From KKD: Fines against Nursing Homes are just a slap on the wrist, or less, in Illinois

Fines Against Unsafe Nursing Homes Are Considered A Slap On The Wrist

Submitted by AnneScheetz on Thu, 2016-07-28 14:18

Aug 1 2016
Stephanie Francis Ward
ABA Journal

Mary Mims has 32 years of experience working as a registered nurse, including time spent managing nursing home staffs. None of that could save the life of her mentally ill daughter, Letasha, who at the age of 36 died after an almost two-year stay at the Chicago nursing home Alden Wentworth.

Mims felt she could trust Alden Wentworth. After all, she once worked for its parent company, Alden Management Services, as an administrator overseeing various facilities, including the home where she placed her daughter.

“The mistake I made was gambling on the fact that these people knew me, and I trusted them to take care of my daughter,” Mims says.

Letasha Mims had been diagnosed with schizophrenia after she started showing symptoms in her 20s. Around that same time, Letasha stopped speaking. “I always felt that was a psychological thing, and whatever the trauma was, the health care system never got to the bottom of it.”

When assigned to outpatient care, Letasha frequently wandered away from home. Mims would have preferred to care for her there, but the need to work to support them both made that a practical impossibility. Finally, Mims decided that Letasha needed to be in a nursing home, where her condition could be monitored and Letasha would be safe. That proved problematic.

In the 11 years before her death in August 2014, Letasha Mims lived at six different nursing homes. Each move had been made necessary by Mims’ fear that her daughter’s safety was in jeopardy. As a registered nurse, Mims believed that at times her daughter was being overmedicated with sedatives and antipsychotic drugs; at others, Letasha had bouts with a highly contagious skin disease known as scabies. But Mims says she worried most about the potential for sexual assault because Letasha was placed in locked units, often with men diagnosed with mental illness and side effects of drug abuse. Many nursing homes often refuse to admit young women precisely because of the high risk of sexual assault. And in places that do, supervision is often scant.

In February 2014, Mims was visiting Letasha after work when she realized that her daughter was running a seriously high fever. “I bent down to kiss her, and the heat was just coming off her,” says Mims. When Mims asked that Letasha be properly hospitalized for what appeared to be a life-threatening fever, the staff balked. “I had to insist that Letasha be sent to the hospital for evaluation because her fever was 104, in spite of having had a couple of rounds of antibiotics,” Mims says.

Letasha never returned to Alden Wentworth and died six months later in hospice care. Her fever had subsided, but never left. Mims believes that her elevated temperatures were the result of a pressure sore that developed into osteomyelitis. “She had a sacrum wound. It got infected down to the bone. She never recovered from that wound. She finally broke down, and that was the end of it.”

It was not the end of it for Mims. She has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Alden Wentworth. As a nurse and a former colleague, Mims says she had hoped for better treatment for her daughter. But Letasha’s last days at Alden Wentworth were spent in what Mims remembers as a cesspool of systemic negligence: days marked by urine-soaked linens, feces-laden toileting pads, aggravated bedsores, malnourishment and gangrene.


The lack of regulatory response was even more galling to Mims. Illinois state regulators investigated the circumstances of Letasha’s death and found no wrongdoing at Alden Wentworth. As in many states, nursing home regulation in Illinois has become what some describe as toothless and sporadic. And a brief history of state intervention at Alden Wentworth before and after Letasha’s death suggests a curiously comfortable relationship between regulators and the regulated.

In 2010, the facility had been cited by the state for negligence involving the sexual assault of a female resident. Surveyors noted that the male accused in the incident had been allowed access to particularly vulnerable female residents—those with Alzheimer’s and dementia—before he had been evaluated for such a potential risk. Likewise, in 2010, a 41-year-old patient with a history of substance abuse had died of an overdose from a Fentanyl patch. Three weeks before his death the Alden Wentworth staff had dispensed to him both the Fentanyl patch and Vicodin, despite a hospital discharge instructing that he not receive narcotics. And in 2008, the home was cited for ignoring foot blisters on a 58-year-old paraplegic with Type 2 diabetes. By going untreated, the blisters became wounds deep enough to make visible the muscles in her feet.

Even had there been a finding in Letasha’s case, the actual outcome of the penalties associated with those earlier violations at Alden Wentworth suggests that any regulatory response would have been minimal. For the overdose death the facility was assessed $5,000. For failure to treat the diabetic, a $10,000 fine was reduced to $2,000. And for the negligence that led to the sexual assault, Alden Wentworth was assessed no fine at all.

This kind of significant fine reduction is a standard practice within the tangle of interdependent state and federal agencies that oversee nursing home regulation. In fact, it’s a regulatory system structured around administrative fines—fines that are reduced so routinely that they have become widely considered a cost of doing business rather than an incentive to provide quality care.

From 2014 through March 2016, the nation’s nursing homes had been fined $121 million for deficiencies, according to federal regulators. In addition, nursing homes that fail to correct deficiencies are at risk of losing Medicare or Medicaid payments for new residents until the corrections occur.

But on closer look, the fines are discounted, often automatically, as a matter of policy. Under federal law, nursing homes can waive their right to appeal fines and get an automatic 35 percent reduction. Between 2008 and 2012, Alden Wentworth was fined a total of $75,000, fines later reduced to $27,500. Between 2005 and 2014, the 27 homes in its parent company, Alden Management Services, were fined $976,675, later reduced by 65 percent to $342,245.

A similar pattern exists statewide. The ABA Journal analyzed Illinois deficiency reports, which show that the state assessed $7.17 million in fines for 934 deficiency findings from 2010 to 2014—the most recent full year for which data was available. Those fines were ultimately reduced by an average of 42 percent to $4.17 million.

In Illinois, nursing homes can challenge deficiency findings through informal dispute resolution or administrative evidence hearings. Most deficiency disputes settle before reaching an administrative hearing, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health, and it seems that the nursing home operators take full advantage.

For instance, 43 percent of the fines were reduced automatically when the homes cited waived their right to appeal the findings. Another 39 percent of the homes had fines reduced after administrative hearings. In other words, 82 percent of fines levied by Illinois regulators were reduced as a matter of policy.

Even when residents die in nursing homes, fines related to those cases are frequently and significantly reduced. Between 2004 and 2013, the Illinois Department of Public Health examined complaints related to 114 nursing home deaths. The state assessed a total of $3.6 million in fines from those cases. Yet that number was reduced to $1.6 million for final assessed fines. The average final fine amount for a death was just over $14,000.

To complicate matters, nursing homes also can appeal findings in federal administrative evidence hearings. Those rulings can be appealed, as well, to the departmental appeals board. And if a party disputes a DAB finding, it can be appealed to the federal court system. Thus, there is every incentive to delay, appeal or even ignore regulatory action.

“It can take five years or more to exhaust all of these steps, and at each step the fine might be reduced by settlement or an administrative law judge court decision,” says Joseph Bianculli, an Arlington, Virginia, lawyer who defends nursing homes in federal hearings.

Brian Lee, executive director of the advocacy group Families for Better Care, puts it more bluntly: “It’s more profitable for nursing homes to roll the dice with the potential for enforcement, or litigation, than to hire more staff, especially with some penalties being little more than slaps on the wrist.”

Taking care of people who need skilled nursing is a difficult job. Patients arrive with ailments such as dementia, immobility, blindness and respiratory problems, and are often in advanced stages of other diseases. Under these conditions, faltering health could give a false impression of substandard care.

“If you have problems like diabetes—and you’re wheelchair-bound or bed-bound and you’re incontinent—it’s not a surprise to see that pressure sores develop,” says James E. Phelan, a Chicago lawyer who has defended various nursing homes, including Alden, in personal injury lawsuits.


In Illinois, nursing homes receive $148.92 per day on average for each Medicaid resident. Home operators argue that amount makes it difficult to provide quality care and make enough money to stay in business. A plethora of laws at the state and federal levels make compliance a complicated and expensive process, and excessive fines would be counterproductive.

“If you look at its legislative history, the sole purpose of [fines] imposed by the government was to provide an incentive for providers to come into compliance. It’s remedial, not punitive,” says Alan C. Horowitz, a former federal regulator who now represents skilled care facilities on regulatory issues for Atlanta’s Arnall Golden Gregory.

“This isn’t about the nursing home; it’s about the residents. And if the nursing home is driven out of business or if funds used to pay civil money penalties are diverted from being used for … staff and/or equipment, the fines are not productive,” he says.

But nursing homes are profitable—a significant segment of the senior housing market. Welltower, a real estate investment trust specializing in health care real estate, reported $884 million in net income last year and holds $29 billion in assets. Alden Management Services, a far more modest system owned by Floyd Schlossberg, reported $18.6 million net income in 2014.

Michael Grice believes the sources of profit are personnel-driven. A quadriplegic with cerebral palsy, Grice spent two years in a Chicago nursing home he describes as chronically understaffed. Personnel often worked double shifts and call lights routinely went unanswered. Grice says he had to assert himself. “I was not going to tolerate not being changed and not being fed.” Grice, who now lives on his own, had to insist upon being turned every two hours to avoid pressure sores. But when he was lifted, he says, he was sometimes dropped—once resulting in a broken hip.

The home he was in is Southpoint Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on the Far Southwest Side, whose owners of record are Michael Blisko and Moishe Gubin. Between 2007 and 2014, nursing homes owned by the pair were assessed $169,500 in fines on 15 separate deficiency reports. Those fines were reduced more than half, to $75,565. Blisko and Gubin’s homes reported net income of $5.2 million in the 2014 fiscal year.

Fines, even in such a profitable environment, do not need to be punitive to be effective, says David Hoffman, a former federal prosecutor who handled health care fraud and abuse cases. Based in Philadelphia, he now does reg-ulatory compliance consulting with nursing homes. He says that if a client doesn’t want to comply with regulation, he will fire them.

“It doesn’t have to be about banging providers over the head with fines, but there are some providers who need to be clubbed over the head.”


The enforcement of nursing home regulations is managed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. But the CMS relies on state health departments to investigate facility complaints and conduct annual surveys, and then share their findings with the federal government. When inspectors find problems, they list them as “statements of deficiencies,” which come with fines for serious infractions.

Deficiencies can include mistreatment of residents; failure to assist residents who need help with eating, drinking, grooming and personal hygiene; and failure to provide proper care to treat or prevent bedsores. Nursing homes must submit written plans of correction to the state for deficiencies cited, but these are not considered admissions of guilt.

Nursing homes can challenge findings through state administrative evidence hearings or informal dispute resolution. Challenging a fine may be a strategic decision, says Bianculli, the former regulator. He once had a client who appealed a $400 fine, believing that a successful appeal would stop future civil litigation.

“You have to decide in advance what part appealing the fine is going to play in terms of compliance, regulation and your business plan,” Bianculli says. “If you’re going to use the regulatory process to keep the surveyors from running amok or raise issues that need to be addressed, it’s good.”

The CMS makes the final determination for fines related to patients over 65 whose short-term stays are paid by Medicare. But states are responsible for determining fines related to patients whose stays are paid by Medicaid, the joint federal and state program that covers low-income individuals and pays for indefinite nursing home stays.

Of the numerous changes to nursing home regulation set out under the Affordable Care Act of 2010, only a few involved actual enforcement. For instance, proposed new rules would allow binding pre-dispute arbitration agreements between facilities and residents, limiting litigation as an option for residents, a change opposed by the American Bar Association.

In the ACA, nursing home regulation is focused on transparency issues—mainly ownership and management records—hoping to help consumers make informed decisions about their nursing home choices. A pre-existing ratings system, for instance, assigns ratings based on qualitative issues such as health inspections and staff, as well as overall quality of care. But some are skeptical.

“I think that policymakers and politicians love the idea of public reporting of health care quality, because it’s intuitively appealing,” says Tamara Konetzka, an economist and University of Chicago professor who sits on a CMS advisory board. “If you tell consumers which nursing homes are high-quality, they will make their own decisions. Of course it’s much more complicated than that.”

Staff, and issues with staff, are key to a wide range of complaints and deficiency reports. If nursing homes used some of their net earnings to hire more staff, goes the logic, they’d have fewer regulatory deficiencies.

“Illinois is not unlike any other state that has problems, and the reason they have the problems is because they continue to have low staffing at nursing homes,” says Lee of Families for Better Care. “It always comes back to staffing. Whatever the issue is, the underlying problem always goes back to turning people and answering call lights.”


Viewed bluntly, as some do, a regulatory system based almost solely on fines becomes more negotiation than administration, a system that pits cost against patient care. Even the optics of an investigation suggest as much, says Grice, who complained to no avail when his hip was broken after nursing home staff dropped him.

“When the Department of Public Health inspector comes to the nursing home, they may talk to the resident, and they may talk to some staff. Then they talk to the administrator and owner behind closed doors, and a resident never really sees what the end result is.”

Like Grice, Mims has little confidence in the system. “Sadly, the fines are not a deterrent to providing substandard care,” she says. “I absolutely believe that the large [nursing home] chain companies have attorneys that do nothing but fight these types of cases from leading to significant penalties or consequences.”

During the time Letasha was at Alden Wentworth, her mother spent most evenings with her. After a time Mims found herself feeding Letasha, who could no longer feed herself. Before leaving she’d give Letasha a sponge bath and dry her off. These were things the staff should have been doing, but did not.

On weekends Mims brought home Letasha’s clothes to wash. On occasion, she says, her daughter’s clothes would disappear, and she might see other residents wearing the items. But she noticed that the clothing was frequently soaked with urine and feces. And when she complained about it, Alden Wentworth’s director of nursing ignored her concerns.

“Then I did a show and tell,” says Mims, who emptied a bag of Letasha’s dirty clothes in the director’s office. “A pee smell went all over her room, and I said ‘This is what I have to deal with every single week.’ ”

The woman told Mims that she’d handle the problem. She did, Mims says, and for a few weeks her daughter had clean clothes. “Then it went back to what it was.”

One day while picking Letasha’s dirty clothes out of the hamper, Mims noticed rodent feces at the bottom of it mixed up with the bed linens. She again went to the director of nursing and began lining the clothes hamper with garbage bags, thinking that would keep the rodents at bay. Then came the bedsores. Mims was usually the first person to notice them; because of her nursing experience, she knew that wounds would develop if her daughter was repositioned too infrequently.

Under Illinois law, residents who need skilled care are required to get 3.8 hours of nursing and personal care daily. Mims saw no evidence that Letasha was getting even the minimum. She thought a show of generosity might influence the staff to give her daughter better care. She brought them dinner on Thanksgiving, bought lotions and gels for them at Christmas and handed out boxes of candy on Valentine’s Day.

“That didn’t change a thing,” Mims says.

Calling attention to Letasha’s care problems didn’t help either. She frequently complained about Letasha being overmedicated, her bedsores and weight, which according to Mims dropped from 160 pounds to 107 during the Alden Wentworth stay. And as Letasha withered, Mims says, the staff seemed almost defiant.

“They knew I knew what to expect. They knew I knew the system, and they knew I knew the regulation like the back of my hand,” Mims says. “Here’s the problem that I have: That did not bother them. How do you neglect the resident whose mother knows all the regulation? Either you’re cocky, or you just don’t give a hoot.”

Mims began taking pictures of the wound that developed from Letasha’s unattended bedsore. The photos begin with what looks like a scrape, then progress to a gaping wound that exposes her sacrum. When she developed an infection, the staff tried unsuccessfully to treat it with intravenous antibiotics.

When the staff balked at removing Letasha to a hospital with a 104-degree fever, Mims decided it was a matter of money. “It’s an unwritten rule that you don’t send out residents. If the staff doctor gives the residents antibiotics and fluids, then the nursing home still gets to keep the Medicaid payments.” Mims insisted Letasha be moved. She died six months later in hospice care.

After Letasha’s death, Mims sent her photos to Illinois regulators along with her complaints. She was disappointed, but not surprised, when the department found no violations. “I think they had no intention of having any findings. There’s no way you could look at those pictures and not see that there was a problem.”

In 2014, Mims filed a wrongful death suit in Cook County against Alden Wentworth, one of 11 lawsuits filed against the facility in the past two years (see “Lawsuits Fail to Bring Improvements to Nursing Homes”). Omar J. Fayez, a Chicago lawyer who represents Alden Wentworth in the Mims suit, says his client has a policy of not discussing specifics in ongoing litigation. He told theJournal that his client “vehemently denies” any allegations of wrongdoing by Mims and her attorneys.

Mims has since left the nursing home industry, where she worked for 10 years. She now manages quality control for a program that provides health services to Medicaid recipients.

“I have no confidence with the regulatory system whatsoever. That’s the reason I’m not working in long-term care anymore. I knew I was fighting a losing battle,” Mims says. “I will never forget my daughter’s suffering and what she experienced at the end of her life. It is what keeps me driven to change this horrible system called long-term care.”

Jeff Kelly Lowenstein contributed research and editing to this story. He’s an investigative journalist who has worked on stories about nursing homes since 2004, and his previous coverage helped spark state and federal reform; in 2015 his work earned recognition from the National Press Club.

This article originally appeared in the August 2016 issue of the ABA Journal with this headline: “The Human Cost of Doing Business: Fines against nursing homes are routinely reduced and considered a slap on the wrist rather than incentives to provide better care.”




The ABA Journal filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Illinois Department of Public Health to receive data on nursing home fines from 2010 to 2014, the most recent full year for which data was available. The request asked for, and the agency provided, information about the amounts and dates of the initial and final fines, as well as whether the facility decided to appeal the fine. The Journal used that information to calculate the percentage of fines that were appealed, the average time the IDPH took to arrive at a final fine and the amount by which the original fines were reduced. For the analysis involving fines and deaths, the Journal looked at quarterly reports posted between 2004 and 2013 on the IDPH website for all incidents where any facility in the state was fined at least $20,000. The Journal used the docket or incident number from the FOIA request and the website to confirm that they were the same.


No investor-owned for-profit nursing homes!

Permalink Submitted by AnneScheetz on Thu, 2016-07-28 14:33
1) Michael Grice, who was elected to the Board of ISPC in 2016, has testified before the Illinois legislature about staffing ratios in nursing homes ( 2) Disability rights activists have demonstrated for meaningful enforcement of nursing home standards ( 3) Nursing home workers have protested low wages and understaffing ( 4) Under the single-payer health care system we work for, no entity providing direct patient care could be investor-owned-for-profit. The money currently diverted to profit would go to patient care. Investor-owned for-profit nursing homes provide inferior care compared to not-for-profits ( 5) In Chicago, nursing homes whose residents are mostly black provide inferior care compared to those whose residents are mostly white (; single-payer would not automatically solve this problem, but it would mean that reimbursement would be the same for all patients instead of differing by payment source as is the case now. It is the goal of the single-payer movement to eliminate health disparities based on race, ability, gender, and all other characteristics. Anne Scheetz

From Ken Ditkowsky–Fines why are we taxing hospitals when most are NFP’s–a bunch of BS govt accounting.

NEW YEAR’S GREETINGS – – The Candor gap!

One of the problems with fraud is that it is a cancer and all too often the adage – “you cannot defraud an honest man” comes into play.    Health care’s 700% fraud surcharge could not happen if the various governments were themselves HONEST.   The Illinois political elite whose criminal activities are such an embarrassment have a great deal of company.   Decent people everywhere are appalled when a major political figure goes on television and has the temerity to tell multiple whoopers that he knows are absolutely untrue.    These same members of the great unwashed get even more upset when the media repeats the prevarication as the truth over and over again and when someone speaks out in frustration: “stop lying!” the protester is labeled *****.
Usually the lying by the POLITICAL ELITE is not obvious, and sometimes it is inventive.   Official money laundering by States with health care funds is disclosed in the current WALL STREET JOURNAL article reproduced infra.    It reveals your dollars at work DEFRAUDING you, to wit:

Why Tax Hospitals? It’s a Medicaid Shell Game

Providers pay the state. The state pays providers, then collects matching funds from Uncle Sam.


Red Jahncke

Dec. 29, 2017 5:22 p.m. ET

When Connecticut faced a budget shortfall of $2.2 billion, or 11%, this year, it helped close the gap by almost doubling its tax on hospitals, to $900 million. Taxing hospitals sounds strange, especially since most are nonprofits. It also would seem to increase their costs and, thus, the cost of care—much of which, thanks to Medicaid, is borne by the state that levies the tax.

Yet 42 states tax hospitals. Why? One answer is the perverse incentives built into the Medicaid law. When a state returns tax money to hospitals through Medicaid “supplemental payments,” it qualifies for matching funds from Washington.

Connecticut hospitals will pay $900 million in taxes, but the state will offset that with $600 million in supplemental Medicaid payments—matched with $450 million of federal funds. The state keeps those matching funds, plus the $300 million from the hospital tax, meaning Hartford comes out ahead in the whole scheme by $750 million. Nice work if you can get it.

Medicaid supplemental payments, as the term implies, are separate and distinct from the reimbursements that cover the actual cost of services rendered to beneficiaries. But the federal government turns a blind eye to the circular nature of the arrangement: Hospitals and other providers are both the source and the recipient of most of the funds. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services simply sees the supplemental payments to providers and matches them roughly in line with each state’s federal medical assistance percentage, or FMAP—the same rate used to reimburse actual medical costs.

The University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington, 2013.
The University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington, 2013. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

Each state’s FMAP is calculated based on how its personal income compares with the national average. Apart from the expansion of Medicaid under ObamaCare, FMAPs range from 50% in wealthy states to about 67% in the poorest states.

Medicaid’s model of shared federal-state responsibility is supposed to be based broadly upon FMAPs. But supplemental-payment schemes undermine that and “have the effect of shifting costs to the federal government,” according to a 2014 study by the Governmental Accountability Office. The more a state taxes its hospitals and then gives them money back, the more federal funds it can obtain.

No wonder taxes on medical providers have both risen and widened as the Medicaid program has grown costlier. The hospital tax is the biggest revenue-raiser, but 44 states also tax nursing homes, and 34 tax at least one other type of health-care provider. The GAO study found that these taxes had almost doubled nationally, from about $9.5 billion in 2008 to $18.5 billion in 2012, as new states like Connecticut jumped into the game, while others, such as Missouri, played more intensely. The Show Me State increased its provider taxes by one-third between 2008 and 2012, from about $1.5 billion to $2 billion. In the past five years even more states have jumped in and FMAPs have risen under the ObamaCare expansion of Medicaid.

The only real federal limit on this gaming of the system is a rule setting maximum health-care provider taxation at 6% of the tax base—in the case of hospitals, “net patient revenue.” But that limit isn’t really a limit; it’s a threshold below which states enjoy a safe harbor from federal action. States can submit, and CMS can approve, plans that exceed the threshold. And according to Connecticut officials, the state is blasting through the threshold with a tax of about 12% on hospital outpatient revenue while simultaneously maxing out at 6% on the inpatient side.

The GAO study is the most recent comprehensive look at taxes on medical providers, so we simply do not know how much they have grown since 2012. CMS itself may not know. The GAO study noted that “CMS does not collect accurate and complete data from all states on the various sources of funds to finance the nonfederal share. . . . According to federal internal control standards, federal agencies should collect accurate and complete data to monitor programs they oversee.”

Given the executive branch’s laxity, Congress should increase its oversight. The hospital-tax scheme increases the federal share in the Medicaid partnership in a convoluted, opaque, bureaucratically time-consuming and arguably unintended manner. It is inherently inefficient and costly. It distorts the operation and the perception of the health-care system. This is bad governance that legislators shouldn’t countenance.

Some proposals in Congress would reduce the 6% limit. Lawmakers should adopt the lowest proposal, 3%, and instruct CMS to enforce it strictly, not treat it as safe harbor. Otherwise, if Congress wants to raise the federal share of Medicaid funding, it should do so with a straightforward across-the-board increase in FMAPs.

If Congress determines that some states need financial assistance, it should devise a separate program expressly for that purpose. But state schemes that take advantage of Medicaid to gain general financial assistance are a perversion of government that ought to stop.

Mr. Jahncke is president of the Townsend Group International

From FB: News story shows shocking level of corruption in our nation’s court systems. Two children taken from mom for no reason.

This poor mom lost her kids for 2 months and did nothing wrong.  The judge and DCFS worker(s) need to be fired.  Immediately.

FERRIER FILES: Do criminals have more rights than parents in Tennessee?

(Fox 17 News)

It is pretty hard to believe that serial killers have more rights than parents in Tennessee, but once you enter the Juvenile Justice System, anything can happen.

And even if you do absolutely nothing wrong, your children can be taken from you. It may sound like a ridiculous question but not when you consider what happened to a Williamson County, Tennessee, mom.

It all started when Tori’s 3-year-old son told her something inappropriate happened to him when he was with their father. The couple is divorced.

Tori followed the law and reported it to DCS.

“I was interrogated for two to three hours with no videotape, no attorney present,” Harper said. “I was a little intimidated, but at that time I still didn’t think I had done anything wrong when I realized they were investigating me.”

Remember, there is no allegation against Tori Harper, yet DCS asked her to surrender her kids on the spot and relinquish custody during the investigation.

“There was no way I was going to give strangers custody of my children even for a day or two especially with that going on,” Harper said. “I wanted my children.”

The next day she said DCS secretly went to Williamson County Juvenile Judge Sharon Guffee and asked for an ex-parte order to get custody of the kids. The judge signed the order even though Tori wasn’t present to defend herself.

DCS claimed Tori Harper was mentally unstable…

“I’ve never had a speeding ticket,” Harper said. “I have no mental health history. I’m a good mom. I love my kids. I was a room mom that year for my oldest son.”

Her lawyer, family law specialist Connie Reguli, said this is standard practice, and it is nasty stuff.

“For people who don’t know what e x-parte means it is behind the back,” Reguli said. “They knew Tori. They certainly had an opportunity to get it before the court. Instead they get an ex-parte order to get her children in custody of DCS. DCS can do whatever they want to them. They obviously didn’t want Tori or her lawyer there.”

The only consolation was that Tori’s parents would be the foster parents during the investigation. When they all went back to court, Judge Guffee ordered Harper and her parents be drug tested eventhough none of them had any drug history.

Her father couldn’t get to the drug test because he was keeping the kids and didn’t have car seats. Harper said DCS locked herself and her mom in a room after their drug tests and told them they would send a squad car out with the boys’ car seats so Harper’s dad could go take the drug test.

Once police finally arrived at the home, they brought a new court order signed by Judge Guffee giving DCS custody of the kids, who were going into foster care that night.

“The things that these people did to our family was so against our fourth amendment rights,” said Tori’s dad Tom Naïve. “I said boys you got to go with the policeman and so I watched them walk to that police car and get in the back of the police car. All I could do is go inside and blow up and blow up. I was helpless.”

The oldest boy Ethan still remembers that night.

“I was scared,” Ethan said. “When I got in the car, I started crying. They told me my grandpa didn’t want me. He had never told me that. It hurt my heart.”

This family without a single allegation of abuse or neglect or even a failed drug test lost their two boys to DCS.

“There is nobody that knows me that would say there is anything I love more than being a mom,” Harper said. “But one thing I know is I am a good mom, a good mom and I love my kids so much.”

So what was DCS and the court hinging this removal on? That Tori Harper was mentally unstable. She got an independent psychological evaluaton and passed flying colors; doctors, dentists, records, report cards, high test scores formed a lazer-focused rebuttal to DCS and Williamson County Juvenile court.

DCS dismissed the case and Judge Guffee returned the children to Harper. The children were in state custody for two months.

Family law attorney Connie Reguli said this story may sound shocking, but it is common.

“Criminals have more rights and protections than parents,” Reguli said. “Once they have your children in the system they are in total control…and while this may have a happy ending. There are scars and trauma, real trauma.”

“So when i got my son back, keep in mind he always held my hair when I would sing him to bed every night,” Harper said. “Well when he was in foster care he was so upset that he would pull his own hair in bed, and he ended up with a big bald spot.”

Her son Andrew now believes in monsters and holds his mom’s hair, praying they will never come back.

DCS said the law prohibits it from commenting on specific juvenile case but pointed out that all of its actions were approved by a judge. Tennessee judges are also prohibited from discussing cases.

From FB: Barbara Latham’s mother abused and murdered

My mother gave permission to post her involuntary stealth euthanasia at Houston Hospice room 315, Houston, Texas, 77030 by starvation and opiates and other sedative toxic drugs. Christmas week 2017.

My only question is why is there no public outrage over these stories?  People donate to save animals all the time, but this is how grantma ends up?  Disgusting.  We must do more for elder rights and justice. So far all we have is lipservicebarbara.lathammom

From Ken Ditkowsky–Happy New Year and prayers for those who cannot see their loved ones

because their loved ones are involved in abuse probate proceedings

From Ken

The human trafficking in the elderly continues virtually unabated as the year 2017 ends, and 2018 beings.   The only distinction is that America can no longer afford to cater to the criminals who prey on elderly, isolate them from their prior lives, deprive them of their humanity, human rights, and civil rights as they redistribute their wealth to the corrupt Political elite.    The 700% fraud surcharge has become  intolerable and  too heavy a burden for America to absorb.     We must have HONEST INVESTIGATIONS of the health care industry along with vigorous prosecutions of the criminals engaging in this human trafficking.    It is not enough to legislature, pontificate, or complain that x, y, and z is not doing enough.
The reach of this criminal enterprise (whether called human trafficking, elder cleansing, or guardian for profit – or all of the above) is a terrorist assault on the core values of America.   It pollutes every aspect of our lives.    Even in death we are not free of these bastards.
A while back Probate Sharks and MaryGSykes carried the following on their respective blogs.   The media was not interested, law enforcement gave it a shrug, the lawyer disciplinary commissions turned a deaf ear – especially Jerome Larkin the IARDC, however, a few recognized that such could happen to “yours truly.”
Most of us rationalized – “I have a loving family and they would be there to protect me and thee!”   Jerome Larkin summed up the attitude of the POLITICAL &JUDICIAL ELITE, when he equated the disclosure of corruption in the judiciary on the blog MaryGSykes to “yelling fire in a crowded theater.”   Indeed, Larkin viewed the exposure of corruption to be so dastardly and pernicious he openly and notorious not only stretched the truth, misrepresented SCOTUS rulings, but successfully demanded from the Illinois Supreme Court interim suspensions of the license of Attorney JoAnne Denison who was infamously reporting criminal activity of Judges in Cook County, Illinois and elsewhere.
Indeed, even the official criminal intimidation, perjury, and breach of the public trust did not deter Attorney Denison and on her blog appeared a post from PROBATE SHARKS (written by yours truly), to wit:

 From Probate Sharks Blog: Hijacking a Fla. Estate for millions from Chicago

Posted on July 28, 2016

On the pages of the Probate Sharks blog is the following: Irving Faskowitz probate court case. Irving’s 2 million dollar estate was high jacked by Chicago and New York non-relatives who were also named Faskowitz. The real Faskowitz heirs never were informed of Irving’s death and never saw a penny.

One of the biggest problem that exists today is the unequal enforcement of the law, or the enforcement of the law to protect particular interests.    There is no question that when a person is placed in a police vehicle while in custody, and emerges dead there is a problem that the community should be concerned with.   The prosecutor knew that the individual was not murdered and no intent crime could be proven; however, in the true spirit of an opportunist unethical member of the political elite five police officers were ‘over charged’ with crimes that could not sustained.

The issue of whether or not criminal charges of some kind should have been brought is not relevant as the establishment was looked for a scapegoat.   It is this tactic that is destroying the basic institutions of America.   Special interests can routine ‘fix’ the process or the case and a large segment of the population screams to deaf ears the words: “foul!”

A burr under the skin has been the Florida Irving Faskowitz case.    Briefly the facts are allegedly as follows:

Irving Faskowitz died.   It just so happened that an infamous Chicago Lawyer had a maiden name that was very strongly similar; however, she was not related.   Exhibiting the criterion of on its face and so obscene that the Florida Attorney General rose out of her slumber and filed an objection.conduct advocated by the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission and the Illinois Supreme Court and the conduct that they wish to foster, this lawyer filed documents claiming that she and a specific group of her relatations were heirs to the estate.    The claim was bogus

As Lawyers live by the proposition that a bad settlement is better than the best litigation, the case settled and the spurious claimants got 1/2 of the Estate.   Victims of the infamous Chicago lawyer heard about the Florida expedition and screamed to everyone who would listen ‘foul’

The protector of the virtue of Illinois lawyers the IARDC apparently have a special relationship with this lawyer could not be bothered to investigate, but gave its stamp of approval on the fraud.   Further action by the Florida Attorney General was unthinkable to Florida officials.   I guess they were too absorbed in annulling the Smith marriage and silencing the heirs of Helen Stone.

As the lawyer who filed the claim is an Illinois lawyer and was also believed to be culpable for the horrendous torture that Alice Gore was subjected to and to the quest for gold in her teeth the IARDC and the Illinois Supreme Court ratified their approval of the alleged theft and the complaining citizens were told to ‘stuff it!’

This is our current state of affairs in the cottage industry of elder cleansing.    Mr. Larkin is not a card carrying Nazi.   Indeed, he most probably has not even accidentally rubbed elbows with one.   Indeed, I would suspect that he is even loved by some children, but, he accepted a job to do – i.e. police the legal profession and rid it of the dishonest lawyers who prey on Illinois citizens – including the elderly.    Someone along the way Mr. Larkin got mixed up and decided to rid the legal profession of the lawyers who would pursuant to Rule 8.3 and 18 USCA 4 speak up against corruption in the Court system.   Indeed, he felt it his duty to defend and coverup 18 UsCA 371 the confession of Judge Connors (at page 91 of her evidence deposition) that she was ‘wired.’   The confession of perjury in the JoAnne Denison hearing by Judge Stuart.   The Faskowitz theft and the hunt for gold in the mouth of Alice by lawyer *****.    ******.

Elderly people are being elder cleansed, and then euthanized and corrupt courts, corrupt judges, corrupt lawyers, corrupt judicial officials and corrupt political figures are all actively engaged in the activity.   Our cause is just, but ignored.   Linking the cause to a great ***** Conspiracy is counter productive.   Judge **** sitting in Emmett County, Michigan is not involved in the Mary Sykes case directly, indirectly or in his dreams.   The WW2 Nazis who escaped from Germany in 1944/45 are all dead or nearly dead at this point in time.

Ladies – all we have in these elder cleansing cases is garden variety avarice and local conspiracies by a group of like thinking miscreants to enrich themselves by stealing from grandma.    Judge **** in Florida has no role in whatever Judge **** in Illinois is doing or not doing.   The attempt to link their actions just destroys our credibility.

Ken Ditkowsky

 The miscreant lawyer, who is reported to teach Legal Ethics is no co-operating in any Federal investigation of the Illinois corruption and therefore has the official approval of the Judicial Elite.    Guardianships continued to flow and members of the public continued to be fair game.    JoAnne Denison, who pursuant to Rule 8.3, 18 USCA 4, and her duty as a citizen of the United STates of America was rewarded with an INTERIM SUSPENSION or her law license, and a 3 year suspension of her Law License in every forum available.    (Every good deed is properly punished).
2018 is a new beginning!    Please accept my families best wishes for a happy, healthy, and prosperous  NEW YEAR.

Merry Christmas to all the corruption victims out there

And Hannukuh blessings and all the other winter time holidays too!

My heart goes out to those of you who cannot see their loved ones this Christmas season because there is a court order, or a GAL order or some sort of other nonsense.

The holidays are for families, but for the families of Mary Sykes, Alice Gore, Rose Drabik, Lydia Tyler, Alan Frake and so many, many more, they were a horror show.  For years, many in probate are not even allowed to know where their loved ones are.  Helen Stone in Florida most assuredly will not see her daughter for Hannukah.  Please pray for them.  Please pray that the psychopaths in charge, the judges, the lawyers and court room vendors lose their hearts of stone for a heart of flesh and blood.

Too many to mention are suffering through the holidays.  Give them your kind thoughts and blessings.

Nursing homes are nothing but slums and ghettos for the elderly.  We have to do better by them.  Many younger disabled persons suffer greatly in these place too.  And they have done nothing wrong, but the conditions are far worse than a jail or prison, because for many of them, death is the only way out.

Please pray for a world of peace and love, joy and understanding, and most of all, compassion.

Holiday best wishes


From GovCuff Group: reasons to NEVER talk to police


excellent video on all the reasons to never talk to a police officer.  there are plenty of reasons why your statements can be twisted and turned even if you are innocent.  just politely say no.  Blame your lawyer.  Blame youtube lawyers. Blame this blog.  But never talk to police.  It’s never a good idea.  I can’t tell you how many times I have seen police reports where the police got just about everything wrong.  I wonder if they go back and write up reports after they have had a drink or two or a toke or two or three or more.  It’s always a bad idea.  And if you are talking to police for any reason, record, record, record.

From Voice of Detroit–Mary Rowan continues her reign of terror as “professional guardian”


Rowan removed wards Wanda Worley (above) and Gayle Robinson from their long-time homes with no court orders, using police, took incomes, Robinson’s home, got son jailed

Rowan did not remove ward Raymond Davis, a veteran from dangerous location before his death in fire on Whittier March 8 (VOD previously reported inaccurately that Rowan had moved Davis INTO the Whittier location)

New hearings scheduled for Gayle Robinson April 24, 2017 Judge Keith, Wayne Co. Probate Court; Sharmian May 4, 2017 Judge Hesson, 33rd DC

By Diane Bukowski 

April 3, 2017 


DETROIT – After country music singer Sharmian’s  33rd District Court hearing March 29 was postponed without notice, she and her mother Wanda Worley told VOD in the interview above why Sharmian tried to stop notorious guardian/conservator Mary Rowan from seizing Worley illegally. Sharmian is facing misdemeanor charges of “hindering and obstructing” Rowan.

The Michigan Supreme Court, however, has upheld the “common-law” right to resist unlawful conduct by police and others in a landmark decision, People v. Moreno (2012). (See ruling at

A new court date has been set for May 4, 2017 at 11 a.m. in front of Judge Jennifer Coleman Hesson at 33rd District Court in Woodhaven.

Meanwhile, Sharmain is dealing with an alleged order from Judge Hesson that she undergo “forensic psychiatric” testing before June 20.

“I think they are trying to set me up by claiming I am incompetent and cannot take care of my mother, and possibly seize me the way they did her,” Sharmian said.

However, according to MDHHS Administrative Rule 330.7003, a recipient of any state-provided mental health service must give “informed consent” to it voluntarily.

“Voluntariness means the free power of choice without the intervention of an element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, overreaching, or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion, including promises or assurances of privilege or freedom,” the rule says. SeeS complete document at

Sharmain said that early last September, she admitted her mother to a Wyandotte hospital for treatment of her drug habit, as her mother’s FULL guardian, showing hospital personnel her guardianship papers. But after a few days, she was not allowed to see her after she became concerned because the hospital was prescribing more addictive medication. (See video above.) She said she had to retain an attorney to get her mother out.

In a letter which likely triggered an Adult Protective Services request for change of guardianship to Mary Rowan, a doctor at the hospital characterized Sharmain as unstable. Rowan was appointed as TEMPORARY guardian September 21, 2016. Her acceptance of appointment is shown below, written in her handwriting as were other orders, and not personally signed by Judge David Braxton.

Later, however, other doctors discovered her mother’s sciatic nerve was painfully wrapped around her spinal column and other internal parts of her body, causing the real pain she had been complaining of for years. After surgery on the nerve, Sharmian said, the pain ceased and Worley was able to complete her conquest of her addiction.

Sharmian had a blossoming career in Nashville for decades as a singer of country, R&B, and gospel music. The walls of her trailer home in Brownstown Township, where her mother lived with her, are decorated with dozens of photos of her with music industry greats. She says she moved back to the Detroit area due to music industry double-dealing, and to take care of her mother, who was suffering from prescription drug addiction.


Debbie Fox came out to support Sharmian and her mother. She described how Rowan took her own mother, Gayle Robinson, now 86, from the charming family home in Westland where her parents had lived for 60 years, raising their 10 children.

Instead, she placed her at Maple Manor in Wayne on her own despite Wayne County Probate Court Judge Terrence Keith’s promise that he would not allow such a placement without a court order.

Rowan was also appointed conservator, seizing Rowan’s veterans’ pension and other income.

“One young lady whose dad was at Maple Manor for physical therapy when he got Mary Rowan said he had $4,000 a month income,” Debbie Fox told VOD. “Now John  [Cavataio, Rowan’s husband] brings him $250 every two weeks to buy his food, his daughter,  and her son’s. He has Parkinson’s and made an agreement with his daughter he would pay for her care if she lived with him and took care of him.”

Gayle Robinsons’ son Randy Robinson and granddaughter Lynette Robinson were evicted from the home. Randy was jailed for 93 days at Rowan’s request, after his mother fled to Oregon to stay with her brother to avoid placement in a nursing home.

Keith held Randy and her brother responsible for her flight. Gayle Robinson eventually returned to get her son freed, but then was locked up herself in Maple Manor without a court order.

Fox said the only resident of the family’s Westland home now is her mother’s beloved pet dog Fluffy, and that all her mother’s furnishings, family records and photos, and other belongings have been removed, many of them trashed.

Some of them can be seen below in a video taken by Randy when Rowan assistant Katie McDonald and a Westland cop came to the home to remove his mother the first time, to take her to a psychiatric hospital. In the video, Robinson unsuccessfully demands a court order allowing her removal from the cop, and says she does not know or trust Mary Rowan. The video is touched up at the beginning to emphasize the cop’s comments repeating “I don’t know” where the paperwork is.

In a later court hearing, Judge Terrence Keith stated on the record that he would not allow Rowan’s removal from her home to a nursing home or assisted living facility without a court order. Below is part of the transcript from that hearing. The whole transcript is at .

Fox added that Maple Manor, which bills itself as an “assisted living” facility, keeps her mother on anti-depressants now. She said she, Randy and Lynette have been barred from seeing their mother.

Previously, Robinson, now 86, was a happy, healthy, active and independent Marine Corps veteran who told her previous court-appointed attorney Ella Bully Cummings at one hearing VOD attended that she did not want a guardian and that she wanted her son and granddaughter to remain with her.

Rowan now also controls Robinson’s military pension and other income as conservator of the estate.

A new court date in front of Judge Keith in Robinson’s case has been set for Monday, April 24, at 9 a.m. on a motion to change or modify the “guardianship/conservatorship order.”

Debbie Fox detailed the sequence of events since 2014 in a document sent to VOD and is asking supporters to attend the hearing. See


Meanwhile, new information has come to light on another Rowan ward, Raymond John Davis, 60, from a review of probate court documents in the case. Davis was also a U.S. military veteran who was legally blind and suffered from diabetes.

He was one of five men who perished in a horrific blaze at 10521 Whittier in Detroit, allegedly set by another tenant and whipped into a firestorm by 60 mph winds. Rowan’s husband John Cavataio was filmed at the scene checking on Davis (see video above).

Detroit’s Channel Four reported in the video that the apartment building had not been certified for occupancy.

Court records show Rowan was appointed as Davis’ guardian Jan. 19, 2017, by Wayne County Probate Court Judge Lawrence J. Paolucci, with the express purpose of moving Davis out of the building for his safety. Channel Four reported that Cavataio told them his wife had “just” been appointed Davis’ guardian.

Rowan finally got around to drafting an order in her writing to have police help her remove him from the premises. The order is dated March 7, and signed by Paolucci, but not time-stamped. It seems ironic that the fire happened the next day, taking Davis’ life in a most terrible fashion, particularly for a blind man.

This is the ONLY Rowan case VOD has reviewed where an actual REMOVAL order is included in the file. None were drafted for Wanda Worley or Gayle Robinson.

Davis’ doctor, Benjamin Nguyen, M.D. of the John Dingell Medical Center on John R, a Department of Veterans Affairs Hospital, reported in a Jan. 10, 2017 letter that Davis told him his glucometer, which measures blood sugar levels, and cash had been stolen from him at the Whittier location on several occasions.

“Mr. Davis is in need of guardianship to secure appropriate placement with the sustainable assistance and support required to meet his basic needs,” Dr. Nguyen continued. “Mr. Davis would benefit from [a] guardian to assist with management of his life affairs and medical decisions to ensure his basic needs are being met and he has the quality of life deserving to him as an aging veteran.”

According to Wanda Worley, Rowan is similarly unavailable to meet the needs of the eight residents at the group home on Monica in Detroit, where she has been staying for the last five months, against her will.

All the residents are allegedly Rowan’s wards and appear to act as if they cannot leave without the permission of Rowan’s aide.

“No one there has ever even seen Rowan,” Worley told VOD. “She doesn’t give us enough food. We only get a $44 a month allowance, so some of the staff help us out by going into their own pockets to take care of us.”

She said the place has been infected with bedbugs, and showed VOD the scars from the insects that remain on her legs.


Rights of an individual with a guardian:

Powers and duties of a guardian:

Petiti0n for Temporary Guardian:

Michigan Mental Health Code re: placement of wards with developmental disabilities

Guardianship petitions: Summary under Michigan Law



From FB–the Law on Jurors. Can they lie?

Everyone’s see the Juror form.  It asks prospective jurors if they have been accused or convicted of a crime or involved in litigation.

What about the juror that lies?  Can a criminal serve on a jury?  A lying criminal?

Here is the law to use on lying jurors:

” Fraud upon the court” has been defined by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to “embrace that species of fraud which does, or attempts to, defile the court itself, or is a fraud perpetrated by officers of the court so that the judicial machinery can not perform in the usual manner its impartial task of adjudging cases that are presented for adjudication.” Kenner v. C.I.R., 387 F.3d 689 (1968); 7 Moore’s Federal Practice, 2d ed., p. 512, ¶ 60.23. The 7th Circuit further stated “a decision produced by fraud upon the court is not in essence a decision at all, and never becomes final.” “Fraud upon the court” makes void the orders and judgments of that court. It is also clear and well-settled Illinois law that any attempt to commit “fraud upon the court” vitiates the entire proceeding. The People of the State of Illinois v. Fred E. Sterling, 357 Ill. 354; 192 N.E. 229 (1934) (“The maxim that fraud vitiates every transaction into which it enters applies to judgments as well as to contracts and other transactions.”); Allen F. Moore v. Stanley F. Sievers, 336 Ill. 316; 168 N.E. 259 (1929) (“The maxim that fraud vitiates every transaction into which it enters …”); In re Village of Willowbrook, 37 Ill.App.2d 393 (1962) (“It is axiomatic that fraud vitiates everything.”); Dunham v. Dunham, 57 Ill.App. 475 (1894), affirmed 162 Ill. 589 (1896); Skelly Oil Co. v. Universal Oil Products Co., 338 Ill.App. 79, 86 N.E.2d 875, 883-4 (1949); Thomas Stasel v. The American Home Security Corporation, 362 Ill. 350; 199 N.E. 798 (1935). Hence, any juror who lied on their jury form committed Fraud on the Court.

In People v. Martin, 587 N.E.2d 1228, 225 Ill.App.3d 339, 167 Ill.Dec. 613 (Ill. App. 1 Dist., 1992) the Court ruled that litigants have the right to a fair and impartial jury and to have honest jurors serve on the jury.  Certain jurors in that case stated on their juror form that they had not been accused, convicted or involved in litigation when in fact they had been arrested and/or convicted.  The court found that jurors who lied on juror forms lacked the necessary truthfulness and veracity to serve on a jury and therefore could not have been beneficial to justice in the Appellant’s case.  Id. at 1232 quoting People v. Franklin (1990), 135 Ill.2d 78, 142 Ill.Dec. 152, 552 N.E.2d 743):   “a venireperson’s lack of veracity in no way promotes the administration of justice and cannot be deemed beneficial to the accused’s or the State’s case in chief.” Franklin, 135 Ill.2d at 95, 142 Ill.Dec. at 160, 552 N.E.2d at 751.C.

What about prospective jurors that make derogatory statements during jury selection?

In the case of Maddox v. Smith One of the prospective jurors made numerous statements during the jury selection regarding his beliefs that plaintiffs should not be allowed to sue insurance companies or insured defendants.  Plaintiff asserted these derogatory comments intentionally tainted the remainder of the jurors. Maddox v. Smith (1966), 67 Ill.App.2d 374, 214 N.E.2d 5, stands for the principle that a mistrial should be granted if a prospective juror expresses derogatory remarks about persons seeking recovery from insured defendants. In Maddox, a prospective juror had, in a prior case, delivered a diatribe lasting several minutes regarding plaintiffs who filed suits against insured defendants. One or more of the jurors in the prior case also served on the jury in the Maddox case, and Maddox’s counsel claimed that, had he known this, he would have called for a mistrial. The Maddox court acknowledged that a mistrial was warranted in the prior case.

From E.Federova: Lanre Amu’s corrupt ARDC case remains unresolved–sign the petition to protect Lanre Amu!

As many of you have noted, there is nothing more foul smelling and pernicious to our society than a licensed corrupt lawyer.

Lanre Amu is an honest lawyer who was serving the poor and immigrant. His license was stripped away from him when all he did was point out corruption in the courts.  He did nothing wrong.  In fact, when Chicago Crain’s Business investigated, they found even more corruption on the part of Judge Lynn Egan.

Why isn’t Lanre Amu reinstated with honors and why is Lynn Egan still sitting on the bench?

Go ask Presiding Judge Timmothy Evans, Jerome Larkin and all the other corrupt ARDC lawyers that signed petitions and prosecuted innocent Lanre Amu.


Case:  ARDC v. Amu.  Corrupt lawyers involved:  Robert Verrando, Jerome Larkin, Debra J. Braselton, Andrea D. Rice, Donald D. Torisky

My case, corrupt lawyers:  Melissa Smart, Sharon Opryszek, Sang-yul Lee
Ziad Alnaqib, Jerome Larkin, Stephen Splitt.

Everyone wants to know why aren’t these lawyers gone and disciplined?  Why doesn’t the Illinois Supreme Court step in and clean up these dirty lawyer messes?

And we haven’t even listed the lawyers in Ken Ditkowsky’s case yet, so let’s do it now:

Jeffrey S. Torosian,
Donald S.B. Hilliker, Johnny A. Fairman, II
Robert M. Henderson
Anna M. Loftus

Interestingly enough, the Illinois Supreme Court does NOT list which judges are in favor of the suspension of honest lawyers and which judges are not.  We all want to know who is covering up corruption in Illinois.  They should be required to list who is part of the cover up and who is not.

*Can be posted on all blogs; please sign it on and pass to others.
Re:  Petition in Support to lawyer Lanre O. Amu demand to reinstate his  suspended  Law License; and compensate him for damages. 
Dear IL Supreme Court  and Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (“ARDC”)
Please find my Amicus Curiae Petition in Support to lawyer Lanre O. Amu (“Amu”) demand to reinstate his unlawfully suspended Law License and compensate him for all damages.
Procedural Background: On December 7, 2011 ARDC filed a disciplinary action against lawyer Amu pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 753(b) and alleged that Amu has engaged in the conduct which tends to defeat the administration of justice or to bring the courts or the legal profession into disrepute. ARDC accused  Amu in purportedly false statements about the integrity of judges Thomas R. Chiola, Lynn M. Egan, Irwin J. Solganick and Francis Dolan. According to ARDC, statements made by Amu were “of material fact or law to a tribunal which the lawyer knows or reasonably should know is false in violation of Rule 3.3(a)(1) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct; and Amu “was engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(4) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (1990).” As the result, lawyer Amu was disbarred for 3 years.
All ARDC accusations against lawyer Amu were made in gross disregard to lawyer Amu’s civil rights; Equal Protection and Due Process. In fact, the only party who made false statements of material fact to a tribunal was politically-connected lawyer Jerome Larkin who knew or reasonably should know that his claims against Amu were fabricated and groundless. It is a well-known that Illinois Court system (aka “Family and Friends Club”) is severely plagued by corruption and professional incompetence. Judicial positions are regularly assigned to the most connected lawyers, in the manner which suggests a bribery scheme for the seats. Judicial cronies routinely fix cases in favor of their parties of interests- politically connected better funded lawyers and corporations-in violation of all applicable laws and rules of ethics. Details are published on my where I shared my personal experience with certain judges in Illinois Courts, including Judge Irwin J. Solganick who obtained his seat in corrupt manner; and acted bias against me as Prose.  
1.      Judge Thomas R. Chiola. Lawyer Amu brought a legal malpractice case against defendants Antonio Romanucchi Romanucci and Stephen J. Blandin from Romanucchi & Blandin law Firm, which was dismissed by Judge Thomas R. Chiola. According to Amu, “This is about how Judge Thomas R. Chiola fixed a case for the defendants Antonio Romanucci and Stephen J. Blandin and their law firm at the Daley Center on February 17, 2009. The case fixing started in Judge Chiola’s chambers under the guise of a ‘settlement conference’ he convened on his own motion“; and that Judge Chiola’s conduct “is simply one example of the corruption by some judges at the Daley Center circuit court“. It’s true.
Judge Thomas R. Chiola was a politically connected judge who regularly used his Government contacts to influence legislations for his personal goals.[1] [2]Lawyer Amu is a self-made professional with no involvement in Chicago political machine. Defendants Antonio Romanucci, Stephen J. Blandin and Romanucci & Blandin LLC are generous donors to almost every political and judicial election. Antonio Romanucci made 134 (one hundred thirty four) sizable “donations” to numerous judges and politicians; Romanucci & Blandin LLC made 253 (two hundred fifty three) “donations” to most powerful politicians and judges – or parties on whom Judge Chiola relied while lobbying for his personal interests. I am absolutely confident in whose favor Judge Chiola will rule in this situation – of course better funded well-connected lawyers Romanucci & Blandin. So, all statements made by lawyer Amu are true; supported by published facts, and protected by his First Amendment rights.  
2.      Judge Lynn M. Egan. Lawyer Amu brought a legal action on behalf of Steve Dei (“Dei”) who fell and sustained injuries at the Tumara Food Mart (“Tumara”), a Chicago gasoline station and market. Tumara failed to appear and Judge Egan entered a default judgement in favor of Dei. In August 19 2008, Tumara hired lawyers from Pretzel & Stouffer who filed their Appearance in case 07-L-5875.  On June 19, 2009, Judge Egan entered an order vacating the January 2008 judgment.
According to Amu, “Knowing that the case was pending before Judge Lynn M. Egan, American Family Insurance Company hired Judge Lynn M. Egan’s brother Matthew J. Egan’s law firm “Pretzel & Stouffer, to prosecute the petition to vacate default judgment before Judge Lynn M. Egan. During the months of legal wrangling before Judge Lynn Egan, plaintiff and his lawyer [.]were intentionally kept in the dark about this link and collusion between Judge Lynn M. Egan and the defense.”; “The flawed reasoning and decision of Judge Lynn Egan in favor of American Family Insurance Company’s interest was immediately appealed to the Illinois Appellate Court in expectation that the Appellate Court will see through the nonsense and correct the situation. Instead of the Illinois Appellate Court doing the right thing, the Appellate Court simply rubber stamped and affirmed the flawed ruling of Judge Egan in favor of American Family Insurance’s interest. Even when the Appellate Court was made aware of the relationship between Judge Lynn M. Egan and the defense law firm, the Appellate Court did nothing..” and “The corruption uncovered here happens to be one of a few that can be proved. The tip of the ice berg so to speak.”. All Amu statements are true.
Judge Lynn M. Egan not only failed to recuse herself from the case due to her fatal conflict of interests with Defendants’ lawyers; but she also “forgot” to inform Amu that she is a daughter of well-politically connected Judge Edward Egan[3] who was elected as a judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County in 1964 and was appointed to the Appellate Court by the Illinois Supreme Court in 1972. Without any doubts IL Appeal Court will rule in favor of well-connected insurance lawyers supported by Judge Egan’s daughter Lynn and against solo-practitioner Amu. Worth to mention, Judge Lynn M. Egan, her brother, Matthew Egan and Pretzel & Stouffer are regularly criticized for corruption, especially when P&S 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. 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. Judge Lynn’s brother Matthew long-time commitment as a member of the ARDC’s Inquiry Board from 1989 to 1991, as a member of the Hearing Board from 1991 – 2012, and as a special counsel to the ARDC from 2013 – 2014 also helped to disbar Amu.
3.      Judge Irwin J. Solganick. In November 2004, Amu agreed to represent Majekodunmi to seek damages from Near South Health Center in Chicago (“NSHC”) and Cook County for its alleged failure to timely diagnose Majekodunmi’s cancer. During June 5, 2009, hearing before the Hon. Irwin J. Solganick, attorneys for the defendants moved to strike Amu’s May 26, 2009 requests for admission, which was approved by Solganick. According to Amu, with regard to Judge Solganick’s June 5, 2009 order: “Judge Irwin J. Solganick engaged in corrupt ruling that undermined this case in favor of the defense””Judge Solganick struck all of plaintiff’s requests to admit without reading them. . . . I now allege that it was a corrupt ruling.” (“Judge Solganick . . .  he did not read the requests to admit before he struck them in the entirety.” “I did find out that Judge Solganick used to be a law partner with Ed Vrdolyak. .  recently sentenced to prison for sophisticated fraud, kickbacks.” “All Judge Solganick saw before him was a black lawyer going against several insurance defense lawyers, in a sea of white lawyers in courtroom 2005.””This is a corrupt use of judicial power under the guise of judicial discretion. It was like nothing I said really mattered to Judge Solganick””Plaintiff is however entitled to a fair and and impartial trial. Corruption within the system prevented that from happening.”  All Amu statements are true.
Judge Irwin J. Solganick way to the bench is publicly known as “Sulski-Solganick Stunt” where Judge Sulski passed his judicial seat to Solganick at the last moment and rigged the election. Solganick’s Petitions were signed by then-Vdrlyak’s law Associate, Ron Blagojevich who is currently serving in jail for corruption. Judge Solganick’s court practices were widely criticized in case filed by a well-connected banker Scott George against his wife, Maria George. Mrs. George’s lawyer stated that Judge Solganick failed to disclose his personal connections with banker George’s lawyers; personally redacted evidence presented by Maria George. She claimed that her husband bragged that he can bribe a judge. I have personal experience in Judge Solganick Court when on October 20, 2014 he denied my Motion to Sever my case from corruptly consolidated by Judge Hogan (who received $4,450.00 from my Defendant’s lawyers) with defamations claim filed by my Defendants. Judge Solganick, who had personal connections with my Defendants, which he never disclosed to me and denied my Motion without even reading it. It was a corrupt use of judicial power by a corrupt judge.
Judge Francis J. DolanIn 2002, Amu agreed to represent Muda J. Jaji to seek civil damages from Exedus Lounge. Judge Dolan made a ruling adverse to Jaji in case number 02 M1 302382,Amu  filed a petition for substitution of Judge Dolan for cause. In the Petition Amu said” Dolan is a very sophisticated scam artist judge. The defendant insurance company . . . had Judge Dolan in their corner doing their bidding. Judge Dolan placed himself above the law in his courtroom and he became the law himself. Judge Dolan is an unfair and biased judge. Judge Dolan has no regard for honesty in briefing before him. He invites dishonesty in briefing so as to use the dishonesty as his vehicle to reach biased rulings. He has no regard for procedural due process he will take actions to reach his end even when those actions are not authorized by any law he must abide with as a judge.  [Judge Dolan] had no sense of fairness and he was in fact biased towards plaintiff and plaintiff’s counsel and in favor of defendant’s insurance attorneys. Judge Dolan had an unwritten relationship with the defendant insurance attorney. “ All Amu statements are true.
The exactly the same allegations against Judge Francis were made by ProSe Yongping Zhou in case 03-M1-159148.  In 2005, the case came into the hands of Judge Francis Dolan who was very unfair and hostile toward me openly in court on many occasions. (Judge Francis Dolan always arranged my case as the last one, so that there was no other people inside courtroom 1503 when my case was being heard)”.“I had no idea why Judge Francis Dolan was so unfair to me until I got the evidence in September 2006 about 3 weeks before the trial. This evidence showed he (Judge Francis Dolan) had improper ex-parte communications with opposing council’s Attorney Stephen Tyma.[4] “Other misconduct of Judge Francis Dolan in my case include things like illegally confiscating 1.5 feet height documents, returned back to me by a civil rights group, allowing Atty. Scott Pollock to be absent from hearings despite subpoenas and not allowing my two witnesses to testify in the trial even though I listed them in my Intake Form For Trial from the beginning. I filed my Motion To Disqualify Judge Francis Dolan in September 2006 just before the trial. Judge Francis Dolan refused to hear it in open court and threatened to throw me into jail if I insisted it be heard in front of bailiff and court staffJudge Evans wrote me twice to ask a lower chief Judge Wright Jr. to take over the proceedings, but Judge Wright Jr. never took any action.”
I am not surprised. I had exactly the same experience with Judge Dolan’s crony and a classmate, Judge Robert E. Senechalle, Jr. who obstructed justice, criminally concealed material evidence from my case records; failed to disclose his family connection with my opponents lawyers; and repeatedly threatened me with jail time if I oppose his unlawful verdict.  I have all reasons to believe that Judge Francis J. Dolan, a well-connected lawyer who In October, 1999 was appointed by the IL Supreme Court to the Office of Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County, helped his long-time crony Robert E. Senechalle, Jr to obtain a judicial seat. Worth to mention, Dolan was re-elected in 2006 but suddenly retired from the bench in 2009; or exactly when his crony’s, Robert E. Senechalle, Jr. 4-years judicial assignment expired.
Without any doubt all Amu’s statements about Judges Chiola, Egan, Solganick and Dolan corruption and dishonest judicial practices were true; and ARDC accusations against lawyer Amu were false and defamatory.
Moreover, ARDC Administrator Jerome Larkin, who falsely accused lawyer Amu, is himself a part of corrupt political machine; has close ties with IL Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s father Michael Madigan who regularly helps his cronies to obtain judicial seats.
Lawyer Amu’s statements revealed only a small tip of a huge iceberg of rampant judicial corruption – on all levels of Illinois  Court system  – which requires a Special Review and Honest Investigation by an independent, out-of-State of Illinois authorities, particularly by FBI and Department of Justice.
I respectfully request IL Supreme Court and ARDC to reinstate Lanre O. Amu legal license; compensate him for loss of income; and pay him damages in the amount of $35 million which is reasonable and fair to disgorge others from similar conduct; and protect Freedom of Speech and other civil rights to lawyers who are not afraid to expose judicial corruption.


[1]  by using his state government contacts, Chiola [.] gave[.] assistance in the still-ongoing campaign for adding “sexual orientation” to the Illinois Human Rights Act. He was then general counsel of the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation, and he helped persuade Governor Jim Edgar to attend an Equality Illinois [.]cocktail reception on the eve of the bill’s vote in the state House of Representatives. The next day, the bill passed the House for the first time assessed on December 19, 2017.
[2] “Over the years, Chiola has worked with his contacts in state government” Last assessed on December 19, 2017
1.      [3] Edward Egan was elected as a judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County in 1964 and was appointed to the Appellate Court by the Illinois Supreme Court in 1972. Mr. Egan joined the Cook County state’s attorney’s office in 1951 as an assistant state’s attorney, leaving briefly in 1958 before returning as first assistant state’s attorney under Daniel Ward in 1960. In 1983, Mr. Egan was appointed to ARDC
[4] Last assessed on December 19, 2017.

From KKD/Chicago Trib; Medicare rife with fraud

What happens when you use an agency and they tell you their service is covered by Medicare, but it’s not and fraud is involved?  In home services can cost hundreds per day.  Is the Medicare recipient then liable for all those hundreds and perhaps thousands of dollars because the service was in some manner fraudulent?

Read on, health care fraud affects all of us.

His hands trembled at first. Then his vision blurred. Finally, unable to control a malignant blood pressure condition, Tinley Park cardiac surgeon Banio Koroma lost his malpractice insurance, then his operating room privileges and finally his professional standing.

Fortunately, he lived in Illinois, where medical regulation has been so lax even the most desperate of doctors can find financial reward.

Koroma took refuge in home health care, a lucrative and growing industry rife with fraud and tainted by unscrupulous physicians who travel to patients’ homes in search of profit, then bleed money from taxpayer-financed programs.

The down-on-his-luck doctor took advantage of this loosely regulated world to exploit his patients and command a central role in a multimillion-dollar taxpayer swindle that breached the homes of 15,600 older adults getting services from a Chicago company called Mobile Doctors.

For adults hobbled by disability or disease who want to stay out of nursing homes or hospitals, home health care services can be a godsend.

For criminals who want to tap into federal Medicare dollars, it can represent a loosely guarded bank vault.

A Tribune investigation reveals that Illinois public health regulators proved unprepared for a surge in new home health care companies, doling out too many home health licenses too fast and failing to provide meaningful oversight.

Even today, most anyone can own a home health care business for a $25 license fee — no criminal background check required.

Consequently, the Chicago metropolitan area is a hot spot for fraud, deemed among the most corrupt regions nationally. In the last five years, federal investigators estimate, area home-health agencies have improperly collected at least $104 million of public dollars.

Many home health companies operate lawfully and in the best interests of their customers. But fraud is so pervasive throughout the industry, federal officials say, that for every conviction like Koroma’s, there are many other participants who are able to skate away.

As a result, already-vulnerable patients are put at risk.

Corrupt home health companies and complicit physicians as well as nurses secretly laced medical files with false diagnoses involving tens of thousands of Chicago-area patients, the Tribune found.

An analysis of federal court and enforcement files since 2012 shows that thousands of patients have been subjected to unwarranted procedures, therapies and tests; some were prescribed unneeded and powerful drugs.

Most victims were unaware that their medical histories were hijacked by swindlers — there is no legal requirement to notify or warn patients when fraud is uncovered, or when providers are convicted of crimes.

Case files show that a disabled man in his 80s was denied a wheelchair by a government insurance program because a Chicago-area business had falsely purchased one in the man’s name and then illegally pocketed the reimbursement check, according to AgeOptions in Oak Park, a federally funded advocacy group.

In another case, a hospitalized man was denied a transfer to a Chicago rehabilitation center because a home health company had fraudulently billed the government for nonexistent convalescent care.

“These scammers are really smart,” said Jason Echols, statewide director for a senior Medicare program at AgeOptions. “Anybody could be a victim.”

Sometimes, financial crimes jeopardize patients’ lives.

Debra Lingelbach, a 48-year-old mother from Rockford, suffered inexplicable chest pain. “My chest was hurting all the time,” she recounted in a video deposition involving a civil case. “Like someone was stabbing me in the chest.”

Yet her traveling physician, Charles DeHaan, declared that her lungs “sounded fine,” she said. DeHaan was part owner of a physician staffing company, which was exempt from public health licensing and oversight.

DeHaan pleaded guilty this year to two counts of felony health care fraud related to collecting $1.5 million for bogus examinations and inflated billings, federal court records show. Sentenced to 10 years in federal prison, he faces pending state charges, unrelated to Lingelbach, that involve accusations of sexual assaults involving multiple patients.

Three months after DeHaan’s arrest, civil court records show, Lingelbach was examined by a new physician who delivered a devastating diagnosis: advanced-stage lung cancer.

She died months later.


Diana Jocelyn Gumila, manager of a physician-staffing business in Schaumburg, was furious.

More than 300 Chicago-area home health companies hired her company, Doctor at Home, to certify that patients were homebound and required skilled nursing care. When that happened, Gumila and company owners profited through payments from Medicare, a taxpayer-funded insurance program for those age 65 and older.

Profits flowed as long as patients remain certified — as long as nobody documented that patients were, in reality, healthy and active and did not require in-home care.

But some of Gumila’s physicians were too honest. A diagnosis is a subjective decision, she often tutored. She told one physician to “be an artist” and “paint the picture” to describe each patient — the more abstract, the better.

In a flurry of memos beginning in January 2012, she coaxed her staff of seven physicians and three physician assistants to “please minimize the use of the following words in your documentation: very stable and stable.”

Finally, in October 2013, Gumila confronted her most obstinate employee, Dr. Ewa Nowak, a newly hired Polish-educated immigrant who finished her medical training in Chicago.

Nowak had decertified a woman who was a long-standing patient of a Chicago home health company.

In her chart, Nowak wrote: “We met at the front of the patient’s house. She was coming back from grocery shopping with very heavy bags of groceries in her both arms. She walked from the train station three blocks. No complaints about any problem.”

But Gumila, 45, a registered nurse, overruled Nowak and recertified the woman as homebound, court records show.

Doctor at Home followed a standard playbook for fraud: Falsely certify patients as homebound and in need of nursing care, submit fraudulent bills to Medicare — and profits flow.

There are few checks and balances.

Unlike most branches of medicine where physician referrals are necessary to qualify for insurance coverage, Medicare allows home health agencies to recruit patients before they are certified for care. In Chicago, federal records show, this has spawned a shadow market of patient brokers who troll grocery stores, bus stops, churches and food pantries in search of susceptible adults.

Physician Rogelio Cabrera, who was controlling owner of a home health company, told federal investigators that illegal kickbacks for new patients were commonplace.

The federal Anti-Kickback Statute prohibits payments to induce or reward patient referrals under Medicare or Medicaid. Nonetheless, at least 15 Chicago-area physicians have been charged or convicted of accepting or paying kickbacks involving home health patients in the last seven years, according to a Tribune analysis of federal court records.

Cabrera doled out $500,000 to area physicians for patient referrals to Romyst Home Health Care, court records show. Cabrera, now deceased, was convicted in 2014 on a federal felony count of conspiracy to defraud.

“I discovered that most physicians were expecting to be paid in exchange for referring patients to the home health care business,” Cabrera told federal prosecutors. “It had effectively become a way of life for those physicians, and we felt we had no choice but to accede to their requests.”

Gumila’s scheme needed pliable physicians to make everything work.

As a condition of employment, physicians signed over control of patient files to her. Physicians’ signatures were digitally scanned and applied by Gumila and her staff to medical records; doctors were often unaware what services were billed in their names, according to court records.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Lee, who handled Gumila’s case, told the court that when doctors and physician assistants discharged patients who did not qualify for services, Gumila overruled some and ignored others. When clerical staff raised concerns about fraudulent activities, Gumila lied to some and kept information away from others.

And, Lee said, as other home health companies were charged with federal crimes over the years, Gumila “viewed it not as a wake-up call but as an opportunity to expand her company.”

Gumila shared patient files, filled with personal details, to unlicensed accomplices based in the Philippines, where patient files were altered and manipulated to reap higher payouts, according to court records. Prosecutors found dozens of email communications from overseas accomplices who were falsely identified as nurses.

Doctor at Home often billed Medicare at the highest levels, a fraudulent practice called up-coding, a government audit found. A short visit generated a $29.40 payment; a longer visit tallied $71.31 in reimbursement.

Gumila was found guilty by a federal jury in 2016 of fraud that totaled $15.6 million and sentenced to 72 months in prison. She has appealed her conviction.

The doctor who balked at certifying a healthy patient — Ewa Novak — followed a different path. Nowak quit her job shortly after her meeting with Gumila.

She then found employment with another Chicago medical group but quit after three months, she testified in Gumila’s criminal trial, because “they were defrauding Medicare.”

Next, she lasted one day at another health care company because of pressure to commit fraud, she testified.

She landed a third job with another Chicago-area physician-staffing company but resigned three months later after witnessing fraudulent practices involving home health patients, according to her testimony.

Nowak, who wishes to keep details of her life private, maintains her physician’s license but said she no longer works in health care.


Illinois makes it easy for bad doctors to prosper.

Department of Public Health officials say 759 private businesses offering home health services held state licenses as of September this year, including agencies that provide nurse staffing, housekeepers or personal aides.

But physician-staffing companies are exempt from the state licensing process — and from even minimal oversight such as unannounced inspections. That’s because in Illinois and many states, businesses that dispatch physicians-for-hire to patients’ residences are not legally defined as a home health company, even though these companies have been growing in number and influence.

Since 2012, at least 10 physician-staffing companies, including Mobile Doctors, have been federally convicted in some of Chicago’s largest home health care fraud cases — a higher number than any other metropolitan area, a Tribune analysis of federal cases found.

None was licensed by Illinois as a home health company. None was subject to periodic state surveys. All profited at the expense of taxpayers and patients.

Historically, physician-staffing companies played minor roles in home health care, relegated to certifying patients for Medicare.

“Physician staffing companies are not licensed as home health agencies because they are not providing home health services,” a Public Health Department spokeswoman said.

But the Tribune found a new breed of profiteers has popped up in recent years, focused solely on home care while billing Medicare for repeated examinations, prescriptions and medical diagnostic tests.

Those types of firms can play a central role when there’s fraud. The Chicago area has more physician-staffing businesses convicted of health crimes than any metropolitan area nationally, according to a Tribune analysis of every federal case involving home health care fraud from the last three years.

Under the regulatory loophole, Mobile Doctors was not required to obtain a home health license or subjected to state oversight, despite conducting in-home examinations and providing diagnostic care to tens of thousands of patients across six states.

Owner Dike Ajiri, a former collegiate rugby player, rented a nondescript brick building on North Elston Avenue in 2008 and partnered with 300 home health companies to examine and certify patients for Medicare-paid care.

His go-to physician was Koroma, one of 19 Chicago-area physicians convicted of felony home health crimes in the last five years, the Tribune found.

“Dr. Koroma has been invaluable in his willingness to sign orders,” Ajiri wrote in a 2009 staff email. “He has also been willing to sign various orders for various things which we could not get the primary doctor to sign.”

In 2012, for instance, Koroma purportedly conducted 4,176 in-home visits that spanned from 40 to 75 minutes, according to Medicare claims data. If true, Koroma visited an average of 11 patients every day, including weekends and holidays.

Federal billings also reflect Koroma’s approval for 3,700 ultrasound tests, which federal prosecutors charged were largely conducted to drive up profits for Mobile Doctors.

Koroma, 68, was found guilty by a jury of two felony counts of health care fraud involving Medicare and two felony counts of making false statements; he was sentenced last year to 40 months in prison. Since he never became a U.S. citizen, he is expected to be deported after his prison term to Sierra Leone.

Ajiri pleaded guilty in 2015 to a felony count of health care fraud involving Medicare, was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $1.8 million in restitution.

Even when companies are licensed as home health agencies, regulatory oversight has been needlessly fragmented between federal and state agencies, which often failed to share case information involving violations, enforcement records show.

State health department oversight focuses primarily on administrative paperwork rules and pays little attention to financial fraud, which is delegated to federal oversight.

Inspections occur every three years, long enough for home health companies to collect millions of public dollars and disappear without warning.

That’s how the state issued a clean bill of health to a home health agency that is linked to a federal criminal investigation.

In 2013, the owners of Pro Vita Home Care in Lincolnwood closed up and disappeared after federal regulators demanded repayment of millions of dollars that allegedly were improperly paid by Medicare, federal records show.

FBI officials launched an investigation. But one of the Pro Vita owners purchased the license of an existing home health agency located just 2 miles away and reopened as Lincoln Park Home Health Care in Chicago, state and federal enforcement records show.

State public health officials, who were unaware of the federal investigation, also searched for the whereabouts of the owners who had failed to renew the Pro Vita license.

But as one arm of the Public Health Department searched for the owners, another arm of the department readily approved the license transfer, state records show.

Detection should have been easy. On the application for a new license, under previous experience, an owner and several staff members listed their years of work at the abandoned company.

As a result of the Tribune finding, public health officials said they plan to modify state regulations to require a more thorough background check on previous employment.

Each year on average, at least half a dozen home health businesses are abandoned without notice, the whereabouts of owners unknown, state records show.

Unlike other major branches of health care, which use the web to provide information on enforcement actions and surveys, oversight of Illinois home health care is conducted largely without public notification.

Instead, the public is required to file a formal public records request to view even basic information about a home health business, such as ownership, enforcement history and quality rankings. Requests can take weeks to fill.

The Tribune filed multiple requests to obtain even aggregate statistics, such as how many surveys and complaint investigations are conducted each year.

Each year, health department officials survey about 163 businesses and conduct 53 complaint investigations. Officials substantiated minor violations, on average, in less than 1 in 5 cases, which were resolved with written plans of correction.

A department spokeswoman acknowledged that “no major enforcement actions have been taken against home health agencies” in the last five years.


The once-moribund home health industry burst to life in 2007 as government programs shifted funding to “aging in place” strategies as a way to shorten or avoid costly hospital and nursing home admissions.

By 2013, as new home health companies flooded into Chicago, alarmed federal regulators banned Illinois from issuing new licenses, marking the nation’s first home health care moratorium, which expanded to Florida, Michigan and Texas — other hot spots for fraud.

“Health care fraud has been a significant problem in Chicago for years,” federal prosecutor Lee said.

Today, Cook County harbors more home health companies than the entire and more populous state of New York, Tribune analysis found.

Significant federal resources are now focused on home health fraud in Chicago, including an investigative strike team and a prosecutorial unit dedicated to health fraud cases.

In the last seven years, home health care fraud charges have been filed against 96 people — including physicians, nurses, recruiters and owners — involving two dozen home health or physician staffing companies throughout the Chicago area, the Tribune’s analysis of federal court records show.

Nonetheless, federal studies show, the rate of fraud remains dauntingly high. Marshaling limited resources, prosecutors often focus on the most blatant violators. But hundreds of smaller co-conspirators have gone free so far, the analysis shows.

At least 357 active home health companies in the Chicago area have been linked to potential financial fraud by federal investigators but never charged, the Tribune found.

This isn’t just a Chicago problem. In 2014 congressional testimony, Gary Cantrell, a deputy inspector general for U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, acknowledged, “Since 2012, we have closed over 2,200 investigative complaints because of lack of resources.”

But it’s not just resources that are at issue; federal regulations play a role in making home health fraud so tempting.

Under Medicare, home health companies can bill in advance for a portion of estimated costs of patient care. Accounts are later reconciled, but it can take years for federal auditors to catch up to savvy crooks.

In an effort to thwart false claims, federal officials in 2016 ordered Illinois companies to justify patient billings before claims were submitted. Officials planned to expand the program to Florida in March this year, then the nation.

The Illinois HomeCare & Hospice Council argued that pre-payment reform was too broad and costly for lawful providers confronted with an avalanche of new paperwork.

“We support the moratorium. We want more enforcement,” said Executive Director Sara Ratcliffe, whose trade organization represents 160 home health agencies that serve a majority of Illinois’ in-home patients.

But the government’s reform unfairly punished legitimate businesses, she said, akin to disciplining the whole class for the actions of one student.

The reform measure also encountered fierce bipartisan resistance from Florida U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson, bolstered by lobbying powerhouses like the American Hospital Association.

Then-U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, following a Trump administration mandate to eliminate regulations deemed burdensome to business, suspended the Illinois reform in March 31 this year.

With the failure of billing reform, it’s up to prosecutors and the licensing moratorium to stave off fraud.

But if the moratorium was meant to prevent new operators from entering the field, it’s falling short. Existing licenses — and the patients that come with them — are routinely brokered over the internet.

“Do you desire to own a Home Health Care in the State of Illinois but cannot obtain a license due to ONGOING MORATORIUM?” touted a recent Chicago listing. “SAY NO MORE!”

Twitter: @MJBerens1

How the Tribune conducted its investigation

To examine the home health care industry, the Tribune first obtained licensing information for 819 private home health companies from the state Department of Public Health. Records revealed that health officials had issued too many licenses too fast with a minimal bar to entry — a $25 state fee with no background check required.

Licensing files were supplemented by research that included public record requests for survey reports, complaint investigations and enforcement actions.

The Tribune also gathered seven years of federal court cases from U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, which included exhibits encompassing internal memos, emails, audio recordings, videos and transcripts. Court files were cataloged in a database to track dozens of felony cases and 98 criminal defendants, creating a reporting tool that was used to track patterns and frequency of fraud.

The Tribune also analyzed millions of patient billing claims obtained from the Centers of Medicare & Medicaid Services, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. A variety of publicly available databases were used to track individual billing claims by home health companies and physicians, which also detailed types of prescriptions and medical tests. No identifying patient information was involved.

Medicare data are differentiated through the use of alphanumeric codes under the Health Insurance Prospective Payment System, or HIPPS. The Tribune analyzed data with 10 different codes that tracked in-home physician visits with new and established patients. Three other codes were used to determine how often physicians billed, and for how much, to certify patients for home health care or to review patient files.

From L.Ewing/FB: Great case law on attacking DCFS/DHS social workers that lie on the stand








1.) Costanich v. Dept. of Social and Health Services, 627 F.3d 1101, at 1108-1109 (December 3, 2010).

2.) Costanich v. Wash. State Dep’t of Soc. & Health Servs., 138 Wash. App. 547, 156 P.3d 232 (App. Ct. 2007).

3.) Jones v. State, 170 Wash.2d 338, 242 P.3d 825, 831-32 (2010)

4.) Beltran v. Santa Clara County, 514 F.3d 906 (9th Cir. 2008).

5.) Kalina v. Fletcher, No. 95-36129, 93 F.3d 653; 1996 U.S. App. LEXIS 21488; 96 Cal. Daily Op. Service 6255; 96 Daily Journal DAR 10251 ( Ninth Circuit, August 22, 1996).

6.) Kalina v. Fletcher, No. 96-792, 522 U.S. 118, 118 S. Ct. 502, 139 L. Ed. 2d 471, 1997 U.S. LEXIS 7498; 66 U.S.L.W. 4031; 97 Cal. Daily Op. Service 9233; 97 Daily Journal DAR 14869; 1997 Colo. J. C.A.R. 3203; 11 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 258 (December 10, 1997).

7.) Austin v. Borel, 830 F.2d 1356, 1361-63 (5th Cir. 1987)

8.) Snell v. Tunnell, 920 F.2d 673 (10th Cir. 1990.)


1.) Kalina v. Fletcher, 93 F.3d 653 ( 9th Cir., August 22, 1996).

2.) Beltran v. Santa Clara County, 514 F.3d 906 (9th Cir. 2008).

3.) Costanich v. Dept. of Social and Health Services, 627 F.3d 1101, at 1108-1109 (December 3, 2010).

4.) Stoot v. City of Everett, 582 F.3d 910 (9th Cir. 2009).

5.) McSherry v. City of Long Beach, 560 F.3d 1125 (9th Cir. 2009).

6.) Whitaker v. Garcetti, 486 F.3d 572 (9th Cir. 2007).

7.) Rogers v. County of San Joaquin, 487 F.3d 1288 (9th Cir. 2007).

8.) Galen v. County of Los Angeles, 477 F.3d 652 (9th Cir. 2007)

9.) KRL v. Moore, 384 F.3d 1105 (9th Cir. 2004).

10.) Miller v. Gamie, 335 F.3d 898 (9th Cir. 2003).

11.) Gausvik v. Perez, 345 F.3d 813 (9th Cir. 2003).

12.) Butler v. Elle, 281 F.3d 1014 (9th Cir. 2002).

13.) Galbraith v. County of Santa Clara, 307 F.3d 1119 (9th Cir. 2002).

14.) Cruz v. Kauai County, 279 F.3d 1064 (9th Cir. 2002).

15.) Billington v. Smith, 292 F.3d 1177, 1183 (9th Cir.2002).

16.) Paine v. City of Lompoc, 265 F.3d 975 (9th Cir. 2001)

17.) Mabe v. San Bernadino County Department of Public Social Services, 237 F.3d 1101 (9th Cir. 2001).

18.) Devereaux v. Abbey, 263 F.3d 1070 (9th Cir. 2001).

19.) Jackson v. City of Bremerton, 268 F.3d 646 (9th Cir. 2001).

20.) Deorle v. Rutherford, 272 F.3d 1272, 1286 (9th Cir.2001).

21.) Radcliffe v. Rainbow Constr. Co., 254 F.3d 772 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, ___ U.S. ___, 122 S.Ct. 545, 151 L.Ed.2d 423 (2001).

22.) Jeffers v. Gomez, 267 F.3d 895, 903 (9th Cir.2001).

23.) Devereaux v. Perez, 218 F.3d 1045 (9th Cir. 2000).

24.) Wallis v. Spencer, 202 F.3d 1126 (9th Cir. 2000).

25.) Weiner v. San Diego County, 210 F.3d 1025 (9th Cir. 2000).

26.) Schenk v. Hartford, 204 F.3d 1187, 1195 (9th Cir.2000).

27.) Mena v. City of Simi Valley, 226 F.3d 1031, 1036 (9th Cir.2000).

28.) Calabretta v. Floyd, 189 F.3d 808 (9th Cir. 1999).

29.) Hodgers-Durgin v. de la Vina, 199 F.3d 1037, 1040 n. 1 (9th Cir.1999).

30.) Nunez v. City of Los Angeles, 147 F.3d 867 (9th Cir. 1998).

31.) Lombardi v. City of El Cajon, 117 F.3d 1117 (9th Cir. 1997).

32.) Liston v. County of Riverside, 120 F.3d 965 (9th Cir. 1997).

33.) Johnson v. Knowles, 113 F.3d 1114 (9th Cir. 1997).

34.) Osolinski v. Kane, 92 F.3d 934 (9th Cir. 1996).

35.) Carnell v. Grimm, 74 F.3d 977 (9th Cir. 1996).

36.) Hervey v. Estes, 65 F.3d 784 (9th Cir. 1995).

37.) Allen v. Sakai, 48 F.3d 1082 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, ___ U.S. ___ 115 S.Ct. 1695, 132 L.Ed.2d 559 (1995).

38.) Grossman v. City of Portland, 33 F.3d 1200, 1209 (9th Cir.1994).

39.) Act Up!/Portland v. Bagley, 988 F.2d 868 (9th Cir. 1993).

40.) Gillette v. Delmore, 979 F.2d 1342 (9th Cir. 1992).

41.) Branch v. Tunnell, 937 F.2d 1382 (9th Cir. 1991)

42.) Fuller v. M.G. Jewelry, 950 F.2d 1437, 1446 (9th Cir.1991).

43.) Kennedy v. L.A. Police Department, 887 F.2d 920 (9th Cir. 1989).

44.) Burns v. County of King, 883 F.2d 819 (9th Cir. 1989).

45.) Wood v. Ostrander, 879 F.2d 583 (9th Cir. 1989).

46.) United Steelworkers of Am. v. Phelps Dodge Corp., 865 F.2d 1539 (9th Cir. 1989).

47.) Gorenc v. Salt River Project Agric. Improvement and Power Dist., 869 F.2d 503, 505 (9th Cir.1989).

48.) Collins v. Womancare, 878 F.2d 1145 (9th Cir. 1989).

49.) Benigni v. City of Hemet, 853 F.2d 1519 (9th Cir. 1988).

50.) Leer v. Murphy, 844 F.2d 628 (9th Cir. 1988).

51.) Meyers v. Contra Costa County Dep’t of Soc. Servs., 812 F.2d 1154 (9th Cir. 1987).

52.) King v. Massarweh, 782 F.2d 825 (9th Cir. 1986).

53.) Ashelman v. Pope, 793 F.2d 1072 (9th Cir. 1986).

54.) Ashelman v. Pope, 778 F.2d 539 (9th Cir. 1985).

55.) United States v. Motamedi, 767 F.2d 1403 (9th Cir. 1985).

55.) McKenzie v. Lamb, 738 F.2d 1005 (9th Cir. 1984).

56.) United States v. Davis, 714 F.2d 896 (9th Cir. 1983).

58.) Howerton v. Gabica, 708 F.2d 380 (9th Cir. 1983).

59.) Richardson v. Koshiba, 693 F.2d 911 (9th Cir. 1982).


Hope v. Pelzer, 536 U.S. 730, 743, 122 S.Ct. 2508, 153 L.Ed.2d 666 (2002).







“We conclude that deliberately fabricating evidence in civil child abuse proceedings violates the Due Process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment when a liberty or property interest is at stake, and that genuine issues of material fact exist on the question of deliberate fabrication.. The Washington State Supreme Court has also recently concluded that “the deprivation of liberty based on fabricated evidence is a violation of a person’s constitutional right to due process” in the criminal context, and that this principle “applies with equal force in a civil proceeding” adjudicating a pharmacist’s license, reasoning that a pharmacist’s professional and business licenses are property interests protected by the due process clause. Jones v. State, 170 Wash.2d 338, 242 P.3d 825, 831-32 (2010). . . . In Beltran, we held that social workers are “not entitled to absolute immunity from claims that they fabricated evidence during an investigation or made false statements in a dependency petition affidavit that they signed under the penalty of perjury, because such actions aren’t similar to discretionary decisions about whether to prosecute.” 514 F.3d at 908. We analogized the social worker to “[a] prosecutor [who] doesn’t have absolute immunity if he fabricates evidence during a preliminary investigation before he could properly claim to be acting as an advocate, or makes false statement in a sworn affidavit in support of an application for an arrest warrant.” Id. (citing Buckley v. Fitzsimmons, 509 U.S. 259, 275, 113 S.Ct. 2606, 125 L.Ed.2d 209 (1993); Kalina, 522 U.S. at 129-30, 118 S.Ct. 502). “[A]s prosecutors and others investigating criminal matters have no absolute immunity for their investigatory conduct, a fortiori, social workers conducting investigations have no such immunity.” Beltran, 514 F.3d at 908-09. Duron’s argument that in filing the declaration, she acted as a witness, and therefore deserves absolute immunity under Burns v. County of King, 883 F.2d 819, 822-23 (9th Cir. 1989), is unpersuasive in light of Beltran’s clearly controlling conclusion to the contrary. Thus, Duron is not entitled to absolute immunity from the claims that she deliberately fabricated evidence in her investigation and made false statements in the sworn declaration submitted in support of the guardianship termination proceedings.” Costanich v. Dept. of Social and Health Services, 627 F.3d 1101, at 1108-1109 (December 3, 2010). And;

“In Hodorowsky v. Ray, 844 F.2d 1210, 1214 (5th Cir.1988), the court determined that the seizure of children in the absence of a court order under Texas law would not be protected by absolute immunity. The court reasoned that seizure without a court order in the face of an immediate danger seems to us more akin to the function of a police than prosecutors. Policemen, not prosecutors investigate dangerous situations and are charged with the duty, if necessary to prevent injury. BUT POLICEMEN, LIKE MOST OTHER EXECUTIVE OFFICIALS ARE ORDINARILY NOT PROTECTED BY ABSOLUTE IMMUNITY . . . UNLESS THEY ARE ENGAGED IN A FUNCTION INTEGRAL TO THE JUDICIAL PROCESS, SUCH AS TESTIFYING AS A WITNESS. . . . Likewise, in Austin v. Borel, 830 F.2d 1356, 1361-63 (5th Cir. 1987), the court determined that the filing of an allegedly false verified complaint, which under Louisiana law initiated temporary custody of a child, but did not initiate the judicial process concerning need of care proceedings, was not entitled to absolute immunity. THE COURT ANALOGIZED THE FILING OF A VERIFIED COMPLAINT BY A CHILD ABUSE WORKER TO THE SEEKING OF AN ARREST WARRANT BY A POLICE OFFICER, BECAUSE ABSOLUTE IMMUNITY WOULD BE INAPPROPRIATE IN THE LATER CASE, SO TOO WOULD IT BE INAPPROPRIATE IN THE FORMER. Austin, 830 F.2d at 1362.” Snell v. Tunnell, 920 F.2d 673 (10th Cir. 1990.). And

“The Fourth Amendment requires that arrest warrants be based “upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation”–a requirement that may be satisfied by an indictment returned by a grand jury, but not by the mere filing of criminal charges in an unsworn information signed by the prosecutor. Gerstein v. Pugh, 420 U.S. 103, 117 (1975); See also Coolidge v. New Hampshire, 403 U.S. 443 (1971). Accordingly, since most prosecutions in Washington are commenced by information, Washington law requires, in compliance with the constitutional command, that an arrest warrant be supported by an affidavit “or sworn testimony establishing the grounds for issuing the warrant.” Washington Criminal Rule 2.2(a) (1995) provides: “A warrant of arrest must be supported by an affidavit, . . . or sworn testimony establishing the grounds for issuing the warrant. . . . The court must determine there is probable case . . . before issuing the warrant.” Kalina v. Fletcher, 522 U.S. 118, at 129 (December 10, 1997). And;

“We think the right at issue in this case is appropriately identified as the right not to be deprived of liberty as a result of the fabrication of evidence by a government officer acting in a investigating capacity. Understood this way, we conclude that the right at issue is a constitutional right, provided that the deprivation of liberty of which Zahrey complains can be shown to be a result of Coffey’s fabrication of evidence.” Zahrey v. Coffey, 221 F.3d 342, at 349 (July 20, 2000). And;

“The defendants in Calabretta maintained, primarily, that the search and seizure at the family home was reasonable because “any check on the welfare of children” triggered the “exigent circumstance[s]” exception to the Fourth Amendment’s requirement . Id. at 811. They also came at the problem another way, arguing that traditional Fourth Amendment protections do not apply to child abuse investigations at all, as such investigations constitute administrative searches requiring probable cause nor a warrant. Id. At 812. We rejected both arguments, holding both that traditional Fourth Amendment protections apply to child abuse investigations and that the family’s right to be free of warrantless searches and seizures in their home, even within the context of a child abuse investigation, was clearly established at the time of the incident. See id. At 817. We have reaffirmed our holding in Calabretta twice, noting that although the crime of child sexual abuse “may be heinous . . . [this] does not provide cause for the state to ignore the rights of the accused or any other parties.” Wallis v. Spencer, 202 F.3d 1126, 1130 (9th Cir.2000); See also Rogers v. County of San Joaquin, 487 F.3d 1288 (9th Cir.2007).” Green v. Camreta, 588 F.3d 1011, at1022-1023 (9th Cir. 2009). And;


“The same legal standard applies in evaluating Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment claims for the removal of children. Wallis v. Spencer, 202 F.3d 1126, 1137 n. 8 (9th Cir.2000).” Brokaw v. Mercer County, 235 F.3d 1000, at 1019 (7th Cir. 2000). And;

“There is no ‘social worker’ exception to the Fourth Amendment.” Jones v. Hunt, 410 F.3d 1221, at page 1225 (10th Cir. 2005). And;

“The courts may not use a different standard other than probable cause for the issuance of such orders.” Griffin v. Wilcox, 483 U.S. 868 (1987). And;

See also Marshall v. Barlow’s, Inc. citing Camera v. Municipal Court, 387 U.S. 523, 528-529 (1967) and See v. City of Seattle, 387 U.S. 541, 543 (1967) holding that: “. . . probable cause has not been abandoned as a requirement . . . .” MARSHALL v. BARLOW’S, INC., 436 U.S. 307, 310, 315 (May 23, 1978).

“The boundary for defendant’s conduct establishing the “contours of the right” involved is the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches. Anderson, 483 U.S. at 639-40, 107 S.Ct. 3038-39. In 1988, the case law had unimpeachably established “the cardinal principle that searches conducted outside the judicial process, without prior approval by judge or magistrate, are per se unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment.” Franz v. Lytle, 997 F.2d 784, at 787 (10th Cir. 1993). And;

“The Fourth Amendment’s search and seizure provisions are applicable to the defendants through the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause. See e.g., Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643, 655, 81 S.Ct. 1684, 6 L.Ed.2d 1081 (1961).” Tenenbaum v. Williams, 193 F.3d 581, at 602 (2nd Cir. 1999). And;

“Caseworkers investigating child abuse, however, like police officers, routinely conduct investigative seizures and searches. Requiring familiarity with the Fourth Amendment will not, therefore, be unduly burdensome.” Tenenbaum v. Williams, 862 F.Supp. 962 at 976 (E.D.N.Y. 1994). And;

“In the context of a seizure of a child by the State during an abuse investigation, as the district court recognized, see Tenenbaum I, 862 F.Supp. at 974 n. 7, a court order is the equivalent of a warrant.” Tenenbaum v. Williams, 193 F.3d 581, at 602 (2nd Cir. 1999). And;
“We have held that the Fourth Amendment regulates social workers’s civil investigations, . . . Wooley v. City of Baton Rouge, 211 F.3d 913, 925 (5th Cir. 2000) (“[I]dentical fourth amendment standards apply in both the criminal and civil contexts.”); . . . In Franks, 717 F.2d at 186, we applied the same Fourth Amendment probable cause standard to regulate the conduct of both a police officer and a social worker.” Doe v. Texas Department of Protective & Regulatory Services, 299 F.3d 395 (9th Cir. 2002). See also Gates v. Texas Dept. Of Protective & Reg. Services, 537 F.3d 404, at 420 (5th Cir. 2008) (holding “that it is well established in this circuit that the Fourth Amendment regulates social workers’ civil investigations.) And;

“The strictures of the Fourth Amendment apply to child welfare workers, as well as all other governmental employees. Brokaw v. Mercer County, 235 F.3d 1000, 1010 n. 4 (7th Cir.2000); Darryl H. v. Coler, 801 F.2d 893, 900 (7th Cir.2986).” Doe v. Heck, 327 F.3d 492, at 509 (7th Cir. 2003). And;

“The Second, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits have equated the procedures required under the Fourteenth Amendment with those required under the Fourth Amendment for searches and seizures related to child abuse investigations. . . . Wallis v. Spencer, 202 F.3d 1126, 1137 n. 8 (9th Cir.2000) (noting that “the same legal standard applies in evaluating Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment claims for the removal of children”); Tenenbaum, 193 F.3d at 605 (“Whatever Fourth Amendment analysis is employed, then, it results in a test for present purposes similar to the procedural due-process standard.”).” Gates v. Texas Dept. of Protective & Reg. Services, 537 F.3d 404, at 434-435 (5th Cir. 2008). And;

“We have reaffirmed our holding in Calabretta twice, noting that although the crime of child sexual abuse “may be heinous . . . [this] does not provide cause for the state to ignore the rights of the accused or any other parties.” Wallis v. Spencer, 202 F.3d 1126, 1130 (9th Cir.2000); See also Rogers v. County of San Joaquin, 487 F.3d 1288 (9th Cir.2007).” Green v. Camreta, 588 F.3d 1011, at1022-1023 (9th Cir. 2009). And;


1.) FRANKS v. DELAWARE, 438 U.S. 154, 92 S.Ct. 2674, 57 L.Ed.2d 667 (1978).

2.) GIGLIO v. UNITED STATES, 405 U.S. 150, 92 S.Ct. 763, 31 L.Ed.2d 104 (February 24, 1972).

3.) NAPUE v. ILLINOIS, 360 U.S. 264, 269, 79 S. Ct. 1173, 3 L.Ed.2d 1217 (June 15, 1959).

4.) MOONEY v. HOLOHAN, 294 U.S. 103, 55 S.Ct. 340, 55 S.Ct. 340, 79 L.Ed. 791 (1935).

5.) PYLES v. KANSAS, 317 U.S. 213, 215-216, 63 S.Ct. 177, 178, 87 L.Ed. 214 (1942).

6.) ALCORTA v. TEXAS, 355 U.S. 28, 78 S.Ct. 103, 2 L.E. 29 (November 12, 1957).

7.) UNITED STATES v. AGURS, 427 U.S. 97, 103, 49 L.Ed.2d 342, 96 S. Ct. 2392 (June 24, 1976).

8.) BRADY v. MARYLAND, 373 U.S 83, 83 S.Ct. 1194, 10 L.Ed.2d 215 (May 13, 1963).




1.) United States v. Wallach, 935 F.2d 445, 456 (2nd Cir., Aug. 13, 1991).

2.) United States v. Stofsky, 527 F.2d 237, 243 (Nov. 7, 1975).

3.) United States v. Sperling, 506 F.2d 1323, 1333 (2nd Cir. 1974), cert. denied, 420 U.S. 962, 95 S.Ct. 1351, 43 L.Ed.2d 439 (1975).

4.) Moore v. Illinois, 408 U.S. 786, 797-98, 92 S.Ct. 2562, 33 L.Ed.2d 706 (1972).

For more information, please contact the author at:

Luis Ewing Home Office Phone: 1 – (360) 335-1322

Luis Ewing Cellular Phone: 1 – (253) 226-3741

Luis Ewing SKYPE: <luisewing>

E-mail: <>

E-mail: <>

E-mail: <>

NOTE: My business hours are between 1:00 PM through 10:30 PM on Pacific Standard Time, but you can call up to 12:00 AM Midnight if it is important!
Preslie Hardwick v. Marcia Vreeken, No. 15-55563

* * *

County of Orange officials appeal from the denial of their…

From Ken and Judy Ditkowsky–home health care fraud flourishes in Chicago

It appears that Judy found a Chicago Tribune article that is worth reading, to wit:
The article unfortunately did not reference the four GAO reports to Congress,  the umpteen disclosures in the Probate Sharks, NASGA, AAAPG, MaryGSykes blog, the Philip Esformes bullion dollar fraud case, etc.    The authors are reinventing the wheel; however, it is an important start and an update on exactly where we are in the human trafficking scandal.    (As reference point we are one meter into the 250 meter dash! and every one is reinventing the wheel)
Even though the Philip Esformes case was covered by the Chicago Tribune, and the Seth Gillman case received mention the “media investigators” failed to build on what should have been learned from the said cases.
Maybe our best hope is the Department of Treasury (Internal Revenue Service).    The trillion dollars in ‘booty’ that the Political and Judicial elite assign and commit overt acts to obtain is TAXABLE INCOME and each co-conspirator whether in violation of 18 USCA 371 or otherwise enjoys JOINT AND SEVERAL LIABILITY.   Thus, a Jerome Larkin, who as his overt act filed false and untrue pleadings in attorney disciplinary cases incurred joint and several liability for the FEDERAL AND STATE INCOME TAXES earned when the miscreants that he was covering up for stole personal and Federal funds.
The lesson that Mr. Larkin and each of the POLITICALLY AND JUDICIALLY connected co-conspirators must learn (and/or be reminded of) is the fact that a PUBLIC OFFICE is a PUBLIC TRUST!      No one put a gun to Mr. Larkin’s head and demanded that he file false pleadings concerning Ms. Denison, Mr. Amu, yours truly, *****.    Lakin knew (or should have known) of the very obvious FRAUD in the Sykes case (09 P 4585), the Gore case, ****.    Larkin, knew what he was doing when he acted.   Ditto for the guardians, the guardians ad litem, the attorneys for the guardian and the presiding corrupt jurists!      THEY SHOULD AT LEAST PAY THEIR JOINT AND SEVERAL SHARE OF THE BOOTY!!      Illinois is on the verge of Bankruptcy!     It is time for the Political establishment to pay their fair share on the booty earned from trafficking in the ELDERLY and the Disabled!
Ken Ditkowsky

From Ken Ditkowsky–Federal Report shows that Illinois leads in nursing home abuses cases

It would be very nice to be naive.   A naive person could believe that the ARDC is interested in protecting the public from dishonest lawyers.   A naive person would believe the words and phrases of Chicago’s mayor.    A naive person would believe that words of the candidates for governor and in particular believe that ‘fat man’ who tots his difficult childhood as the child of billionaires!   A naive person would believe that Chicago elections are honest and every vote counts!    **** Indeed, it would be nice to have just fallen off the cabbage truck!   BUT SUCH IS NOT THE CASE.
If I was ever naive, I was cured of the disease shortly after I received my law license and a Judge called my home and stated: “THE BID IS 5”    Of course I had no idea what he was talking about, BUT I SOON LEARNED.   I came of age when I did not pay the judge dollar one and I received an adverse decision.   If I was ever naive, it was cured when I went into the voting booth (shortly after my wife and I were married and we lived in a ‘working class’ neighborhood and found the democratic Party flunky in their with me prepared to help me vote.   When another democratic precinct captain came to my home to solicit my vote years later I agreed to vote for him.   I did – I wrote him in on the ballot!    If I was ever naive concerning elder cleansing, I was cured when I had occasion to examine the books and records of a nursing home operated by the Chicago cabal.   My one semester home study course in Accounting was sufficient to observe that actual costs of $2000.00 were overstated by a minimum of 500% and with normal overcharges the facilities reaped a fraud of about 700%.   The billion dollars that Philip Esformes allegedly stole from medicare demonstrates just how profitable the fraud has become.
The Lanre Amu attorney disciplinary case grinds at me.   Every time I hear our mayor tout how he and the Chicago Democratic machine are leaders in the fight for civil rights for all and are such champions of Civil Rights I CRINGE!    The outright racial discrimination suffered by Mr. Amu is not only outrageous but beyond the pale.    The Illinois Supreme Court, the IARDC, the Attorney General**** all are aware that Mr. Larkin filed totally false pleadings concerning Mr. Amu, and essentially charged him with practicing law while black.    (NB.  I make this statement because, shortly after Mr. Amu made his charges against the protected corrupt judge, CRAINS CHICAGO BUSINESS independently made the very same charges.    Worse yet – the wrongful exclusion of civil rights icon Diane Nash from the kangaroo disciplinary proceedings against JoAnne Denison was a racial incident that rivals that of BULL CONNOR!   The insult was never the subject of even the insincere apology that usually follows such an affront!
The media is not interested in HUMAN TRAFFICKING unless there is no election on the horizon that can interfere with the dominate political party and their Elite, or some group is challenging the status quo, but it exists.   Have you seen the following article in the Chicago Tribune or the Chicago Sun=Times?     \

AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File
The Health and Human Services Department building is seen in Washington, D.C. A government audit finds that more than 1 in 4 cases of possible sexual and physical abuse against nursing home patients apparently went unreported to police. The Health and Human Services Inspector General’s Office faults Medicare for failing to enforce a federal law that requires nursing homes to immediately notify police.
Posted August 28, 2017 2:30 PM

Federal report shows Illinois leads in nursing home abuse

By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar 
Associated Press writer

WASHINGTON — More than 1 in 4 cases of possible sexual and physical abuse against nursing home patients apparently went unreported to police, according to a government audit that faults Medicare for failing to enforce a federal law requiring immediate notification.

The Health and Human Services Inspector General’s Office was issuing an “early alert” Mondayon its findings from a large sampling of cases in 33 states. Investigators say Medicare needs to take corrective action immediately.

“We hope that we can stop this from happening to anybody else,” said Curtis Roy, an audit manager with the inspector general’s office, which investigates fraud, waste and abuse in the health-care system. The audit is part of a larger ongoing probe, and additional findings are expected, he said.

With some 1.4 million people living in U.S. nursing homes, quality is an ongoing concern. Despite greater awareness, egregious incidents still occur.

Using investigative data analysis techniques, auditors from the inspector general’s office identified 134 cases in which hospital emergency room records indicated possible sexual or physical abuse, or neglect, of nursing home residents. The incidents spanned a two-year period from 2015-2016.

Illinois had the largest number of incidents overall, with 17. It was followed by Michigan (13), Texas (9) and California (8).

In 38 of the total cases (28 percent), investigators could find no evidence in hospital records that the incident had been reported to local law enforcement, despite a federal law requiring prompt reporting by nursing homes, as well as similar state and local requirements.

“Based on the records we had available to us, we could not determine that they had been reported to law enforcement,” Roy said.

The federal statute has been on the books more than five years, but investigators found that Medicare has not enforced its requirement to report incidents to police and other agencies, or risk fines of up to $300,000.

Nursing home personnel must immediately report incidents that involve a suspected crime, within a two-hour window if there’s serious bodily injury. Otherwise, authorities must be notified within 24 hours.

Medicare “has inadequate procedures to ensure that incidents of potential abuse or neglect of Medicare beneficiaries residing in (nursing homes) are identified and reported,” the inspector general’s report says.

In a statement, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said “nursing home resident safety is our priority and primary focus,” and it is committed “to ensure these vulnerable people are properly cared for and that all viable or alleged instances involving abuse or neglect are fully investigated and resolved.”

The agency said it has long required nursing homes to immediately report abuse and neglect to state officials, and it will have a formal response to the inspector general’s findings once the audit is complete.

The inspector general is urging Medicare to start systematically scouring computerized billing records for tell-tale signs of possible abuse of nursing home residents. Investigators used that approach to find the cases, matching emergency room and nursing home records.

Of the 38 unreported cases, 31 involved alleged or suspected rape or sexual abuse, about 4 out of 5.

But even among the 96 cases that were ultimately reported to police, investigators were unable to tell if the federal requirement for “immediate” notification was followed.

In one case classified as “reported to law enforcement,” an elderly woman with verbal and mobility limitations was taken to the emergency room after she was allegedly sexually assaulted by a male resident of the same nursing home. The report said two silver-dollar-sized bruises were noted on her right breast.

Nursing home staff had helped the woman bathe and change clothes after the incident. “These actions could have destroyed any evidence that may have been detected using the rape kit,” says the report.

Nursing home employees did not immediately report the incident to police, although the federal reporting requirement was in effect. The nursing home “should have reported the incident to law enforcement within two hours of witnessing the incident,” the report says.

Instead, the following day the nursing home contacted the woman’s family, who called the police, triggering an investigation.

Citing a separate probe by state officials, the inspector general’s report says the nursing home “contacted local law enforcement in an attempt to keep law enforcement from investigating the incident.”

The state’s own report found that the nursing home told police “we were required to report it but that we were doing our own internal investigation and did not need (police) to make a site visit … no one was interested in pressing charges.” The police continued their investigation.

The state later cited the nursing home for failing to immediately notify the patient’s doctor and family, as well as other violations of federal regulations. But state officials classified the incident as resulting in “minimum harm or potential for actual harm.”

No other details were provided in the federal report. The inspector general’s office reported all 134 cases to local police.

The number of nursing home residents is expected to grow in coming years as more people live into their 80s and 90s. Medicaid is the main payer for long-term care, while Medicare covers doctors’ services and hospital care for elderly people and the disabled.

This problem is the tip of the iceberg!     Dr. Sugar’s blog is reporting incidents of the human trafficking in FLORIDA,  NASGA,Probate Sharks ******  are reporting more incidents nationally, and JoAnne Denison’s MARYGSYKES and justice4all is detailing the JUDICIAL CORRUPTION AND OTHER CORRUPTIONS that makes the aforesaid trafficking so profitable.    NB.  The Illinois Supreme Court, the IARDC, and Mr. Larkin have made quite an effort to silence these outlets, but the brave soldiers who are resisting ELDER CLEANSING and its human trafficking protection are still standing tall.

I know that I sound like a broken record, but it is time for an HONEST INVESTIGATION to be followed by Honest and diligent law enforcement.   Sending Philip Esformes to jail is a token measure – the PUBLIC FIGURES (such as Jerome Larkin – who routinely files false disciplinary pleadings – see Mary Sykes case 09 P 4585 – is an important target as he enables the corrupt lawyers and judges who prey on the elderly (human trafficking) to prevail!)
While it is not politically correct, please allow me to wish you and yours a MERRY CHRISTMAS!****.
On Thursday, December 14, 2017, 9:18:41 AM CST, kenneth ditkowsky <> wrote:
took a while – saw this yesterday
What is going to be about this?

From FB: What is up with our Cook County Board–Tim Evans sues Preckwinkle?!?!

This is absolutely ridiculous.  With filing fees reaching $400 per case and the system being mostly computerized, how is it that the court system needs more money.

I think Evans should be suing Dorothy Brown to fully computerized the court system, put recording devices in every courtroom, provide computers to transcribe and put everything online like Pacer for 8 cents per page.

Pacer must be raking in millions.

The Federal Court system isn’t struggling, so why is Cook County so screwed up?

The key to all of this is getting rid of non tech savvy anyone in the court system and automating everything.

The beverage tax was a disaster.  The bag tax is just as bad.

What they really want (the Mayor and the Cook County President) is a tax on breathing Cook County air, so just go ahead and do that.

From Ken Ditkowsky–update status on Mary G Sykes 09 P 4585 case

To: White House <>, Chicago FBI <>, ……..
Subject: Fw: Re: MARY G SYKES
Date: Dec 6, 2017 10:59 AM
Few cases involve the infamy that this particular case has.   IT IS A MONUMENT TO PUBLIC CORRUPTION that is heretofore unmasked in American jurisprudence.    Indeed, judicial corruption has been exposed before, but, few cases match Sykes.
Please let me explain  –  The record documents in this case are replete with irrefutable evidence of FRAUD.     The miscreants were open and notorious in their misbehavior – in fact they were proud of it.    Let’s start with the service of summons.
Mary Sykes sought an order of protection from the person names as plenary guardian because she caught that person alleging stealing several thousand dollars from her.   The plenary guardian countered by filing a Petition for guardianship of Mary and REMOVED Mary from Cook County to DuPage County.   By Statute the petition should have been filed in DuPage Court as Mary was involuntarily in DuPage County.
Recognizing that even the Cook County Court looks with disfavor on kidnapping, the Petition for guardianship was filed in Cook County and the Sheriff was directed to serve Mary at an address that Mary no longer resided.    So open was the FRAUD that the miscreants shared the fraud with the guardian ad litem, and the guardian ad litem shared the information with the Judge.   In the file is a letter from GAL Cynthia Farenga reporting to the corrupt Judge that Mary is living in DuPage County and therefore they need a GAL who resided in DuPage.   Thus Adam Stern was appointed as the 2nd guardian in line.  He certainly was aware that he was party to a fraud, however, as the court record reveals this sham continued unabated.     Stern in an e-mail to Ms. Gloria Sykes makes it quite clear that he ‘drafted’ the order appointing a plenary guardian which the corrupt judge rubber stamped.    The transcripts even go so far as to reveal that Stern found a psychiatrist willing to sell out his license to (without examining Mary) would sign an affidavit that Mary was incompetent.
Of course Stern, Farenga, the corrupt judge et al knew that 755 ILCS 5/11a – 3 required proof by clear and convincing evidence of not only the incompetency of Mary, but the degree.  – THIS DID NOT BOTHER ANYONE —
It was clear that the Judge would protect the criminal enterprise going on.   Judge Connors so admitted this on page 91 of her Evidence Deposition.    As time has demonstrated JEROME LARKIN and the Illinois attorney registration and disciplinary commission = just like they attempted in the OPERATION GREYLORD scandal – were on the scene to thwart any HONEST INVESTIGATION and anyone examining the File.
To date the ‘swamp’ has been successful and Mary was killed off, 3 million dollars (plus or minus) stolen from Mary – sans any State or Federal Income taxes, hundreds of thousands of dollars stolen from Medicare, social security etc – sans Federal Income taxes etc.     The perfect crime.
Even though Gloria Sykes is a journalist  – –  NOT ONLY IS LAW ENFORCEMENT IMPOTENT but the media shuns this case ignoring the THREAT that it imposed on every single citizen!      The miscreants enjoy absolute immunity!!!!!
Letters, e-mails, personal appeals etc all fall on deaf ears!
So obscene is this attack by the miscreants in the Mary Sykes case on the core values of America that even with the STATE OF ILLINOIS on the verge of Bankruptcy the STATE is disinterested in seeking to collect the INCOME TAXES that are jointly and severally due from each of every member of the ‘conspiracy.’     The legislature would rather raise the your taxes rather than interfere with the profits stolen by the miscreants and each of them!    The demand for a HONEST INVESTIGATION was laughed at and ridiculed by JEROME LARKIN comparing it and the exposure of judicial corruption as being akin to yelling fire in a crowded theater.
Health care fraud comes with a 700% fraud surcharge — take a look at the Sykes case and it should be clear to all exactly why there is a 700% fraud surcharge and why Obamacare, Trumpcare etc ALL WILL FAIL!     (You should also get a clue as to why Illinois is on the verge of BANKRUPTCY!)

Ken Ditkowsky

From Joanne:

The Sykes case 09 P 4585 is hopelessly corrupt.  Mary Sykes was guardianized without service, without anyone reading her her rights and giving the required notices.  She wa not properly served as shown by the Record on Appeal.

Next, no hearing was held on her incompetency.  It was all allegations.  On the day of the “hearing” she was told to be quiet and her sisters and Gloria who tried to give testimony freely were not allowed to do so.  Judge Connors (someone is protecting her), did not require a doctor (MD) to testify to Mary’s incompetency.


Gloria’s former attorney, Jay Dolgin, asked Judge Connors for discovery prior to hearing.  She quipped, “why would you want that?” and denied his requested. He replied he wanted to find out Carolyn’s finances, if she had taken from Mary before, etc. And what about that Protective Order Mary filed.

Judge Connors did not care.

The case is replete with lack of due process, no service upon Mary or her elderly sisters.

At my trial, the ARDC had a fit because I prepared a “Table of Torts”–which is still valid today.

Gloria has had no accounting of the Trust which held her mother’s home and which was illegally broken to sell Mary’s home for “Mary’s care”, which really went to pay for a string of nursing home–a place where Mary never wanted to be per her advance directives, a Power of Attorney given to Gloria which was summarily terminate by Judge Connors without due process (Notice, Petition, Discovery and Hearing).

Another fit the ARDC had was over the fact Gloria finally, and after a huge long struggle and many years, was able to subpoena the “drill out” order for a safe deposit box that both Mary’s and Gloria’s name was on.  As soon as Carolyn Toerpe was appointed guardian, without telling the court or Gloria, she drilled out a safe deposit box containing hundreds of thousands of dollars in valuable coins.  Where are those coins?  Who has them?  No one knows because all discovery was quashed by both the ARDC and by the Probate Court.  Discovery of missing assets was not allowed.  Of course, there is no reason to look for assets when the entire court room knows they are being stolen.  By whom?  No one knows, but again, discovery and due process is never allowed when a court room is allowed.  The authorities will just say it’s a civil matter, even when the problem is happening right in the courtroom and there is no judicial oversight.

Today, someone sent me a law that the current president signed into law, DT.  You can read about it here.   $2.9 billioon is supposed to be used to fight elder abuse, but no where in this law does it attack the massive corruption in guardianship occurring right in our own nation’s court rooms.  This money is supposed to go to “training law enforcement” (that never gets involved anyway, and to “conducting research” which means there will be millions handed out in social justice grants–but these grants do not go to the NFP’s and NGO’s on the ground fighting this stuff (see my Wish List elsewhere on this blog), but it will go universities who collect data and research but really do nothing and don’t help people fight this stuff out in court or through the authorities demanding that the authorities investigate, return stolen/embezzled funds and indict.

You can see the law here, and thanks to Jinny Johnson for passing this along.

it’s  a law with no teeth and it looks like it is money that was given to certain friends and cronies for doing nothing about the real problem–abusive guardianships.


From LB and KKD: lawyer facing disbarrment over cronies in corrupt abusive guardianship case.

Illinois has the blood on it’s hands  of myself, Ditkowsky and Amu over exposing corruption in Cook County Illinois.

However, not to be outdone, is Barbara Stone protecting her mother in Miami Dade Florida, and for that she lost her license to practice law and her mother is still at risk. The case started when Barbara Stone filed a guardianship case in Miami, Florida when her brother forged hundreds of thousands in checks out of mom’s accounts.  Guardianship was to protect Mother; instead, that turned into a nightmare.

Next is Lisa Belanger in New York.  She was handling her 89 year old father’s estate when she got into some minor bickering with Melon Bank New York when they did not perform transfers promptly to pay his bills.  Next thing she knew, a third party attorney, accountant and GAL took charge of the estate draining millions from it in months.

Please read the below and pray for Mother Helen Stone and Lisa Belanger.






by Lonnie Brennan

“High-powered lawyers” is an understatement to describe the North Shore powerhouse of attorneys who have been accused of isolating and medicating retired Attorney Marvin H. Siegel of Boxford, Mass. in order to liquidate his estimated $7 million estate.


Mr. Siegel has been held as a virtual hostage in his own home, with 24/7 round-the-clock “guards” (medical providers), who, according to one of his daughters, have isolated the 89-year old from close family members for the past five years. Mr. Siegel was placed on lock-down through a court decree of unlimited powers granted to Attorney Brian T. Cuffe, courtesy of Judge Susan D. Ricci (who wrote the order while the presiding judge was on vacation in Italy).

Mr. Siegel’s nightmare is complicated, but highlights are contained in Parts 1, 2, and 3 in prior issues of The Boston Broadside.  In summary, he was involuntarily committed to a psychiatric facility (Whittier Pavilion in Haverhill, Mass.) by a doctor at Beverly Hospital, following a questionable ambulance transport from his house to the hospital. His evaluation was for potential Alzheimer’s onset. It has been charged that Brian Nagle of BNY Mellon, which held the bulk of Mr. Siegel’s multi-million dollar estate, dispatched Atty. Edward Tarlow and his associate Catherine Watson to the psychiatric facility where, according to Mr. Siegel’s attorney daughter, Lisa Siegel Belanger, Mr. Siegel s was administered drugs and lied to, and unwittingly signed away years of careful, deliberate family and estate planning documentation.

Mr. Siegel later experienced a second involuntary commitment at Merrimack Valley Hospital half-a-year later, the daughter charges, after the newly signed documents were used by Attorney Cuffe to further drug and control the senior. The details of that commitment are noted in prior issues of this newspaper. Nightmare is a gentle term to describe the “legal kidnapping,” medication, isolation, and subsequent liquidation of Mr. Siegel’s life-estate.


High-profile Attorney Marsha V. Kazarosian, along with Attorneys Cuffe, James E. Feld, and Thomas J. Barbar, have collectively filed a complaint to the Office of the Bar Counsel, Board of Bar Overseers (B.B.O.) of the Supreme Judicial Court in Boston for “professional misconduct” on the part of daughter Lisa Siegel Belanger, who has fought the high-financed lawyers tooth and nail for five years.

In their complaint (B.B.O. File NO. C2-12-002476408 – Marsha V. Kazarosian, et. al.), the lawyers who have controlled Mr. Siegel’s estate – and have drained an estimated $1 million from the estate over each of the past five years (according to court filings) – submitted 101 pages of counter-claims against Lisa Siegel Belanger, inclusive of exhibits which admonish Lisa for speaking to the press. The exhibits include several pages of Boston Broadside coverage of the case.

Attorney Marsha V. Kazarosian participating in the Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly Circle of Excellence 2016 Roundtable  – YouTube


The complaint states that The Boston Broadside was provided with lies by the daughter, but in 101 pages, not one lie is exposed, nor even mentioned. We’ve reviewed the case files (thousands of pages, and exhibits, as well as video and audio tapes and eagerly await clarification in the future on what appear to be a broad-brush tarnishing of Lisa Siegel Belanger for daring to go up against such a powerhouse team of attorneys. Most striking is that Lisa’s exposure throughout this process of multiple other seniors who have suffered similar actions by some of these same lawyers, is not addressed.

Since the Boston Broadside’s articles have been published in more than 38,000 printed newspapers, as well as online, other media have picked up the story. The question which is repeatedly asked is how Kazarosian and her fellow “untouchables” could have gained so much control over Mr. Siegel. And the recent B.B.O. complaint, when shared with others brings more questions. In the complaint, Kazarosian charges Mr. Siegel’s daughter with exploiting her own father, for spending a fraction ($85,000) of his multi-million dollar holdings. Apparently, most of those funds were actually spent defending Mr. Siegel against the “untouchables.” So, how is this “exploitation” by Lisa, we are asked? And how can Kazarosian keep a straight face saying that the untouchables need to spend millions to defend themselves against Lisa?

The untouchables’ complaint against Lisa also spills much ink over a series of contempt-of-court charges made against Lisa. The bulk of the charges were made because Lisa visited her father in the hospital, where he was believed critically ill from complications of various drugs. Lisa took too long to respond to the first contempt-of-court charge, and was subsequently fined multiple times (and re-charged with multiple contempt-of-court charges) until she made payments to certain untouchables to cover their legal fees in prosecuting her for visiting her father, against their wishes. Seriously, truth is stranger than fiction.

Counter-complaint filed by Attorneys Kazarosian, Cuffe, Feld, and Barbar against Marvin Siegel’s daughter Lisa, claiming she is the reason they have had to deplete millions from his estate to fight her – to protect Marvin Siegel from her exploitation.

A further question we’ve been asked is: If Lisa had been guilty of misspending any money, why was she not charged or has had any complaint lodged against her for five years, until she recently went public to the press?

Most curiously, we’ve been asked: Why now? Why are these four, high-powered attorneys who took control of Mr. Siegel’s estate, now, after five years, striking out against Mr. Siegel’s daughter, Lisa? Is it because Kazarosian’s, Cuffe’s, Feld’s and other’s actions have “seen the light of day” in a newspaper?

Of interest, Kazarosian has taken out a full-page color advertisement in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, a private publication made available to lawyers, stating (in all capital letters): “LAWYERS TRUST MARSHA KAZAROSIAN AND WALTER COSTELLO TO LEAD THEIR BAR ASSOCIATIONS. CLIENTS TRUST THEM TO OBTAIN THE BEST RESULTS.” The ad is estimated to cost in excess of $4,500 according to the publication’s online posted rates. In the ad, Kazarosian is featured in a low-cut top, with a smiling, suited Costello.

Kazarosian is the immediate past president of the Massachusetts Bar Association. In addition to a long list of service in various lawyer associations, in January 2016 Kazarosian was appointed by Gov. Charlie Baker to the Supreme Judicial Court Nominating Commission. She had previously served six years with the B.B.O.

Notes: Lisa Siegel Belanger had previously filed multiple submissions to the B.B.O. (approximately a dozen, she stated) against Kazarosian and her group during the past four years. Each has been outright rejected, stating that no investigation could take place as it was “pending litigation.” In contrast, Lisa is now forced to reply to the one Kazarosian complaint – the one complaint that seeks to strip Lisa from her livelihood –  her ability to work as a lawyer.

Lisa filed a complaint of racketeering against Kazarosian, et. al., but the courts refused to consider it, despite multiple attempts (and it has been revealed that more than one court judge is closely tied with Lisa’s opponents!).

The lawyers who control Mr. Siegel’s estate continue to try to get him vacated from his $900,000+ Boxford home. And Lisa continues to fight them every step of the way, appeal after appeal. But the case has never been discussed in court – always rejected in the lower courts on technicalities of paperwork filings, never on the merits of connected lawyers isolating, medicating, and liquidating a defenseless senior.

Where from Here?

With the involvement of such high-powered lawyers and the seeming acquiescence of the judicial system, several people have suggested that perhaps it is time for the U.S. Attorney’s Office to take a look at this entire case. Similar cases of elder mistreatment have also recently come to our attention which we are in the process of investigating. Stay tuned.

(NOTE: Kazarosian either intentionaly lied or else has serious comprehension problems: she misrepresented The Boston Broadside’s article regarding the cataloguing and control of the contents of Mr. Siegel’s safety deposit box in her complaint to the B.B.O.)


Post navigation


  1. Go instantly to the feds:

    In addition to elder abuse, financial abuse
    and racketeering, covered in RICO laws.

    The racketeers are the members of the state Bar (both
    lawyers and judges) who use their “special knowledge” (a legal term
    of art in RICO law) to create a problem in order to
    charge fees to solve it.

    We will be re-posting your series at,
    with your permission.

    Go on offense!

  2. Same thing is happening in New Mexico. I dared to protest against the attorneys theft of my mother’s trust’s Earned Interest Income through the attorney’s misuse of their IOLTA accounts. I filed a complaint at the New Mexico Disciplinary Board against loss of Earned Interest Income, as well as the court-appointed Trustee’s renewal & subsequent use of my deceased mother’s American Express credit card, and cell phone, and the sale of my mother’s house at well below market value to a former client of court-appointed Trustee. I was punished, not the lawyers.

    The District Court Judge found me guilty of “making mistakes” and “running to the Disciplinary Board” for every disagreement and since the Chief Disciplinary Counsel had — on his own and without any review by the complete Board — dismissed all my documented complaints against the 6 attorneys involved, I was fined $11,700+ in legal fees, paid to the lawyers to reimburse them for the time they spent defending themselves against my complaints to the Disciplinary Board.

    The Chief Disciplinary Counsel of New Mexico is Bill Slease (I am not making up that last name.) Slease is an estate planning attorney, and therefore hardly a disinterested party in guardianship and trust cases. Slease had repeatedly and acting on his own and without oversight from the complete Disciplinary Board, dismissed multiple complaints about the same group of attorneys who are conducting a probate racket in New Mexico, much as Kazarosian et al are in Massachusetts. Evidently, the ‘new’ way for probate attorneys and judges to make money, is to steal it from the incapacitated, and the dead.

  3. Kellys comment is absolutely factual as our family is still in the Guardianship turnstile of looting and financially abusing the elderly in ABQ, NM. This is a finely tuned well oiled machine. The Judges are at the Helm of the Crime, appointed Corrupt colluded Conservators who themselves has history of abuse to his 2nd wife. These appointees are not vetted, no background cks and have a license to steal with their Law Degree. Bill Slease, Disciplinary Director in NM is part of the collusion. Everyone of the many know who have filed complaints are told they lack supporting documents and that is true. The Trustee who is his friend refuses to provide them to the family’s which is illegal and in direct violation of state statutes and Uniform Probate Codes. We have taken this to the Supreme Court who sat a panel of 16 Judges and Attys, (Appointed will not Sanction these attys even after proof has been filed and provided to Judge of the laws broken by the appointments. NEVER go to an atty in NM and get your parents out of their.

  4. ” Improper use of an adult’s funds, property, or resources by another individual is elder abuse. This includes, but is not limited to, fraud, embezzlement. forgery, falsifying records, coerced property transfers, or denial of access to assets.”

    ABQ victims first thought is Darryl Millet, Greg MacKenzie, Decades, Tom Schmidt II, Bruce Puma, Barbara Buck, Patrick Westerfield, Vanessa DeNiro, Ruth Pregenzer, Modrall Law Firm, Judith Wagner CPA, Judge Brickhouse/Judge Nash, allegedly have been part of the exploitation “allegedly” for decades looting Elderly Estates.

Ken Ditkowsky

56.45 GB (56%) of 100 GB used
Last account activity: 12 minutes ago


From KKD: New Chicago Task force for Health Care Fraud Formed

With Chicago being a major center for health care fraud (see the tales of death of Jay Brouckmeersch, murdered in probate, Mary Sykes, Dorothy Baker, Helen Rector, Alan Frake, etc.) this comes as no surprise:

United States Attorney’s Office in Chicago Creates New Unit to Prosecute Criminal Health Care Fraud Violations

CHICAGO — Joel R. Levin, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, today announced the creation of a new unit dedicated to the prosecution of criminal health care fraud violations.


The newly created Health Care Fraud Unit will operate within the office’s Criminal Division. The unit will be tasked with prosecuting defendants in all types of health care fraud, from providers who engage in fraudulent billing schemes to doctors who falsify patients’ diagnoses to justify expensive tests or procedures that aren’t medically necessary.


“Every year, health care fraud causes millions of dollars in losses to Medicare and private insurers,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Levin. “Health care fraud also often exploits patients through unnecessary or unsafe medical procedures. Health care providers who cheat the system must be held accountable. Our office has successfully prosecuted numerous health care fraud cases in recent years. The new Health Care Fraud Unit will build on that success and bring even greater focus, efficiency and impact to our efforts in this important area.”


The unit will include five prosecutors, led by Assistant U.S. Attorney Heather McShain. Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Chahn Lee will serve as the unit’s Senior Counsel.


The office has a long history of prosecuting significant health care fraud cases, and the new unit is expected to expand on those efforts. Last week the office participated in the largest health care fraud enforcement action in Department of Justice history. The national takedown involved more than 400 defendants, including 15 individuals charged in the Northern District of Illinois.


Other significant health care fraud prosecutions include a north suburban chiropractor and his brother and father, each of whom was sentenced to prison in connection with a phony billing scheme that bilked insurance carriers out of more than $10.8 million. DR. VLADIMIR GORDIN JR., VLADIMIR GORDIN SR. and ALEXSANDER GORDIN used their chiropractic clinic, Gordin Medical Center S.C., to falsely bill for medical services that were either not provided or weren’t medically necessary. The Gordins were sentenced to prison terms earlier this year. Vladimir Gordin Jr. was sentenced to seven years; Vladimir Gordin Sr. was sentenced to two and a half years; and Alexsander Gordin was sentenced to two years.


The office also recently secured ten criminal convictions as part of a multi-year investigation into Sacred Heart Hospital in Chicago. For more than a decade, Sacred Heart executives conspired to pay kickbacks and bribes to physicians to induce them to refer patients for services that would be reimbursed by Medicare and Medicaid. The fraud scheme earned Sacred Heart millions of dollars from Medicare and Medicaid. The convictions include EDWARD NOVAK, the hospital’s owner and chief executive officer; ROY PAYAWAL, the chief financial officer; CLARENCE NAGELVOORT and ANTHONY J. PUORRO, chief operating officers; DR. VENKATESWARA R. “V.R.” KUCHIPUDI, a physician; as well as four other physicians. Sacred Heart closed in 2013.


Fraud in the home health care and hospice industries have also been the subject of prosecutions, and the Health Care Fraud Unit will continue those efforts. The office’s investigation of home health care fraud has resulted in convictions of doctors, nurses, marketers, and executives at multiple companies, including DIKE AJIRI, the former owner of Chicago-based Mobile Doctors; BANIO KOROMA, a physician at Mobile Doctors; and DIANA JOCELYN GUMILA, the former clinical head of Schaumburg-based Doctor at Home. An investigation of PASSAGES HOSPICE in Lisle recently resulted in prison sentences for multiple defendants, including owner SETH GILLMAN, who was sentenced earlier this year to six and a half years in prison; and ANGELA ARMENTA, Passages’ former director of certified nursing assistants, who was sentenced last month to 20 months in prison.


The Health Care Fraud Unit will also focus on prosecutions related to the diversion of controlled substances, which is an area of emphasis for the office as it continues to battle the opioid crisis. The office has previously prosecuted significant diversion cases, including procuring the guilty plea of DR. SATHISH NARAYANAPPA BABU, who formerly owned Anik Life Sciences Medical Corp. in southwest suburban Darien. Dr. Babu prescribed controlled substances, including OxyContin and Hydrocodone, to certain patients without having examined them. Dr. Babu was sentenced in 2015 to 18 months in prison.


In announcing the new unit, Acting U.S. Attorney Levin acknowledged the cooperation and determination of the office’s investigative partners, including, among others, the Chicago offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

The formation of this unit several month’s ago was a step toward addressing the serious problem of elder cleansing right here in the Chicago area.     I understand that there is also a National unit.
The problem that runs right along with the fraud surcharge is the problem of official corruption.
Without the connivance of corrupt judges and public officials the health care frauds could not flourish!    In the Philip Esformes indictment there is a public official – a minor one – who allegedly took bribes.    Was she alone?    I think not!    The criminal conduct of the POLITICAL ELITE is the fuel that drives this particular fraud.    Only an HONEST INVESTIGATION commencing instanter can find out the facts.   This investigation has to start at square one.
Where is square one?    Dr. Sugar – you are writing the book!    I yield to your expertise.    By this e-mail all I want to do is send out the word that we MAY NOT BE ALONE!    We might have friends over at the Department of Justice!

Ken Ditkowsky

What we are really waiting for is for the FBI to investigate the murders and thefts involving the following estates:

  1.  Mary Sykes.  $3 million missing, unaccounted for.  One judge, Judge Stuart resigned and Judge Connors is being protected.  No jurisdiction in this case, no service upon Mary Sykes, or notice to her 2 elderly sisters Yolanda and Josephine prior to the guardianship trial.  Nearly $1 million is missing in gold coins.  The probate court quashed all discovery.  Mary was narcotized to death in the end.  Attorneys Farenga, Stern, Waller, Schmeidel, Soehilig and others were a part of the scheme.  Farenga, in particular, begged the ARDC not to investigate her but to investigate other attorneys (myself and Ken Ditkowsky who were complaining the case was corrupt) and the ARDC complied, handed us both lengthy suspensions, and ignored the fact millions are missing from the Sykes case and Mary was murdered in the end.  None of the miscreant attorneys have been investigated:  Farenga, Stern, Waller, Schmeidel and Soehlig all helped to cover up a nasty string of felonies.  At the ARDC, Larkin, Grogin, Opryszek and Smart helped to cover up the conspiracy there to loot and murder Mary at the end of her life.  No investigation has been undertaken.  No subpoenas have been served and depositions have not been taken.  Judge Stuart resigned over the case, but Connors is being protected.  Why?

Other cases which require investigation are Peterson, Frake, Dorothy Baker and others.  I have list of over 30 cases you can find here:

lots to investigate.


From the ABA journal: 2 interesting cases of lawyer discipline involving Social Media

ABA article:

While the ABA headline focused on the lawyer’s FaceBook Posts as follows as a basis for discipline, after reading the decision which may be found here

Click to access Garrison_(1).pdf

it turns out the lawyer said this on Facebook but had no follow up with the client to answer all of his questions and fully and timely inform him of the status of his case.

In addition, the law firm initially sued the wrong defendant.

Finally, the lawyer did not dispute or respond to any of the allegations, but just entered into a settlement agreement for a 90 day suspension.  No First Amendment issues were brought up and it seems the allegations of improper FB posts seems flimsy for any form of discipline.

But the charges of not fully and timely informing the client of the status of his case were far more serious, as was suing the wrong defendant initially.

Seems there is more than simple FB post problems here and the discipline was not based upon mundane answers to client questions posed on FB.

From a second social media case from the ABA Journal:

This case does seem to fall squarely under the First Amendment.

The Nevada Supreme Court has suspended a Las Vegas lawyer for six months partly because he accused a judge of religious discrimination on Facebook.

Jacob Hafter was suspended in a Nov. 17 order that said he made the comments with no basis in fact and also had made false statements under oath in another matter, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. Three of the court’s seven justices said they would have instead imposed a stayed suspension.

Hafter criticized a judge who denied his request to change a trial date to accommodate a Jewish holiday. He accused the judge of religious bias on Facebeook and repeated his claim in an interview with the Review-Journal.

“Either she’s anti-Semitic or she’s biased against me. In either case, she shouldn’t be the judge in this case,” he told the newspaper.

The judge said she refused to move the trial date because it would prejudice the plaintiffs and because Hafter agreed to the date in the first place.

Hafter made the alleged false statements during a collection proceeding against him and his wife, according to the suspension order. Hafter said he lacked income or possessions to satisfy a judgment, despite evidence his firm had received attorney fees and contingency payments, the court said.

The court initially said Hafter’s suspension should take effect immediately, with a 15-day period to wind up current client matters. The court gave Hafter an additional 30 days in a Nov. 21 order.

In an interview with the ABA Journal, Hafter said cases of much worse misconduct had gotten lesser punishment. “This is punitive, this is a horrible case,” Hafter said.

Hafter also said he sought to change the trial date five months before the trial when he realized the conflict with the Jewish holiday. And he said his law firm received a settlement during an appeal in the collections case, so his initial testimony was not false.

Hafter added that the First Amendment protected his comments about the judge.

Hafter criticized his suspension in a Facebook post. A screenshot is below.

“Overlooking the fact that they can use a private litigation matter and my advocacy to observe my religious practices to suspend me for six months is appalling. Worse, for the court to suggest that because they didn’t believe my speech to be true, or, in other words, they did not agree with me regarding the content of my speech, and therefore I do not have any First Amendment protections eviscerates the entire purpose of free speech. We should be able to criticize our elected judges without fear that we will lose our entire livelihood and professional career,” Hafter said in an email.

Updated at 11:45 a.m. and 12:05 p.m. to include Hafter’s comments.

Numerous commentators, including myself and Ken Ditkowsky found this to be covered under the First Amendment and suffice to say, this is far from any conduct by a lawyer serious enough to warrant discipline by “clear and convincing” evidence.

Here are some comments that are relevant and clearly support the First Amendment:

  • The Schuz said:

    Nevada isn’t the only state going after attorneys who accuse judges of discriminatory behavior. My money’s on an eventual Supreme Court case taking state bars to take for their repeated violations of the First Amendment. Judges really need to grow thicker skins or get out of the courtroom.

    Posted: Nov 22, 2017 01:25 pm CST
    Reply to this comment | Flag this comment for moderation

  • Buck said:

    In the contrary, this SCOTUS will likely support judges, ala New Kings, who can do no wrong are therefore presumed good and true (immune – FOUND NOWHERE IN THE CONSTITUTION)

    Posted: Nov 23, 2017 03:18 am CST
    Reply to this comment | Flag this comment for moderation

  • Kenneth Ditkowsky said:

    Did we wake up this morning and find that the First Amendment had be abrogated? The lawyer said:

    “Either she’s anti-Semitic or she’s biased against me. In either case, she shouldn’t be the judge in this case,”
    How would the lawyer disciplinary commission determine that the statement was false? The lawyers doing the disciplinary assassination are grossly unethical and demonstrate an extra-ordinary disrespect for America’s Constitution. The ABA should stand up and be counted! If the 2nd oldest profession will not stand up for the 1ST aMENDMENT it is a very sad day.

    Posted: Nov 27, 2017 06:36 pm CST
    Reply to this comment | Flag this comment for moderation

  • TruthHurts said:

    No sympathy. Lawyers like this, who always have an excuse for everything and “take cases no other lawyer will take,” are always total slimy scuz-balls who demean a profession already suffering from a poor reputation.

    Posted: Nov 29, 2017 08:25 am CST
    Reply to this comment | Flag this comment for moderation

    • joanne denison said:

      you don’t know that. many lawyers in fact DO take on civil rights issues that other lawyers are afraid of. face it, the comment was fairly benign and seems to fall squarely under the 1st Amendment. If we allow the disciplinary boards and Judges to violate the First Amendment, then what hope is there for the public. He made a private comment to warn others about this judge and possible bias, which I believe he had the right to do. By the same standards, your post would be seen as defamatory if not protected by the First Amendment. You might want to think about that.

      Posted: Nov 29, 2017 12:44 pm CST
      Reply to this comment | Flag this comment for moderation

    • Kenneth Ditkowsky said:

      A judge has a duty to protect all the litigants who appear before him, and the 2nd oldest profession has a duty to protect FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS of every one – including lawyers. I would have little problem with the Judge protecting his courtroom with CONTEMPT proceedings, but I great problem with the disciplinary commission drawing the words false far out of context and definition as a cheap rationalization for disciplining the lawyer and 2nd making the assumption that the lawyer’s religious beliefs were not genuine.
      Julius Hoffman, US District Court Judge who presided over the Chicago 7 trial was publicly castigated in open Court by the Chief Judge of the District for holding Court on the High Holy Days. – the words heard were: ” IF YOU DO NOT HAVE RESPECT FOR YOURSELF, AT THE VERY LEAST HAVE THEM FOR ME.” The proceedings were sua sponde cancelled.
      This is not a simple issue= court procedure has to be conducted as if presided over by Caesar’s wife! The Courtroom is not the FISH MARKET! even though in many jurisdictions the smell is similar.

      Posted: Nov 29, 2017 10:56 am CST
      Reply to this comment | Flag this comment for moderation

    • joanne denison said:

      Lawyers get dates changed all the time, often for a sore toenail. But he’s a solo, so the courts often treat pro se litigants and solo practitioners with much less respect than large law firms, which they hope to work at some day and make a bundle of money for sending out a few emails and talking on the phone a few minutes per day. I see nothing wrong with what the lawyer said. He commented fairly on the judge’s actions on social media. the judge can’t complain because as a public official, and likely elected, he can’t sue for defamation, libel or false light. He forced himself into the public arena for comment and criticism. The 1st Amendment was the only amendment voted in without any discussion or commentary. If you don’t like the First Amendment, in 1776 King George would have put him to death. Today in many mideastern countries and in S. Korea such commentary is a death sentence. If we don’t stand up for lawyers making reasonable commentaries, our own 1st Amendment rights are being eroded. Democracy is not a spectator sport.

      Posted: Nov 29, 2017 12:49 pm CST
      Reply to this comment | Flag this comment for moderation

      • Charles B. Tiffany said:

        All rights come out of a gun barrel.If you are worried about a jack-in-apes writing nasties on Social Media being abused that is your affair.As for me and my house,we are armed and if anybody wants to take our liberties away, I say come and get them.”Form a militia and get ready to rumble. When Trump is hounded out of office,this country will explode and face book problems will fade away as starvation haunts millions.Every lawyer I know is armed to the teeth. Only an idiot can not see that despotism is coming or already here.Just watch this Salem witch hunt that is going on. All our valued liberty safeguards go out the window as the mob takes over. If yo are not ready to man the barricades than get used to wearing chains.

        Posted: Nov 29, 2017 01:06 pm CST
        Reply to this comment | Flag this comment for moderation