric care. Users and the relatives of users in all areas of medicine should be listened to.”

While this provided fertile soil for the rise of user groups in psychiatry that would have access to politicians and the health ministry, their potential political power was mitigated by the fact that the various groups had different philosophies about psychiatry and the merits of its treatments. On the one hand, there was We Shall Overcome. Founded in 1968, it is best described as a psychiatric survivor group, intent on fighting—as its name indicates—for the civil rights of “ex-patients.” On the other hand, there are more moderate groups like Mental Helse, which, with its 7,500 members, is the largest mental health organization in Norway. For the longest time, these differences made it difficult for the user groups to successfully lobby the government for change.

“We don’t agree on anything,” said Anne Grethe Terjesen, leader of LPP, a national association for families and “carers” in mental health. “So the government says, ‘you want this, but there are others that want that.’ This allowed them to ignore us.”

However, during the past 15 years, all of the user groups watched with dismay as one particular aspect of modern psychiatry—an increase in forced treatment—took hold in Norway. At least one study found that Norway has the highest rate of forced treatment of any country in Europe, and such compulsory orders regularly follow discharged patients into the community, which user groups see as both shameful and horribly oppressive. Today, outpatient teams come to a person’s home to ensure compliance with an order to take medication, which can be for “life,” the leaders of the user groups said.

“That’s the problem,” Terjesen said. “Once they have documented that you have to use the medication, it is very, very difficult to come off that order. If you say you don’t want it, you can complain to a commission, but most lose there.”

Added Per Overrein, a leader with a user group called Aurora: “I have never heard of a patient winning” at a hearing.

In 2009, Grete Johnsen, a long-time mental health activist, joined with other activists to write a manifesto for change titled Cooperation for Freedom, Safety and Hope. “We wanted to create an alternative to psychiatry,” she said. “We wanted to create something of our own. Our goal was to create a place, or a center, with freedom and without forced treatment, and without medication being the center of care.”

In fairly short order, five diverse organizations joined together to lobby for such change. Much like Mental Helse, LPP is a more moderate organization. Aurora, We Shall Overcome, and White Eagle all come more from the psychiatric-survivor end of the spectrum.

“The groups are very different, and so it took quite a bit of discussion about how to say things, and how to come across to different levels of government, and how to pick the best person to come across with a united, unified message,” Ueland said.

Although the groups were focused on ending forced drug treatment, they didn’t think that they could achieve that goal, and so they focused on getting the government to support “medication free” treatment for those who didn’t want to take the drugs. This was not such a radical request, as it fit with the principle that hospitals and other health care providers should listen to “user” groups and develop care responsive to their wishes. Starting in 2011, the health minister began publishing a “letter” each year telling the country’s four regional health authorities to set up at least a few beds that could provide such care. Yet, year after year, the minister’s letters were regularly ignored by the four authorities, Terjesen said.

“They wouldn’t listen. The hospitals weren’t doing anything. Nothing happened. We were very frustrated. No one in Norway cared.”

And then, she said, “something happened.”

The “something” was a cascade of negative news about the state of psychiatry in Norway. There were stories about “illegal things happening in psychiatric wards,” and how “belts were being used so much more often,” Ueland said. A study reported that forced treatment was 20 times more common in Norway than in Germany. And outcomes for psychiatric patients weren’t particularly good, either.

The leaders of the Fellesaksjonen for Medisinfrie Behandlingsforlop

“We were lucky,” Terjesen said. “Treatment was not good. If treatment had been very good, it would have been more difficult. But everything coming from the government now was that we do not have good results, people are dying early, we are using much money, the users are not satisfied, the whole package is not good. The minister says we cannot have this.”

On November 25, 2015, the Norwegian Health Minister, Bent Høie, issued a directive, which effectively transformed the “recommendation” contained in previous letters into an “order.” The country’s four regional health authorities, in “dialogue with user organizations,” needed to create a plan for “treatment measures without drugs.”

“Many patients in mental health care do not want treatment with medications,” he wrote. “We must listen to them and take this seriously. No one will be forced to take medication as long as there are other ways to provide the necessary care and treatment. I think the creation of drug-free treatment is too slow, and have therefore asked all the regional health authorities to have established this offer (of drug-free treatment) by 1 June 2016.” In addition, he said, the authorities should offer “a planned reduction of drug therapy for those patients who want it.”

The health ministry had put its stake in the ground. This initiative fit in with a larger goal that Høie had set in one of his earlier letters. “We will design a health care system that puts the patient at the center . . . it involves giving them rights . . . Patients’ rights are to be strengthened.”

The Resistance from Psychiatry

The leaders of Fellesaksjonen speak today about how this was a “brave” thing for Høie to do, and how it showed that he was “a listening person.” But they also knew that this mandate, which raised questions about the merits of antipsychotics and other classes of psychiatric drugs, would stir opposition from many corners of psychiatry, which proved to be the case. No regional authority met the June 1, 2016 deadline, and in many corners of Norwegian psychiatry, psychiatrists spoke out in fierce opposition to it. Tor Larsen, a professor of psychiatry at Stavanger University, publicly derided it as a “giant mistake.”

“Drug free treatment is not only a bad idea, but simply may end up being an introduction of systematic malpractice in Norwegian psychiatry. At worse, lives lost,” he wrote. “The most seriously ill often lack understanding of their disease . . . (they) do not see themselves as sick.

Comment:  if the patient does not see themselves as “sick”, and they like themselves the way they are, isn’t this a human and civil right?  If the patient has been on the drugs and finds they don’t like the way they are on the drugs, isn’t it the patient’s right to be the way that works best for them, as long as they are not a harm to others, and they aren’t harming themselves physically?

The freedom of choice the health minister now wants to impose will thus lead to a lot of very seriously ill people being deprived of the right to the best possible treatment.”

This was the core argument repeatedly made by psychiatrists against the initiative: the drugs were effective; there were no non-drug treatments that had been shown to be effective for psychosis; and patients who didn’t want the medications didn’t understand that they were ill and needed the medications.

This initiative will “create an attitude that largely supports a pronounced skepticism about drug therapy,” wrote Jan Ivar Røssberg, a professor of psychiatry at Oslo University, in Aftenposten, Norway’s largest newspaper. “My fear is that the measure will mean that people with psychotic disorders come later to optimal treatment that you know works . . . I cannot be responsible for the teaching of psychiatry at the University of Oslo that would support this development” of medication-free treatment.

The debate has continued since then, and even after Tromsø opened its medication-free ward in early January, there remained considerable question of whether other regional authorities would comply with the spirit of the health ministry’s directive. The Norwegian Psychiatric Association, for its part, officially decided to “keep an open mind,” and address the topic at its annual meeting. “Do antipsychotics work?” wrote Anne Kristine Bergem, president of the association. “Or do they not have the effect we have been led to believe?”

The Donald Trump of Antipsychiatry

The association had identified the scientific question at the heart of this initiative. Forced treatment meant forced use of antipsychotics, and with the controversy ongoing, a non-profit organization, Stiftelsen Humania, joined with Fellesaksjonen to organize a public debate on this initiative, which was held on February 8 in Oslo. They titled it: “What is the knowledge base for treatment with or without the use of psychotropic drugs?”

“I would like to see this argued,” Ueland said, in the afternoon before the debate. “They say they want proof that alternatives work. I say, ‘why don’t you provide proof that your treatment works? I have read a lot of articles and a lot of books, and I still have not seen proof that your drugs work. I have seen proof that they make people feel ill, that they take away their emotions, that they treat symptoms, but give me proof that they work on psychosis, that they work on what they call schizophrenia.’ I want to see that before they sit there and tell us that we can’t have drug-free treatment.”

Comment: This is very true.  No one has ever truly been cured from psychiatric illnesses by the use of opiods or other prescription drugs. They are not cures. They are masks, which work primarily by making the patient sleep most of the time.

Einar Plyhn

The leader of Stiftelsen Humania is Einar Plyhn, a businessman whose company, Abstrakt Forlag, publishes academic texts. He came to this battle after suffering the loss of both his wife and son to suicide, neither of whom had found relief from psychiatry. “My experiences as bereaved by suicide two times brought me into a psychiatric ward myself, where the only treatment I got was medication and ECT,” he said. “After finally getting off all the meds, I started to publish books critical of psychiatry, and arranging conferences.”

One of the books he published was a Norwegian translation of Anatomy of an Epidemic. In that book, I had written about the long-term effects of antipsychotics (concluding that the research showed that, on the whole, they worsen long-term outcomes), and so Plyhn had asked that I speak at this debate. The other speakers were Ueland, Røssberg, and Jaakko Seikkula, who presented on Open Dialogue Therapy in northern Finland (where psychotic patients are not regularly placed on antipsychotics). Magnus Hald was part of the panel.

The debate took place at the Litteraturhuset in Oslo, and a half hour before the auditorium doors opened, there was a large crowd of people waiting to get in, evidence of how the medication-free initiative had stirred up considerable public interest. The auditorium quickly filled, with the overflow crowded into an adjacent room, where they could watch the debate on video, which was being streamed on the Internet. The audience included mental health professionals, members of user organizations, and one or more representatives from the pharmaceutical industry.

Ueland spoke first, reading a powerful blog from a 25-year-old woman in a locked ward who described the trauma of being forcefully treated. Then it was Røssberg’s turn, and, it’s fair to say, he came ready to do battle.

Jan Ivar Røssberg

Røssberg said that three of the user groups were “antipsychiatry” organizations; argued that there were no non-drug therapies that had been proven to be effective as short-term treatments for psychosis; and criticized Seikkula’s published articles on Open Dialogue as scientifically worthless. He described me as the “Donald Trump of Antipsychiatry,” and while I wasn’t quite sure of the analogy being made, everyone understood it wasn’t a compliment. He then pointed to Norway’s TIPS study as proof that antipsychotics provided a long-term benefit.

This study was designed to test the benefit of early detection of a “first-episode of nonaffective psychosis.” One cohort had a “duration of untreated psychosis” of 5 weeks before entering treatment, versus 16 weeks for the comparison group. Both cohorts were treated conventionally with antipsychotics, and then followed for 10 years. At the end of that time, among the patients who were still alive and in the study, 31% in the early-treatment group were in recovery, versus 15% in the 16-week cohort. If antipsychotics worsened long-term outcomes, Røssberg argued, then the early treatment group—because they had 11 weeks of additional exposure to antipsychotics—should have fared worse.

“If you take a pill that shows you get a poor prognosis, then if you have an earlier start with a pill, you should have a worse outcome. Is that clear?” he said.

I presented next, recounting the history of science I had published in Anatomy of an Epidemic(and since updated), and then Seikkula reviewed the Open Dialogue program, with its good long-term outcomes. The panel debate was mostly more of the same, with Hald adding his thoughts to the mix. He raised a question that would seemingly resound with every psychiatrist.

“There are many patients that psychiatry doesn’t think need the medications,” he said. “But we don’t know who they are. And since we don’t know who they are, we could choose not to give anyone medication, or we could choose to give everyone medication. Psychiatry chooses to give everyone medication. We give neuroleptics to people that we see do not get better with their psychotic symptoms. But they still keep getting neuroleptics. So how come they keep getting neuroleptics if they don’t get better?”

Afterwards, I asked Plyhn his thoughts about the debate. I was a little dispirited, in large part because I thought it had shown once again how difficult it is to have a public discussion about the merits of psychiatric drugs, but Plyhn took a longer view. Shifts in societal thinking—which is necessary for this medication-free initiative to gain public support—come slowly.

“My impression is that there is a growing concern among some psychiatrists, psychologists and nurses regarding how evidence-based the expanding use of psychotropic drugs actually is,” he said. “The conferences we have had will hopefully contribute to some rethinking” of their use.

The TIPS Study in Review

After the debate, I did regret that I hadn’t found the time to discuss the TIPS study in detail, given that Røssberg had presented it as evidence of the long-term effectiveness of antipsychotics. The study had been designed to assess the effectiveness of early treatment, rather than the long-term effects of such drugs, and although there were patients in both cohorts who stopped taking antipsychotics, there had been no reporting of 10-year outcomes grouped by medication use. There also was reason to question whether the early-treatment group had better outcomes. The comparative group was older and more severely ill at baseline, yet their symptomatology was similar to the early-treatment group at 10 years and a higher percentage in this group were “living  independently” at the end of the study. But more to the point, the outcomes in the early-treatment group, which emphasized immediate and long-term use of antipsychotics, didn’t tell of an effective form of care.

This was a study of younger patients experiencing a first episode of psychosis, and often such episodes may clear up on their own with time. There were 141 patients in the early-treatment group, and at the end of 10 years, here were their collective outcomes:

  • 12 had died (9%)
  • 28 had dropped out and were lost to treatment (20%)
  • 70 were still in the study and had not recovered (50%)
  • 31 were still in the study and had recovered (22%)

In other words, once the outcomes for the patients who died or were lost to treatment were added to the findings, nearly 80% hadn’t fared well (if being lost to treatment is seen as a poor outcome.) This outcome stands in sharp contrast to longer-term outcomes with Open Dialogue therapy in northern Finland, where at the end of five years 80% are working or back in school, asymptomatic, and off antipsychotics. I wished that I had prepared a slide comparing the two, and asked the Norwegian audience which of the two programs they preferred to embrace.

That data alone would have made for a more interesting public discussion, but then, a few weeks later, a study was published that added new information about the TIPS study. In order to gain insight into the recovery process, TIPS researchers—a team that included Tor Larsen from Stavanger University—interviewed a sample of 20 “fully recovered” patients from their program. While many of the 20 said they thought antipsychotics were helpful during the acute phase of treatment, long-term use was “considered to compromise the contribution of individual effort in recovery,” and was “perceived to reduce likelihood of functional recovery,” the researchers reported.

Seven of the 20 fully recovered patients had refused to take antipsychotics from the beginning, and thus had “never used” the drugs. Another seven had stopped taking them, meaning that 14 of the 20 fully recovered patients interviewed for the study were off antipsychotics. Røssberg had cited the TIPS study as evidence that argued against the medicine-free initiative, but this outcome data told of “full recovery” in patients treated initially without antipsychotics and in patients who tapered from the medications, the twin forms of care that the initiative is meant to provide.

Rethinking Psychiatric Drugs

As the debate revealed, the implementation of the Health Ministry’s medication-free directive is in flux. In Tromsø, where Magnus Hald is the director of psychiatric services, the regional health authority has opened a ward dedicated to such care. In the rest of the country, the regional health authorities are setting aside individual beds for medicine-free care, and mostly reserving the six beds for non-psychotic patients, which means that the initiative isn’t serving as an alternative to forced treatment with antipsychotics.

Even so, the directive is a mandate for change, and the day after the debate, I drove with Einar Plyhn and Inge Brorson, one of the board members of Humania Stiftelsen, to Lier Hospital, 25 miles southwest of Oslo, to meet with the group at Vestre Viken Trust developing medicine-free treatment for the Southern and Eastern Regional Health Authority. Brorson used to work at the trust, which operates several psychiatric hospitals and provides services to a region with about 500,000 residents (about 1/10th of the Norwegian population), and he had helped stir up interest in the initiative by encouraging the psychiatrists and clinical staff there to investigate the medical literature regarding the long-term effects of psychiatric drugs.

Psychologist Geir Nyvoll, who led the meeting, began by referring to this body of scientific research. He had taken a four-month leave from work to closely study the research literature for neuroleptics, and then he and psychiatrist Odd Skinnemoen had presented their findings to the clinic. “Knowledge and awareness is the foundation of change,” he said. “This is where we are.”

As a first step toward creating such change, the trust is developing a “continual improvement program,” which it has titled “Right and Reduced Use of Medications.” Under the program, staff will prescribe psychiatric drugs in lower doses; carefully monitor drug side effects; avoid the use of medication when “treating normal problems in life, such as for negative life events;” and discontinue medications when they aren’t producing a good effect.

In response to the health minister’s directive, the trust has set up one medication-free bed at Lier Hospital for psychotic patients, and five such beds at two other hospitals for patients with less severe disorders. The trust is embracing the principle that “patients should have the right to choose treatment without medication,” said psychiatrist Torgeir Vethe.

“Every patient should have that possibility. And if a patient does not want to use medication, we should give the best help we can, even though we as professionals might say the best treatment is if you use medication.”

With these two “parallel” efforts now underway, the trust is organizing a research program to assess their effectiveness. The hope is that this will provide a better “evidence base” for the medicine-free initiative, and for “shared decision-making” with patients. “So we are wondering, are we on the threshold of something new?” asked psychologist Bror Just Andersen.

The trust has already developed a research record for what it calls basal exposure therapy, which it introduced in 2007 with the goal of reducing polypharmacy in “treatment resistant” patients. The belief behind this therapy is that hospitals “over-regulate” psychiatric patients, which means that staff are constantly controlling their behavior and helping them to avoid situations that provoke an “existential catastrophic anxiety,” said psychologist Didrik Heggdal. With basal exposure therapy, the goal is the opposite. They “under-regulate” the patients, forcing them to seek out staff when they want help and encouraging them to confront their existential anxiety.

“We give the patient freedom,” Heggdal said. “The level of control is extremely low at the ward. We treat the patient as an adult, as an equal and with the respect for a person who is there to work with himself or herself. We are there to assist them in this work with themselves. And when we do this, they mobilize their resources. We shouldn’t be surprised.”

In a study of 38 patients treated with basal exposure therapy (14 of whom had a schizophrenia spectrum diagnosis), their use of antipsychotics and other psychiatric drugs notably declined over the course of 13 months. Nine of the 26 who came into the study on antipsychotics were off such drugs by the end; 7 of 10 on mood stabilizers (antiepileptics) successfully discontinued those medications.

Vethe, Andersen, Heggdal and others spoke of how they thought they were entering a new era of care, which presented both opportunities and challenges. The challenges were familiar ones: colleagues who were skeptical of what they were doing; societal expectations that they use antipsychotics to handle “violent” patients; and worries that if they didn’t follow accepted standards of care and something went wrong, they could end up in trouble with regulators. Their concerns were many, but the bottom line, several said, was that they felt they were approaching “new and better times.”

“I have been in this business for 35 years as a clinical psychiatrist and director, and I am very grateful that I can take part in the change that is slowly coming to psychiatry now, because it was really, really needed,” said psychiatrist Carsten Bjerke, chief medical officer of Blakstad Psychiatric Hospital.

A Paradigm Shift in Full Swing

During the last few years, the Open Dialogue program in Tornio, Finland has come to be seen in the U.S. and other countries as a therapy that offers the promise of treating psychotic patients in a new way, which can lead to much improved long-term outcomes and involves prescribing antipsychotics in a cautious, selective manner. Perhaps not surprisingly, Magnus Hald’s thinking and beliefs—and thus the ideology present on the Tromsø ward for medication-free treatment—are closely aligned with the Open Dialogue approach.

Magnus Hald

Hald was close friends with Tom Andersen, a professor of social psychiatry at the University of Tromsø who is often remembered today as a founder of “dialogical” and “reflective” processes. They began working together in the late 1970s, and as they developed “reflective teams,” they incorporated the Milan approach to family therapy—which involved “systemic thinking and practices”—into their work. A key principle of this approach, Hald has written, is that “people change according to circumstances around them, and important parts of these circumstances consist of their family life in the local community.” The two traveled widely, teaching their new ways, and during the 1980s, they developed a relationship with Jaakko Seikkula and the Open Dialogue team in Tornio, Finland.

In subsequent years, the Finnish group was better able to document their outcomes with dialogical practices because they believed in psychiatric diagnosis, or at least believed in the use of DSM III diagnoses for reporting outcomes, whereas the Tromsø group did not, Hald said. In Tromsø, they also didn’t focus as much on limiting the use of antipsychotics, even though Andersen became “more and more opposed” to their use. “In terms of not using drugs, it was difficult to practice, and we didn’t have a real commitment to that part,” he said.

Even so, Hald had seen people with different types of psychiatric symptoms do well without drugs, and it was this past philosophy and experience that made him eager to embrace the health minister’s directive. “For me, it’s a possibility to organize something that is very clear cut. We should give people the possibility to choose not to be treated with neuroleptics when they are experiencing a serious mental problem. I always thought this was a good idea.”

With Hald enthusiastic about the mandate, the Northern Regional Health Authority has given the University Hospital of North Norway an annual budget of 20 million Norwegian kroner ($2.4 million U.S.) to run the six-bed, medicine-free ward at its Åsgård facility. This support allowed Hald and his hospital to start from scratch in hiring staff, with Merete Astrup, a psychiatric nurse, starting work as director of the ward last August. She had always wanted to work in a setting that provided patients with the right to “choose” whether they wanted to take medications, and that attitude is now present with all of the staff, which will number 21 when hiring is complete.

“I am so happy to be here, and know I am working the way my heart wants to work,” said art therapist and nurse Eivor Meisler. “I have been dreaming about working without medications.”

Tore Ødegård

Tore Ødegård, a psychiatric nurse, said that he had grown resistant to working on wards where people were regularly coerced, which is why he jumped at the chance to work here. “I would argue with people to get them to take their drugs. I was a part of that system, and now I am part of a system that does not have as its main purpose to give drugs, but to help people cope with problems, and do so without medication. I find that very fascinating, and it is a privilege to be part of this.”

And then Ødegård shrugged his shoulders: “But we really don’t know how to do this yet. People want to come here to get off drugs, and that can be a struggle, with different problems. The psychiatrist will say, ‘We have not been educated to get people off drugs, just to add drugs.’ We have to experience this, and learn how to get people off drugs.”

One of the staff who has such experience is Stian Omar Kistrand. He struggled with drug addiction from 2001 to 2002, which turned into bouts of mania, depression, suicidal thoughts, and hearing voices. His own path to recovery, he said, came “from searching into my history. I realize that I have to accept everything, and then I wake up one morning, and the world is totally different. I have seen the light about having to accept everything in my past and my life.”

Stian Omar Kistrand

He sees the people coming to this ward through that perspective. “The people who come here don’t want medication. This is their deepest wish. We say, ‘you can come to us, we want you as you are, come to us with your delusions, your illness, your thoughts and feelings and history—everything is good.’ We can meet them as they are. When people experience that, something essential happens. It takes away the mistrust and the fear, and says to the person, this is okay. And then the person can start growing. That is the most important thing.”

The ward is not yet serving as an alternative to forced drug treatment. The patients come here as referrals from other hospitals and psychiatric settings, and they can get transferred here only if they ask for this care and their supervising psychiatrist agrees to it. But once they are here, they are now in a patient-centered environment, which provides them with autonomy. There are no closed doors, and they are free to check themselves out and go home, if that is what they want. And while they are staying here, they can organize their time as they wish. One of the days I was there, the patients took off midday to go shopping in town.

The rooms on the six-bed ward are fairly spartan, each with a single bed and a writing desk, mindful of a dorm room at college. Meals are prepared in a kitchen on the ward and served in a large common room, where people often pass the time talking, the windows framing a soothing landscape of sea and snow-capped mountains to the west. The sun had made its first winter appearance only a week or so before I arrived, and yet the afternoon light now lingered for hours, bathing the mountains in a soft pink glow.

The therapeutic programs make for a day that unfolds in a fairly lazy, gentle way. Reflective therapy sessions, daily walks in the chilled air, and exercise in a gymnasium downstairs are all part of a weekly schedule. As this “therapy” occurs, the patients write up their own accounts of how it has gone, which become part of their health records.

“This gives us much better insight into the perspective of the patient,” said Dora Schmidt Stendal, a psychiatrist nurse and art therapist. “Normally (in past settings), I would write a report of a conversation, and I had thought that I was carrying the voice of my patients, but the voice of patients on their own terms is so different. We have to pay respect to their world when they get a chance to express themselves freely. This documentation makes us more aware of their perspectives.”

The patients also get to see what the therapists write. “You have to think very carefully about what you write,” Stendal said. “Patients may not agree, and then you can have a conversation about it. Their opinion matters. They are being taken seriously.”

Although the staff don’t use DSM diagnoses to describe their patients, the patients do arrive on the ward with such categorizations, and the four that were here when I visited could be described—in DSM terms—of struggling with depression, mania, and bipolar disorder, with one or two having “psychotic” symptoms. One spoke of being a lightning rod for evil in the world, while another told of terrors that come visiting in the night. Three of the four were willing to sit with me and tell their stories.

*****

Merete Hammari Haddad, who is part Sami (the indigenous people of northern Norway), has lived with a diagnosis of “bipolar” for nearly a decade.

For the first part of her adult life, all had gone fairly well. She worked as a teacher and for a time as a school principal, and had earned a master’s degree, her research focusing on how people achieved their highest potential. She got involved in coaching others, residing for a time in Dublin and then Oslo. “I was succeeding,” she said.

Merete Hammari Haddad

Her husband is also part Sami, and some time ago, they moved back to Alta, a Sami community on Norway’s northern coast. Like many indigenous people, the Sami community has struggled to maintain its culture and self-governance, and when Merete moved back to Alta, she was intent on helping the community become more optimistic and happy. “I came in so cheerful, and I wanted to bring that to my community. But I was naïve. People didn’t want that, and I got attacked. I was so stupid. I turned negative about myself. My husband saw changes in me, only he doesn’t like to talk. I felt alone.”

Eventually, her husband had her hospitalized. She was told she was bipolar and that she would have to take lithium for the rest of her life. “I felt terrible on the drug,” she said. “I had no feelings. It was just like not living.”

Two years ago, she decided that she couldn’t go on like this anymore. “I needed to feel happy again. I wanted to feel glad again. And I accepted my feelings. I knew my sorrows, my fears. When I stopped, I could feel. I could let my tears flow, and I could fill the room with my sorrows. But nobody accepted it. Not my family, not my husband. I just had to trust in myself.”

The time that followed continued to be tumultuous. Her familial relationships, and her relationship to her community, remained strained. Even so, she continued thinking about how she could help “people realize their human potential,” and this past December, she started a company to pursue that end, obtaining a government grant of 100,000 kroner to do research on the topic. But as she pursued this business, her isolation from her husband grew. In late January, her husband concluded that she “was too enthusiastic,” and had her hospitalized.

“I was taken away with force in handcuffs,” she said. “And all I got was medicine, medicine, and they forced me.”

However, after a little more than a week in that first hospital, she successfully lobbied to be transferred to the medicine-free ward in Tromsø. After five days here, during which time she and her husband had confronted their problems, she was going home.

“My husband and I are so aware now of what was wrong. We found a new direction together. We were here to have a new dialogue, and now we have a new direction on how we want to be in the future.”

In dialogical terms, her distress had been caused by the “spaces in-between” her and her husband, and thus relief from that stress required mending that space, as opposed to fixing her brain chemistry. “I just needed a bed, food, and care,” she said. “Here I’ve been seen, I’ve been heard, and I can talk about everything. They never said I was sick. Now I don’t feel like there is something wrong about being human.”

*****

When I was first introduced to Mette Hansen, during a group discussion in the common room, she had, with an impish grin, asked me a question that has stayed with me ever since. “When you look into the mirror,” she said, “what do you see?”

That’s a fascinating question for anyone to ask, and I thought it told of a sense of freedom that she had found from being on the ward. She could speak her mind here.

Mette Hansen

She had been first diagnosed with bipolar in 2005, when she was 40 years old and overwhelmed with work and—as a mother of three—family obligations. “I had no time for myself,” she explained. “I couldn’t do what people wanted me to do.”

She found lithium helpful, as it calmed her down. After a time on sick leave, she went back to work in a grocery store, and her life remained fairly stable for years. But then, in 2015, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and after she had surgery, she spent several months struggling to sleep. In December of that year, she “got crazy again,” which led to another stint in a hospital. Then last September, with the side effects from the lithium piling up—weight gain, swollen hands, shaking, and thyroid problems—she decided she would like to taper off the medication.

This was a dramatic step for her to take. Her husband and her family didn’t want her to attempt this, because the drug was “working,” but she needed to take control of her life. “I said, after 12 years on lithium, I have to try this. I am my own boss, and if my husband can’t accept this, it’s his problem.”

The ward, she said, was giving her “quiet” and helping her stay safe as she tapered from the lithium. “I don’t have to care about my neighbors or my family back home. I can talk about different things, the illness and how to behave. Merete (Astrup) is the first who met me with politeness. It’s something different, and that is really nice. I love it here.”

Now that she was down to ¼ the dose of lithium that she had been on in September, she was also beginning to question whether such a powerful drug had been so necessary. “I am a little bit higher. I call it magic. Lithium is like wearing a life jacket when you are on a mountain trip and you are not going fishing. Why should you have a life jacket? Maybe you need a sleeping bag, or some wood.”

As she looks to the future, she now sees this ward as a refuge, one that she could return to if, after going back home, she struggled again. “It’s important knowing that I could come back here and decide for myself what to do,” she said.

*****

Much of my time with Hanna Steinsholm was spent discussing her love for music, and our shared memory of reading Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, and thoughts about Sal Paradise and his manic friend, Dean Moriarty. “I love the illustration of mania,” she said at one point. “There is a lot of pain and tears to go for what you aim for. There is always dark in the light.”

Her entry into the psychiatric system had come as a child, when she was diagnosed with ADHD, and also had conflicts with other youth in her small town. “I was made fun of when I was a kid. I felt something was lacking in me when I was a teenager.” She subsequently was given other diagnoses, and she struggled in multiple ways: self-harming, fighting with thoughts of evil and with feelings of anxiety about making it in the world as a folk singer. “I always thought people expected me to write a song that would blow them away.”

Hanna Steinsholm

She felt it was important that she could be here without having to take Abilify, the antipsychotic drug she had been on. She needed some structure, and help with her self-injurious behaviors.

“Being on Abilify was boring and gave me a feeling of hopelessness, and I didn’t want to do that. I couldn’t think on the drug. And if I am going to be in the world, I have to be smart and be a version of me that people like. People know that I am sick. I have to prove that I can make something out of the destruction, and make something big out of it.”

She had been on the medicine-free ward for several weeks, and there was no real timetable for her to leave. “I have found it better than I thought I would. It is easy to go with the flow, and not have them question you all the time, like they do in other hospitals, and with their suspicions of you, thinking you will become a killer. This is taking some time to accept, that I won’t be questioned all the time.”

And then we returned to speaking about the escapades of Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty, characters in a novel published 60 years ago and yet one that somehow remained so vivid in both of our memories.

The Challenges to Come

Such are accounts from the first few patients to be treated on this “medication-free” ward. But if this effort in Tromsø is going to have an impact in the larger world of psychiatry, their patient outcomes will need to be tracked and reported on in medical journals. A plan for doing such research is still being drawn up.

It won’t be possible to do a randomized trial, noted psychologist Elisabeth Klaebo Reitan. As such, they will mostly need to rely on periodic interviews, which “describe who are the people who are getting treatment” and provide follow-up snapshots of “symptoms, functioning, and social activity, and other recovery measures” over periods of five and ten years. In a sense, the bottom-line outcome will be whether they can “make changes” in their lives, she said.

Skeptics of Norway’s medicine-free initiative are already raising questions about the types of patients who will be treated in the Tromsø ward (and in the other medicine-free beds being set up in the country). The thought is that they will be patients who are “less ill” and without the behavioral problems—violent behaviors, and so forth—that “require” the use of antipsychotics. A medication-free ward can’t present itself as a true alternative to forced treatment unless it can take on more difficult patients too.

Merete Astrup

“That will be a challenge we would like to try to understand,” Astrup said.

The expectation is that they will work with agitated patients in the same manner that they work with all patients, engaging in a respectful dialogue with them, and that the ward atmosphere will provide its own calming effects. If a patient becomes agitated, they will want to know: “Why are you so agitated? Have we done anything toward you that would make you so agitated? What can we do to make it better for you?”

It will be important, she added, that “we not make rules that say, ‘you should not break a glass.’ We need to create an atmosphere where this is a place where such things don’t happen. And if someone did throw a glass, we will look at it as the community that broke down. We didn’t want (the person) to have to throw a glass to get our attention.”

Again and again, Astrup and her staff spoke about how all this is so new, and how they have so much to learn. At the same time, they spoke with confidence of being able to respond well to the challenges that will come, and with confidence too that their ward, since it was established in response to a directive from the Health Ministry, will be given a real chance to succeed.

Hald, for his part, sees this ward as a step toward wholesale change in Norwegian psychiatry. “Is this going to work? I think so, but I am not sure how we will do it. It is going to be a challenge. But if this works well, the whole mental health system has to change. This would transform the system.”

“Professional” guardian Mary Rowan kidnaps again, places disabled man in uninspected “group home” and he dies in fire 2 days later.

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2017/03/27/mary-rowan-kidnaps-again-support-singer-sharmian-charged-for-protecting-mom/

You would think that they took out April Parks 3 weeks ago for having hundreds of wards she kidnapped, forced them into dangerous group homes and nursing homes against their will, drained estates by churning bills and strife in families, Mary Rowan would be next.

Think again.  She’s still hot on the trail of being an infamous serial murderer of the disabled and elderly victims she guardianizes and then drains estates and kills them off.

MARY ROWAN KIDNAPS AGAIN! SUPPORT SINGER SHARMIAN, CHARGED FOR PROTECTING MOM

https://cdnapisec.kaltura.com/p/2031091/sp/203109100/embedIframeJs/uiconf_id/36217991/partner_id/2031091?iframeembed=true&playerId=media-preview_0_0_0bit6f9x&entry_id=0_0bit6f9x&flashvars%5BstreamerType%5D=auto

Video above: Mary Rowan ward Raymond Davis among five men dead in fire in uninspected group home; husband John Cavataio featured in footage

Probate Court judge ordered Davis seized from his own apartment by Rowan and Detroit police March 7, 2017; two days later he died in fire

Well-known country music star Sharmian Lynette Worley’s mother Wanda Worley also a Mary Rowan kidnap victim, song below is for her mom

Are wealthy elite running homes for victims of probate kidnappings?

https://www.reverbnation.com/widget_code/html_widget/artist_421595?widget_id=55&pwc%5Bsong_ids%5D=3635242

SUPPORT SHARMIAN AGAINST CHARGES BY ROWAN

Wed. March 29, 2017,  11 a.m., 33rd District Court

19000 Van Horn at Allen Rd; Woodhaven; Judge Jennifer Coleman Hesson

By Diane Bukowski

March 27, 2017

DETROIT, MI —  Serial kidnapper-guardian Mary Rowan continues to strike. Now she may also be an accessory to murder. But Wayne Co. Prosecutor Kym Worthy is ignoring her and has charged one of the allegedly mentally ill residents of a home at Whittier near Beaconsfield for a fire fanned by gusting winds that killed five men March 9.

The men were Raymond Davis, James Johnson, Leo Dear, William Ballard, and Norman Connors according to Channel Four.

On March 7, Rowan and Detroit police seized Raymond Davis, who is blind, from his own apartment, according to probate court records. Two days later  he was dead in a fire in the Whittier Ave. apartment building where Rowan placed him. See http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/Raymond-Davis-Docket-Information.pdf.

Although Channel Four reported Rowan had just obtained custody of Davis, her name first appears in his records Jan. 19, 2017. Channel Four interviewed John Cavataio, who admitted his wife was Davis’ guardian. VOD established in its earlier stories on Rowan that she is married to John Cavataio and lives in Grosse Pointe Park.

Six months ago, Rowan seized Wanda Lynette Worley, mother of well-known Nashville-based country music star Sharmian (pronounced Char-min) from the home she shared with her daughter in Brownstown Twp. Sharmian told VOD it was not Rowan’s first attempt. See http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/Wanda-Worley-WCPC-roster.pdf.

“First, Mary Rowan come banging on my mobile home, screaming as loud as she could, ‘Where is Wanda Worley, I’m the guardian.’” Sharmian told VOD. “I told her get off my property now and she left. A week or two later, I was in my front yard, weatherizing  the house and cleaning it a with hose. She pulled up again. I still didn’t know who the woman was. I continued washing my house. I told her again do not come on my property. She looked like the Wicked Witch of the West, very scary and intimidating, and I was not giving my mother to her. So I squirted her with  the hose and got her wet.”

Both Sharmian and Rowan called the police, who took her mother after assuring Sharmian she would be OK and would be back in a couple of days.

But Wanda Worley has not come back home for good since. Meanwhile, Sharmian faces misdemeanor charges of “resisting, hindering and obstructing a police officer/public official.”

A trial on the charges will take place in 33rd District Court Wed. March 29 at 11 a.m, in front of Judge Jennifer Coleman Hesson. In 2012, however, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled in People vs. Moreno that resistance to illegal police conduct is justified. See link to story below.

Additionally, during testimony in 2012 in the well-known case of Marianne Godboldo, Detroit police officers testified that it is not their job to seize individuals subject to probate court orders, but the job of the Wayne County Sheriff’s department.

Two judges in Detroit dismissed all criminal charges against Godboldo twice, saying the order produced by CPS worker Mia Wenk to take her 13-year-old daughter was invalid. When a third trial was scheduled, Godboldo tragically succumbed to a brain aneurysm from the pressure and has been in a coma since.

Sharmian said, “I never saw a court order to take my mom, and if there is one, I believe it is fake. I want to get her [Rowan] for lying to the police, kidnapping and filing fake documents. I don’t believe the judge’s signature appointing Mary Rowan as my mom’s guardian is his. The records say she was appointed Sept. 21, 2016, but my mom was in the hospital then.”

Wayne County Probate Court Judge David Braxton is handling Wanda Worley’s case. Sharmian told VOD that she has been working to get her mother off the highly addictive prescription drug Lyrica. She said she believes that various doctors and hospitals have prescribed drugs for her that make her unable to function properly.

She said she voluntarily admitted her mother to a psychiatric hospital in Wyandotte last fall, showing documents from Probate Court that indicated SHE was her mother’s guardian. But when she came to take her home, the hospital called police on her, and she was forced to contact a legal services attorney to get her mother released back home.

Worley told VOD during a brief visit with her daughter last week that she has been shunted from one Detroit home to another, allegedly adult foster care homes. She is currently at 12317 Monica. It is questionable whether any of the homes are licensed as such.

Sharmian said her mother had been at the Monica address for five months, with eight other men and women. Her mother told her a woman named Wendy runs it.

“Every one of them is a ward of Mary Rowan,” Sharmian said her mother told her. “None of them know what she looks like. They all hate her. One 83-year-old woman says Mary Rowan cleaned out her bank accounts and took her house. My mom got bedbugs while she was there. They finally brought in an exterminator and threw all the beds out. Then, when those 60 mph winds happened, the home lost electricity for 3 days and no one saved the people for three days—they were freezing. Then they put mom and eight others in another home  on Lindsay St. There are more homes, all of them about 15 minutes away from the Monica address, and the people believe Wendy owns all of them.”

However, Wayne County records list the taxpayer at the Monica address as Capital Clearance Group, Ltd. It is four years delinquent on property taxes there, like the house on Whittier that burned.  According to Register of Deeds records, the group also owns 31 other properties in Detroit. The company is not registered with the State of Michigan. Various sites claim it is based in Wyoming and has offices all over the world. See http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/Capital-Clearance-Group-Ltd-properties-in-Wayne-County.pdf.

“Three investment experts and banking elites came together in 2007 and amidst the Sub-Prime debt crisis of 2008 and burst of the property bubble, managed to collectively conduct a wholesale acquisition of land and properties across various states at a low borrowing cost and purchase price,”  says one site. “In a short span of just one year, the founders of Capital Clearance Group managed to grow it to tens of millions of dollars in total Assets Under Management based on its current market value.” See http://www.capitalclearance.com/web/index.html.

Are rich folks running what are essentially prisons for those illegally kidnapped through the probate courts? Sharmian said she is now working with groups throughout the country against such abuse. She has a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/sharmian1. She and her mother were recently interviewed on The Oakley Radio blogspot at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/marti-oakley/2017/03/26/out-of-the-closet-sharmian-worely-the-guardianship-of-her-mother.

From HHS.gov–Health Care Fraud blog by US DOJ–many, many indictments! Over $130 million in fraud alone in Mar. 2017

From Ken  Ditkowsky;
 Law enforcement is working!     The Philip Esformes indictment in Florida and Seth Gillman plea of guilty in Illinois are the lodestar cases of Health care fraud as they lead directly to one of the most lucrative and prolific criminal enterprises in the United States.    Here in Chicago our local miscreants are so strong that the CALL for an HONEST INVESTIGATION are fighting words.   Any attorney who uses these words as is applied to judicial corruption or the massive Medicare frauds or the Elder Cleansing scandal will find himself/herself in the ‘sights’ of the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission.    If not intimidated the lawyer will find himself/herself with a suspended law license.   God Help the lawyer with a skin color that is dark.  (Lanre Amu got an interim and 3 year suspension of his law license because he was caught practicing law while ‘black!’   Jim Crow is alive and kicking at the ARDC).
Jerome Larkin, the administrator of the IARDC was so convincing to his kangaroo panels that even though the judge in question never denied the charges and a respected business magazine echoed the very same charges that Amu made, Amu’s panels found by clear and convincing evidence that Amu’s charges were improper and he wrongfully accused judges of corruption.    Indeed, when Lawyer JoAnne Denison echoed charges of judicial corruption and disseminated them in her blog  MaryGSykes she was subjected to the very same fate!
Fake news is child’s play here in Illinois.    The Constitution of the State of Illinois is a technicality to be ignored by our public officials and the Constitution of the United States is a rumor invented by Donald Trump!   Indeed, whatever Jerome Larkin, the Political elite and the judicial elite says is the LAW OF THE LAND in Illinois and the fact that his utterances have no basis in reality is irrelevant.    We are engaged in a great civil war against the elderly and as far as Illinois is concerned the elderly are just another commodity to be exploited!
Fortunately the United States of America is still the home of the brave and land of the free.   The Justice Department’s list of indictments in health care fraud is growing.     Soon, we hope they will turn their attention to some of the larger miscreants and their protectors.   For instance, Philip Esformes is not unknown in Chicago and it is rumored that he and his father (and a bunch of associates) have quite a elder cleansing operation going right here in Chicago and that it is well protected by the political and judicial elite. Dr. Incompetent charging a finite number of patients for examinations that he never made is small potatoes.    On a single elderly person (commodity) over a million dollars of savings and other assets can be stolen.   In the Mary Sykes case 3 million dollars was allegedly stolen.   In Alice Gore 1.5 million disappeared along with the gold from Alice’s teeth.   *******

Criminal and Civil Enforcement

March 2017

March 24, 2017; U.S. Attorney; Northern District of Texas
Federal Jury Convicts Doctor of $40 Million Medicare Fraud
DALLAS – Following a five-day trial before U.S. District Judge Jane Boyle, a federal jury has convicted Noble U. Ezukanma, 57, of Fort Worth, Texas, of seven counts of health care fraud offenses, announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.
March 23, 2017; U.S. Department of Justice
Miami-Based Physician Charged for Role in Pain Pill Diversion and Medicare Fraud Scheme
A physician licensed in Puerto Rico, who was practicing medicine in Miami, was charged in a 16-count indictment unsealed today for his alleged participation in a multi-faceted $20 million health care fraud scheme involving the submission of false and fraudulent claims to Medicare and Medicaid and the illegal distribution of oxycodone and other controlled substances.
March 23, 2017; U.S. Attorney; Northern District of Alabama
NW Alabama Pharmacies Owner Sentenced to Six Month’s Home Confinement for Obstructing Medicare Audit; Ordered to Pay $2.5 million Fine
BIRMINGHAM – A federal judge today sentenced the owner of two northwest Alabama pharmacies to six month’s home confinement for obstructing a Medicare audit, ordered him to pay a $2.5 million fine and prohibited him from working in a pharmacy during his year on probation.
March 23, 2017; U.S. Attorney; Western District of Wisconsin
Osceola Nutritional Supplement Provider & CEO Sentenced
Madison, Wis. – Jeffrey M. Anderson, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Gottfried Kellermann, 76, Osceola, Wis., was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge James D. Peterson to a six-month period of home confinement, a $50,000 fine, and five years of probation, for intentionally violating Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments regulations. Kellerman’s co-defendant, NeuroScience, Inc., was sentenced to a five-year period of probation and a $140,000 fine for conspiring to defraud the United States. The defendants pleaded guilty to these charges on October 14, 2016.
March 22, 2017; U.S. Attorney; Northern District of Illinois
Chicago Chiropractor Indicted for Allegedly Billing $10 Million to Medicare and Private Insurers for Nonexistent Treatment
CHICAGO – A Chicago chiropractor with a clinic in the West Lawn neighborhood has been indicted on federal fraud charges for allegedly submitting at least $10 million in bogus claims to Medicare and private insurers.
March 22, 2017; U.S. Attorney; Eastern District of Michigan
Two Physicians Found Guilty For Distributing Oxycodone
Dr. Anthony Conrardy, age 61, and Dr. William McCutchen, III, age 46, were found guilty yesterday of unlawfully distributing Schedule II narcotics by a federal jury in Detroit, MI, acting United States Attorney Daniel L. Lemisch announced today. Dr. Anthony Conrardy was convicted of five counts of unlawfully distributing Oxycodone and Dilaudid, and Dr. William McCutchen, III was convicted of four counts of unlawfully distributing Oxycodone.
March 17, 2017; U.S. Department of Justice Medicare Fraud Strike Force Case
Houston-Area Registered Nurse Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Defraud Medicare of More than $5 Million
A Houston-Area registered nurse pleaded guilty today for his role in a Medicare fraud scheme that resulted in losses to Medicare of more than $5 million.
March 17, 2017; U.S. Attorney; District of Puerto Rico
Doctor Sentenced To Seven Years In Prison For Health Care Fraud
SAN JUAN, P.R. – Doctor Juan José Tull-Abreu was sentenced to serve 63 months of imprisonment for health care fraud, and a consecutive term of 24 months for aggravated identity theft, for a total term of imprisonment of 87 months, announced United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico, Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez.
March 16, 2017; U.S. Attorney; Eastern District of Washington
Spokane Area Cardiologist, Dr. Romeo Pavlic, to Pay $300,000 Resolving Alleged False Health Care Claims
Spokane, WA – Today, the United States Attorney’s Office (USAO) for the Eastern District of Washington announced a settlement agreement with Dr. Romeo Pavlic and various companies he owns. The settlement resolves allegations that for years Dr. Pavlic, a Spokane-area cardiologist, falsely billed Medicare and Medicaid by repeatedly and falsely claiming to have provided services and tests to vulnerable patients when in fact he had not.
March 14, 2017; U.S. Department of Justice Medicare Fraud Strike Force Case
South Florida Home Health Owner Charged for Role in $15 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme
A South Florida home health care owner was charged in an indictment unsealed today for his alleged participation in a $15 million health care fraud scheme involving fraudulent claims for home health services.
March 14, 2017; U.S. Attorney; District of Connecticut
Stamford Dental Office Manager Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Insurance Companies
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that ELENA ILIZAROV, 44, of Stamford, waived her right to be indicted and pleaded guilty yesterday before U.S. District Judge Victor A. Bolden in Bridgeport to one count of wire fraud stemming from her use of an identity theft victim’s personal identifying information to submit fraudulent bills to private insurance companies offering dental insurance.
March 13, 2017; U.S. Department of Justice
Charles River Laboratories International Inc. Agrees to Pay United States $1.8 Million to Settle False Claims Act Allegations
Charles River Laboratories International Inc. has agreed to pay the U.S. government $1.8 million to settle claims that it violated the False Claims Act by improperly charging for labor and other associated costs that were not actually provided on certain National Institutes of Health contracts, the Justice Department announced today. Charles River is a for-profit corporation headquartered in Wilmington, Massachusetts.
March 10, 2017; U.S. Attorney; Middle District of Pennsylvania
Lancaster County Woman Guilty Of Healthcare Fraud
HARRISBURG- The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Tammie Sensenig, age 45, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty March 8, 2017, before United States Magistrate Judge Martin C. Carlson to a criminal information charging her with healthcare fraud.
March 7, 2017; U.S. Attorney; Middle District of Florida
Tampa Man Pleads Guilty To Paying Health Care Kickbacks
Tampa, FL – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that Anthonio Miller (26, Tampa) today pleaded guilty to conspiracy to pay kickbacks in connection with a federal health care benefit program. He faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison.
March 6, 2017; U.S. Department of Justice
California Clinic Owner Sentenced to 63 Months in Prison for Role in Occupational Therapy Fraud Scheme
A rehabilitation clinic operator in Los Angeles County was sentenced to 63 months in prison today for his role in a $3.4 million Medicare fraud scheme that involved billing for occupational therapy services that were not medically necessary and not provided.
March 6, 2017; U.S. Attorney; Southern District of Texas
Clinic Manager Heads to Prison for Health Care Fraud
HOUSTON – The 47-year-old owner and operator of Elite P. Care Medical Services has been sentenced for her role in a health care fraud conspiracy that billed Medicare and Medicaid for more than $1 million in fraudulent health care claims, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson.
March 6, 2017; U.S. Attorney; District of New Jersey
Bergen County Doctor Convicted Of Taking Bribes In Test-Referral Scheme With New Jersey Clinical Lab
NEWARK, N.J. – A family doctor practicing in Bergen County, New Jersey, was convicted today of all 10 counts of an indictment charging him with accepting bribes in exchange for test referrals as part of a long-running and elaborate scheme operated by Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services LLC (BLS), of Parsippany, New Jersey, its president and numerous associates, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
March 6, 2017; U.S. Attorney; District of Vermont
Brandon Woman Sentenced for Medicaid Fraud
The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced that Misti Baker, 36, of West Rutland, Vermont, was sentenced on Friday by United States District Court Judge Geoffrey W. Crawford for healthcare fraud. Judge Crawford sentenced Baker to time served plus two years of supervised release and ordered her to pay $77,306.57 in restitution.
March 3, 2017; U.S. Department of Justice
Unlicensed Medical Professional Convicted for Role in $1.3 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme
A federal jury in Houston convicted an unlicensed medical professional who was posing as a physician yesterday for his participation in a $1.3 million Medicare fraud scheme.
March 3, 2017; U.S. Attorney; Southern District of Florida
Two Women Plead Guilty to Orchestrating $20 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme at Seven Miami Area Home Health Agencies
Two Miami residents pleaded guilty today to fraud charges stemming from their roles in a $20 million home health care fraud scheme.
March 3, 2017; U.S. Attorney; District of Maryland
Biller for Medical Equipment Provider Sentenced to Four Years in Federal Prison for Health Care Fraud, Aggravated Identity Theft and Defrauding the IRS by Failing to File Tax Returns
Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis sentenced Elma Myles, age 52, on March 2, 2017, to four years in prison, in connection with her role in a health care fraud scheme, aggravated identity theft, and conspiracy to defraud the United States for failing to file income tax returns. Judge Garbis also ordered Myles to pay restitution of $1,207,585.38 to Medicaid.
March 3, 2017; U.S. Attorney; Western District of Virginia
Personal Care Attendant Pleads Guilty to Making a False Statement as it Relates to a Health Care Benefit
Charlottesville, VIRGINIA – A personal care attendant, who for four years lied about the amount of hours she worked for a homebound retiree, pled guilty yesterday in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Charlottesville to federal false statement charges, Acting United States Attorney Rick A. Mountcastle and Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring announced.
March 2, 2017; U.S. Department of Justice
Third Detroit-Area Physician Pleads Guilty in $5.4 Million Dollar Health Care Fraud Scheme
A Detroit-area physician pleaded guilty today for his role in a $5.4 million Medicare fraud scheme involving phony physician visits and drug prescriptions.
March 2, 2017; U.S. Attorney; Southern District of Texas
All 12 Convicted in Health Care Fraud Conspiracy Involving Area Mental Health Centers
HOUSTON – A federal jury has convicted the final defendant of 12 involved in a conspiracy to pay and receive kickbacks relating to the Medicare program, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. The jury deliberated for four hours following a three-day trial before convicting Cheryl Waller, 70, of Houston, of one count of conspiracy to pay and receive kickbacks and one count of receiving kickbacks.
March 1, 2017; U.S. Attorney; Southern District of New York
Cardiologist, Neurologist, And Others Charged In $50 Million Health Care Fraud Scheme, And Civil Suit Filed Against Clinic And Participants In The Fraud
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, William F. Sweeney Jr., the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), Scott J. Lampert, Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Regional Office of the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General (“HHS-OIG”), and James P. O’Neill, the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), announced today criminal and civil actions relating to a 12-year scheme to defraud Medicaid, Medicare, and other private health insurance companies out of more than $50 million. Today’s actions include the unsealing of an Indictment charging ASIM HAMEEDI, FAWAD HAMEEDI, MICHELLE LANDOY, DESIREE SCOTT, EMAD SOLIMAN, and ARIF HAMEEDI with, among other things, health care fraud, identity theft, and making false statements, and the filing of a civil fraud lawsuit against CITY MEDICAL ASSOCIATES, P.C., and ASIM HAMEEDI, among others, seeking treble damages and civil penalties under the False Claims Act for the fraudulent claims for reimbursement submitted by CITY MEDICAL ASSOCIATES to Medicare and Medicaid between 2003 and November 2015.

February 2017

February 28, 2017; U.S. Attorney; Northern District of Texas
Sixteen Individuals Charged in $60 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme
DALLAS – An indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Dallas last week, and unsealed today, charges 16 individuals with offenses related to their participation in a health care fraud scheme, announced John Parker, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas.
February 24, 2017; U.S. Department of Justice
Administrator of Miami-Area Home Health Agency Sentenced to 126 Months in Prison for Involvement in $2.5 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme
Today, the administrator of a Miami-area home health agency was sentenced to a 126 month prison term for his role in a $2.5 million Medicare fraud scheme.
February 24, 2017; U.S. Attorney; Southern District of Texas
Jury Convicts Rio Grande Valley Area Durable Medical Equipment Company Owner of Health Care Fraud
McALLEN, Texas – A McAllen federal jury has convicted the owner of an area durable medical equipment (DME) company owner on all counts for her scheme to defraud Texas Medicaid through fraudulent billings, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. The jury deliberated for six hours following a seven-day trial before convicting Maria Garza, 41, of McAllen, on all 18 counts as charged.
February 22, 2017; U.S. Attorney; District of Puerto Rico
Owner Of Durable Medical Equipment Company And Three Physicians Charged With Health Care Fraud And Aggravated Identity Theft
SAN JUAN, P.R. – On February 13, 2017, a Federal Grand Jury in the District of Puerto Rico returned a superseding indictment charging Dr. Dante A. Rodríguez-Rivera, Javier Efraín Siverio-Echevarría, Dr. George D. Alcántara-Cardi, Dr. Martha Nieves, Javier Antonio Aguirre- Estrada, and Carlos Maldonado-López with multiple counts of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, health care fraud and aggravated identity theft. The defendants were arrested today, announced Rosa Emilia Rodríguez Vélez, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico, Scott Lampert, the Special Agent in Charge of the Office of the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS-OIG”), and Douglas A. Leff, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Puerto Rico Field Office (“FBI”).
February

From PA–One Sex Abuse Victim tells his story – the Hurting.

This is from a psychologist who is helping him who wrote this for publication on my blog:

Exposing America’s Most Damaging Secret
 On Friday, May 27th, ABC featured a startling program about Bill Cosby that exposed his long history of drugging and raping dozens of young women. Earlier this Spring, Brock Turner a student at Stanford University in Palo Alto California, raped a nearly unconscious woman. He was sentenced to a slap on the wrist by a judge who apparently did not want to harm his athletic career. Brock’s father stated that the minor sentence was too much “just for getting 20 minutes of action”.
 What do these sexual abuse incidents tell us? Plenty. In nearly 50 years of full time practice as a clinical psychologist, I have witnessed many damaged and destroyed, suicidal women and several equally damaged men who were unable to get relief from their anger, self loathing and self destructive behaviors that resulted from “ keeping the secret”. All perpetrators know that rape is a felony and punishable by imprisonment. To protect themselves from incarceration, they threaten their victim with horrendous consequences if they tell anyone.
 Nearly all abuse victims suffer immensely from being raped and would be better off if they could confide in someone. Seldom, however, are victims able to think about their horror, or talk about it. It is common to internalize the anger, hate, shame and place the blame on themselves. Their body become a sealed container for their suffering. We now know this process as PSTD  (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Shockingly, our college campuses appear to becoming similar to war zones for co – eds. There have been reports indicating that 40 percent of the women at Stanford University experienced rape. And, this is occurring at a University where the students are among the brightest and most talented in our country. Nearly half the women graduate with horrors rather than honors. The Brock Turner rape “sentencing” revealed serious flaws and biases in our judicial system. Namely, that affluence can and does, influence the outcome of heinous sexual crimes.
 Universities are not the only institutions where such atrocities occur, some treatment hospitals, established specifically to help the challenged and traumatized have been investigated for patient abuse.
 Approximately 45 years ago, I held three administrative positions in an adolescent treatment hospital in Faribault Minnesota. The Founder and Chief Psychiatrist asked me to work with Paul, a recently admitted 14 year old. It was easy to see that he was different from the other patients because he was stable, sensitive, super bright, alert, and studious. Most importantly, he was the only patient in the entire hospital who did not need medications. This caught my attention because all of the other patients were diagnosed with adolescent psychosis and required medication!
 Nearly 40 years later I learned that Paul’s affluent parents started placing him in residential hospitals at the age of five years old. Apparently, they were not interested in being parents to their only son and did not seem to care he was being mercilessly abused (physical and sexual). In the 1960’s and 1970’s, it was socially acceptable for wealthy parents to rid themselves of unwanted children by placing them in such hospitals. Paul was placed at the adolescent hospital in Minnesota when he was 14. The abuse and corruption that later occurred at this Psychiatric hospital went as far as “renting” adolescent boys and girls to men in the community for sexual purposes.
 In the late 1980’s the psychiatric hospital was closed by the state. The founding Psychiatrist lost his medical license, and is now deceased. One “positive” result of this horrendous story is that Paul is currently finishing an informative and somewhat unbelievable screenplay called “The Hurting”. The screenplay is an expose about what happened to him, and likely continues to occur in some hospitals and treatment facilities.
 I am encouraged that the General Public is becoming interested in the realities of sexual trauma that is a devastating epidemic. It does far more damage to the victims than ever imagined. The Academy Award winning movie “Spotlight” is a film that exposed the sexual abuse of alter boys in the Catholic Church. “The Hurting” may open the door to what occurs in some fully accredited and licensed facilities whose medically defined purpose is to help patients heal and adjust more favorably to life. Here is a demo trailer of “The Hurting”.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCwTMUDPKts
Dr. David Klimek, PHD, P.C. and associates
Licensed Consulting Psychologists
200 Fuller CT, Suite 11018
Ann Arbor Michigan 48125
And I would like to thank PA and Dr. Klimek for writing this to share what happens when children are brutalized by rape.  It is a horrendous crime that scars the victim for life, each and every day.
As a lawyer suspended for writing on this blog about these crimes and others, I want my victims to know I have not gone away, and even if the ARDC ignores brutality by lawyers, there are still honest, ethical professionals out there fighting for civil rights, human rights and other rights.
Victims of courtroom and other crimes are in my prayers always.
They need and demand justice, even if the ARDC and the court system ignores their pleas.
JoAnne

Looking for free or cheap office space to help clients blog about corruption and report to authorities

Lost my lease and now I have to move.  I need a kind, caring and understanding landlord that wants to clean up the court system.  NW side of Chicago w/parking for clients needed.  $800 per month or less.  Need one office and access to conference room space. I also write books about corruption in the courts.

I am a not for profit so I can rent from other not for profits such as churches, synagogues, etc.

Call me if you know of  anything or have anything.  773-255-7608.

Thanks

Joanne

From Ken Ditkowsky–Ferreting out corruption in the courts

Subject: Re: [JudicialMisconduct] Fwd: Petition to Reinstate Law License and Notice of Claim for Damages against IARDC – Corrected Version
Date: Mar 24, 2017 1:48 PM
Ferreting out corrupt judges is NOT a task for the faint hearted.
 
With title records now on-line in many jurisdictions it is now relatively easy from the computer literate to find out where a particular judge resides, see how the title to his/her home is listed, and review the various transactions that have been placed of record.    Indeed, it is not that difficult to even ascertain the moderately hidden transactions in the spouse’s or children’s names. However, the task becomes a little more sophisticated when devices such as Land trusts and corporations are used as conduits for extra – circular remunerations.
 
In the blogs Probate Sharks, MaryGSykes and a bunch of others Janet Phelan’s investigations are chronicled as she unmasked a number of jurists.   Others also have done fantastic work in exposing the criminals in black robes; however,  no device designed by the criminals is exclusive or not available for usage.   In fact that only way to ascertain if the judge hearing your case is ‘wired’ or ‘fixed’ is to observe the Court record, his/her rulings and the final result.    Even then, a really clever jurists can avoid detection.
 
My baptism came in the Mary Sykes 09 P 4585.    Yes, in my five decades in the practice of law and thousands of files I was well aware of some shady and illegal practices by certain judges that forfeited rights of my clients.   In most of these cases I had to grin and bear it, but in Sykes the attorney for the guardian and the two guardian ad litem tried to intimidate me and stop me for representing my clients.   My wife was shocked by the content of the telephone calls I received from one of the guardian ad litem and the attorney for the guardian.   I laughed the calls off, and made a telephone call for a friend who was a former Federal Special agent.
 
What I did not realize at the time was the cancer that had become metastatic.   As you are aware the intimidation failed and no one has shut me up as of yet.   What has not happened however is that I have not been successful in 1) obtaining an acceptable result for my clients and other persons similarly situated, and 2) the miscreants who systematically dehumanized Mary Sykes and redistributed her 3 million dollars in life savings to their own accounts have not been forced to return the booty!   In fact these miscreants continue in their dehumanization and redistribution activities almost without interruption. 
 
It is a given that not one of the miscreants is committing his portion of the 18 USCA 371 conspiracy innocently or as a charity.   From my vantage point even though the State of Illinois is on the verge of Bankruptcy the Illinois Department of Revenue has little, if any, interest in collecting the taxes, interest or penalties that need to be assessed.   The mere call for an HONEST INVESTIGATION however causes the public funds to be drawn upon without limitation so that the miscreants (Political and Judicial elite) are fully protected.
 
It is given that public figures such as Jerome Larkin, the administrator of the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission did not file patently false disciplinary pleadings because he really believes that exposing judicial corruption is akin to “yelling fire in a crowded theater!”    No one believes that Judge Connors ignored the mandatory judicial duties required by 755 ILCS 5/11a – 10 because she never read the statute which she administered for 12 years!   (On page 91 of her evidence deposition she admitted that her decisions were pre-determined i.e. wired – so it was no surprise to obtain a letter from the Sheriff of Cook County that disclosed that no summons was ever served by his office on Mary Sykes).
 
As we all get old and every individual reading this e-mail could be subjected to the very same elder cleansing as Mary Sykes, Alice Gore, Carolyn Wyman ******  how do we or our loved one know what is in fact happening.    How do we convince Law Enforcement to protect us from the cancer of elder cleansing and the WAR AGAINST THE ELDERLY AND THE DISABLED that Larkin and his co-conspirators are successfully waging?
 
In this battle each of us may be called on the fight, the honest political class also has a stake.   The President of the United States – if he desires to actually provide health care to America – must address this cancer.    The theft committed by the Warriors who are promulgating this War against us (the elderly, the potential elderly and the disabled) are well funded and in the case of Philip Esformes stole a billion dollars from the Medicare Program.   In the many other Philip Esformes like case hundreds of billions of dollars have been stolen from the USA.     Private savings of people such as Mary Sykes have also been stolen and not recovered.   Hell – even the gold in your teeth is not safe.
 
The criminals that we are all fighting are not dumb bunnies too stupid to get out of the rain – they occupy positions of trust and confidence that we pay huge sums in taxes and other remunerations to protect us.    The IARDC which Larkin administers obtains millions of dollars to protect the public from corrupt lawyers; however, when Seth Gillman stole millions of dollars from Hospice care patents (and the government) the IARDC was totally disinterested.   In fact it did not become interested until the ‘word on the street’ revealed that Gillman was co-operating with the United States of America.   Immediately the IARDC under Larkin’s administration sought and obtained from the Illinois Supreme Court an interim suspension of Gillamn’s law license.    
 
JoAnn Denison exposed corruption in her blog MARYGSYKES and not only did Larkin overtly violate Illinois Law (by hiring a vulnerable and unlicensed court reporter) but he has yet to “fess up” to his action, but has continued in attempting to silence Attorney Denison.
 
All who fight corruption in the courts had better not be of faint-heart!   Many in the health care industry and in government agencies have vested interests that you are fighting.  They cannot afford honest Courts!   An honest judge would have dismissed the Petition for a Guardianship of Mary Sykes in August 2009 when the petitioner could not obtain a physician to testify that Mary Sykes was incompetent.   As Mary had not been properly served with summons dismissal for want of prosecution would have been appropriate.   But Judge Connors was in the pocket! (see page 91 of her evidence deposition!).    Two guardian ad litem were in the ‘pocket!’   exactly why there had to be two guardian ad litem for an elderly woman who was obvious competent is still a mystery – except that the attorney for the petitioner seeking to be guardian appears to have a bit of clout!.    
 
JoAnne Denison and I both protested – the protest was not met with favor – the idea of an HONEST INVESTIGATION was so outrageous that hundreds of thousands of dollars of STate of Illinois money was spent to attempt to silence both of us and all those citizens who feel aggreived.
 
The admission of Justice Maureen Connors is unusual.   Most judges (corrupt and not corrupt) know that the first obligation of a judge is determine if jurisdiction is had.   Connors was aware that she had no jurisdiction – she did not care as she knew she was covered.
 
It is exactly Connor’s knowledge that her pernicious breach of trust is totally protected that make any real inquiry into just how the remunerations are received by the miscreants at best guesswork or at worse not for public knowledge except by procrustean efforts – some of which might be hazardous.   For this reason we desperately need President Trump to take a lead and direct the Attorney General of the United States to do an HONEST and comprehensive investigation of the elder cleansing that is the ISIS terrorism associated with the WAR ON THE ELDERLY AND THE DISABLED.

From: kenneth ditkowsky <kenditkowsky@yahoo.com>

Sent: Tuesday, March 21, 2017 5:58 PM
Subject: Re: [JudicialMisconduct] Fwd: Petition to Reinstate Law License and Notice of Claim for Damages against IARDC – Corrected Version

If anyone needs to be reminded that Jim Crow is alive and well in Illinois, the Lanre Amu case is a clear case.    The record in the Amu case suggests that Amu’s crime was having a dark skin.   This conclusion is bolstered by the outrageous treatment of Diane Nash by the Larkin IARDC conspiracy.    Ms. Nash was barred from a hearing room in which a kangaroo hearing as to JoAnne Denison was being heard.   Ms. Nash (a civil rights icon) was the only person who was not admitted. There was a empty seat right next to me (I was observing and seated right next to Attorney Amu).    I known there was no mistake to the denial of allowing Ms. Nash to attend as I personally wrote the IARDC administrator (by e-mail) and requested an apology to Ms. Nash.   To date not even the usual insincere apology has no been forthcoming.
 
Mr. Amu’s petition is attached along with the article from Crain’s Chicago Business.    
 
The maltreatment of Mr. Amu was clearly gross violation of the decency expected by Americans from their government.  Exactly how the United States of America and the State of Illinois can tolerate the outrage that Jerome Larkin and the Illinois judicial system have done to Mr. Amu is a mystery.   How such conduct on the part of public officials can be condoned is also a mystery.
I join with Mr. Amu in demanding an HONEST INVESTIGATION and I go one step further – I demand that if an HONEST INVESTIGATION finds that the allegations of Mr. Amu are accurate that a grand jury be impaneled and that every attorney associated with the prosecution against Mr. Amu who did not speak up against the civil rights violations perpetrated against Mr. Amu be subject to severe professional disciple. There is no place in the Courts of Illinois for racism!    Mr. Larkin in allegedly perpetuating it and JIM CROW has breached his public trust.    (As has every attorney involved in the Amu case!) 


From: ”Lanre O. Amu’ via JudicialMisconduct <judicialmisconduct@googlegroups.com>

Sent: Tuesday, March 21, 2017 5:25 PM
Subject: [JudicialMisconduct] Fwd: Petition to Reinstate Law License and Notice of Claim for Damages against IARDC – Corrected Version

‘Lanre O. Amu, P.E. (Illinois ’89), B.C.E. (U of MN, ’84), M.S.C.E. ( U of MN, ’86 ), M.B.A. (UIC, ’89), J.D. (1995)
0909 301 3007   0815 781 6971
Email: loamu@aol.com
—–Original Message—–
From: ‘Lanre O. Amu <loamu@aol.com>
To: kgjablonski <kgjablonski@iardc.org>; jjgrogan <jjgrogan@iardc.org>
Sent: Tue, Mar 21, 2017 11:24 pm
Subject: Petition to Reinstate Law License and Notice of Claim for Damages against IARDC – Corrected Version

Attention: IARDC  (Corrected for Typographical errors)

ENCLOSED IS MY PETITION TO REINSTATE MY LAW LICENSE and
NOTICE OF CLAIM FOR DAMAGES

‘Lanre O. Amu, P.E. (Illinois ’89), B.C.E. (U of MN, ’84), M.S.C.E. ( U of MN, ’86 ), M.B.A. (UIC, ’89), J.D. (1995)
0909 301 3007   0815 781 6971

Tonight–Live on Cooper’s Corner Cable TV show–discussions on 4 Horror Story in the Court Books–Carmen Tozzo, Carol Wyman, Mike Larsen’s Book and American Nightmare

 

 

Here is the link to the show:

And we are still looking for 3 little girls (now in their teens) who were human trafficked and raped by a Monster as young as age two.  Their names are Layla, Emily and Annie Thomas. Two are twins. They are reported to be in Texas but could be anywhere.  If you know of where they are, please contact me immediately. There is a grandma looking for them, the biological mother has taken drugs and let the girls be sold to men for sex. The grand mother wants the girls back, safe and sound.

The books:

 

https://www.amazon.com/Guardianship-Judges-Lawyers-Steal-Money/dp/0692586210

http://www.lulu.com/shop/teresa-lyles/65-minutes/paperback/product-22946815.html

https://www.amazon.com/Against-Will-John-Howard-Wyman/dp/0984855106

Each of these books was discussed on the show and how a corrupt court system allowed extremely vulnerable citizens–three young girls and two elderly women, so suffer through horrors propagated by the US court system.

We will be doing a follow up show next week and hope to have some of the authors on the show.

These are important topics today that can affect everyone in the US–allowing children to be raped in Kankakee and the police and court are in on it (the girls see police officer cars in front of their home when men come to have sex with them for cash), and guardianship court where seniors are forced into locked down nursing homes where they are abused and their estates drained.

JoAnne

Demand from Lanre Amu to Jerome Larkin–reinstate my license and pay $35 million in damages!

As you all are well aware, Mr. Amu had a trial by the ARDC that was totally devoid of due process.  No judges showed up that he could cross examine on all their perfidy and corruption, yet Mr. Amu was accused of making “false statements” against judges.

Here is the link to the original document:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B6FbJzwtHocwUlowUEI1aG9vakE

The most inane part of all of this is that if you Google Lanre Amu, you will see his decision in which the ARDC finds him guilty (as they did Ken and myself) of making “false statements” regarding judges, and then right below it is an article on Judge Lynn Egan in which Crain’s Chicago business did an investigative report on exactly what Mr. Amu claimed as corruption–and more. (Amu was appearing before Judge Lynn Egan not knowing that her brother’s law firm was his opponents, appearing on cases–and winning, not surprisingly. When he found out he was furious and accused her of engaging in corruption. Jerome Larkin and the ARDC said Amu was lying, Crain’s Chicago Business said that Egan was corrupt, making Larkin a liar.  There has been no retraction of that article, but more–Judge Egan sits on the board of corporations which appeared before her.  Those corporations subsequently removed her for her corruption and apologized to the public.  No apology ever emanates from the judges accused of corruption and/or the ARDC, their protectorate.)

With that in mind, read on.

1
’LANRE O. AMU
B.C.E., M.S.C.E., P.E., M.B.A., J.D.
Engineering, Business, Law & Media
B.C.E. (UMN,’84), M.S.C.E. (UMN, ’86), M.B.A. (UIC,’89), J.D.(’95)
Address: Plot No. 30, Kugbo, Abuja, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nigeria
Telephone: 0909 301 3007; 0815 781 6971 Email: lanreamu@gmail.com
March 21, 2017
Attention: Mr. Jerome Larkin, Administrator
Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission
130 East Randolph Drive, Suite 1500
Chicago, Illinois 60606-6219
+1-312-565-2600
Clerk Email: kgjablonski@iardc.org
Chief Counsel Email: jjgrogan@iardc.org
In re: Petition to Reinstate Law License and Notice of Claim of ’Lanre O. Amu
against the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission,
(IARDC), an Agency of the Illinois State Government.
Dear Mr. Jerome Larkin:
1. Attached is my Notice of Claim against the Illinois Attorney Registration and
Disciplinary Commission (IARDC), an Agency of the Illinois State
Government. (See In re: Lanre O. Amu, 2011 PR00106)
2. I hereby demand (i) $35 Million Dollars ($35,000,000.00) in damages for the
crimes perpetrated against me by Messrs. Roberto Verrando and Steven Splitt,
(ii) I also demand the immediate and the unconditional reinstatement of my law
license which was wrongfully suspended, and (iii) I also demand a letter of
2
apology for the wrongs and damages visited upon me for no just cause.
3. Motivated primarily by xenophobia, IARDC, an institution of government, was
used in a highly sophisticated way to undermine the effective Administration of
Justice in the Courts in my matters and as a result I sustained serious damages.
My reputation, and properties, including a 16 year legal practice Firm were
destroyed. I was dispossessed in America because of my Race (Black) and my
National Origin (Nigeria). I DEMAND AN HONEST INVESTIGATION!
When the Truth which has so far been covered up is finally unearthed, I will be
vindicated. I estimate that a thorough investigation of this matter will take the
US government, including the FBI and the US Department of Justice,
approximately 48 official hours.
4. The sophisticated xenophobic crimes perpetrated against me in Illinois
involved the use of an institution of State government, i.e., the IARDC, under
the pretext of a disciplinary proceedings against me. The entire “faceless”
proceeding initiated against me through the IARDC was a sham ab initio and
the undisclosed perpetrators knew it. The charges brought against me were
non-existent and false; and the prosecutions of those charges through the
institutions for Administration of Justice and the Courts were perverted. The
objective was to dispossess and liquidate me because I am a foreigner who
posed a threat to their ability to continue the status quo wrongdoing to many
African-immigrants whom I represented in the Courts of Illinois. I was tagged
a foreigner in America, the land of immigrants, even though I had lived my
entire adult life between the ages of 21 and 54 in the United States of America
without a single blemish on my record or reputation prior to this experience.
5. The spirit and the letter of American law, including the Bill of Rights,
specifically the First Amendment, the Due Process Clause and the Equal
Protection Clause of the Fourteen Amendment, to the US Constitution protect
me from these violations. So far, the whole matter has been swept under the
carpet by those who do not respect the spirit of the American law when it
comes to applying existing laws to immigrants like me. With this Notice of
Claim, at issue is whether the US government itself will now own up to its
responsibility to uphold my rights under American laws. It is my hope and
prayer that your office will appreciate the magnitude of what happened here,
recognize its responsibility to take up my cause to the highest level of the US
Government, and uphold my rights under the letter and the spirit of American
3
law.
6. The fortunate aspect of all of these is that the evidence of the crime
perpetrated against me is not destructible. Truth crushed to earth shall rise
again. The evidence of the crimes perpetrated against me in Illinois is there
even tomorrow. The evidence is simply waiting to be unearthed by a Honest
and Transparent investigation.
7. It is rather ironic that the US which prides itself in sending delegates and
emissaries to countries in Africa to lecture, teach, and preach about global
peace, justice, anti-terrorism, mutual cooperation, security, capacity building,
technical assistance, development, anti-corruption, transparency, good
governance, etc., will harbor these vices against some African-immigrants
within its own borders, and that the mainstream US Media will simply not
report these violations. We are hopeful that when the US is confronted with
the evidence of the institutional wrongdoing and corruption within its own
borders in this case, the US will make amends and act consistent with what it
lectures, teaches and preaches in Africa.
8. The system for Administration of Justice, i.e., the Court is the last hope of the
common man. When that governmental institution is hijacked and perverted in
the US against some vulnerable African-immigrants because of xenophobia as
in this case, lives can be destroyed and properties taken away without due
compensation. Worst still, none of these will be reported in the mainstream
Media in the United States in a conspiracy and/or culture of silence in face of
atrocities against a vulnerable group of immigrants.
9. I write this conscious of the fact that the primary duty of Government, any
government, is to protect lives and properties.
10. The issues in my case include:
10.1 How can a lawyer’s professional license (mine) and means of
livelihood be suspended for three (3) years without any person
testifying to any wrongdoing by that lawyer (me) as was done to me
in Illinois on August 6, 2013?
10.2 How can a tribunal make a finding that I a lawyer made a false
statement of material fact concerning the integrity of Judge Lynn
Egan in relation to her brother’s law firm Pretzel & Stouffer’s1
1 One of the owners of the Pretzel & Stouffer Firm is Matthew Egan, the brother of
Judge Lynn Egan. Pretzel & Stouffer secured a verdict in excess of $ 385 Million
4
conflicted representation when there is no evidence of a false
statement in the record of proceedings, and when in fact the objective
evidence in the record of proceedings supports a finding that Judge
Lynn Egan and the law firm of Pretzel & Stouffer engaged in ethical
lapses in violation of the Cannon of Judicial Ethics Judge Egan swore
to abide by when she was made a judge in the Circuit Court of Cook
County?
10.3 In light of the Crain Chicago Business’ investigation published in
their newspapers on March 1, 2014 and April 4, 2014, almost a year
after my suspension, exposing ethical lapses by Judge Lynn Egan and
her brother’s law firm, Pretzel & Stouffer, an independent
investigation that mirrors “on all fours” my written complaint
between 2009 and 2011 against Judge Lynn Egan and her brother’s
law firm, Pretzel & Stouffer, how can my suspension for making a
false statement of material fact in my written complaint against Judge
Egan stand?
10.4 Why was I subjected to a different trial than similarly situated
Caucasian lawyers charged with similar offenses I was charged with?
10.5 Why was I subjected to a harsher sentence (given 3 years actual
suspension) while similarly situated Caucasian lawyers actually found
guilty of similar charges were given just 60 days suspended sentence
with minimal or no interruption in their legal practice, when in fact I
am not even guilty of the false charges leveled against me? (Please
see IARDC Cases: In re Brian Keith Sides, 11 PR 0144 and In Re John
N. Dore, 07 CH 0122)
10.6 Why is it that similarly placed Caucasian lawyers charged with
similar offences were allowed to defend themselves by having the
judges and/or lawyers involved testify under Oath concerning the
Dollars for its client Citgo in the Circuit Court of Cook County in 2006. Citgo is an
interested or material party in the case that I brought in which Matthew Egan’s law
firm of Pretzel & Stouffer defended and Judge Lynn Egan who is Matthew Egan’s
brother presided prior to the undisclosed relationship between the presiding judge
Lynn Egan and the defense law firm Pretzel & Stouffer come to light causing me to
file a formal written complaint against Judge Lynn Egan. This complaint resulted in
my three (3) year suspension from the practice of law in Illinois which is the subject
of the Claim I am now making here.
5
charges, and I was denied that right of self defense and simply found
guilty without any evidence. (Please see IARDC Cases: In re Brian
Keith Sides, 11 PR 0144 and In Re John N. Dore, 07 CH 0122)
11. Honest answers to issues 10.1 to 10.6 above is at the heart of a fair resolution
of this claim.
12. After 34 years of exemplary life in the United States, it is a gross violation of
my Civil Rights and my Human rights to be subjected to this humiliating
treatment in America, some 50 years after the Civil Rights Act that affirmatively
prohibits such behavior by government and its institutions in the United States.
13. I pray that you give this matter the level of seriousness that it deserves, and I
look forward to hearing from you on the way forward in this matter.
14. Thank you very much for your cooperation and God Bless.
Very truly yours,
’Lanre O. Amu
+1 234 (0) 909 301 3007
lanreamu@gmail.com
‘Lanre O. Amu
1
’LANRE O. AMU
B.C.E., M.S.C.E., P.E., M.B.A., J.D.
Engineering, Business, Law & Media
B.C.E. (UMN,’84), M.S.C.E. (UMN, ’86), M.B.A. (UIC,’89), J.D.(’95)
March 20, 2017
Notice of Claim for Damages and Injury Sustained as a Result of Xenophobia,
Race and National Origin Discrimination in Illinois, the United States
1. The U.S. or Illinois Agency to Which this Claim is Directed:
Mr. Jerome Larkin,
The Administrator
The Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (IARDC)
130 East Randolph Drive, Suite 1500
Chicago, Illinois 60606-6219
Telephone Number: +1-312-565-2600
Clerk Email: kgjablonski@iardc.org
Chief Counsel Email: jjgrogan@iardc.org
2. The Full Name of the Claimant:
’Lanre O. Amu, B.C.E. (U of Mn, ’84), M.S.C.E. (U of Mn, ’86), P.E. (Illinois
’89), M.B.A. (UIC, ’89), J.D. (John Marshall Law School, 1995)
3. The Current Address of the Claimant
Plot No. 30, Kugbo, Abuja, FCT
4. Current Phone Number of the Claimant:
+234 (0) 909-301-3007
5. Email Address of the Claimant
lanreamu@gmail.com
6. Date of Birth of the Claimant:
2
August 1, 1961
7. Date of the Incident or Period of the Incident:
From August 6, 2013 to the Present time.
8. Basis of Claim, Alleged Wrongdoing, and/or Explanation of What
Happened:
8.1 Official Corruption of the Administration of Justice against the Claimant
because of Xenophobia, Race (Black) and National Origin (Nigeria)
Discrimination. Specifically, Messrs. Robert Verrando and Steven Splitt,
officials of the IARDC knowingly brought and prosecuted false charges against
me in my capacity as a professional lawyer in Illinois after I made written
complaints which exposed judicial corruption in the Illinois Court proceedings
I handled on behalf of four African-Immigrant Clients. These officials of the
IARDC manipulated the Administration of Justice to work a conviction against
me without any evidence whatsoever to support the charges they made against
me. They accomplished these by simply disregarding my Constitutional Rights
to be given a fair and impartial trial according to the Due Proceedings laid
down for the Administration of Justice and because I am seen as a foreigner
nobody in the system for Administration of Justice raised an eye brow or took
steps to prevent or correct the Human Rights Violations against me.
8.2 What I have described here is sophisticated white collar crime by
officials who knew the workings of system for Administration of Justice in
Illinois and the United States of America inside out.
8.3 Through the manipulation of the system for Administration of Justice,
they secured a conviction that I made false statement concerning the integrity
of a judge and that I made false statement to a tribunal. But till today, there is
no evidence of any false statement by me in the record to back up the
conviction they secured illegally.
8.4 As fortune will have it, about a year after I was suspended for three (3)
years from the practice of law for allegedly making a false statement concerning
the integrity of Judge Lynn Egan, a major independent newspaper in Illinois,
the Crain Chicago Newspaper corroborated “on all fours” the very complaint I
had made which the IARDC officials Messrs. Robert Verrando and Steven
Splitt had knowingly rubbished as a lie. And to make matters worse, the
Justices of the matter bought the false, corrupt, and perverted arguments of
3
Messrs. Verrando and Steven that I made false statement hook, line, and sinker
in a conspiracy to violate my Human Rights, silent me, and get rid of me. The
Crain Chicago Business Newspaper expose is clear irrefutable independent
evidence that I did not make any false statement and that the government
officials prosecuting and persecuting me are the ones making false statements
against me, and perverting the very justice they were Sworn under Oath before
God and Man to uphold in their drive to eliminate me.
Briefly Describe the Nature and Extent of the Damage:
My 16 year legal practice was abruptly brought to a halt, and my legal aid and
assistant thrown out of work causing catastrophic financial losses. I was
humiliated and dehumanized. Severe harm was done to my reputation as a
person of honesty and good character. I felt unfairly labelled as a liar in my
profession, and stigmatized. I began to fear for my safety. This is shocking and
a bitter experience in a country I have lived for 34 years out of 54 years of life.
9. Amount of Claim/Damages:
I am now asking to be made whole from the damages and injuries I have
sustained as a result of this incident. I claim damages against the Illinois
Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (IARDC) in the sum of
$35 Million Dollars. [Thirty Five Million Dollars], and the unconditional
reinstatement of my law license which was corruptly and unlawfully suspended
on August 6, 2013 because of Xenophobia, Race (Black) and National Origin
(Nigeria) Discrimination.
10. Names, Address and Telephone Number of all Officials having
knowledge of this Incident:
Robert Verrando, Steven Splitt, James J. Grogan, and Kenneth Jablonski. They
are all officials of the IARDC. Address is listed in 1.0 above.
11. Please attach documents that support the allegations of the Claim
The enclosed investigative newspaper articles by Crain Chicago Business
independently corroborates my complaints “on all fours” against judicial
corruption which Messrs. Verrando and Splitt hid in my case as they
prosecuted and persecuted me for making false statements. The Article is 100%
proof that I did not make any false statement concerning the integrity of Judge
Lynn Egan, her brother Matthew Egan or his law Firm Pretzel and Stouffer. In
4
addition, there is no evidence whatsoever to back up the conviction they
secured against me.
12. Additional Comments:
I was a First Class [equivalent] Civil Engineering Graduate of the Institute of
Technology at the University of Minnesota in 1984. I am an asset to Nigeria,
the United States and Humanity at large. Because of my phenomenal rise in my
profession as a lawyer, I was seen by my prosecutors as a threat who needed to
be eliminated and that as a foreigner who took American jobs. So they plotted
against me by bringing false charges so as to destroy my thriving legal practice
and means of livelihood. By corrupting the system for Administration of
Justice against me, they frustrated my ability to seek relief through the normal
workings of the Courts in America. They use the Administration of Justice
apparatus to frustrate my right to a fair hearing in the Courts because I am a
foreigner. Access to be able to secure any form of justice through the normal
workings of the Administration of Justice system in American Courts was
closed to me because of Xenophobia, Race (Black) and National Origin
(Nigeria) Discrimination. This even though I have lived continuously in
America without any blemish on my record for 34 years. An honest,
transparent, and impartial investigation of this Claim will substantiate
everything I have stated here.
CERTIFICATION, AFFIDAVIT, AND/OR AFFIRMATION
USA: Under penalties as provided by law pursuant to the Illinois Code of Civil
Procedure, 735 ILCS 5/109, the undersigned certifies that the statements set forth in
this Notice of Claim are True and Correct, except as to matters therein stated to be
on information and belief, and as to such matters therein stated the undersigned
certifies as aforesaid that s/he verily believes the same to be true.
Nigeria: I, ’Lanre O. Amu, do hereby Solemnly Affirm by Almighty God that this is
my name and that the facts Deposed to by me in this Notice of Claim are the Truth,
the Whole Truth, and Nothing but the Truth.
Signature of Claimant Date
‘Lanre O. Amu March 20, 2017
March 01, 2014
Judge sits on hospital board while her
brother represents it in court
By Kristen Schorsch and Andrew L. Wang
For at least 15 years, Cook County Circuit Court Judge Lynn Egan has sat on the boards
governing a south suburban hospital while it regularly has hired her brother’s law firm.
Chicago-based Pretzel & Stouffer has represented Palos Community Hospital in almost half of the 170 cases involving the hospital filed over that period in the law division of the circuit court, according to a Crain’s review of court records. From 2011 to 2013, Matthew Egan, a partner in the firm, represented Palos in at least 15 cases before his sister’s judicial colleagues, most of them involving medical malpractice or personal injury.
The nonprofit hospital did not disclose the financial relationship with Mr. Egan in forms filed with the IRS between 1999 and 2011, the latest year for which records are publicly available. It did disclose a separate sibling relationship: payments totaling nearly $56,000 to the sister of its former CEO in 2011. In a response to questions from Crain’s, the hospital says it plans to review its procedures. “As it pertains to contracted legal services, we believe all of the required board disclosures have been made,” Palos board Chairman Edward Mulcahy says in a statement. “However, as a precaution, we will again review our internal processes.” Mr. Mulcahy says the administration, not board members, hire vendors.
SHAKEUP
The independent, 362-bed community hospital in Palos Heights is in the midst of a leadership shakeup. After roughly 30 years under CEO Sister Margaret Wright, who retired in 2013, the board hired Edgardo Tenreiro, chief operating officer at a Baton Rouge, La., hospital system. But with no public explanation, he departed three weeks ago after less than three months on the job.
Greg Paetow, a board member for three years, says he quit for “personal reasons” on Feb. 12, the same day Mr. Tenreiro left. A second person on the 12-member hospital board also resigned in February, as did Thomas Barcelona, chairman of the board of parent company St. George Corp., which solicits donations for the hospital.
Ms. Egan (at right), who also serves on St. George’s board and is on the Palos hospital board’s executive committee, says she disclosed Mr. Egan’s representation of Palos on an annual conflict statement available to the hospital’s auditors and tax preparers.
“I believe that I have performed my service as a jurist and volunteer PCH board member in a responsible and ethical manner,” she says in a statement. “Any suggestion to the contrary is false.”
Ms. Egan did not respond to a request to provide the document. Disclosure statements she filed with the Illinois Supreme Court from 2011 to 2013 do not mention her brother or his law firm.
Mr. Egan says in an email that “no attorney in our firm has ever appeared before Judge Egan in any matter on behalf of Palos Community Hospital.” Notions of a potential conflict of interest are “false, indeed reckless,” he adds.
Even if Pretzel & Stouffer were the best firm for the job, experts say the lack of transparency raises questions.
“I would think in this case you would want to bend over backwards to disclose the conflict to make sure no one makes assumptions,” says David Becher, an associate professor of finance at Drexel University in Philadelphia. quote|David Becher, professor, Drexel University I would think in this case you would want to bend over backwards to disclose the conflict to make sure no one makes assumptions.
During Ms. Egan’s tenure on the board, Pretzel & Stouffer has been named only once in the
hospital’s available tax returns, as one of the five highest-paid vendors in 2002, making about $163,000. Nonprofits generally must disclose employees who are board members’ relatives if they make more than $10,000 a year, says David Lowenthal, a Chicago-based senior manager at accounting firm Plante & Moran PLLC.
The hospital has disclosed the compensation of board members Thomas Courtney, a lawyer who processes third-party liens for patient bills; Dr. Mark Sinibaldi, the medical director of the psychiatric unit; and Ms. Wright’s sister, who also worked at the hospital.
CODE OF CONDUCT
Having Ms. Egan and fellow law division Judge Deborah Dooling on the hospital board raises other questions. The Illinois Supreme Court’s Code of Judicial Conduct allows judges to serve on charitable boards so long as the service doesn’t interfere with their duties.
The code, however, warns that a judge should not serve if the organization is “regularly engaged in adversary proceedings in any court” and singles out hospitals as a potential trouble spot.
Ms. Egan says she “carefully considered whether my service on the board was permissible” and, after consulting the Illinois Judicial Ethics Committee, concluded there was no issue. Ms. Dooling did not return messages.
One past chair of the ethics committee says he would caution judges against serving on a hospital board because hospitals are frequently named in malpractice litigation.
“The fact that Dooling and Egan sit in the law division makes it more obvious that they should not be on the board,” says Warren Lupel, special counsel at Chicago firm Much Shelist PC. “If (cases are) frequent, it’s ‘regularly engaged,’ and certainly for a hospital, it is frequent.” http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20140301/ISSUE01/303019979/judge-sits-on-hospitalboard-
while-her-brother-represents-it-in-court

Andis Robeznieks Reporter about a year ago
RT @kschorsch: .@CookCntyCourt judge sits on @Palos_Hospital board while
brother defends hospital in court. tinyurl.com/nywkyye
Kristen Schorsch Reporter about a year ago
.@CookCntyCourt judge sits on @Palos_Hospital board while brother defends
hospital in court. tinyurl.com/nywkyye
Paul Merrion Journalist about a year ago
Judge sits on hospital board while her brother represents it in court
@CrainsChicago #chicago #twill chicagobusiness.com/article/201403…
Kristen Schorsch Reporter about a year ago
.@Palos_Hospital to review protocol for hiring legal services after @andrewwang13
and I question family affair. tinyurl.com/npgu9ps
Kristen Schorsch Reporter about a year ago
Family affair @Palos_Hospital. @CookCntyCourt judge on board while brother
defends Palos in court. tinyurl.com/npgu9ps @andrewwang13
Peter Frost Food, Beverage and Dining Reporter about a year ago
RT @andrewwang13: At @Palos_Hospital, it’s a family affair. Via me and
@kschorsch. chicagobusiness.com/article/201403… @CrainsChicago
Andrew Wang Journalist about a year ago
At @Palos_Hospital, it’s a family affair. Via me and @kschorsch.
chicagobusiness.com/article/201403… @CrainsChicago
Judge Lynn Egan sits on Palos hospital board while brother represents it in Circuit
Court

I2F SUBMITTED – 1799912054 – LANREOAMU – 05/26/2015 11:33:16 PM DOCUMENT ACCEPTED ON: 05/27/2015 09:39:57 AM
M.R.26545
Cook County Judge Resigns from Palos
Community Hospital Boards
A Cook County Circuit judge has relinquished her role on
two leadership roles for Palos Community Hospital.
By Lauren Traut (Patch Staff) – April 7, 2014 2:01 am ET
A Cook County Circuit Judge who also sat on boards that oversee Palos Community Hospital has resigned, after revelations that the hospital regularly used her brother’s law firm. Officials confirmed Friday that Judge Lynn Egan had stepped down from her roles on two boards, Crain’s Chicago reports.
Egan’s involvement with the hospital’s leadership spans 15 years, Crain’s reports. Her brother, Matthew Egan, is a partner in the Chicago-based law firm Pretzel & Stouffer. According to Crain’s, Matthew Egan “represented Palos in at least 15 cases before his sister’s judicial colleagues, most of them involving medical malpractice or personal injury.” Egan maintains that she disclosed her brother’s representation of Palos in an annual conflict statement available to hospital auditors and tax preparers. Crain’s reports that the hospital did not disclose the financial relationship with Matthew Egan in the hospital’s tax filings between 1999 and 2011.
Her resignation is the sixth since the abrupt departure of CEO Edgardo Tenreiro in February. Other recent resignations include board members Carole Ruzich and Thomas Courtney. Ruzich sat on the board of the hospital’s parent company St. George Corp., and Courtney was one of 12 on the hospital’s board, Crain’s Chicago Business reports. Ruzich also serves as a trustee for the Village of Orland Park.
Palos hospital Fitch ratings outlook slips from ‘stable’ condition after resignations
 10 Apr 2014 02:41
 Written by Tim Hadac
The ongoing exodus of members of the governing board of Palos Community Hospital and its parent, the St. George Corp., has apparently prompted the Fitch credit ratings agency to frown upon the Palos Heights medical institution.
Crain’s Chicago Business reported last Tuesday that Fitch has changed its ratings outlook for the hospital from “stable” to “negative” and “warned of a potential downgrade” due to in part due to “instability at the governance and management level.”
“The recent resignation of five parent board and hospital board members coupled with the Feb. 12 resignation of the former CEO, Edgardo Tenreiro, raises concern about the stability and direction of the organization as it attempts to improve operating performance and complete its campus project,” the Fitch report said.
On the other hand, the Fitch assessment, issued April 1, noted that the hospital has “significant balance-sheet strength” and “robust liquidity” that serves as a buffer against its weaker than anticipated financial performance. Fitch Ratings is one of the “Big Three” credit rating agencies.
The exodus continued late last week, with the resignation of Lynn Egan, a Cook County Circuit Court judge.
Egan had served on both the hospital board and its St. George Corp. counterpart.
She departed in the wake of disclosures by Crain’s Chicago Business that the hospital had hired her brother’s law firm and that the hospital “did not disclose the financial relationship with Ms. Egan’s brother, Matthew Egan, in forms filed with the IRS between 1999 and 2011, the latest year for which records are publicly available. At the same time, Palos did disclose that other board members and the sister of retired Palos CEO Sister Margaret Wright received payments as vendors or employees of the hospital, records show.”
Egan has not made any public comment about her resignation.
In response to Egan’s departure, hospital officials released a statement to The Regional News earlier this week:
“Over the last 15 years, Lynn Egan volunteered countless hours supporting the mission of PCH. We are immensely grateful for her dedication, hard work and service on behalf of our patients, staff, physicians and community and are saddened to lose a volunteer with her high standards and ethical commitment to the hospital. Among her many contributions, Ms. Egan initiated and championed the hospital’s successful efforts in bringing gender, ethnic and religious diversity to the board of directors.
“Palos Community Hospital has reviewed its conflict of interest policy and determined it is
consistent with standard industry practices. The board member’s annual disclosure statements were also reviewed and it was determined that Ms. Egan and the other board members filed accurate and complete forms, as required, with any potential conflicts fully disclosed.
“Board members did not have a role in selecting the Pretzel & Stouffer law firm as a vendor to the hospital for legal services. In fact, the firm was retained by the then CEO, Sister Margaret Wright. The required disclosures regarding the relationship between PCH and the law firm Pretzel & Stouffer were made in a timely and transparent way with the assistance of outside experts and all vendor relationships were appropriately described, as required, to the IRS.
“PCH is confident in both the legal work provided by that law firm and the disclosures made by its board members.”
Egan was the sixth board member to call it quits after the abrupt resignation of Tenreiro, who had been hired with great fanfare but left just 90 days into in his tenure.
In January, Tenreiro said in a Crain’s Chicago Business interview that the hospital has “been losing about $1 million to a couple million dollars a month. It is a challenge, no question about it. It’s a combination of our costs being too high and our revenue not being high enough. On the revenue side, we’re going to have to work much closer with our physicians to identify ideas for growth. Our labor productivity is not where we want it to be. You want to match your demand for the service with the labor that you have. In order to make that happen, you have to really focus on being lean and Six Sigma (a data-driven approach to measure quality), which are the tools that we’re going to be providing. You have to cut costs at the same time.”
Others who have recently departed from the boards of the hospital and its parent corporation include Greg Paetow, Jim Reilly, Tom Barcelona, Carole Ruzich, and Thomas Courtney.
Not all the departures are necessarily connected or related to the turmoil at the hospital.
Ruzich, in a recent statement to The Regional News, said:
“After serving for the maximum 12 years on the Palos Community Hospital Board of Directors, my term on that board expired in November 2013. I was thereafter asked to serve on the St. George Corporation Board of Directors. I did resign recently from that board, as it became clear to me that the time demands of serving was making it difficult to keep up with the responsibilities of my law practice, my service as a trustee with the Village of Orland Park, and my family.
“My work at my law firm is very deadline driven, while my village service is very time consuming as we are seeking to attract new developments to Orland Park. The role of the St. George Board of Directors is very important to Palos Community Hospital, and one to which I did not feel I could devote the appropriate amount of time. Out of fairness to my family and my constituents, I simply decided I needed to give something up.”
The ongoing saga appears to have caused considerable concern among the 2,820 employees at the 362-bed hospital, the largest employer in Palos Heights.
“There’s a lot of worry among people at all levels, as you might imagine,” a nurse said this week, who spoke on condition of confidentiality. “We hear what the hospital has said, but of course there are all kinds of rumors flying up and down the hallways and bouncing off the walls. Most of them probably aren’t true, but who knows where the truth lies or what the future holds? This is a stressful time to work here, that much I can say.”
1
’LANRE O. AMU
B.C.E., M.S.C.E., P.E., M.B.A., J.D.
Engineering, Business, Law & Media
B.C.E. (UMN,’84), M.S.C.E. (UMN, ’86), M.B.A. (UIC,’89), J.D.(’95)
Address: Plot No. 30, Kugbo, Abuja, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nigeria
Telephone: 0909 301 3007; 0815 781 6971 Email: lanreamu@gmail.com
March 1, 2017
OBJECTIVE:
I am Highly Qualified, Interested, and Readily Available for Faithful, Loyal, and Honest
Service. I have worked as an Engineer; I have worked in the Power Industry; I have
worked in the Business and Corporate World; I have lectured in College; and I have
Practiced Law.
Background:
Full Names: Mr. Olanrewaju Olakunle Temitayo Amu
Date and Place of Birth: August 1, 1961, in Lagos, Nigeria
Nationality, State of Origin and LGA: Nigeria by Birth, Ogun State, Ijebu-Ode LGA
Primary School: Ereko Methodist School, Berkley Street, Lagos, Nigeria, 1967-1973
Secondary School: Igbobi College, Yaba, Lagos, Nigeria, 1973-1978
H.S.C.: Federal Government College, Ijanikin, Lagos, Nigeria, 1978-1980
Higher School: Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, Nigeria, 1980-1982
Undergraduate: University of Minnesota, Bachelor of Civil Engineering, 1984
Graduate: University of Minnesota, Master of Science in Civil Engineering, 1986
Graduate: University of Illinois at Chicago, Master of Business Administration, 1989
Graduate: The John Marshall Law School, Chicago, Illinois, Juris Doctorate, 1995
Professional License: Licensed Professional Engineer, P.E., Illinois 1989
Practice of Law: Before various State and Federal Courts, Including the Illinois Supreme
Court and the Supreme Court of the United States, between 1996 and 2013.
2
Brief on Qualifications: Education, Work Experience, and Community Involvement
Mr. Amu is educated in Engineering, Business, and Law. Mr. Amu attended the Institute
of Technology at the University of Minnesota and received a Bachelor of Civil
Engineering degree, with High Distinction, (The equivalent of a First Class) in 1984.
Thereafter, Mr. Amu received a Master of Science in Civil Engineering degree from the
Graduate School of the University of Minnesota in 1986. Mr. Amu worked as an Engineer
for Sargent & Lundy, a Power Company, in Chicago, in 1986. Between 1986 and 1990,
Mr. Amu worked as an Engineer for Consoer Townsend Envirodyne Engineers, Inc.
(CTE), in Chicago. Mr. Amu received a Master in Business Administration (M.B.A.)
degree with concentration in Strategic Management and Marketing from the University of
Illinois in Chicago in 1989. Mr. Amu later worked as an Engineer for Commonwealth
Edison Company (ComEd) now Exelon Corporation, in Chicago, from 1990 to 1992.
Between 1992 and 1995, Mr. Amu attended The John Marshall Law School in Chicago,
and received the degree of Juris Doctor in 1995.
After graduating from Law School, between 1995 and 1996, Mr. Amu became associated
with the Law Firm of James D. Montgomery & Associates in Chicago. Between 1996 and
2000, Mr. Amu was also associated with the Law Firm of Standish E. Willis, Limited in
Chicago. Between 1996 and August 6, 2013, Mr. Amu was admitted to practice law before
the Illinois Supreme Court, the United States District Courts (Federal Courts), the United
States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and the Supreme Court of the United
States.
On August 6, 2013, Mr. Amu was wrongfully suspended from the practice of law for three
(3) years by the Illinois Supreme Court after Mr. Amu filed a written complaint that
Exposed Judicial Corruption that is antithetical to the advancement of many African-
Immigrants in the United States. For more details, please watch YouTube: Attorney Amu
Honours include: Bachelor of Civil Engineering with High Distinction (>Top 10%);
Raymond C. Reese Research Prize by the American Society of Civil Engineers (A.S.C.E.);
Licensed Professional Engineer; Advocate for Judicial Reform and Court Reform.
Community Involvement: Mr. Amu maintains membership in Community Associations
and participates in Community Activities.
3
Professional Experiences:
Sargent & Lundy, Chicago-Engineer, 1986
Sargent & Lundy is a multinational Company that provides energy business, consulting
and project management services for new, and operating Power Plants, and renewable
energy projects worldwide. Activities include complete project management; engineering
design; construction management; project feasibility evaluation; strategic project siting;
and due diligence reviews. Energy projects include: Nuclear Power Plants, Fossil Power
Plants, Solar Power Plants, and Wind Power Plants. Sargent & Lundy Company in
Chicago has designed over 950 Power Plants with total capacity exceeding 140,000MW.
Amu worked as an engineer in Sargent & Lundy in 1986.
Consoer Townsend Envirodyne Engineers (CTE), Chicago-Engineer, 1987
Consoer Townsend Envirodyne Engineers, Inc. (CTE), is an Architect-Engineer firm
involved in the planning, designing, improving and maintenance of infrastructures
throughout the United States. It employs professionals specializing in Civil, Structural,
Electrical, and Mechanical Engineering; Architecture; Land Planning; Environmental
Science; and Computer Aided Drafting and Design. It provides consulting services to
communities, agencies, and businesses in areas of Environmental Engineering: water
resources, wastewater, storm water management, solid waste management, flood control,
land planning and development; Surface Transportation: roads, highways, bridges,
commuter rail transits, and railroads; Aviation: airport planning, airfields, and military
bases. Amu worked as an Engineer at Consoer Townsend Envirodyne Engineers, Inc.
(CTE) from 1987 to 1990.
Exelon Corporation, Chicago-Engineer, 1990
Exelon Corporation is a Power generation, transmission and distribution company in
Chicago, with more than 32,000 MW of owned capacity from Nuclear Power Plants,
Fossil Power Plants, Solar, Wind and Hydro Power generating sources. It generates,
transmits, and distributes energy to over 7 million customers in Illinois. Mr. Amu worked
as an Engineer for the company from 1990 to 1992.
4
Legal Practice, Chicago, 1995
Mr. Amu practiced law from 1996 to 2013. Mr. Amu practiced law before various courts
in the United States, including the Illinois Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court of the
United States. A leading case that set a standard on the law of Spoliation of Evidence in
Illinois is Esther Brobbey et al. v. Enterprise Leasing Company of Chicago, General
Motors, and its Chevrolet Division, City Chevrolet, Buick and Geo, Inc., 404 Ill.App.3d
420 (1st Dist. 2010), petition for leave to appeal denied, #111108, January 26, 2011
(Illinois Supreme Court).[Google search] Amu represented the Plaintiffs Esther Brobbey et
al. against General Motors, and Enterprise Leasing Company in the case.
Special Counsel (Bar Attorney), Cook County Juvenile Court, 1997
Mr. Amu served as a Special Counsel (Bar Attorney) for over five (5) years in the Juvenile
Court of Cook County in cases where the State’s Attorney, the Guardian Ad Litem, and/or
the Public Defender has a conflict, and the services of independent special counsel is
needed to handle pending litigation.
Adjunct Lecturer: Harold Washington College, Chicago 1999
Mr. Amu was an adjunct lecturer teaching Business Law and Family Law in the paralegals
Studies Department at the Harold Washington College in Chicago, one of the City
Colleges of Chicago, between 1999 and 2000.
Arbitrator, Mandatory Arbitration of the Circuit Court of Cook County, 2000
Mr. Amu served as an Arbitrator at the Mandatory Arbitration Section of the Circuit Court
of Cook County Illinois between 1997 and 2002. Amu arbitrated cases involving all kinds
of disputes.
Media Course at Push Africa, Abuja, 2016
Mr. Amu completed a Print, Television and Radio Media Course at Push Africa in Abuja,
Nigeria, in 2016, and as part of that Course, I did my mandatory internship at the Armed
Forces Radio, 107.7 FM, in Asokoro, Abuja.
Further Details and References Available Upon Request

Property Records (ARDC, OPG, judges, etc.–pay attention). Money laundering, Hobbs Act violations and Dishonest Services

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B6FbJzwtHocwZWphX3lxd3VoM3M

Once again, I am publishing the questionable property records of judges, attorneys for the OPG and ARDC which appears to indicate a pattern of one person taking out a loan and another nefarious person paying it off to avoid passing cash over the table or bench but which really amounts to nothing but the standard and prosaic crimes of money laundering, Hobbs Act and Dishonest Services violations, which it is.

I have had a request from an annoying person who couldn’t find it on the blog and started to be a pissant, even tho she is a professional highly talented writer, blogger and activist.

I have no idea why her self esteem is so low.  She should be proud and happy and solicitous to everyone beneath her, which I am most certainly am.

I am only a poor lowly nobody who serves the poor, the trod upon and the disenfranchised.  Why she seems to think I am some one special is way beyond me.

So here it is again.  I have already reported this to the FBI, the Illinois attorney generals and the Illinois OIG’s but I think they are busy with their Starbucks.

Someday, I believe, they will put down the Starbucks and start to write criminal complaints, but that’s for another day.

Go figure.

Joanne

 

From Ken Ditkowsky and Elena Federova–stopping the corruption in the courts and in health care

While Jerome Larkin and the IARDC laugh at us all the way to the bank it should be noted that the United States of America is doing some prosecution of the bad guys, to wit:

March 2017

March 17, 2017; U.S. Department of Justice Medicare Fraud Strike Force Case
Houston-Area Registered Nurse Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Defraud Medicare of More than $5 Million
A Houston-Area registered nurse pleaded guilty today for his role in a Medicare fraud scheme that resulted in losses to Medicare of more than $5 million.
March 17, 2017; U.S. Attorney; District of Puerto Rico
Doctor Sentenced To Seven Years In Prison For Health Care Fraud
SAN JUAN, P.R. – Doctor Juan José Tull-Abreu was sentenced to serve 63 months of imprisonment for health care fraud, and a consecutive term of 24 months for aggravated identity theft, for a total term of imprisonment of 87 months, announced United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico, Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez.
March 16, 2017; U.S. Attorney; Eastern District of Washington
Spokane Area Cardiologist, Dr. Romeo Pavlic, to Pay $300,000 Resolving Alleged False Health Care Claims
Spokane, WA – Today, the United States Attorney’s Office (USAO) for the Eastern District of Washington announced a settlement agreement with Dr. Romeo Pavlic and various companies he owns. The settlement resolves allegations that for years Dr. Pavlic, a Spokane-area cardiologist, falsely billed Medicare and Medicaid by repeatedly and falsely claiming to have provided services and tests to vulnerable patients when in fact he had not.
March 14, 2017; U.S. Department of Justice Medicare Fraud Strike Force Case
South Florida Home Health Owner Charged for Role in $15 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme
A South Florida home health care owner was charged in an indictment unsealed today for his alleged participation in a $15 million health care fraud scheme involving fraudulent claims for home health services.
March 14, 2017; U.S. Attorney; District of Connecticut
Stamford Dental Office Manager Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Insurance Companies
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that ELENA ILIZAROV, 44, of Stamford, waived her right to be indicted and pleaded guilty yesterday before U.S. District Judge Victor A. Bolden in Bridgeport to one count of wire fraud stemming from her use of an identity theft victim’s personal identifying information to submit fraudulent bills to private insurance companies offering dental insurance.
March 13, 2017; U.S. Department of Justice
Charles River Laboratories International Inc. Agrees to Pay United States $1.8 Million to Settle False Claims Act Allegations
Charles River Laboratories International Inc. has agreed to pay the U.S. government $1.8 million to settle claims that it violated the False Claims Act by improperly charging for labor and other associated costs that were not actually provided on certain National Institutes of Health contracts, the Justice Department announced today. Charles River is a for-profit corporation headquartered in Wilmington, Massachusetts.
March 10, 2017; U.S. Attorney; Middle District of Pennsylvania
Lancaster County Woman Guilty Of Healthcare Fraud
HARRISBURG- The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Tammie Sensenig, age 45, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty March 8, 2017, before United States Magistrate Judge Martin C. Carlson to a criminal information charging her with healthcare fraud.
March 7, 2017; U.S. Attorney; Middle District of Florida
Tampa Man Pleads Guilty To Paying Health Care Kickbacks
Tampa, FL – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that Anthonio Miller (26, Tampa) today pleaded guilty to conspiracy to pay kickbacks in connection with a federal health care benefit program. He faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison.
March 6, 2017; U.S. Department of Justice
California Clinic Owner Sentenced to 63 Months in Prison for Role in Occupational Therapy Fraud Scheme
A rehabilitation clinic operator in Los Angeles County was sentenced to 63 months in prison today for his role in a $3.4 million Medicare fraud scheme that involved billing for occupational therapy services that were not medically necessary and not provided.
March 6, 2017; U.S. Attorney; Southern District of Texas
Clinic Manager Heads to Prison for Health Care Fraud
HOUSTON – The 47-year-old owner and operator of Elite P. Care Medical Services has been sentenced for her role in a health care fraud conspiracy that billed Medicare and Medicaid for more than $1 million in fraudulent health care claims, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson.
March 6, 2017; U.S. Attorney; District of New Jersey
Bergen County Doctor Convicted Of Taking Bribes In Test-Referral Scheme With New Jersey Clinical Lab
NEWARK, N.J. – A family doctor practicing in Bergen County, New Jersey, was convicted today of all 10 counts of an indictment charging him with accepting bribes in exchange for test referrals as part of a long-running and elaborate scheme operated by Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services LLC (BLS), of Parsippany, New Jersey, its president and numerous associates, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
March 6, 2017; U.S. Attorney; District of Vermont
Brandon Woman Sentenced for Medicaid Fraud
The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced that Misti Baker, 36, of West Rutland, Vermont, was sentenced on Friday by United States District Court Judge Geoffrey W. Crawford for healthcare fraud. Judge Crawford sentenced Baker to time served plus two years of supervised release and ordered her to pay $77,306.57 in restitution.
March 3, 2017; U.S. Department of Justice
Unlicensed Medical Professional Convicted for Role in $1.3 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme
A federal jury in Houston convicted an unlicensed medical professional who was posing as a physician yesterday for his participation in a $1.3 million Medicare fraud scheme.
March 3, 2017; U.S. Attorney; Southern District of Florida
Two Women Plead Guilty to Orchestrating $20 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme at Seven Miami Area Home Health Agencies
Two Miami residents pleaded guilty today to fraud charges stemming from their roles in a $20 million home health care fraud scheme.
March 3, 2017; U.S. Attorney; District of Maryland
Biller for Medical Equipment Provider Sentenced to Four Years in Federal Prison for Health Care Fraud, Aggravated Identity Theft and Defrauding the IRS by Failing to File Tax Returns
Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis sentenced Elma Myles, age 52, on March 2, 2017, to four years in prison, in connection with her role in a health care fraud scheme, aggravated identity theft, and conspiracy to defraud the United States for failing to file income tax returns. Judge Garbis also ordered Myles to pay restitution of $1,207,585.38 to Medicaid.
March 3, 2017; U.S. Attorney; Western District of Virginia
Personal Care Attendant Pleads Guilty to Making a False Statement as it Relates to a Health Care Benefit
Charlottesville, VIRGINIA – A personal care attendant, who for four years lied about the amount of hours she worked for a homebound retiree, pled guilty yesterday in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Charlottesville to federal false statement charges, Acting United States Attorney Rick A. Mountcastle and Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring announced.
March 2, 2017; U.S. Department of Justice
Third Detroit-Area Physician Pleads Guilty in $5.4 Million Dollar Health Care Fraud Scheme
A Detroit-area physician pleaded guilty today for his role in a $5.4 million Medicare fraud scheme involving phony physician visits and drug prescriptions.
March 2, 2017; U.S. Attorney; Southern District of Texas
All 12 Convicted in Health Care Fraud Conspiracy Involving Area Mental Health Centers
HOUSTON – A federal jury has convicted the final defendant of 12 involved in a conspiracy to pay and receive kickbacks relating to the Medicare program, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. The jury deliberated for four hours following a three-day trial before convicting Cheryl Waller, 70, of Houston, of one count of conspiracy to pay and receive kickbacks and one count of receiving kickbacks.
March 1, 2017; U.S. Attorney; Southern District of New York
Cardiologist, Neurologist, And Others Charged In $50 Million Health Care Fraud Scheme, And Civil Suit Filed Against Clinic And Participants In The Fraud
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, William F. Sweeney Jr., the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), Scott J. Lampert, Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Regional Office of the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General (“HHS-OIG”), and James P. O’Neill, the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), announced today criminal and civil actions relating to a 12-year scheme to defraud Medicaid, Medicare, and other private health insurance companies out of more than $50 million. Today’s actions include the unsealing of an Indictment charging ASIM HAMEEDI, FAWAD HAMEEDI, MICHELLE LANDOY, DESIREE SCOTT, EMAD SOLIMAN, and ARIF HAMEEDI with, among other things, health care fraud, identity theft, and making false statements, and the filing of a civil fraud lawsuit against CITY MEDICAL ASSOCIATES, P.C., and ASIM HAMEEDI, among others, seeking treble damages and civil penalties under the False Claims Act for the fraudulent claims for reimbursement submitted by CITY MEDICAL ASSOCIATES to Medicare and Medicaid between 2003 and November 2015.

February 2017

February 28, 2017; U.S. Attorney; Northern District of Texas
Sixteen Individuals Charged in $60 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme
DALLAS – An indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Dallas last week, and unsealed today, charges 16 individuals with offenses related to their participation in a health care fraud scheme, announced John Parker, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas.
February 24, 2017; U.S. Department of Justice
Administrator of Miami-Area Home Health Agency Sentenced to 126 Months in Prison for Involvement in $2.5 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme
Today, the administrator of a Miami-area home health agency was sentenced to a 126 month prison term for his role in a $2.5 million Medicare fraud scheme.
February 24, 2017; U.S. Attorney; Southern District of Texas
Jury Convicts Rio Grande Valley Area Durable Medical Equipment Company Owner of Health Care Fraud
McALLEN, Texas – A McAllen federal jury has convicted the owner of an area durable medical equipment (DME) company owner on all counts for her scheme to defraud Texas Medicaid through fraudulent billings, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. The jury deliberated for six hours following a seven-day trial before convicting Maria Garza, 41, of McAllen, on all 18 counts as charged.
February 22, 2017; U.S. Attorney; District of Puerto Rico
Owner Of Durable Medical Equipment Company And Three Physicians Charged With Health Care Fraud And Aggravated Identity Theft
SAN JUAN, P.R. – On February 13, 2017, a Federal Grand Jury in the District of Puerto Rico returned a superseding indictment charging Dr. Dante A. Rodríguez-Rivera, Javier Efraín Siverio-Echevarría, Dr. George D. Alcántara-Cardi, Dr. Martha Nieves, Javier Antonio Aguirre- Estrada, and Carlos Maldonado-López with multiple counts of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, health care fraud and aggravated identity theft. The defendants were arrested today, announced Rosa Emilia Rodríguez Vélez, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico, Scott Lampert, the Special Agent in Charge of the Office of the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS-OIG”), and Douglas A. Leff, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Puerto Rico Field Office (“FBI”).
February 23, 2017; U.S. Attorney; Eastern District of Pennsylvania
Doctor Pleads Guilty To Selling Prescriptions Of Suboxone And Klonopin
PHILADELPHIA – Dr. Alan Summers, 78, of Ambler, PA, pleaded guilty to an indictment charging him in a scheme to sell commonly abused prescription drugs in exchange for cash payments. Dr. Summers pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, distribution of controlled substances, health care fraud, and money laundering, and was announced by Acting United States Attorney Louis D. Lappen, Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent-in-Charge Gary Tuggle, and Special Agent-in-Charge Nick DiGuilio with Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General.
February 22, 2017; U.S. Attorney; Western District of Virginia
Bristol, Virginia Woman Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Healthcare Fraud
Abingdon, VIRGINIA – A Bristol woman, who along with her husband and another woman, was accused of healthcare fraud charges, has pled guilty to federal conspiracy charges, Acting United States Attorney Rick A. Mountcastle, Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring and Nick DiGiulio, Special Agent in Charge, Philadelphia Regional Office for U.S. Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General announced today.
February 16, 2017; U.S. Attorney; District of New Jersey
Oncology Practice, Doctor And Practice Manager Pay $1.7 Million To Resolve Allegations They Billed Medicare For Illegally Imported Drugs
NEWARK, N.J. – A Monmouth County doctor, his oncology practice, and his wife, who managed the practice, have agreed to pay the United States $1.7 million to resolve allegations that they illegally imported and used unapproved chemotherapy drugs from foreign distributors and illegally billed Medicare, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced today.
February 15, 2017; U.S. Attorney; Northern District of Georgia
Atlanta-area Dentist Sentenced for nearly $1 Million in Medicaid Fraud
ATLANTA – Dr. Oluwatoyin Solarin has been sentenced to one year, six months in federal prison for filing false claims with the Georgia Medicaid program totaling nearly $1 million.
February 13, 2017; U.S. Attorney; Eastern District of Texas
Former CEO of Nebraska Pharmaceutical Benefits Manager Guilty in Kickback Scheme
TYLER, Texas – The former CEO of a Nebraska pharmaceutical benefits manager has pleaded guilty to engaging in illegal kickbacks in the Eastern District of Texas, announced Acting United States Attorney Brit Featherston today.
February 10, 2017; U.S. Attorney; Southern District of Florida
Plantation Physician and Physician Practice to Pay $750,000 to Resolve False Claims Act Allegations Involving Medically Unnecessary Sinus and Throat Procedures
Dr. Paul B. Tartell, an ENT physician practicing in Plantation, Florida and his practice Paul B. Tartell, M.D., P.L., d/b/a South Florida Sinus & Allergy Center, have agreed to pay $750,000 to resolve allegations that he violated the False Claims Act by billing for surgical endoscopies with debridement and laryngeal stroboscopies that were not provided or not medically necessary.
February 10, 2017; U.S. Attorney; Western District of Louisiana
Federal jury finds Shreveport mental health facility administrator guilty of kickback scheme
SHREVEPORT, La. – United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced that a federal jury found a former Shreveport mental health facility administrator guilty Thursday of taking part in a kickback scheme.
February 9, 2017; U.S. Attorney; Western District of Texas
El Paso Behavioral Health Facility Pays $860,000 to Resolve False Claims Act Allegations Under Civil Settlement with United States
Today, University Behavioral Health of El Paso, LLC (“UBH”) paid $860,000 under a civil settlement with the Department of Justice to resolve allegations under the False Claims Act that the hospital paid unlawful remuneration under the Anti-Kickback Act and violated the Stark Law when it improperly paid a physician who made referrals to the hospital pursuant to a personal services agreement.
February 8, 2017; U.S. Attorney; District of Massachusetts
Healthcare Sales Representative Sentenced for Obstructing Federal Investigation
BOSTON – A sales representative for multiple healthcare companies was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Boston in connection with obstructing an investigation into kickbacks paid to medical professionals.
February 7, 2017; U.S. Attorney; Southern District of Florida
Dr. Gary Marder and the United States Consent to a Final Judgement of Over $18 Million to Settle False Claims Act Allegations
Gary L. Marder, D.O., a physician residing in Palm Beach County and the owner and operator of the Allergy, Dermatology & Skin Cancer Centers in Port St. Lucie and Okeechobee, and the United States of America have stipulated to a consent final judgment of over $18 million to settle False Claims Act allegations against Dr. Marder. Co-defendant, Robert I. Kendall, M.D., a physician practicing in Coral Gables, has also agreed to pay the United States $250,000 to settle allegations that he violated the False Claims Act.
February 7, 2017; U.S. Attorney; Eastern District of Pennsylvania
Delaware County Podiatrist Sentenced to 8 Years in Prison for Health Care Fraud
PHILADELPHIA – Today, a federal judge sentenced Stephen A. Monaco, a former podiatrist, to 97 months’ imprisonment for defrauding Medicare, Medicaid and private victim insurance companies, announced Acting United States Attorney Louis D. Lappen. Defendant Monaco pleaded guilty to health care fraud on August 23, 2016, and surrendered his DEA license.
February 6, 2017; U.S. Department of Justice
Healthcare Service Provider to Pay $60 Million to Settle Medicare and Medicaid False Claims Act Allegations
A major U.S. hospital service provider, TeamHealth Holdings, as successor in interest to IPC Healthcare Inc., f/k/a IPC The Hospitalists Inc. (IPC), has agreed to resolve allegations that IPC violated the False Claims Act by billing Medicare, Medicaid, the Defense Health Agency and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program for higher and more expensive levels of medical service than were actually performed (a practice known as “up-coding”), the Department of Justice announced today. Under the settlement agreement, TeamHealth has agreed to pay $60 million, plus interest.
February 6, 2017; U.S. Attorney; Southern District of New York
Clinic Manager Pleads Guilty In $70 Million Scheme To Defraud Medicare And Medicaid
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that EDUARD ZAVALUNOV, a manager of two health care clinics in Queens, New York, pled guilty today before U.S. District Judge Ronnie Abrams to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, mail fraud, and health care fraud, for his role in a massive health care fraud scheme through which three medical clinics in Brooklyn and Queens submitted over $70 million in fraudulent claims to Medicaid and Medicare.
February 1, 2017; U.S. Department of Justice
Former Executive of Tenet Healthcare Corporation Charged for Alleged Role in $400 Million Scheme to Defraud
A former senior executive of Tenet Healthcare Corporation, was indicted for his alleged role in an over $400 million scheme to defraud. The indictment alleges that the scheme to defraud victimized the U.S. government, the Georgia and South Carolina Medicaid Programs, and prospective patients of Tenet hospitals.
February 1, 2017; U.S. Attorney; Middle District of Florida
Fort Myers Urologist Agrees To Pay More Than $3.8 Million For Ordering Unnecessary Medical Tests
Fort Myers, FL – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that Meir Daller, M.D. has agreed to pay $3.81 million to the government to resolve allegations that he violated the False Claims Act by causing claims to be submitted to federal health care programs for laboratory tests that were not medically necessary.
February 1, 2017; U.S. Attorney; Eastern District of Kentucky
Pain Management Physician Resolves False Claims Act Allegations
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Pain management physician Dr. Robert Windsor has agreed to the entry of a $20 million consent judgment to resolve allegations that he violated the False Claims Act by billing federal health care programs for surgical monitoring services that he did not perform and for medically unnecessary diagnostic tests. Dr. Windsor owned pain management clinics in Georgia and Kentucky that operated under the umbrella of National Pain Care, Inc., including clinics in Lexington, London, Somerset, Hazard, Prestonsburg, and Pikeville, Kentucky.
February 1, 2017; U.S. Attorney; Northern District of Iowa
Iowa Nursing Facility, Its Ownership, and Its Management Agree to Pay $100,000 to Resolve Allegations that Residents Received Worthless Care
The Abbey of Le Mars, Inc., and other individuals with financial interests in the Abbey’s operations, agreed to pay $100,000 to settle allegations they violated the False Claims Act by submitting or causing claims to be submitted to Medicaid when the care provided to nursing facility residents was so grossly substandard that the care was worthless and effectively without value.
This elder cleansing fraud (retro=active abortion of the elderly) is probably the biggest crime way in American History.   The elderly kidnapped and railroaded into nursing homes for profit are to the miscreants just a commodity (their words) to be exploited.    Public officials, such as Jerome Larkin, feel totally immune however, their contribution toward the WAR ON THE ELDERLY AND THE DISABLED (and corruption in the courts) is a serious factor in preventing any HEALTH CARE PROGRAM (including Trumpcare) from being successful.
The list of indictments is akin to spitting in the ocean!   Philip Esformes stole a billion dollars from Medicare doing exactly the same program that is openly and notorious being carried on in Chicago under another group of names by the Chicago Nursing home Cabal.    The metastatic cancer of retroactive abortion for the elderly is about as venal as any criminal enterprise can get.   Indeed, it is not surprising that attorney disciplinary commissions are interesting in shutting down the free flow of information and people such as Jerome Larkin spit in the eye of the Rule of Law and challenge America to enforce 18 USCA 371 conspiracy charges against them!    They are the Judicial and Political Elite – we are the great unwashed!    Why should anyone listen to us??????
Maybe it is because we are part of the dissaffected who were tired of being lied to and we at this point in time are recognized as the people who either put Donald Trump over the top and made him the President of the United States or directly or indirectly back his Presidency.    The message should be very clear to the Political and Judicial elite — we are tired of writing to Senator Durbin about the American holocaust and receiving from him a copy of one of his speeches as to how he is in favor of social security.
We all know that the guardian, appointed by a corrupt judge who Larkin and the IARDC is protecting, will get the social security payment.   We also all know that this judge and this guardian are going to contribute substantially to the re-election and the retention of perfidious political figures who will perpetuate the American Holocaust.


From: chicago summer <summer.chicago@yahoo.com>
To: kenneth ditkowsky <kenditkowsky@yahoo.com>;
Sent: Monday, March 20, 2017 7:56 PM
Subject: Re: Wells Fargo bank MASSIVE crimes covered by judges- sales of illegal securities and respond from SEC

Hi, Ken,
It was nice to learn about your blog and speak about your fight against  Illinois corruption. I found particularly interesting your research on Attorney Disciplinary Committee corruption,which I can confirm with 100%. ALL my complaints against lawyers who forged documents, made false statements, obstructed justice, ect. were closed. Lawyers who even mentioned words “judge has a record of corruption” are mercilessly attacked and disbarred. Even JUDGES admit oppression in our Courts and disagree with its  practices, as well as most prominent lawyers like Mr. Clifford. See the link attached.
Thank you for respond to my letter to the Senate Committee on Judiciary for audit of Illinois Court and place corrupt judges under personal criminal liability.
However, the roots of corruption as well as the Government betrayal of American people  are much deeper and nastier because those Americans  whose properties are confiscated by judges  already paid the ultimate price and are entitled for justice and protection against criminal banks.
One of my favorite Presidents,  Thomas Jefferson, said:
“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.
Thomas Jefferson, 3rd president of US (1743 – 1826)  
Foreclosures  filed on behalf of non-existing REMIC Trusts by Servicers like Wells Fargo bank  are not only illegal per se since they directly violate the fundamental  doctrine  of the Constitution ( if this document still means anything to our judges and “political elite“) – the Plaintiff must have a standing and show a real harm, which non-existing  Trusts obviously do not have. I attached a Motion filed by Mayer Brown LLP lawyer Charles Woodworth where he insists that “a foreclosure complaint presents a justifiable matter REGARDLESS OF STANDING!”So, all other parties must  have standing, except BANKS!
 
In other words, who needs Constitution if “frankly, they [banks] own the place?!” [Senator Richard Durbin, re US Senate ].
 
American people non-voluntarily gave banks trillions of dollars, for free, which disappeared on banks’ CEOs accounts, and shared with corrupt judges and crooked politicians to cover for this fraud. Now we all have to deal with a criminally divided County and   balance on the brink of a civil war and revolution, thanks to the reckless “elite”, crooked judges  and criminal banks.
 
I consider it as a high treason and criminal disloyalty.
 
I will provide more information and share new developments in my case, as well as in other cases. Attached is 2013 letter from Brennan Center of Justice to IL Supreme Court re corruption. Of course it was ignored: our businessman Justices are too busy distributing  judicial seats to their cronies and their political friends , for money, of course, that today’s skyrocketing crimes and falling apart Chicago apparently took them by surprise.
 
Thanks again for respond.
Elena
 
 
On Monday, March 20, 2017 7:06 PM, kenneth ditkowsky <kenditkowsky@yahoo.com> wrote:
The Banks acted very badly as to foreclosures.
The government regulations created the problem as they barred the lenders from asking very important questions, however, the government made it possible for large sums of money to be made by bundling mortgages and selling them as mortgage backed securities.    These mortgages in many cases were mortgages that were under water on day one and had little probability of being paid off.   When the scam became public the mortgage backed securities had to be bundled and individually foreclosed.    This was a disaster as many of the lenders were fly by night operations and thus paperwork was in a sorry shape.
To solve the problem the Political and Judicial elite set up Mortgage courts.   These were basically Cafeteria Courts designed to expedite the mortgage foreclosure and eliminate any defenses.   This is where many people stand today. A judge who has ethics has such a backlog in his courtroom that he can never be out on the golf course by 3:00 – he might have to work all day every day!

From Facebook-First Documented case of Child Abuse was reported to Animal Cruelty Agency in 1874

https://www.thevintagenews.com/2016/11/09/the-case-of-mary-ellen-the-first-documented-case-of-child-abuse-in-the-us-was-reported-to-the-animal-welfare-agency-in-1874/

An Interesting piece of trivia. What took the authorities so long to protect abused children in the US?

The case of Mary Ellen – the first documented case of child abuse in the US was reported to the Animal Welfare Agency in 1874

Nov 9, 2016
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This may come as a surprise to many but the first documented case of child abuse which was reported and dealt with in 1874 in the United States was in fact first reported to an animal welfare organization.

Not because children were considered animals, but the regulations and resources were so scarce that no government agency thought of this as a serious issue. So one can safely make this argument based on the evidence that animals had welfare rights well before children in the United States.

The case in question was of a young girl, Mary Ellen, who was born into a poor family in New York City in 1864 to Fanny and Thomas Wilson.

Mary Ellen
Mary Ellen

After Mary’s father died in the civil war, her mother struggled to raise her and could not find time to raise her and work at the same time. Fanny Wilson decided to leave her young child with a caretaker and kept on working days and nights and made the regular payments to the carer.

However, when poverty and unemployment restricted her from regular payment, the carer left Mary with Department of Charities. When Fanny came back for her girl, she was told that Mary had died and that they had buried her; Mary was alive and had just turned two at the time she was handed over to the Depart of Charities.

Mary’s life took an abrupt turn towards pain and misery when she was adopted by Thomas and Mary McCormack who had come into the charity and claimed to be Mary’s biological parents.

They were never asked by the Department of charities for any proof of parenthood, and the child was handed over the couple. Soon after Mary arrived in her new home, Mr. McCormack died, and Mary remarried to Francis McConnell.

Mrs. McConnell was a cruel person who showed no love or kindness towards the child and scolded her badly even when she could barely speak.

Neighbours could hear Mary scream all day when Mrs. McConnell used to beat her, often fifteen minutes straight without any remorse. Mary was not allowed to leave the house and had to stay indoors, and was beaten by anything that Mrs. Connelly found nearby.

Mary’s ordeals didn’t end even when Mrs. Connelly left the house for her works: Mary was kept in the chain in a small closet with an old piece of carpet to rest on and a dirty quilt to warm her.

Mary was beaten, starved, cut and burned for more than seven years and no one came to her aid. By that time Mary had only seen violence, scolding, torture and beating and did not know anything about the outside world.

When the family moved to another apartment, the neighbours took notice of the beating and a visiting Methodist mission sent Mrs. Etta Angell Wheeler to investigate the matter further.

When Mrs. Etta managed to enter the house, she found Mary in a terrible condition; scars all over her arms and faces Mary was only wearing a shirt and pyjamas, despite the fact that it was freezing cold in New York.

Mary Ellen McCormack in 1874
Mary Ellen McCormack in 1874

Mary was standing on a stool and washing dishes while Mrs. Connelly continuously scolded her for all that was wrong in her own life.

After observing little Mary’s plight, Mrs. Etta decided to do something to save the child from any more abuse, but it took Mrs. Etta another three months to make any progress in the matter.

Everywhere she went for help she was met with ignorance and stubborn bureaucracy; Mrs. Etta was told that despite the ‘unideal’ conditions Mary had to live in, she was better off in the care of Mrs. Connelly then living on her own.

Despite spending days knocking at the doors of countless agencies, Mrs. Wheeler failed to convince the authorities that the little girl needed attention and had to remove from the custody of this evil woman.

Desperate for help and utterly saddened, Mrs. Wheeler spoke to her niece about the matter who suggested seeing Mr. Henry Bergh who was the founder of American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Mrs. Wheeler initially got agitated upon hearing her niece’s suggestion and replied that Mary was no animal, but her niece convinced her that Mr. Bergh was a kind man and he had connections in many government agencies and surely he was the man who could help the little girl get out of the hell.

Mrs. Wheeler was desperate for help and memories of Mary’s scarred face, and helpless eyes convinced her to meet Mr. Bergh. Upon meeting Mr. Bergh, Mrs. Wheeler was told that she needed documentary evidence to back her claims, only then Mr. Bergh would be in better position to help her in the matter.

After obtaining the written testimonies from the neighbors, Mrs. Wheeler presented the evidence to Mr. Bergh who sent an agent to the neighborhood to confirm the testimonies.

Mary Ellen
Mary Ellen

The case was then presented to the court via ASPCA’s attorney Elbridge T. Gerry who prepared the petition and asked the court for the permission to remove Mary Ellen from the apartment.

The case was heard by the Supreme Court Judge Lawrence who approved Mary Ellen’s removal from Mrs. Connelly’s custody.

Mary Ellen was brought to court and testified that she was beaten day and night by her ‘mother’. Mrs. Connelly was found guilty by the court and was sentenced to five years of hard labor whereas Mary Ellen was sent to a safe custodian.

Here is another story from our vault:Coogan Act: Stopped parents of famous child actors seizing all the childs money

Mary Ellen slowly but surely recovered and lived until 1956; she died at the age of 92 after having lived a happy and long life.

 

 

Secrets to Jewel Monopoly Card

The ones I don’t have after collecting about 100 of these are the ones that likely win.

Contact me if you have the missing ones and don’t want to collect 100 and we can share the prize 50/50.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B6FbJzwtHocwdC16U0pnOGd2aGs

you can also use this table to easily use a find and mark off the ones you have too.

the gameboard is nutz and impossible to use.

Hoping you (and maybe I) win $1 million.  I’m using my winnings for my charity. So far, I have won a container of salt and a donut, so exciting.

 

From Ken Ditkowsky on another Dishonest Response from the ARDC as it pertains to the Sykes case

(I will post their response later)

Now as we all know, and from all the publicity surrounding the Sykes case on Facebook, blogs and other social media, the Sykes 09 P 4585 case is nothing but a classic in the world of guardianship were the mantra “target, guardianize, isolate, drain the estate and then narcotize to death” clearly applies.  The murder of Mary G. Sykes, for whom this blog is named, has clearly not been investigated, nor has some $3 million missing from her estate ever been investigated.  No Trust accounting for Trust assets was ever filed with the court or provided to Gloria.  The court never seemed to care, why is that?

Worse yet, documents have recently been uncovered which were dumped in her court file–not stamped by the clerk–but indicate ex parte communications between Judge Stuart and Cynthia Farenga and others that they knew about the disappearance of valuable coins fro the get go.

Not it has erupted that my court reporter was uncliensed and not just for a few months–but 10 long ears and she claims she “just forgot”.  The ARDC backs her up (for some strange unknown reason, if the court reporter is unlicensed to practice shorthand, then why do I need a license to practice law?  Seems to me to be fair I get 10 years unlicensed practice of law now and the ARDC should protect me on that one).  Basically, they have painted themselves into the  proverbial corner with all their legerdemain.

Below is Ken’s response to their absurd pleading, filed with the Ill. Supreme Court a couple days ago.

To:
Subject: Re: More packs of lies from the ardc
Date: Mar 16, 2017 8:15 AM
JoAnne,
The patent and basic DISHONESTY
 that is exhibited by the IARDC response to your motion is indeed evident.
Lets start at square 1.   How is it dishonest on your part, or in fact any lawyer’s part to disclose to the public corruption in the Court?.   Mr. Larkin is well aware that in his possession is the deposition that his attorneys took of Judge Maureen Connors and therein is contained her admission that she was dishonest i.e ‘wired’ in her handling of the Sykes case.  09 P 4585 wherein she stated if the case were running without jurisdiction she would just dismiss it and refile it and come to the same result–which is a statement consistent with case fixing (judges are supposed to rule on the evidence before them).  It was dishonest on the part of Jerome Larkin and the IARDC in prosecuting the attorneys who disclosed Judge Connors’dishonesty.     Indeed, had Larkin and the IARDC done their jobs they would have discovered that in the Sykes case Judge Connors acted without jurisdiction.   The summons required by 755 ILCS 5/11a -10 was never served on Mary, and the Sheriff in his letter points out that his office never served summons at all.
Let’s go a step further – the file demonstrates the criminal intent of each of the miscreant guardians (including but not limited to the guardians ad litem and the judge).    The direction to the Sheriff was to serve Mary in COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS.   Even Mr. Larkin was aware that Mary had been removed from Cook County and was being held (against her will) in DuPage County.    In fact the Judge appointed GAL Adam Stern as the 2nd GAL because he resides in DuPage County.   This appointment was at the request of GAL Cynthia Farenga.
The perfidy and FRAUD continues as Mary’s next of kin (755 ILCS 5/11a -10) were never notified of the hearing that is mandatory to determine if Mary was incompetent and pursuant to 755 ILCS 5/11a -3b must be held.   Had Larkin not been engaged in an 18 USCA 371 cover-up and breaching his public trust he would have observed that NO HEARING WAS EVER HELD as to Mary Sykes’ competency.   Judge Connors just entered an order without any compliance with due process.  Every time Mary appeared in court to protest the abusive guardianship headed her way, she was told to be quiet or not speak.  How convenient for the nefarious planners.
How disclosing these facts and facts concerning numerous other similar frauds being processed in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Probate Division was or is dishonesty on your part is amazing and so outrageous that an Honest Federal Investigation of not only the guardianship fraud is essential, but the cover-up and the illegal and excessive pecuniary remunerations that appear to flow toward all the miscreants.    A Philip Esformes does not steal a billion dollars from Medicare without some government connivance, case fixing and overt corruption.
The SCOTUS cases, Rule 8.3, and 18 USCA 4 require that all attorneys (including Mr. Larkin and his co-conspirators) report to law enforcement authorities the felonies that are so obvious in the Mary Sykes, Alice Gore, Carolyn Wyman **** cases.     These Frauds are serious stuff.    18 USCA 371 also by definition assessed FEDERAL AND STATE INCOME TAX LIABILITY to Jerome Larkin’s conspiratorial actions and Rule 8.3 requires that we report this tax fraud (evasion) to Federal Authorities.   Please note that the Attorney General of the United States is notified.    (There is no just reason that Larkin and his co-conspirators should not pay the FEDERAL and State Income taxes that are due – I’ve also notified that Attorney General of Illinois pursuant to Rule8.3)   If these reports are under Illinois criteria dishonesty – so be it!
The Petition that you filed with the Supreme Court of Illinois objects to the inherent dishonesty that Mr. Larkin and the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission has exhibited from day one in regard to the elder cleansing War on the Elderly and the Disabled that Larkin and his co-conspirators are raging.   ( I realize that Mary’s million dollar gold coin collection was a terrible temptation (see Gloria Sykes affidavit on file with the IaRDC) but the exploitation and dehumanization of Mary Sykes is so despicable that the Court should sua sponte revoke the law licenses of every one of the attorneys who had a part in the criminal enterprises of guardianship abuse reported on the MARYGSYKES blog.   (The MaryGSykes blog was referred to as being akin to “yelling fire in a crowded theater!” as it disclosed dishonesty in the judiciary!)   
The aforesaid Petition also addresses recently discovered addition dishonesty of the IARDC and Mr. Larkin.     The Court reporter engaged by Larkin was not licensed.   Larkin and the IARDC were well aware (or should have been aware) of the fact that they were engaging a Court Reporter who was unlicensed!    Instead of being truthful concerning the engagement of an unlicensed Court reporter, the IARDC and Larkin tried to intimidate you into silence with a claim for costs that included the fees for the non-licensed Court reporter.    Larkin knew that by statute a non-licensed court reporter could not charge for her services!
The response filed by the IARDC of course does not mention this fact nor disclose to the Supreme Court of Illinois that it appears that Jerome Larkin and his co-conspirators paid public funds in derogation of State Law.   Also not mentioned by Larkin is the fact that the testimony of Judge Stuart was altered to prevent disclosure of the fact that the Judge lied under oath as to material facts (perjury).    Also not disclosed is the fact that shortly after the perjury was disclosed by court watchers Judge Stuart resigned.    (Judge Stuart was another presiding judge in the Sykes case!)
I’ve included the President of the United States’ e-mail on this message as in order for any health care program to be successful the FRAUD element has to be removed.   The guardianship abuse which is sweeping the United States of America is a serious drain on precious funds of Medicare and other Federal Programs.   Mary Sykes’ husband was a Chicago Policeman.  Pursuant to his pension, health insurance was provided her.   Gloria Sykes complained as to charges that were literally duplicates, but the corrupt judges assigned to the Mary Sykes case, the two guardian ad litem, et al looked the other way as the maximum dollar was stolen from the designated victim and Federal and State programs.   I am calling for an HONEST and complete investigation of this elder cleansing WAR ON THE ELDERLY AND THE DISABLED and the cover-up, coercion and intimidation that is apparently the policy of the State of Illinois.
We have to take America back and restore the RULE OF LAW once again so that it is safe to grow old in America!
 
 
Ken Ditkowsky

 

 

From FB–White House Announces Plans to cancel Meals on Wheels for Seniors

http://occupydemocrats.com/2017/03/15/trump-just-announced-plan-end-meals-wheels-seniors/

Welcome to the New World Order.  Every person is out for themselves and the safety nets fly away.  Seniors are now to work until they keel over, even if that means work until age 110 years of age.

Throughout his campaign for president and since his election, DT has promised to reduce the size of government, cut taxes, eliminate regulations and slash numerous social programs, even as he boosts defense spending by billions.

His recently released budget proposal makes it clear he’s going to follow through on those threats.

One popular program facing elimination is “Meals On Wheels,” which uses federal funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to mobilize volunteers, businesses and donors to provide nutrition to thousands of senior citizens on a daily basis. It supports over 5,000 community-based organizations across America, reaching people in both urban and rural areas.

The money for Meals On Wheels is part of the Older American Act, first passed in 1965 as part of LBJ’s Great Society, and endorsed by every president until DT. The total cost, which includes other programs, is about $2 billion a year, which is less than the government hands out in fossil fuel subsidies every year.

Meals On Wheels alone costs about $3 million a year, which is the cost of just one trip to Trump’s “winter White House.”

On top of that, Trump’s proposed budget would “drastically reduce” the budget of the Food For Peace program, a State Department program that distributes desperately needed food supplies to areas across the globe that have been hit by famine or natural disaster. Since its creation in 1954 by President Eisenhower, it has helped feed more than 3 billion people.

It too has a budget that barely scratches $2 billion dollars – a drop in the bucket compared to the $54 billion that DT is planning to pour into the military budget.

Overall, the entire State Department budget also faces the ax, with a proposal to cut the $50 billion budget by almost one-third. It could have been worse, but Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made a plea to ease the cuts, which in an earlier version were at a staggering 37 percent.

The needless cuts to critically important programs like Meals on Wheels and Food For Peace are literally taking food out of the mouths of hungry people. The State Department’s work around the world helps millions of people and builds much-needed goodwill for America’s international reputation, which has been dragged through the mud by DT’s abrasive isolationism.

Luckily, there was immediately Republican opposition to many of the proposed cuts. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky says his party will not go along with the massive cuts to the State Department budget. Among the cuts, he said Republicans will oppose cuts in funding for the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Elderly people voted overwhelmingly for President Trump – and this is how he’s choosing to repay them. In 2014, 10.2 million American seniors faced the risk of hunger – a staggering 15% of all elder Americans. DT needs to be pouring money into “Meals On Wheels,” not taking an axe to it.

It is absolutely appalling that in the richest nation in the world, our seniors cannot live their golden years without worrying where their next meal is coming from. DT’s budget priorities tell you all you need to know about how he really feels about the struggles of the American people.

DT has made it clear once and for all that he cares nothing for the American people who are unlikely to ever dine with him at Mar-A-Lago and is willing to send millions of the most vulnerable into food insecurity and poverty just so that he can funnel the public’s money into the pockets of defense contractors and the ultrawealthy.

From Eliot Bernstein–yet another Gship horror story — Dizenso in Conn.

How does gship slavery happen, sooo many different ways to enslave, strip of all assets and kill the elderly.

This article is at:  http://www.newsmax.com/Finance/JulietteFairley/American-Slavery-Probate-Court/2016/04/05/id/722405/

 

Marcia DiZenzo was only 46 years old when she says she fell ill and was admitted to a hospital in downtown Jacksonville, Florida. That was some four years ago and DiZenzo was never returned to her rented condo near the beach.

Instead, she says she walked out as a ward of the state of Florida under the command of a professional guardian.

“I didn’t have health insurance at the time and somebody filed an emergency guardianship petition with the local court while I was hospitalized,” said DiZenzo who moved to Florida from Connecticut for the sunny climate.

DiZenzo is among the 58% of Americans who became wards of the state based on a probate court order of emergency temporary guardianship, according to the Americans Against Abusive Probate Guardianship (AAAPG), an advocacy organization in Florida.

“Probate courts in America have a sordid history,” said Dr. Sam Sugar, founder of the AAAPG in Miami. “They were the primary mechanism for dealing with legal issues in the slave trade until slavery was abolished in 1865. These equity courts committed and continue to commit egregious abuse against the most vulnerable in society.”

When slavery was legal in the U.S., bounty hunters would travel across state lines to reclaim runaway slaves while slave masters thought nothing of heartlessly alienating children from their parents by selling them off to other slave owners. Although DiZenzo is of Italian-American and not African-American descent, she says her family experienced something different but very similar.

“My dad was successful in relocating me back to South Port, Connecticut but the guardian followed us and threatened to charge him with kidnapping if I was not extradited back to Florida,” said DiZenzo of her 86 year old father who has since passed away.

Hiring a personal attorney to fend off an emergency temporary guardianship requires a considerable amount of money, which DiZenzo didn’t access fast enough while she was sick.

“When I called the bank to inquire about my bank account, customer service refused to disclose any information,” she said.

That’s because once under guardianship an individual becomes a ward of the state and loses all rights, even financial ones.

“A guardian has the power to help themselves to the assets of wards without any oversight,” Sugar told Newsmax Finance. “The guardian’s power is total and cannot easily be challenged. They are lord and master over that person’s life, assets and existence and in some cases guardians buy and sell wards to one another.”

Court appointed attorneys are mandatory for people who find themselves entangled in guardianship proceedings depending on the state.

“The legislature in Texas is concerned with ensuring that a proposed ward is represented by an attorney who has special experience in handling guardianship matters,” said Don Ford, an attorney and partner with Ford + Bergner, a boutique law firm that specializes in litigating and appealing guardianship cases across the state.

“In determining whether you want to rely on the court-appointed attorney or instead choose a privately-retained attorney, if possible, the proposed ward should carefully consider the quality and expertise of the lawyer and also the facts of the particular case.”

In Harris County, a retired nurse named Doris Davis was reportedly admitted to a hospital emergency room after experiencing a reaction to new medication.

There, a psychiatrist deemed Davis incapacitated and the 87 year old subsequently became a ward of the state under the county’s guardianship program, according to Monica Shaw, a distant relative of Davis who works as an assistant at a law firm.

“It’s my understanding that she was overly medicated, not allowed to call family or friends and was transferred to a retirement home from the hospital against her will,” Shaw told Newsmax.

“She had several bank accounts and CDs that have since been liquidated and the county guardianship program sold her house, which is awaiting approval from Judge Mike Wood who has authorized the county guardianship program to spend $6,500 a month from her estate.” Judge Wood declined to comment because he told Newsmax that the case is pending.

In response to circumstances like Davis and DiZenzo, Glynnis Walker Anderson is organizing a movement called Gray Rights.

“Aging women are the most vulnerable but entire families are affected,” said Anderson who wrote the book “Stealing Joy: A True Story of Alzheimer’s, Elder Abuse and Fraud.” “Relatives, spouses, children and grand-children, employees and the community at large are also impacted.”

Still in Florida, miles away from her Connecticut family of origin, DiZenzo has adjusted to life in the American South but believes she has lost her inheritance.

“The sale of my parent’s home was to be split four ways between me and my three siblings,” Dizenzo said. “I was supposed to get $120,000. I haven’t seen a penny.”

From Ken Ditkowsky on Pena Rodreiguez v. Colorado–Serious Misconduct will not be tolerated

You can find the case here:

Click to access 15-606_886b.pdf

Most important quotes

A Colorado jury convicted petitioner Peña-Rodriguez of harassment and unlawful sexual contact. Following the discharge of the jury, two jurors told defense counsel that, during deliberations, Juror H. C. had expressed anti-Hispanic bias toward petitioner and petitioner’s alibi witness. Counsel, with the trial court’s supervision, obtained affidavits from the two jurors describing a number of biased statements by H. C. The court acknowledged H. C.’s apparent bias but denied petitioner’s motion for a new trial on the ground that Colorado Rule of Evidence 606(b) generally prohibits a juror from testifying as to statements made during deliberations in a proceeding inquiring into the validity of the verdict. The Colorado Court of Appeals affirmed, agreeing that H. C.’s alleged statements did not fall within an exception to Rule 606(b). The Colorado Supreme Court also affirmed, relying on Tanner v. United States, 483 U. S. 107, and Warger v. Shauers, 574 U. S. ___, both of which rejected constitutional challenges to the federal no-impeachment rule as applied to evidence of juror misconduct or bias. Held: Where a juror makes a clear statement indicating that he or she relied on racial stereotypes or animus to convict a criminal defendant, the Sixth Amendment requires that the no-impeachment rule give way in order to permit the trial court to consider the evidence of the juror’s statement and any resulting denial of the jury trial guarantee. Pp. 6–21. (a) At common law jurors were forbidden to impeach their verdict, either by affidavit or live testimony. Some American jurisdictions adopted a more flexible version of the no-impeachment bar, known as the “Iowa rule,” which prevented jurors from testifying only about their own subjective beliefs, thoughts, or motives during deliberations. An alternative approach, later referred to as the federal approach, permitted an exception only for events extraneous to the deliberative process. This Court’s early decisions did not establish a clear preference for a particular version of the no-impeachment rule, appearing open to the Iowa rule in United States v. Reid, 12 How. 361, and Mattox v. United States, 146 U. S. 140, but rejecting that approach in McDonald v. Pless, 238 U. S. 264. The common-law development of the rule reached a milestone in 1975 when Congress adopted Federal Rule of Evidence 606(b), which sets out a broad no-impeachment rule, with only limited exceptions. This version of the no-impeachment rule has substantial merit, promoting full and vigorous discussion by jurors and providing considerable assurance that after being discharged they will not be summoned to recount their deliberations or otherwise harassed. The rule gives stability and finality to verdicts. Pp. 6–9. (b) Some version of the no-impeachment rule is followed in every State and the District of Columbia, most of which follow the Federal Rule. At least 16 jurisdictions have recognized an exception for juror testimony about racial bias in deliberations. Three Federal Courts of Appeals have also held or suggested there is a constitutional exception for evidence of racial bias. In addressing the common-law no-impeachment rule, this Court noted the possibility of an exception in the “gravest and most important cases.” United States v. Reid, supra, at 366; McDonald v. Pless, supra, at 269. The Court has addressed the question whether the Constitution mandates an exception to Rule 606(b) just twice, rejecting an exception each time. In Tanner, where the evidence showed that some jurors were under the influence of drugs and alcohol during the trial, the Court identified “long-recognized and very substantial concerns” supporting the no-impeachment rule. 483 U. S., at 127. The Court also outlined existing, significant safeguards for the defendant’s right to an impartial and competent jury beyond post-trial juror testimony: members of the venire can be examined for impartiality during voir dire; juror misconduct may be observed the court, counsel, and court personnel during the trial; and jurors themselves can report misconduct to the court before a verdict is rendered. In Warger, a civil case where the evidence indicated that the jury forewoman failed to disclose a prodefendant bias during voir dire, the Court again put substantial reliance on existing safeguards for a fair trial. But the Court also warned, as in Reid and McDonald, that the no-impeachment rule may admit of exceptions for “juror bias so extreme that, almost by definition, the jury trial right has been abridged.” 574 U. S., at ___–___, n. 3.

The Court has interpreted the Fourteenth Amendment to prohibit the exclusion of jurors based on race, Strauder v. West Virginia, 100 U. S. 303, 305–309; struck down laws and practices that systematically exclude racial minorities from juries, see, e.g., Neal v. Delaware, 103 U. S. 370; ruled that no litigant may exclude a prospective juror based on race, see, e.g., Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U. S. 79; and held that defendants may at times be entitled to ask about racial bias during voir dire, see, e.g., Ham v. South Carolina, 409 U. S. 524. The unmistakable principle of these precedents is that discrimination on the basis of race, “odious in all aspects, is especially pernicious in the administration of justice,” Rose v. Mitchell, 443 U. S. 545, 555, damaging “both the fact and the perception” of the jury’s role as “a vital check against the wrongful exercise of power by the State,” Powers v. Ohio, 499 U. S. 400, 411. Pp. 13–15. (d) This case lies at the intersection of the Court’s decisions endorsing the no-impeachment rule and those seeking to eliminate racial bias in the jury system.

Racial bias, unlike the behavior in McDonald, Tanner, or Warger, implicates unique historical, constitutional, and institutional concerns and, if left unaddressed, would risk systemic injury to the administration of justice.

This case is important because it illustrates the fact that SCOTUS is still pushing the integrity of the US judicial system–at the same time many of us are seeing the integrity degrade more than ever before. (Taking bags of cash to the DNC chairman to get elected or appointed to a judge’s position).

From Ken Ditkowsky:

It is my impression that this case is a bit like the Free Speech cases such as CITIZEN’S UNITED.    This is mile maker telling the Court that FAIRNESS is the goal and form does not trump substance.   Pena – Rodriquez may be the banner of the Judicialmisconduct group, as it essentially holds that judicial misconduct cannot and will not be tolerated in America.
If you read the due process cases of the SCOTUS the are clear that all that is required is NOTICE and HEARING.    Thus, due process was granted Lanre Amu when he got notice of the fact that a hearing was to be heard (and was heard)by racially biased individuals on the subject of whether or not he was practicing law while black.   They found he was and he received not only an interim suspension but a 3 years suspension.   It was irrelevant to due process that Mr. Jerome Larkin (the administrator of the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission and his henchmen all were not only biased, but either suborned or committed perjury.
The Courts are the scape goat of America, and when relief has to be purchased by outbidding the miscreants it ceases to function.

 

 

 

From Paul Abramson in California–Demand to ARDC to reverse my suspension

This is  copy of a fax Paul Abramson sent to the ARDC:

March 9th 2017
Re:13PR0001   request for reconsideration of Suspension of JoAnne Denison 
(sent by email and fax)
Dear Counselors (Smart and Opryszek)
I request you to reconsider the suspension of attorney JoAnne Denison which I believe was a wrongful conviction. Ms. Denison is a citizen of the United States of America and has the First Amendment right  of free speech to voice her opinion (in this instance judicial corruption in Illinois).
She is a tireless advocate of the unfortunate victims of the Illinois Judicial system which also in my opinion is a swamp that needs to be drained. The little guy seeking justice in your state does not stand a chance. That is why we need more people like Ms. Denison who not only should be exonerated of all the ARDC charges against her but commended for the work that she does to try and get justice served for those that need it most in this world.
Respectfully Submitted
Paul Abramson
Glendale CA
From Joanne:
Thanks so much Paul for doing this.

Fundraiser on Sunday 2 to 4 pm 5940 W. Touhy, #120–Justice4 Every1, NFP

On Sunday from 2 to 4 pm we will be holding our first in office fund raise and selling raffle tickets, drinks (wine) and providing free cheese and crackers from Whole Foods (healthy and all natural).

I will have printed out my famous “list of supplements” that will keep you healthy and energetic during your unfair court room battles.  You all need the stamina and have no time to be sick.

I will have a number of beautiful handmade quilted art wall hanging for a donation too.

Drinks will be $5 and you will purchase a ticket for each glass of wine.  Please come and donate a hot dish, salad, dessert, bottle of wine and buy a raffle ticket. All leftover food will be donated to Pacific Garden Mission on the near South Side.  We will hold the drawing during a  fundraiser and have one of our court room crime victims pull the ticket by doing a drawing for that too! Winners need not be present.  You can text or email for a ticket, pay by paypal or chase quick pay or text a check and you will get a numbered receipt and a copy will be put in the drawing.  Raffle Tickets are $20 each.

We need ro raise money for fees, transcripts, rent, phones, etc.  I do your work in filing complaints to the authorities without pay.  We help people and I have a staff of many attorneys and paralegals who also work without pay, and I can’t even disclose their names, they are afraid of the ARDC as corrupt as it is, so we need to keep the underground network going to fight crime and these strings of felonies in the courts.

Join me on Sunday and I’ll answer your corruption questions and we’ll have a great time.

Joanne

PS–please, no one from the ARDC or corrupt authorities.  If I don’t know you, your ID will be checked at the door.  If I don’t know you, please email me in advance with your name and address so I can check you out.  We want my office to be a safe place for court crime victims.

From JL–Court orders are voidable if Opposing Counsel has not filed an appearance or Leave to File an Appearance

Click to access 1112401.pdf


Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel
Springfield, Illinois | http://www.iadtc.org | 800-232-0169
IDC Quarterly | Volume 23, Number 1 (23.1.36)
Civil Practice and Procedure
By: Edward K. Grassé
Busse, Busse & Grassé, Chicago
Leave to File an Appearance?
Yes, it is Required.
A recent Illinois Appellate Court First District decision has found that leave of court is required to file an appearance if 30 days has lapsed since service was perfected, and this is true even if the appearance is an additional appearance for a party already having appeared.
In J.P. Morgan Mortg. Acquisition Corp. v. Straus, 2012 IL App (1st) 112401, an attorney
attempted to vacate an order of foreclosure which had been entered against his clients after the attorney had filed an appearance for his clients. The court reviewed the order of foreclosure and sale and found that since the attorney had not sought leave of court to file his appearance, notice to the mortgagors was sufficient to validate the foreclosure order. J.P. Morgan had issued a mortgage to Joseph Straus and his wife, Alice. J.P. Morgan obtained service of process on both Joseph and Alice.
Joseph Straus filed a pro se appearance and answer. Subsequently, an attorney filed an ”additional appearance” on behalf of Joseph Straus and then a short time later an appearance for Alice Straus.  There was no dispute that the attorney’s additional appearance was in fact filed with the court. There was a dispute as to whether or not the additional appearance was served on opposing counsel. It was undisputed that the only appearance filed within 30 days of service was the pro se appearance filed by
Mr. Straus. J.P. Morgan, 2012 IL App (1st) 112401, ¶¶ 3-4.
After filing the additional appearance for Mr. Straus but before the appearance was filed for Mrs. Straus, J.P. Morgan filed and presented a motion for judgment of foreclosure and sale. This motion was purportedly served on Mr. and Mrs. Straus, but was admittedly not served on counsel for Mr. Straus. The court granted the motion for foreclosure and sale. The judicial sale was held and a motion was filed for approval of the judicial sale. Id. ¶ 6. Counsel for Mr. Straus filed a motion to vacate the judgment based on the fact that he was not served with notice of the motion pursuant to the additional appearance that he previously filed. J.P. Morgan argued that the additional appearance was never
served and that leave was never obtained to file the appearance in the first place. The trial court denied the motion to vacate and approved the judicial sale. Id.
On appeal, defendants asserted a single issue: that the trial court erred in denying the motion to vacate as the foreclosure judgment and all subsequent orders were void for lack of complete notice.
Defendants pointed to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 11 which states “[i]f a party is represented by an attorney of record, service shall be made upon the attorney. Otherwise service “shall” be made upon the party.” J.P. Morgan, 2012 IL App (1st) 112401, ¶ 7. Defendants argued that the use of the word “shall” makes this language mandatory and that this cannot be disregarded by the court. Id.
The court first considered whether the order was considered void or voidable. After considering several Illinois supreme and appellate court cases, the court determined that the order was voidable, not void. The court found that it properly had jurisdiction, therefore, the order was simply voidable and only subject to direct appeal. Id. ¶ 13. Defendants also disputed plaintiff’s argument that leave was required to file an appearance. Defendants cited to Rule 13 which states “[a]n attorney shall file
his written appearance or other pleading before he addresses the court unless he is presenting a motion for leave to appear by intervention or otherwise.” Ill. S. Ct. R. 13(c) (1) (“Rule 13(c)(1)”); J.P. Morgan, 2012 IL App (1st) 112401, ¶ 15. The court then addressed the need to seek leave prior to filing an appearance. The court analyzed Rule 13 which requires leave to file an appearance unless “presenting a motion for leave to appear by intervention or otherwise.” Ill. S. Ct. R. 13(c) (1). The court held that this language “leads us to the conclusion that leave of court must be sought prior to filing an appearance after 30 days.” J.P. Morgan, 2012 Il. App. 112401, ¶ 15. The court went on to state that “leave of court is regularly sought when an additional appearance is filed whether to replace an attorney or for a pro se defendant who has secured representation.” Id. The court concluded that the
arguments raised by the defendants did not demonstrate an abuse of discretion by the trial court. Id. ¶ 14. This opinion raises several issues.
First, is leave of court truly required under Rule 13? The court makes the definitive statement that “leave of court must be sought prior to filing an appearance after 30 days.” Id. ¶ 15 (emphasis added). However, Rule 13 (c) (1) has two parts. The first part makes the filing of an appearance mandatory before addressing the court: “an attorney shall file his written appearance or other pleading before he addresses the court.” Ill. S. Ct. R. 13 (c) (1). The second part provides for situations wherein an attorney may address the court without filing an appearance: “unless he is presenting a motion for leave to appear by intervention or otherwise.” Id. The mandatory “shall” of the first part does not make the permissive of the second part correspondingly mandatory. It appears that the court could
have reached its decision in a more narrow context—limiting its ruling to situations involving additional or substitute appearances, without requiring leave of court in all instances where an appearance has not been filed within 30 days of service.
Second, does this ruling only apply in situations where an additional appearance or substitute appearance is being filed? The court seems to hold that leave is required in all instances after the passage of 30 days but the court’s reference to authority is limited to scenarios involving additional or substitute appearances. J.P. Morgan, 2012 IL App (1st) 112401, ¶ 15. Commonsense considerations would seem to dictate that additional or substitute appearances should require leave of court.
Unfortunately, the court’s ruling here ostensibly requires leave in all instances where 30 days have elapsed. It should be noted that the court based its ruling also upon the failure of the defendants to establish that their attorney’s additional appearance was properly served upon the plaintiff.
Lastly, what is the impact of failing to seek leave to file an appearance? If leave is not sought to file an appearance but an appearance is filed, is the attorney entitled to notice? Is an order entered without notice to an attorney who has filed an appearance and properly served the appearance on opposing counsel subject to a Rule 11 defense? These questions remain unanswered.
About the Author
Edward K. Grassé is a partner at the law firm of Busse, Busse & Grassé, P.C. He has practiced in the area of tort litigation for over 10 years and concentrates his practice in the defense of personal injury, construction, fire and explosion and premises liability suits.
He is presently the co-chair of the IDC Civil Practice Committee and is a former chair of the Civil Practice and Procedure Committee of the Chicago Bar Association.
About the IDC The Illinois Association Defense Trial Counsel (IDC) is the premier association of attorneys in Illinois who devote a substantial portion their practice to the representation of business, corporate, insurance, professional and other individual defendants in civil litigation. For more information on the IDC, visit us on the web at http://www.iadtc.org.

Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel, PO Box 588, Rochester, IL 62563-0588, 217-498-2649, 800-232-0169, idc@iadtc.org

From Facebook–April Parks, “professional guardian” in Nevada indicted on over 200 charges of bilking and over billing clients

MaryGSykes.com

Grand jury indicts Nevada guardian on more than 200 charges, including racketeering, theft and exploitation

View original post 1,077 more words

From Facebook–April Parks, “professional guardian” in Nevada indicted on over 200 charges of bilking and over billing clients

Grand jury indicts Nevada guardian on more than 200 charges, including racketeering, theft and exploitation

As a guardian, April Parks was tasked with caring for the elderly and infirm in Southern Nevada.

As a guardian, she had full control over those people’s finances, their property and nearly every aspect of their lives.

ADVERTISING

And as a guardian, Parks exploited at least 150 of those vulnerable Nevadans and “systemically bilked them out of their life savings,” law enforcement officials said Wednesday.

A Clark County grand jury indicted Parks on more than 200 felony charges that include racketeering, theft, exploitation and perjury. Parks and her husband were arrested in Pennsylvania just hours after the indictment came down. It was unclear Wednesday night what agency made the arrests.

Three other people were indicted Wednesday: Parks’ business partner, Mark Simmons; her husband, Gary Neal Taylor; and her former attorney, Noel Simpson Palmer. Simmons was arrested in Indiana sometime Wednesday, according to a Metropolitan Police Department press release.

But Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson made it clear in a press conference that Parks “was the No. 1 target in this investigation.”

The 123-page indictment, which laid out the 212 felony charges levied against Parks, claimed she used her position and her company, A Private Professional Guardian, LLC, “to steal funds belonging to elderly and disabled persons over whom they had guardianship authority.”

The indictment said that Parks used fraudulent billing practices, and that Parks and Simmons organized and directed a “criminal syndicate” while stealing roughly $559,000 from 150 victims between 2011 and 2016. Most of those victims, Wolfson said, are no longer alive.

Simmons faces 134 felonies similar to the charges levied against Parks. Taylor faces seven charges, and Simpson was charged with one count each of theft and filing a false document.

Judge Jennifer Togliatti issued a no-bail arrest warrant for Parks and Simmons and set the bail at $200,000 for Taylor. Palmer, who appeared at the hearing, agreed to pay $7,500 for bail and to return to court March 22.

Parks was one of the most active private professional guardians in Southern Nevada. She often acted as the surrogate decision maker for 50 to 100 elderly and mentally incapacitated people, called wards, at a given time. As the guardian, Parks had full control of the wards’ finances, estates and even medical decisions.

Last year, Parks left Nevada, leaving dozens of wards behind and forcing the already-overburdened Clark County public guardian’s office to step in to care for them. Guardianship Judge Cynthia Dianne Steele issued a separate bench warrant for Parks’ arrest last summer after Parks failed twice to appear in court for one of the cases she abandoned. Attorneys claimed Parks grossly overbilled her wards, and they called for a law enforcement investigation of her practices.

One of Parks’ former wards, Rudy North, said he never expected these charges to come.

North, 80, and his wife, Rennie, spent two years under Parks’ guardianship.

The indictment claims Parks stole $1,300 from the couple through overbilling, but North said the impact was much larger and went beyond finances.

North said the couple was taken from their home and put into an assisted living facility in Boulder City. Parks sold nearly all their possessions shortly after moving the couple, North claimed.

He compared being taken away from their home and family to his experience living in Auschwitz, the World War II Nazi concentration camp for Jews.

“We were taken without announcement, without the ability to make a phone call,” North said. “The only thing we beat them on, really, is we’re alive today.”

The indictment and arrests mark a newfound focus from law enforcement at the state and local levels to protect the elderly and mentally incapacitated from fraud and abuse by those who are supposed to care for them.

In the past, law enforcement rarely investigated guardianship abuses, because they were seen as either a court or civil issue. But a new 10-person unit inside the attorney general’s office and a joint task force between that office and local agencies have given law enforcement the needed teeth to dig into the abuses committed because of those failures.

“There are failures in our community in how we’ve dealt with this issue,” Wolfson said.

At the court level, an overburdened system and a lack of oversight left these wards vulnerable to exploitation. A Las Vegas Review-Journal series published in April 2015 detailed those shortfalls.

In response to the series, the Nevada Supreme Court formed a commission of lawmakers, lawyers and advocates with the goal of fixing those problems.

The panel last fall made several recommendations, including ensuring every ward has the right to an attorney and adding significant oversight and accountability to the guardianship process.

The investigation was a joint effort of Metro and the attorney general’s and district attorney’s offices. Wolfson said other cases of guardianship abuse are pending, but he did not detail those cases or give a timeline for when charges could come.

Parks is expected to be extradited to Las Vegas for the trial.

Contact Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4638. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

April Parks’s 212 felony charges:

1 count of racketeering

42 counts of theft

37 counts of exploitation of an older person or vulnerable person

74 counts offering a false instrument for filing of record

58 counts of perjury.

From Ken Ditkowsky–On how the ARDC protected Seth Gillman, a favored, but felonious, Illinois attorney

From the Chicago Tribune:

Hospice Owner Seeks Light Sentence For $9M Medicare Fraud

Law360, New York (February 14, 2017, 6:06 PM EST) — The former owner of a hospice care center who pled guilty to involvement in a $9 million Medicare fraud scheme asked an Illinois federal judge Monday for the lightest allowable sentence, presumably much less than the 10 years the government wants him to spend behind bars.
Seth Gillman, a lawyer and one of the founders of now-bankrupt Passages Hospice LLC, did not specify how long his impending sentence should be, only saying that it should be “the shortest term of imprisonment permissible under the law.”
In support of his effort to shave years off the time he could spend in prison, he objected to two aspects of the government’s recommended sentence, described his good deeds, and noted how he has lost his business, his friends and his family as a result of his crime.
“Gillman now comes before this court extraordinarily humble and contrite. He is deeply ashamed and angered with himself for succumbing to criminal conduct,” his sentencing memorandum said. “With exception to certain decisions and transgressions that have landed him before this court, Gillman has committed his life to helping his family, friends and others in need, illustrating his genuine sense of compassion and generosity.”
The government, meanwhile, pushed for 10 years, pointing to Gillman’s role in overseeing a four-year-long fraud scheme in which Medicare was charged millions of dollars for unnecessary nurse visits and for care that patients ultimately didn’t receive — a scam he continued even as multiple members of his staff tried to change the practices.
Over the life of the scheme, Medicare paid Passages about $26.5 million for “basically nothing” because little, if any, of it went to patient care, prosecutors said.
“Unlike some defendants that come before this court and others, this defendant clearly could have had a good career and living without engaging in criminal activity, and he made a deliberate choice based on greed to put all of that at risk by defrauding Medicare,” the government said. “He chose to do this because he thought he could get away with it, and a serious sentence is necessary to punish him adequately.”
Law enforcement searched Passages’ offices in January 2012, and Gillman  was indicted in May 2014 along with three other Passages employees. He  pled guilty in February 2016.
Gillman had numerous opportunities during the life of the scheme to make things right, but “nothing changed, and the scheme went on,” the government said.
His actions included firing a nursing director who raised multiple concerns soon after the plot began in 2008, actively changing patient files in 2009, and asking a co-defendant in 2010 if an employee in the Chicago region was a “cancer” after that worker questioned how staff could be a “family” if they were swamped with work, unable to voice concerns without feeling threatened and pressured to keep a certain amount of people on “general inpatient” services — a higher level of care that pulled in higher reimbursements — the government said.
Gillman will be the first sentenced as a result of the scheme, so the court should consider his role as head of Passages, the length of the scheme, and the need to set a solid standard on which to base subsequent sentences, the government said. It has recommended 60 and 40 months for two other defendants.
Gillman did not deny the seriousness of his offense, but objected to two aspects of the government’s recommendation that increased his sentence. Both sides agree that the scheme caused $9 million in losses — which the defendants should be required to pay back — but Gillman said that his sentence shouldn’t be lengthened as a result of it being a federal health care offense or because he allegedly abused a position of trust.
Although he agreed to follow Medicare’s rules, the government would have needed to establish a relationship that’s beyond ordinary for him to have abused its trust, he said. As for the federal health care offense enhancement, the scheme was three months from ending before this enhancement went into effect, so it shouldn’t apply, Gillman said.
With his objections, the government’s recommended sentence would drop from 120 months to between 70 and 87 months. But the Probation Department, a neutral third party, has recommended that a 36-month sentence would be sufficient, Gillman said, adding that he isn’t suggesting this is an appropriate length, but that the court should consider this fact.
Gillman also said that Passages provided hundreds of elderly patients extra care and assistance that nursing homes didn’t provide, even while he, through Passages, “unjustly lined his pockets by submitting false claims.”
“Despite his illegal conduct, the fact that hundreds of elderly patients received far better care than they qualified for should not be overlooked,” his sentencing memorandum said. “The true nature of this specific offense is that Gillman improperly profited off the Passages patients who received extensive end-of-life care that, under Medicare guidelines, they were not qualified to receive.”
Also on Monday, the government filed a short sentencing memorandum for Passages itself, which pled guilty in February 2016. Although a large fine would ordinarily be warranted, the bankrupt company isn’t likely to be able to pay such a penalty, so no fine should be imposed, the government said, recommending two years of probation.
Gillman is represented by Blaire C. Dalton of Dalton Law LLC and by Edward M. Genson and Vadim A. Glozman of Edward M. Genson & Associates.
The government is represented by U.S. Attorney Zachary T. Fardon and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stephen Chahn Lee, Abigail Peluso and James P. Durkin.
The case is USA v. Gillman, et al., case number 1:14-cr-00033, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
–Additional reporting by Diana Novak Jones. Editing by Philip Shea.
The tribune article mentioned the kickbacks that Gillman made to other nursing home operators.    Why have they not been indicted?   The ‘street’ had it that Gillman was co-operating with the Fed – was he?     Jerome Larkin acted upon the knowledge that Gillman was co-operating!   He most probably heard it from the same sources that I did!   His reaction was to try to turn the screws by disciplinary proceedings – and he did!
We need fairness in our Courts!    We also need the Courts to be administered fairly and impartially!

From: kenneth ditkowsky <kenditkowsky@yahoo.com>
To
Sent: Wednesday, March 8, 2017 5:52 PM
Subject: Re: Supreme Court Says Jury Secrecy Not Guaranteed If Racial Bias Exists

Indeed, we are dealing with a corruption that goes to the heart of the justice system.   The Court lays down a very strict rule in that there has to be a ‘clear statement.’   exactly what that means is that it will take another 100 years to have a similar case; however, the gantlet has been laid down.
In the elder cases, the statute is very clear for appointing a guardian.   Guardians should be rare as the burden set by statute is very heavy.  First proof of incompetency has to be by clear and convincing evidence and under 755 ILCS 5/11a -3 b  (and similar limitations in every statute in the USA – because of ADA) there has to be definitive proof as to specific needs to be addressed by the guardian.    As a fiduciary being a guardian is an onerous task!    The fiduciary must act in the ward’s objective best interest, and can be compensated only for the work that is reasonably in the guardians objective best interest that is reasonable and necessary.  
As every one should be aware if they actually attended some institution of learning while conscious  – objective best interest is determined by the clear light of hindsight!  
TODAY with corrupt courts we are getting too many off the wall decisions.   In Judge Maureen Connors Court lawyers heard this Judge appoint guardians without hearing a single word of testimony on a routine basis.   Ditto for some of the other Illinois Courts.    Here in Illinois we have had scandals by the dozen in which individuals totally innocent of the crime charges confessed to crimes that they could not have committed.   A little wire hooked to a electric outlet and the genitals lessens the plead of innocence!   In fact the threat itself does wonders.
Activists have suggested with a great probability of truth that a defendant who happens to have a dark skin color is more lightly to be treated to the more esoteric forms of interrogation and a quick shift by the Justice system.   Of course I have no evidence of such conduct, but if you turn to correct media outlet they will confirm the wildest accusation and double it!
A fundamental covenant of America is EQUAL and FAIR  justice, without undue delay. In Chicago such is inconvenient to too many of the Political and Judicial elite.   Thus we get cases such as the Lanre Amu DISCIPLINARY KANGAROO PROCEEDING  or a blog disclosing judicial corruption being labelled as “yelling fire in a crowded theater.”
Indeed — FAIRNESS AND HONESTY in every phase of the Judicial process is not only necessary – but essential.    It is the job of the SCOTUS to remind the great unwashed – i.e. you and me – that their decisions are not suggestions – BUT THE RULE OF LAW and as citizens we have to fight tooth and nail to protect the concept of FAIRNESS and EQUALITY BEFORE THE EYES OF THE LAW.
From Joanne;
And lest we not forget the 10,000 people who “disappeared” at Homan Ave police station since 1995.  The building is a creepy old warehouse and looks just like a place of torture for thousands.
It is said that these people were mostly poor and brown and no one would care if they disappeared.
We need an investigation.

From JP on Robert Grundstein’s wonderful book–Bad Minds, High Places

 

From Activist Post and JP:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B6FbJzwtHocwRl9DUDhTaF83UTQ?usp=sharing

New Book Exposes The Consequences Of A Politicized Judiciary

corrupt_judgeBy Janet Phelan

Book Review: Bad Minds, High Places

Try to talk to someone about how a court of law has engineered your financial ruin and, in so doing, has utterly ignored statutory and Constitutional imperatives, and it is likely that you will be met with a blank, glazed stare. After all, America has a good legal system, right? Say what you will about America’s behavior in the Middle East and that nasty little torture racket at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and goodness knows where else—America’s legal system is…well…. it is the best system there is.

Right?

A new book by Robert Grundstein, entitled Bad Minds, High Places, may dispossess you of any Disneyland notions concerning the cold reality of America’s legal system. Laced with humor and dazzlingly easy to digest explanations of convoluted legalisms, Grundstein’s book lays out a true story—his story—of how the legal system first in Ohio and then in the state of Washington retaliated against him in a nearly seamless effort to deprive him of his livelihood—the practice of law—and potentially his very freedom.

Grundstein’s story starts in year 2007, with what appears to be blowback in Ohio from some moderate activism, involving his writing an editorial about one Judge Peter Junkin. Grundstein apparently committed the unthinkable when he criticized a judge and passed out the editorial in front of an Ohio courthouse.

We follow Grundstein’s story as he is subsequently criminally charged for committing an act which he easily could have proven he was unable to commit. Robert Grundstein was not even in Ohio when the act was alleged to have occurred and had ATM receipts and more to prove his whereabouts.

As it turns out, no one cared about the evidence.

From this jumping off point, Robert Grundstein enters a landscape best detailed by Franz Kafka, or possibly depicted in the British television cult series, The Prisoner. We see judges ignoring evidence—in fact, critical evidence proving Grundstein’s innocence disappears from the record—further charges are piled on, like wobbling matchsticks on an already void foundation, as prosecutors, judges and indolent defense attorneys collude to destroy an apparently innocent man.

The fact that many of the individuals named in the book were subsequently investigated and criminally charged and imprisoned following the FBI raids in Cleveland in 2008 buttresses Grundstein’s story. Through his narrative, we meet a panoply of players, including prosecutor Joe O’Malley, imprisoned on federal criminal charges, Chief Clerk of Courts Mark Lime, subsequently Indicted on 76 counts of docket falsification, Judge Lance Mason, sentenced to 24 months for wife beating, and a slew of public officials who were forced to resign, including former prosecutor Bill Mason, former judge Lillian Greene and, yep, you got it—the judge who may have started the entire ball plummeting down the hill towards Robert Grundstein—Peter Junkin, who was removed following the FBI raids.

All told, over sixty people, including Cuyahoga county judges, prosecutors, county executives, administrators, employees and others who contracted with the county went to jail.

We also meet an array of potentially law-abiding judges and private attorneys who palpably blanch at the prospect of attending to or defending Grundstein’s rights. His narrative illuminates the unfortunate reality that all these individuals are connected through a mutual need to keep working with each other, and therefore will not cross over the invisible red line to restore a semblance of fairness to an individual with a bullseye on his back.

This is the stuff of paranoid fantasies, no? Unfortunately, the fantastic is now the real. Writes Grundstein in the epilogue to his book:

Government and organized crime are not all that different. The idea is to get something for your group at the expense of people who aren’t in it. The Jewish Holocaust can be cast as not only racism, but a planned transfer of wealth. You kill the person you’ve cheated in order to remove his voice. Andrew Jackson did it with the Cherokee Indians after gold was found in Georgia. No one is innocent.

At a time when lawyers who attempt to uphold the rule of law are disciplined, jailed, sanctioned or disbarred—Richard Fine, Don Bailey, Ken Ditkowsky, Lanre Amu, Andy Ostrowski, Grant Goodman, among others—it is heartening to see the bravery that some of these individuals are exhibiting. Ken Ditkowsky’s writings are being blogged by another attorney-under-fire, JoAnne Denison, and appear regularly at https://marygsykes.com/. After a harrowing year and a half in LA County jail, attorney Richard Fine has launched the Campaign for Judicial Integrity.

Andy Ostrowski recently made a run for a seat in the US House of Representatives and now hosts a radio show concerning justice issues.

By writing such an engaging and—frankly—disturbing account of powerful people misusing their power in shameful ways, Robert Grundstein joins a growing choir of knowledgeable voices who are declaring, in essence, the utter failure of the US legal system. Writes Grundstein,

Politics is defined as competition for resources under conditions of scarcity. It’s common for judiciaries to be politicized, especially in states where judges are elected. However, when the legal system charged with keeping your group together is politicized, it will discriminate in favor of itself at the expense of the people it’s designed to protect….There will be higher priority people in the interest group and those outside. No one will trust government or the law….

America is, in fact, simply a chunk of territory and rules governing behavior on that territory. With personal property being misappropriated through the sorts of mechanisms that Grundstein refers to in his book, and with the rules—that would be the legal system—basically a “mock-up” to serve special and powerful interests, one might well conclude that America is no longer America.

Unlike the doomsdayers, Grundstein offers suggestions to fix this broken system. In his epilogue, entitled “Solutions for a Politicized Judiciary,” he makes a number of recommendations as to how to begin to address the problem of influence peddling in state courts. His recommendations include public and comprehensive hearings for judges prior to elections, rotating judges into other jurisdictions and also thorough judicial performance reviews, based on evaluations by those appearing before the judges.

While Grundstein’s recommendations may incur a heated debate among those who see a politicized judiciary as a symptom rather than a discrete problem, I think we can all agree that this debate is long overdue.

Bad Minds, High Places demonstrates that the problem of “collusion to ruin” exceeds the general perception of how bad our legal system has actually become. This book, along with the US Constitution, the Federalist Papers and Franz Kafka’s The Trial, should be mandated reading in civics curriculums. It is only through such fearless reporting as evidenced in Bad Minds, High Places that our legal system will ever evolve into a system of liberty and justice for all.


Bad Minds, High Places is available on Amazon, along with another book by Robert Grundstein, entitled Light Nights and Wet Feet: A Walk through Modern Scotland.\

From Joanne:

I have read the book and found it excellent. If you have ever fought within a corrupt, uncaring and unkind court system that caters only to the rich, powerful and well heeled with connections, you will find solace in this book.  I greatly enjoyed reading it and Robert Grundstein I believe is an excellent writer and an attorney whose license to practice was wrongfully removed by nefarious political based motives.  So was mine, so was that of Lanre Amu and Kenneth Ditkowsky, both fine attorneys ground up like yesterday’s sausage in the carnage of a House of Bones.

We all must fight to regain our position in a land of freedom and democracy, Truth and Justice.

I know I am doing my part.

 

From Ken Ditkowsky and the US Supreme court–Jury secrecy not protected if racial bias alleged

 Fairness in our Courts is required and mandated!
Now let’s apply this to the guardianship proceedings and even traffic court!   It would be very nice have judges who have integrity by definition!   Of course this would mean that ‘cover ups’ such as are going on in Illinois and some other states by lawyer disciplinary commissions would be illegal!
They are not protected by any alleged “secrecy” or “privacy” to the Disabled Person. In any instance where corruption is involved, it is not protected by “secrecy” or “privacy”. That’s why the videos in the Mary G Sykes case are so valuable and must be protected on the internet. This woman was clearly not incompetent. Why then did the Tribunal in Joanne Denison’s case refuse to take a look at the video evidence that there was indeed corruption in the 09 P 4585 case?
Why did the ARDC tribunal refuse all discovery to both Ken Ditkowsky and Joanne Denison in their cases? Discovery is protected by the 5th amendment Due Process clause of the US Constitution.
All of these questions remain to be unanswered and become more important yet in the wake of this US Supreme Court decision.
The US people have rights and we must continue to complain vociferously until the  authorities do some and most of all, do their jobs!
The anatomy of Judicial Corruption is revealed every day in Cook County, Illinois.
Let’s start at square 1.   How do you become a Judge in Cook County?    A Chicago Tribune columnist revealed that the candidate had to get a gym bag, fill it with cash, and give it to Democratic Party official.   (a judge candidate revealed that he paid $150,000).   I am sure that there are other ways.   A District Court Judge was reported to have earned his trip to the Federal Bench by providing a well known Democratic Boss with “girls!” (This judge was named after a very famous President from Illinois whose name was NOT Obama!) 
After square 1 we go to square 2.   This lesson is taught in the Office of the Clerk of the Probate Division of the Circuit Court.   For our text, we pull out case 09 P 4585 (In re: Mary Sykes).   if you need a cheat sheet, the Illinois attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission has in its filed the EVIDENCE DEPOSITION of the presiding judge in case 09 P 4585.    She on page 91 admits that she was ‘fixed.’    Here evidence deposition reveals why case 09 P 4585 is so bizarre and Mr. Jerome Larkin, the administrator of the IaRDC, was required to perjure himself and file patently false pleadings.
Everyone knows that due process requires NOTICE and HEARING and that a guardianship is a patent invasion and forfeiture of Civil and Human Rights.   Every one also knows that it is UNCONSTITUTIONAL for human rights to be forfeit in the United States of America.    In fact we have serious laws on the books against such conduct.   Thus, how can such occur?    It does and occurs with great frequency.    Indeed, not only was Mary Sykes Constitutional Rights violated but she never received a hearing prior to the forfeiture!   755 ILCS 5/11a – 3b outlines the parameters of a guardianship and the Americans With Disabilities Act provides Federal sanction for violations of the criteria.    Without a hearing at which significant testimony is had the guardianship court is nothing but a criminal enterprise promulgating HUMAN TRAFFICKING.
Now let’s go back to square 1.  The cash payment by the Judge to local Democratic Party official now looms very relevant.   Why would a distinguished lawyer became a prostitute?
Now you know the answer and exactly who America has to protect!

From Ken Ditkowski –caught in the act

Subject: Re: Caught In The Act <http://bit.ly/2mB95mA> [but still being covered-up]
(link is about another attorney taking a picture of a defense attorney’s notes)
Date: Mar 4, 2017 8:14 AM
In Illinois and many States we have guardianship supervised by our Courts.   What this means is that there is an active JUDGE assigned to each guardianship who supervises the elder abuse/exploitation, and dehumanization of the elderly person.   I point to the Mary Sykes (09 P 4585) and Alice Gore cases as exhibits 1 and 2.   After the elder cleansing (i.e. isolation, abuse, exploitation, theft of savings and other assets, and denial of all human and civil rights) was completed that designated victim was subjected to involuntary suicide.   Calls for an HONEST INVESTIGATION resulted in a campaign of intimidation directed against the caller followed by a cover-up of massive proportions.   Millions of dollars of State of Illinois money (public money) was and is used in this cover=up that includes but is not limited to, fraud, and perjury by no less an public figure as the Administrator of the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, Jerome Larkin.   The trail of perfidy travels right to the Supreme Court of Illinois!
The Federal courts view the criminal enterprise of the Probate Division of the Circuit Court to be untouchable and as the 2nd oldest profession is up to its eyeballs in the corruption and fraud against the elderly and their families it has taken a pass.    In fact, even though we have the red letter indictment of Philip Esformes in South Florida for stealing a billion dollars from MEDICARE and the Seth Gillman in Illinois the victims have been literally check mated by the ‘COVER UP!’   The Alice Gore case takes a page out of the 3rd Reich!    The Court appointed Guardian ad Litem orchestrated the salvaging of the gold from the teeth of the victim!
Mr. Larkin of the IARDC not only saw nothing wrong with Nazi era activity being promulgated under the supervision of a Circuit Court judge, but was totally unsympathic with the family, complaining attorneys, and common members of the ‘great unwashed!’   In fact he wrote (through one of his overpaid attorneys at the IARDC – under his signature) that the blog (MaryGSykes) exposing this type of corruption was akin to “ yelling fire in a crowded theater!” and asked for the attorney exposing the corruption receive an interim suspension.   The Illinois Supreme Court did exactly that!
In Florida, the Court was equally perfidious.   In one guardianship the guardian ran into resistance from the wife of the victim.   No problem – the judge entered an order annulling the marriage.   In another case, a complaining lawyer was jailed.   Release from jail was reportedly secretly conditioned on the lawyer giving up her First Amendment Rights and ignoring her duty pursuant to Rule 8.3.
The criminal law applies to these cases of guardianship abuse.  The common law (and its statutory counterparts) of fiduciary law apply also to this CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY and War on the Elderly and the Disabled but the AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION and our State and Federal Government have virtually ignored their responsibility except in some rare situations.    The Philip Esformes situation is most important.   The Federal Grand Jury indicted Esformes in Florida for stealing a billion dollars from Medicare; however, here in Chicago it is apparent that the very same activity has been going on for years and Esformes and his cohorts not only are given a pass, but protection.   The Alice Gore case has a nexus to the Esformes nursing homes!    These miscreants actually bragged that the elderly were a commodity!    Alice Gore, Mary Sykes, Caroly Wyman **** indeed were commodities.   These commodities openly are voted for by the dominant nursing home operators and keep in power the corrupt political and judicial elite.
So blantant is the cover-up that Larkin and the Illinois Supreme Court are not ashamed of their conduct – -Larkin is reported to teach legal ethics!   The Gillman lawyer disciplinary  case stands as a monument to the type of legal ethics that is now standard.   The USA indicted Gillman for fiduciary fraud and for theft from Federal Health care programs.   The indictment did not “move” the Illinois attorney disciplinary commission (IARDC) or the Illinois Supreme Court.   No disciplinary proceedings were filed even though lawyers wrote to Mr. Larkin suggesting that the public needed protection.   Larkin resisted until the hue and cry rose to a fevor pitch and Gillman pleaded guilty.  Reluctant proceedings were finally filed and languished.    (Mr. Gillman, unlike Mr. Amu is not black and not complaining about judicial corruption).    A call to action occurred when Larkin was informed that Gillman was corrupting with the United States of America IN ITS INVESTIGATIONS!    Almost immediately a Petition for a interim suspension was applied for and granted.    The lesson IS clear – in Illinois it is in the highest traditions of the BAR to breach your fidiciary relationship and oath as an attorney – but it is ethically challenged for an attorney to directly or indirectly cooperate with LAW ENFORCEMENT or expose corruption by judicial or political figures! 
The American Bar Association and the political elite are weak on enforcement.    More legislation is interesting but irrelevant if not followed up by vigorous and honest prosecution.    The President of the United States wants to provide an efficacious health system but cannot do so without vigorous enforcement of the Rights, privileges and Immunities of elderly!    The Philip Esformes indictment points out that billions of dollars are available to be stolen and Jerome Larkin has demonstrated here in Illinois that no stone will be left unturned by the Establishment to steal every loose dollar.
Morris Esformes in the Alice Gore case was allegedly asked – how can you do something so terrible.   His answer was: “because I can!”    Indeed without vigorous enforcement of the law and the disbarrment of criminals wearing black robes this encouragement is another will of the wisp!

From CNN/Facebook–Rapes and Sexual Abuse in US nursing homes

http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2017/02/health/nursing-home-sex-abuse-investigation/?iid=ob_lockedrail_bottomlarge

Some of the victims can’t speak. They rely on walkers and wheelchairs to leave their beds. They have been robbed of their memories. They come to nursing homes to be cared for.

Instead, they are sexually assaulted.

A CNN INVESTIGATION

Six women. Three nursing homes. And the man accused of rape and abuse

Luis Gomez appeared to many to be the perfect nursing aide. He loved his job and went the distance for residents in his care. But now a different image has emerged: Gomez, who insists he is innocent, is accused of being a serial abuser — moving from facility to facility despite a history of allegations against him. CNN documents his trail.

OPINION

My mother was raped at 88

A daughter describes the resilience that helped her family not only heal but fight for reform.

The unthinkable is happening at facilities throughout the country: Vulnerable seniors are being raped and sexually abused by the very people paid to care for them.

It’s impossible to know just how many victims are out there. But through an exclusive analysis of state and federal data and interviews with experts, regulators and the families of victims, CNN has found that this little-discussed issue is more widespread than anyone would imagine.

Even more disturbing: In many cases, nursing homes and the government officials who oversee them are doing little — or nothing — to stop it.

Sometimes pure — and even willful — negligence is at work. In other instances, nursing home employees and administrators are hamstrung in their efforts to protect victims who can’t remember exactly what happened to them or even identify their perpetrators.

In cases reviewed by CNN, victims and their families were failed at every stage. Nursing homes were slow to investigate and report allegations because of a reluctance to believe the accusations — or a desire to hide them. Police viewed the claims as unlikely at the outset, dismissing potential victims because of failing memories or jumbled allegations. And because of the high bar set for substantiating abuse, state regulators failed to flag patterns of repeated allegations against a single caregiver.

It’s these systemic failures that make it especially hard for victims to get justice — and even easier for perpetrators to get away with their crimes.

“At 83 years old, unable to speak, unable to fight back, she was even more vulnerable than she was as a little girl fleeing her homeland. In fact, she was as vulnerable as an infant when she was raped. The dignity which she always displayed during her life, which was already being assaulted so unrelentingly by Alzheimer’s disease, was dealt a final devastating blow by this man. The horrific irony is not lost upon me … that the very thing she feared most as a young girl fleeing her homeland happened to her in the final, most vulnerable days of her life.”

Sonja Fischer is shown here in earlier days. She is pictured at top of this story during the last years of her life, with her daughter Maya’s haunting quote.

Maya Fischer made this statement in court at the 2015 sentencing of a nursing assistant convicted of raping her mother. Choking back tears, Fischer detailed her mother’s story — recounting how she had fled Indonesia as a youth with her family to escape the rape and killing of young girls by Japanese soldiers, only to fall victim decades later to a man whose job was to care for her.

A fellow caregiver saw male nursing assistant George Kpingbah in 83-year-old Sonja Fischer’s room at 4:30 a.m. on December 18, 2014, at the Walker Methodist Health Center in Minneapolis. A bare leg was on each side of his hips, and her adult diaper lay open on the bed. When the witness noticed the 76-year-old aide thrusting back and forth, she said she knew a sexual assault was occurring.

Kpingbah ultimately pleaded guilty to third-degree criminal sexual conduct with a mentally impaired or helpless victim and was sentenced to eight years in prison. In an emotional statement directed at Kpingbah during sentencing, the judge told him he had done more than ravage the lives of his victim and her family. He had betrayed the public trust granted to caregivers who have such intimate access to the sick and elderly.

“You violated (a) position of authority, a position of trust,” Judge Elizabeth Cutter said at the sentencing hearing. “The ramifications of what you did are so far-reaching. … It also affected everyone in that facility. Everyone who stays in that facility. Everyone who works at that facility. It affects everyone who has to place a loved one in a facility.”

Kpingbah apologized at the hearing and said he planned to take his Bible with him to prison. His attorney asked for leniency. Kpingbah had endured his own personal struggles as a refugee, the attorney said, fleeing Liberia after many of his family members were killed. Kpingbah’s one “unspeakable act,” he told the judge, was completely out of character.

Yet in court documents uncovered by CNN, prosecutors revealed it wasn’t the first time Kpingbah had been investigated over sexual assault allegations. Personnel records obtained by prosecutors during the investigation and reviewed by CNN show Kpingbah was suspended three times as Walker Methodist officials investigated repeated accusations of sexual abuse at the facility, including at least two where he was the main suspect.

The earliest complaint was in 2008, when police investigated allegations he had engaged in sexual intercourse with a 65-year-old who suffered from multiple sclerosis. In another case, an 83-year-old blind and deaf woman who lived on the same wing as Fischer’s mother said she was raped multiple times — always at midnight. Police investigated her report just seven months before Fischer’s mother was assaulted. While the woman could not identify her assailant, Kpingbah was suspended by the facility along with several other male staffers who were on duty during the nights of the alleged assaults.

None of these allegations were found to be substantiated by the facility or the state. For years, Walker Methodist kept Kpingbah working on the overnight shift. Until that early morning in December 2014, when someone caught him in the act.

In that instance, the Minnesota Department of Health found that the facility acted immediately to ensure the resident’s safety and promptly removed Kpingbah. The state also noted that the facility had previously provided Kpingbah with required abuse training. As a result, the facility was not cited for any wrongdoing; only Kpingbah was held accountable for the assault.

Maya Fischer had no way of knowing about the previous allegations against Kpingbah uncovered by CNN. But she sued Kpingbah, who agreed to an unusual arrangement in which he is on the hook for a massive $15 million judgment only if he abuses again.

Walker Methodist refused to comment on the previous allegations against Kpingbah, who worked at the facility for nearly eight years, but said in a statement that it fully cooperated with authorities and that “the care and well-being of all of our residents and patients is our primary focus.”

CNN reached out to family members of other residents who earlier reported they were sexually assaulted at Walker Methodist during the time Kpingbah worked there (though he was not deemed a suspect in every case). They said the officials there were quick to dismiss the residents’ claims as hallucinations or fantasies.

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“Walker Methodist certainly failed to handle this appropriately with my mother and other residents, and there should be consequences,” said the son of the first alleged victim after learning of Kpingbah’s rape conviction from CNN.

A son of a different alleged victim, who had accused an unknown perpetrator, said he was irate he was never told that a pattern of complaints had emerged against a single caregiver. Had he known of this pattern, the son said, he would have taken his mother’s report of abuse more seriously. Instead, he trusted Walker Methodist.

The Minnesota Department of Health told CNN it is barred by state law from releasing the identity of anyone investigated over an allegation that has not been substantiated, regardless of the number of allegations.

But both family members of these two alleged sexual assault victims also questioned the state health department. How effective is its oversight if it was aware of the multiple reports of abuse at Walker Methodist and still could not intervene?

When pressed by CNN, the agency said that the reports occurred during a time when a paper system was used and that it has been working to modernize this system in the hopes of “flagging such patterns.”

A daughter’s heartbreaking story

ABUSE AFTER ABUSE

Some accounts of alleged sexual abuse come from civil and criminal court documents filed against nursing homes, assisted living facilities and individuals who work there. Other incidents are buried in detailed reports filed by state health investigators.

A 76-pound North Carolina nursing home resident who was so cognitively impaired she required assistance with even the simplest daily tasks reported that a nursing aide, behind closed doors, pushed her head toward him and forced her to give him oral sex.

The third time a resident of a Texas nursing home was raped by a nurse, the assailant ejaculated in the victim’s mouth and on her breasts. When he left, desperate to hold on to whatever evidence she could, she spit the semen from her mouth into her bra and kept the unwashed bra for three weeks. “That’s all I have,” she later told state investigators.

In Iowa, a woman who depended on a walker to move around and couldn’t bathe herself reported that a nursing aide sexually assaulted her in the shower. But the facility never flagged this accusation to authorities because the aide had left the country.

An 88-year-old California woman who’d only had sex with one man her entire life — her husband of nearly 70 years — said she awoke in her nursing home bed with her catheter removed and her bed wet. The next thing she remembered was seeing an unknown male nursing assistant staring at her naked body. “This is why I love my job,” she remembered him saying, according to what she told police. Weeks later, the woman complained of severe vaginal pain and “oozing blisters,” and she was eventually diagnosed with incurable genital herpes. To this day, the identity of the alleged perpetrator hasn’t been determined.

And finally, in a small town in North Carolina, a nursing assistant continued working for years despite multiple reports of alleged abuse. Only after a defiant nurse reported the abuse to police was he fired and arrested. Luis Gomez, 58, is in jail awaiting trial and maintains his innocence.

Most of the cases examined by CNN involved lone actors. But in some cases, a mob mentality fueled the abuse. And it’s not just women who have been victimized.

CNN FOUND MORE THAN 1,000 NURSING HOMES HAVE BEEN CITED FOR MISHANDLING SUSPECTED CASES OF SEX ABUSE.

For months, a group of male nursing aides at a California facility abused and humiliated five male residents — taking videos and photos to share with other staff members. One victim, a 56-year-old with cerebral palsy, was paraded around naked. Another, an elderly man with paralysis who struggled to speak was pinched on his nipples and penis and forced to eat feces out of his adult diapers. He was terrified his abusers would kill him. While the aides lost their certifications, an investigation by Disability Rights California found that many of them never faced charges.

Another group of nursing aides, teenagers in Albert Lea, Minnesota, tormented at least 15 male and female residents, many of whom suffered from Alzheimer’s. The female aides struck, poked and rubbed the residents and touched their breasts. They inserted their fingers into one resident’s rectum. They rubbed the residents’ crotches and laughed. One aide pulled down her own pants and sat on a female resident’s lap — humping and groping her. “I was basically appalled by the callous disregard for human decency,” a judge later said. Two of the abusers, who were 18 at the time and convicted of disorderly conduct by a caregiver, served 42 days in jail. The other teens were tried in juvenile court and faced no jail time at all.

AN UNTRACKED ISSUE

Despite the litany of abuses detailed in government reports, there is no comprehensive, national data on how many cases of sexual abuse have been reported in facilities housing the elderly.

State health investigators examine all types of abuse reported at nursing homes and assisted living facilities, whether reported by the facilities or flagged by complaints to the state from witnesses, family members or victims. In the case of nursing homes, state officials typically conduct these investigations, as well as routine inspections, on behalf of the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which regulates the more than 15,000 facilities that receive government reimbursements that pay for many residents’ care. Both state health agencies and the federal government then use the information to rate facilities and issue financial penalties for the worst offenders.

HOW SAFE ARE YOUR ELDERLY LOVED ONES?

There’s no way to know about abuse that goes unreported. But you can look up the name of a nursing home in federal inspection data and see whether it has been cited for sexual abuse or other issues in the past three years. Here’s how:

  1. Go to the federal Nursing Home Compare website to look up facilities by name or location.
  2. On the first page of results, you will see a star rating for the facility based on factors such as staffing levels. A history of abuse or other inspection problems will typically be reflected in the “health inspection” rating.
  3. Click on the health inspection rating to see a summary of the facility’s most recent inspection.
  4. From here, click on “View all health inspections.” For details, go to a specific date and click “View full report.”
  5. From the main profile page for the facility, click on “Penalties” to see if an inspection resulted in fines or payment denials.
  6. To view older citations, download archived reports here or file a public records request here. Some states may also offer detailed information. A list of state websites is here.

CNN surveyed the health departments and other agencies that oversee long-term care facilities in all 50 states. Of the states that could provide at least some data, the responses varied widely.

Illinois, for example, said 386 allegations of sexual abuse of nursing home residents had been recorded since 2013, 201 of which involved a caretaker. Hawaii said eight allegations of sexual abuse were investigated between 2011 and 2015 — five of which involved a caregiver. And when states provided a further breakdown of how many allegations had been substantiated, the results demonstrate just how few accusations end up being proven — whether it’s because of the extreme hurdles posed by aging victims, the destruction of evidence or half-hearted investigations by facilities and regulators.

Of the 386 cases in Illinois, 59 were considered substantiated. And in Texas, 11 of 251 sexual complaints in the 2015 fiscal year were substantiated. Wisconsin said it didn’t have a single substantiated report of abuse in the last five years.

But most states could not say how frequently abuse investigations involved sexual allegations, often stating that sex abuse allegations are not categorized separately from other forms of abuse.

The federal government doesn’t specifically track all sexual allegations either.

More than 16,000 complaints of sexual abuse have been reported since 2000 in long-term care facilities (which include both nursing homes and assisted living facilities),according to federal data housed by the Administration for Community Living. But agency officials warned that this figure doesn’t capture everything — only those cases in which state long-term care ombudsmen (who act as advocates for facility residents) were somehow involved in resolving the complaints.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services lumps sexual allegations into a category that includes all kinds of abuse, such as physical or financial. The agency said this is because it takes all forms of abuse seriously. When asked by CNN, the agency conducted a specialized search using sex-related keywords. But because not every case was sexual in nature, CNN had to review each case individually to filter out any irrelevant citations.

The reports show that 226 nursing homes have been cited for failing to protect residents from instances in which sexual abuse was substantiated between 2010 and 2015. Of these cases, around 60% resulted in fines, which totaled more than $9 million — though only 16 facilities were permanently cut off from Medicare and Medicaid funding. (Because the federal government only regulates nursing homes, this analysis did not include assisted living facilities.)

But these statistics only tell a small part of the story because they fail to capture the many instances in which nursing homes have been cited for mishandling allegations of sexual abuse in other ways — ranging from botched investigations to cover-ups.

Using inspection reports filed between 2013 and 2016 and a similar sex-related keyword search, CNN conducted its own detailed analysis.

The result: CNN exclusively found that the federal government has cited more than 1,000 nursing homes for mishandling or failing to prevent alleged cases of rape, sexual assault and sexual abuse at their facilities during this period. (This includes some of the cases provided by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.) And nearly 100 of these facilities have been cited multiple times during the same period.

Complaints and allegations that don’t result in a citation, which the government calls a “deficiency,” aren’t included in these Medicare reports. In addition, national studies have found that a large percentage of rape victims typically never report their assaults. So these numbers likely represent only a fraction of the alleged sexual abuse incidents in nursing homes nationwide.

Want to know how we did this? Click here for information.

Of the instances examined, at least a quarter were allegedly perpetrated by aides, nurses and other staff members, while a small portion involved facility visitors (including family members) or unknown assailants. And while most citations dealt with cases of residents abusing other residents, accusations made about caregivers and other workers tended to be far more serious, involving allegations of forced intercourse, oral sex, digital penetration and other forms of sexual assault.

Follow the trail of rape allegations against a nursing assistant in the second part of our series.

The stories found in these reports range from sad to sickening.

An aide admitted to urinating in the shower while a female resident was inside it, showing her his erect penis and kissing her — then warning her not to tell anyone. A nurse overheard two aides talking about how a resident had been given a lap dance that made him ejaculate. A woman was found gagging and trying to fight off a male resident who had his penis in her mouth. Family members viewed video footage of an aide repeatedly raping their loved one, who was on feeding tubes, after hiding a camera in a stuffed animal in the room.

CNN’s analysis found that the nursing homes themselves are a large part of the problem. More than 500 facilities had been cited for failing to investigate and report allegations of sexual abuse thoroughly to authorities or for not properly screening employees for potentially abusive pasts. One nursing director told a state inspector that “if the facility reported all allegations it would be numerous and the State Agency wouldn’t want that either.”

Because of this lack of investigation or reporting, it’s hard to determine how many of the alleged cases of abuse were substantiated or resulted in criminal proceedings. But at least several hundred were confessed to by the perpetrators or observed by witnesses.

Amid the reports of sexual abuse were hundreds of stories that painted scenes of chaos:

Residents climbing into other residents’ beds and eating their food. Running wildly up and down halls. Pulling out knives and other weapons. Hallucinating about snakes coming out of heads and little boys hiding in the curtains. Urinating in wastebaskets. Drinking and doing drugs. Falling asleep in the bathtub. Stealing walkers. Choking and hitting people with fists and wheelchair parts. Escaping out windows. Drinking lotion and oven cleaner.

Such a challenging environment provides some context for how serious allegations of sexual assault could be overlooked.

AN UNCHECKED ‘EPIDEMIC’

It’s rarely talked about, but sexual assault in the very facilities tasked with caring for the elderly is hardly a new problem, with cases dating back decades.

It’s happening all over the country. In cities, the suburbs and the countryside. In nursing homes housing low-income residents on Medicaid. And in centers where people pay thousands of dollars out of their own savings to be there. They’re owned by huge corporations and regional chains but also by nonprofits and mom-and-pop small business owners.

And the issue is only becoming more pressing as the elderly population booms, with the number of Americans over age 65 projected to more than double between 2010 and 2050.

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Yet the facilities that currently house more than 1 million senior citizens typically pay low wages to nursing assistants (about $11 or $12 an hour), making it difficult to attract and keep quality workers. And during the most vulnerable hours, the night shift, there are often few supervisors.

The abuse is “an epidemic,” said Mark Kosieradzki, a Minnesota attorney who has represented a number of victims and their families, including Fischer, the woman who recounted her mother’s rape in court. “Predators find elderly patients to be easy prey. Those patients often have dementia. They can’t say what happened, or are not believed because many people find it inconceivable that a 28-year-old caregiver would want to rape someone’s grandmother.”

Kosieradzki and other experts who advocate on behalf of the elderly say strong federal and state laws are in place that require abuses to be reported and investigated. The problem, they say, is that these laws are not always followed by the nursing homes. And while federal and state officials told CNN that regulators aggressively investigate complaints and hold facilities accountable, critics say their enforcement isn’t tough enough. And investigations by facility and state officials are often cursory at best, rarely going deep enough to meet a difficult burden of proof.

Many nursing home employees promptly report abusers to authorities as required by federal law and assist in the investigations. But in numerous examples of abuse uncovered by CNN, the facilities themselves have made it possible for violent rapes and sexual assaults to go unchecked.

In these facilities, allegations are routinely questioned or dismissed because victims have cognitive conditions such as Alzheimer’s. Workers often lack the specific training needed to spot sexual abuse — keeping reports of abuse from ever reaching authorities. And the reputation and safety of the facility may take priority: There’s often a fear that bringing investigators into a cash-strapped facility may expose other issues, threaten a nursing home with closure or open the door to costly lawsuits.

Most sinister of all are administrators and employees who actively impede investigations.

“There are some situations where they don’t realize it’s happened, and they don’t want to believe it. They just don’t understand it,” said Ann Burgess, a well-known nurse and Boston College nursing professor who specializes in the assessment and treatment of elderly sexual abuse victims. “There are other cases where they try to cover it up. … They blame the victim.”

At one Colorado facility, nursing aide Antonio Nieto had already been accused of raping one female resident in her bed at Broomfield Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center when an allegation emerged from another woman. Prosecutors say the facility allowed Nieto to return to work after the first alleged assault because the facility had found the woman’s claims to be “unfounded.” The facility, which has come under new management since the assaults, said it allowed Nieto to return to work only after being told the police investigation had stalled and no criminal charges were expected.

He was fired after the other victim came forward. Nieto was ultimately sentenced to 24 years to life in prison. Broomfield paid a $51,837 fine, a paltry sum in comparison with the millions it received in annual government reimbursements for patient care.

Nursing assistants Andrew Merzwski, from left, Antonio Nieto and George Kpingbah were all convicted of raping elderly residents.

When the chef at an assisted living facility, was arrested in Louisiana last year in the alleged rape of a 78-year-old resident, a director at the facility, Julie Henry, was quick to issue an emotional statement to local media — claiming the company was “shocked and disheartened.” But not long after, Henry was arrested, accused of orchestrating an elaborate cover-up of the abuse. According to police, she had tried to prevent an investigation by instructing staff not to report the incident. She asked employees at the assisted living facility, Beau Provence Memory Care, to hand over all evidence to her, which she then allegedly destroyed. The chef, Jerry Kan, was indicted on a first first-degree rape charge and has pleaded not guilty. The case is ongoing and his attorney declined to comment.

Henry has not been indicted, and her case is under review. Henry’s attorney said he is confident the continued investigation will result in her exoneration. “The resident and the cook, Mr. Kan, initially denied anything had occurred, creating confusion as to whether this was a reportable incident. When it was learned that an incident had occurred, Ms. Henry cooperated fully with the police and continues to do so,” he said in an email. Beau Provence said it was working with police and the state health department to “verify the facts behind these allegations,” but said it could not comment further on an ongoing investigation.

Even in facilities where there were no allegations of an orchestrated cover-up, documents examined by CNN showed a failure to preserve evidence. A resident who alleged abuse would be given a shower, for instance, or the crime scene might be disturbed by the washing of bedsheets. As a result, possible DNA evidence was lost.

In Minnesota, officials transferred an 89-year-old resident at the Edgewood Vista assisted living facility to the psychiatric ward of a local hospital after she reported being raped. A certified nursing assistant, Andrew Merzwski, 28, admitted to having sex with the resident but claimed it was consensual. A director at the facility believed him and blamed the victim — who suffered from dementia — telling the sexual assault nurse who examined the victim that the resident was a “flirt.”

“She (had) come forward and spoken out against her facility and she was locked in a room,” the nurse examiner, Theresa Flesvig, told CNN. “She felt like she was in prison. She felt like she was being punished.” Her rape examination didn’t occur until almost a week after the alleged assault. Flesvig said she discovered clear physical evidence of assault, one of the largest vaginal tears she had ever seen. Merzwski pleaded guilty to criminal sexual conduct and was sentenced in 2014 to 53 months in prison, while the state disciplined the official who had sided with him. Merzwski’s attorney declined to comment.

The facility said it couldn’t comment on details of the specific case, citing privacy reasons, but did acknowledge that officials had learned from the incident. “What we learned was we weren’t prepared for anything of this nature,” said Michael Johnson, chief nursing officer for Edgewood Management Group. “We had to do better.”

Sometimes police and state investigators also fail to take complaints seriously. In one instance, a police report reviewed by CNN cited an administrator’s statement that the victim was an “avid viewer of the television show ‘Law and Order'” as a reason to dismiss her allegation. “Hallucinations seem to revolve around episodes of the series,” the officer wrote. As a result, there were no arrests, the rape kit was not tested and the case was closed.

Inside the mind of a nursing home rapist

“The ‘victim’ of this investigation has made similar allegations regarding suspects that do not exist, are physically unable to have committed the act she accuses, etc.,” the police department told CNN in a written statement. “The ‘victim’ suffers from mental illness and hallucinations, her statements are inconsistent and unfounded.”

In the Minnesota case involving nursing aide Kpingbah, the state investigator wrote that the first alleged victim had a “lengthy history of falsely accusing male caregivers of sexual inappropriateness” and “sexual promiscuity and inappropriate boundaries.” When CNN showed this victim’s son the state’s report, he said the characterizations were false.

Asked about this by CNN, the Minnesota Department of Health said the claims had been taken seriously and investigated. “In hindsight and according to current report writing practices, MDH regrets the wording of this statement and apologizes to the family for this insensitive statement,” the agency said.

While assailants such as Kpingbah have ended up behind bars as a result of their crimes, many never face charges.

The older the victim, the less likely an offender will be convicted of sexual abuse, according to a study of the elderly sponsored by the National Institute of Justice. And victims who lived in facilities were even less likely to see their assailants face charges and guilty verdicts.

In fact, victims with dementia and other diseases are often considered such unreliable witnesses that even cases in which an assailant confesses to the crime can end up being thrown out or result in little punishment for the defendant. That was true in the case of Walter Martinez, a St. Louis nursing aide who faced felony rape charges and years in prison after confessing in a resignation letter to abusing two elderly residents sexually. Martinez ended up receiving two years of probation after the alleged victims died or suffered from such severe dementia that they weren’t able to testify.

His attorney told CNN that despite the resignation letter, Martinez had never pleaded guilty to the conduct he was charged with and was prepared to defend himself in court. “Mr. Martinez had gone to counseling and admitted that he had sexual thoughts while performing his regular job duties. He felt tremendous guilt for having these thoughts and that is when he used the term ‘sexual abuse’ in his resignation letter,” he said in an email.

In the case of the Texas woman who saved her bra for weeks as evidence, a suspect was arrested and indicted in the alleged rape. But court records show that prosecutors couldn’t secure the alleged victim’s testimony. The case was dismissed last year despite the fact the DNA from the bra matched a sample taken from the accused. The lab said the chances of the DNA being from anyone else was less than 1 in 983 trillion.

Even those facilities that actively impede investigations or cover up abuse often get little more than a slap on the wrist. The vast majority of nursing homes with horror stories chronicled in the inspection reports are still in business, accepting new residents today.

“How hard is it to shut one down? It is almost impossible,” said Tony Chicotel, a staff attorney at the nonprofit group California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform. “The worst nightmare for the state regulators is a facility closing — because the residents oftentimes have no place to go.”

So instead, government regulators levy fines and withhold Medicare and Medicaid payments in the hope of getting facilities in line. But even when penalties are imposed, which the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services says are meant to push a facility to correct a given issue as soon as possible, the fines are often shockingly small.

When a facility in Texas failed to take proper action after an elderly man said he was raped and drugged, authorities punished the home with a $116,500 fine and by temporarily banning it from receiving government reimbursements for new patients. But the fine was ultimately cut almost in half, based on the facility’s “financial hardship.” And the ban lasted only 11 days.

A facility in California — which allowed a licensed nurse to work for weeks despite reports he had sexually assaulted a female resident multiple times, kissing her and fondling her breasts — was fined $22,000 by the state.

And then there is Walker Methodist in Minnesota, where 83-year-old Sonja Fischer became the victim of the same kind of violent assault she had fled so many years ago. There she was raped by an employee the facility knew had been the subject of abuse allegations for years.

“She was unable to speak, unable to move,” her daughter Maya recounted just a few weeks after her mother passed away last year. “She couldn’t even cry out when this was happening to her.”

The facility where she was victimized received no penalty at all.

CNN’s Ana Cabrera, Sara Weisfeldt, David Heath, Sergio Hernandez and Andrew Bloomenthal contributed to this report.

NURSING HOME SEX ABUSE: 5 THINGS THAT NEED TO CHANGE

Legal advocates, government regulators, criminal investigators and medical experts agree that sexual abuse in nursing homes can be extremely challenging to prevent and detect. But they say many facilities should be doing much more to protect vulnerable residents.

  1. “When you have a sexual assault claim, you shouldn’t go to a conclusion she’s a problem patient. You should investigate as a sexual assault until proven otherwise.” — Dave Young, district attorney for Colorado’s 17th Judicial District
  2. “Preserve evidence! Don’t bathe or change clothing, sheets, etc., when an assault is suspected.” — Sherry Culp, Kentucky long-term care ombudsman
  3. “Most abuse is undetected and never reported mainly because observable signs are missed or misinterpreted. A little training could go a long way.” — Tony Chicotel, staff attorney at California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform
  4. “As with nearly every type of abuse and neglect seen in nursing homes, the better staffed the facility the less likely sexual abuse will occur. This is a crime of opportunity, so the more supervision the better.” — Kirsten Fish, elder abuse attorney
  5. “There needs to be a reporting system. …The system doesn’t keep track of cases that haven’t been substantiated, [and] their rules for substantiating a complaint are just astronomical. It’s virtually impossible to substantiate a complaint.” — Lt. Chris Chandler, Waynesville, North Carolina, Police Department

From Law 360–More indicted in $45 million Medicare/Medicaid Scheme

https://www.law360.com/articles/873613/more-nurses-plead-guilty-in-45m-medicare-fraud-scheme

Law360, Springfield (December 16, 2016, 4:21 PM EST) — Two more nurses and an office manager pled guilty in Illinois federal court on Thursday to one count to commit health care fraud in litigation involving several Chicago-area home health care companies in a $45 million Medicare scheme.
Registered nurses Mary Mendoza and Ronald Malalis, along with office manager Janet Guerrero entered plea bargains in the alleged scheme run by the owners of Lincolnwood-based Pathways Home Health Services LLC, Donnarich Home Health Care Inc. and Josdan Home Health Care Inc. The owners of the three home health companies, Josephine, Richard and Maribel Tinimbang, are the alleged ringleaders, with help from staff.

In their time participating in the Tinimbangs’ scheme, Mendoza and Malalis allegedly made patients out to be sicker than they were, in order to gain a higher payout from the Medicare program. The nurses allegedly falsified patient care paperwork known as the Outcome and Assessment Information Set, or OASIS form.

“Defendant understood that the sicker the patient appeared to be on the OASIS form, the more the company was paid by Medicare,” Malalis’ plea bargain said. “Defendant also understood the patients he assessed were insured by Medicare, and that such patients were only eligible for home health care if they were homebound. Yet most of the beneficiaries defendant and others enrolled in home health care at Josdan and Pathways were not homebound.”

Mendoza’s plea bargain is similar, admitting she learned how to fraudulently fill out OASIS forms from a supervisor named Monette Mojares and an unnamed person referred to as “Supervisor B.”

“Defendant acknowledges that over the course of approximately two and a half years as a start-of-care nurse, defendant certified non-homebound beneficiaries for home health care more than 150 times, causing Medicare to pay Pathways more than $400,000 but not more than $500,000,” according to the Mendoza’s plea. Malalis’ plea included a similar statistic.

Both Mendoza and Malalis allegedly were pressured to fill out OASIS forms incorrectly in sweeping fashions, prescribing one ailment to many patients.

“Defendant’s supervisors told him to mark all women as incontinent because women have babies,” Malalis’ plea deal said. “Defendant’s supervisors also told him that he should not state on OASIS forms that a beneficiary had scores of ‘zero,’ indicating an ability to independently complete daily activities like walking.”

Both Malalis’ and Mendoza’s plea deals carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a top fine of $250,000.

In the case of Janet Guerrero, Thursday’s plea said Guerrero acknowledged that during her time as office manager of Josdan, she enrolled patients in home care services they did not need at the instruction of Josephine Tinimbang. Guerrero would aggressively contact Medicare beneficiaries who were referred to Donnarich and Josdan, according to her plea.

“The beneficiaries Guerrero spoke with often refused services or told her that they were driving, working, or otherwise able to leave the home regularly and without difficulty,” Guerrero’s plea said. “However, Guerrero was supervised by Josephine Tinimbang, and Tinimbang did not accept that beneficiaries who did not want, need, or qualify for services should not be enrolled. Tinimbang insisted that Guerrero and others make repeated attempts to persuade unqualified beneficiaries to accept the companies’ services, and Guerrero in fact did so.”

In total, 15 people who worked at or with the three companies were indicted as part of a wider crackdown by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force that the government announced in 2015 had swept up 243 individuals in 17 federal districts for Medicare fraud totaling $712 million.

The three Tinimbangs are scheduled to be tried in February, while some of the other Tinimbang health care agencies’ defendants have been given a September trial date. To date, four registered nurses and a president of one of the recruitment companies that sent patients to the agencies have also pled guilty.

Representatives from no parties could be reached for comment on Friday.

Mendoza is represented by Michael Falconer, attorney at law.

Malalis is represented by Gal Pissetzky of Pissetzky & Berliner and Michael Schmiege of the Law Offices of Michael P. Schmiege PC.

Guerrero is represented by MiAngel C. Cody of the Federal Defender Program.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brooke Harper.

The case is USA v. Tinimbang, et al., case number 1:14-cr-00732, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

— Additional reporting by Diana Novak Jones and John Kennedy. Editing by Ben Guilfoy.

More Fraud Charges Added Over $45M Home Health Scheme

Four more counts of health care fraud have been added to the charges faced by a Chicago couple and others who allegedly paid doctors kickbacks in a $45 million scheme to falsely certify that Medicare beneficiaries needed in-home physical therapy, according to a fourth superseding indictment filed Thursday in Illinois federal court.

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Alleged Leader Of $45M Medicare Fraud Blames ‘Dictator’ Mom

One of the alleged ringleaders of a $45 million scheme to defraud Medicare is pinning the blame for the operation on his fugitive mother, who was accused at the opening of an Illinois federal trial Monday of being a “dictator” who left her son at the mercy of federal prosecutors.

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Home Health Care Exec Cops To Role In $45M Fraud

The former director of nursing of a home health company caught up in a massive $45 million fraud scheme pled guilty Monday to falsifying medical records to make it appear as if Medicare patients were homebound when they were not.

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Chicago Couple Charged In $45M Medicare, H-1B Visa Frauds

A Chicago couple has been charged with paying doctors kickbacks in a $45 million scheme to falsely certify Medicare beneficiaries needing in-home physical therapy and lying to get an H-1B visa for a Filipino woman they forced to work as their maid, federal prosecutors said Monday.

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Latest News

HHS Asks Justices Not To Review Medicare Billing Suit

The government has urged the U.S. Supreme Court to reject a bid for review of a determination that a Florida ophthalmology clinic connected to criminal charges against U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., overbilled Medicare by nearly $9 million by extracting multiple doses of a macular degeneration drug from a single-dose vial.

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16 Texans Charged In $60M Medicare Fraud Scheme

Sixteen Texas residents were charged with participating in a $60 million Medicare fraud scheme that involved improperly putting patients into hospice care and giving some of them unnecessary doses of morphine and other drugs, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Tuesday.

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Alleged Leader Of $45M Medicare Fraud Blames ‘Dictator’ Mom

One of the alleged ringleaders of a $45 million scheme to defraud Medicare is pinning the blame for the operation on his fugitive mother, who was accused at the opening of an Illinois federal trial Monday of being a “dictator” who left her son at the mercy of federal prosecutors.

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Feds Blast Drug Return Co.’s ‘Puffery’ Defense In $116M Fraud

Statements from Guaranteed Returns’ promotional materials used while the company allegedly stole $116 million in refunds from pharmaceutical manufacturers can show it engaged in fraud and are not simply “puffery,” Pennsylvania federal prosecutors argued Monday.

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1st Circ. Affirms Conviction In $19.9M Mass. Medicare Fraud

The director of clinical services at a Massachusetts home health services agency knew that she was assisting a $19.9 million Medicare fraud by falsifying paperwork to make patients wrongly seem eligible for services, the First Circuit affirmed Friday.

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Ex-Clinic Owner Given 5 Years In $70M Medicare Scheme

The co-owner of three New York health clinics was sentenced in a New York federal court on Friday to five years in prison for running a $70 million Medicare and Medicaid fraud in which he paid indigent people to undergo unnecessary medical tests and then billed the government.

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South Texas Woman Convicted In $2.5M Medicaid Fraud

A federal jury convicted a woman who formerly operated a durable medical equipment company in McAllen, Texas, on all 18 counts of defrauding Medicaid through $2.5 million in fraudulent billing for incontinence supplies, the U.S. Department of Justice announced on Friday.

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Medical Supply Co. Owner Gets 27 Years In $3.5M Fraud

A 55-year-old man who was involved in a $3.5 million scheme to defraud Medicare and Medicaid by filing false claims for powered wheelchairs and scooters was sentenced Thursday in San Antonio, Texas, to 27 years in prison, the U.S. Department of Justice announced.

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‘Puffery’ Isn’t Fraud, Says Drug Return Co. In $116M Case

Guaranteed Returns on Wednesday urged a Pennsylvania federal court to tell a jury that puffery or sales talk is not fraud, in the midst of a trial alleging that the company — which helps the government and providers return expired drugs — stole $116 million worth of refunds from pharmaceutical manufacturers.

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Gov’t Fights Health Care Cos.’ Evidence In $45M Fraud Case

Fraud in Chicago’s home health industry is so widespread that executives accused of a $45 million Medicare fraud shouldn’t be able to present a jury with examples of other companies’ billing practices, the federal government said Wednesday.

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Clinic Manager Cops To Role In $70M Medicare Fraud Scheme

The manager of two New York health care clinics pled guilty Monday to taking part in a $70 million scheme to defraud Medicare and Medicaid by paying beneficiaries to undergo medically unnecessary tests for which the clinics could then bill the government.

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The Missing Key To 3rd-Party Litigation Funding

Unlike other forms of commerce and unlike in other nations, litigation investment and funding in the U.S. is largely unregulated with few disclosure requirements. Where darkness exists, ignorance and mistrust breed. Disclosure and transparency in litigation investment and funding is the first and proper step to better understand this opaque dynamic in the U.S. civil justice system, says Tripp Haston of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP.

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Ex-Chicago Contractor Pays $20M To End Bribery Suit

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Monday that a former city contractor will pay $20 million to end claims it paid bribes to secure $126 million in contracts to install red-light cameras at city intersections, allegations that sent a former official and the company’s onetime CEO to jail.

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