Connecticut: AudioGate — CT Judicial Branch has even fought against providing these services to individuals making an administrative request for audio through the Americans with Disabilities Act “…..and, ultimately reduce the time it takes to produce a transcript….”



Dan Lynch appears as guest on ‘Summary Judgment’ with hosts Atty. Rachel M. Baird (left) and Ed Peruta

It seems that the Branch made their pitch, convinced lawmakers to vote for increased fees based on a promised delivery of a tangible service with real benefits to citizens of Connecticut, but then they failed to live up to their end of the bargain. Not only have four years gone by without audio recordings being made available, but in certain instances the Branch has even fought against providing these services to individuals making an administrative request for audio through the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“Finally, legislation passed this session increased certain court fees to provide funds for the Branch’s technology revolving fund. Having a steady reliable funding source for technology will enable us to plan and implement many technology projects, most notably, the expansion of digital audio recording to all of our courtrooms. This will enable the Branch to make audio recordings of proceedings available to the bar and public on the day they are recorded and, ultimately reduce the time it takes to produce a transcript and accelerate the appeal process.”.

Among the more interesting topics discussed, Lynch notes how the Judicial Branch petitioned the Connecticut Legislature during the 2012 Legislative Session for support of legislation which would enable them to increase certain court filing fees. The bill in question was Raised H.B. No. 5388, titled somewhat cleverly, “AN ACT CONCERNING COURT FEES AND THE DELIVERY OF LEGAL SERVICES TO THE POOR.” Now, seriously, especially in an election year, who wants to be known for voting NO on such a magnanimous piece of legislation

In the final hours of this year’s legislative session, the Connecticut General Assembly granted a rare reversal enabling Lynch to recover damages — he is seeking in excess of $55 million in damages in his federal complaint which will now be amended to include additional defendants and claims — resulting from his 2009 divorce and related actions in Bridgeport.

See the full Story at:

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Connecticut: Trumbull man to sue state for attorney, judicial misconduct, he is seeking in excess of $55 million in damages


Divorce has cost Trumbull resident Dan Lynch a lot more than a life partner — it has cost him his business, his physical and mental health, and his faith in the judicial system.

Perhaps most important, the legal situation cost him time — almost a decade’s worth of it, more than 15 times the average period for such a matter.

Lynch, who has been seeking an opportunity to sue, among others, Connecticut’s Statewide Grievance Committee and the Judiciary Department over alleged attorney and judicial misconduct for the last seven years, received some long-awaited good news from the House of Representatives and Connecticut State Senate Tuesday, May 3.

In the final hours of this year’s legislative session, the Connecticut General Assembly granted a rare reversal enabling Lynch to recover damages — he is seeking in excess of $55 million in damages in his federal complaint which will now be amended to include additional defendants and claims — resulting from his 2009 divorce and related actions in Bridgeport.

To the extent allowed by law, he noted certain claims allow for treble damages, so the damage awards could be substantially higher.

“In the end, it’s a very emotional victory,” Lynch told The Times Friday. “I don’t get back my clean record, I don’t get back all the time I’ve spent researching and responding to these cases, but now I can continue my pursuit for justice and make sure that this doesn’t happen to anybody else.”

See the Full Story at:


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Connecticut: Stamford attorney accused of stealing from client’s estate. “He also did not comply with several probate orders…”

Morris Glucksman, 68, surrenders his law license on Tuesday amid accusations he stole nearly $60,000 from an estate of a woman and her son.


Photo: Stamford Police Department / Contributed Photo /

Stamford Advocate Contributed Morris Glucksman, 68, surrenders his law license on Tuesday amid accusations he stole nearly $60,000 from an estate of a woman and her son. Photo: Stamford Police Department / Contributed Photo   Morris Glucksman, 68, surrenders his law license on Tuesday amid accusations he stole nearly $60,000 from an estate of a woman and her son.

A city attorney with more than 40 years of experience surrendered his law license this week amid accusations he stole nearly $60,000 from the estates of a woman and her son. Morris Glucksman, 68, ended his 42-year law career Tuesday when he voluntarily resigned his license to practice law in the state and agreed to never ask for its reinstatement.

Judge Douglas Mintz accepted the civil and real estate attorney’s resignation. Glucksman’s attorney, John Robert Gulash, declined comment after the brief hearing in state Superior Court in Stamford.

Glucksman was back in court Wednesday when he pleaded not guilty to first-degree larceny and second-degree forgery. Gulash said it wasn’t appropriate to comment on the case since he was still gathering information from state prosecutors.

The Office of the Chief Disciplinary Counsel, which pursues grievance complaints against attorneys on behalf of its clients, pushed for Glucksman to surrender his license after determining he posed a “threat of irreparable harm to current and prospective clients.”

Karyl Carrasquilla, who heads the council, said she was saddened by the accusations against Glucksman. “It is always a sad day when a lawyer with a 40-plus-year practice is faced with allegations like these and tenders his law license,” Carrasquilla said. She said Glucksman was not required to surrender his license, but said it is common for attorneys to forfeit their license when facing these types of charges.

Carrasquilla said New Canaan attorney Ann Brickley volunteered as a trustee to help sort out Glucksman’s clients and protect their interests. “It is a huge service they do for the Judicial Branch and we completely appreciate everyone who has worked as a trustee in any of our disciplinary matters,” Carrasquilla said.

The Statewide Grievance Committee will soon audit Glucksman’s trustee account. According to documents contained in his court files, Glucksman stole about $58,000 from the estates of a woman and her son soon after they died three months apart about five years ago. He also did not comply with several probate orders and even submitted a forged trust document into evidence in probate court, the documents state.

The family reported Glucksman’s handling of the estate to police in November. The family also accused Glucksman of failing to winterize a house belonging to the estate, causing a water main to burst and reducing the property’s value by $72,000 as a result of his negligence, according to court documents. A day after the woman died in October 2010, Glucksman withdrew $25,000 from her account but didn’t file her will in probate court for nearly three years, court documents state.

A month after her death, Glucksman drafted three checks — two purportedly signed by the woman — written out to himself, court documents state. Three months later, Glucksman took $15,000 from a money market account belonging to the woman’s son on the day he died, according to court documents. Glucksman deposited the money into his own account and continued to cash checks from the man’s account over the following year, the documents state.

Police say Glucksman also sold $33,000 worth of sports memorabilia from the estates, but never deposited the money into accounts belonging to the estates. Glucksman is due back in court June 20

To read the full The Stamford Advocate story, and read the comments click here.

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Connecticut: Former Attorney Avoids Prison “I told the probate court something was wrong and the court ignored me.”

Former Attorney Avoids Prison in Larceny Case Involving Disabled Client

National Association to Stop Guardian Abuse

John Fritz told a judge recently that his former attorney’s theft of his money left him severely depressed, nervous, angry and distrustful of lawyers, the courts and people in general.

Fritz, a disabled Wethersfield resident, had a chance to address Judge Joan K. Alexander before she sentenced his long-time former attorney and conservator, Michael Schless, at Superior Court in New Britain on March 18.

Newington police last year charged Schless with stealing about $48,000 from Fritz. Schless, 78, entered a no contest plea to first-degree larceny in February.

“Michael Schless stabbed me in the back and he only looked out for himself,” Fritz said.

Fritz told the judge he has had cerebral palsy his entire life, and he had received $120,000 from his late mother, money which Schless was supposed to help him manage.

“I think he was stealing money for a long time,” Fritz said. “In the past I trusted people, and trusted lawyers and the courts. Now, I don’t trust people anymore. I told the probate court something was wrong and the court ignored me.”

According to Fritz, what happened made him severely depressed. He stopped eating properly and lost over 80 pounds. For years, he had a home health aide to help him brush his teeth, but Schless claimed he couldn’t afford an aide and cancelled that service, Fritz said. He told the judge his lower teeth rotted and had to be pulled out. “It was awful for me,” Fritz said.

Fritz said Schless wasn’t paying his bills or rent properly, subjecting him to fines and penalties. When he complained, he said probate court officials didn’t do anything about it……..

Full Article & Source:
Former Attorney Avoids Prison in Larceny Case Involving Disabled Client

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Connecticut Citizens Need to Learn Probate Reform From Colorado Reform Efforts

The Har Company, L.L.C., is a private consulting firm dedicated to empowering families in probate courts.

Colorado and the Pro Se Litigant-References verified per Code, Case, and Constitution, Article 2:

  • Constitution Article 2 section 6 “Courts of justice shall be open to every person, and a speedy remedy afforded for every injury to person, property or character, and right and justice should be admistered without sale, denial or delay.”
  • Colorado Supreme Court in Tassian v. People, 731 P.2d 672 Jan. 1987, “The chief judge’s directive at issue here clearly discriminates against pro se litigants solely on the basis of their pro se status and in that respect, lacks any rational basis in fact and thus violates equal protection of the laws.”
  • Colorado Code of Judicial Conduct, Canon III(a)(7), “A judge shall accord to every person who has a legal interest in a proceeding, or that person’s lawyer, full right to be heard according to law.”

The National Association for Probate Reform and Advocacy

“NAPRA” is dedicated to ending crimes against humanity in America’s probate courts including: fraud, post traumatic stress and pain from legal abuse, intimidation, bullying, harassment, failure to provide families with accountings and  financial exploitation through public awareness campaigns.

NAPRA’s mission  encourages our elected officials to ratify “The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.”*

NAPRA is a non-partisan educational organization created to promote transparency, accountability, and awareness  in America’s Probate Courts. At NAPRA we welcome all organizations dedicated to this common goal.  NAPRA recognizes and commends the minority of lawyers and judges who act ethically and follow the “Black Letter rules of law” in Probate Court proceedings. * Link available from the United Nations.

Legislation must be addressed that allows for the Federal Rules of Evidence to “apply” in Probate Court proceedings

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  • Laws must be adopted so all individuals in probate courts have mandatory due process, presentation of evidence, and an opportunity to be heard before a Court can take an individual’s “life, liberty, or property.”
  • Any failure by a court “judge” to deny an individual’s due process rights must immediately be put on mandatory leave.
  • The inalienable rights of American citizens are not bestowed by any  contract but are just that – “inalienale.”
  • Mandatory sanctions must be implemented so that the perpetrators cannot continue to rob Americans of their property, liberty, or life absent due process of law.

Judicial Immunity and Due Process From the CATO  Institute:

“A judge thus remains unquestionably immune as long as he does not take actions that intentionally and plainly prevent further review. The duty imposed on a state-court judge, then, is only to recognize that his own decisions may sometimes be in error and to ensure that orders affecting important constitutional rights can be reviewed in another court.” Go to information and resources for link to article.

To remedy this problem, Congress must pass legislation limiting immunity for due process violations such as notice, hearing, and the opportunity to appeal. Probate courts must have a higher sanctions for violators before allowing the taking of property, life and liberty as it applies to guardianships, conservatorships, and child protection services that often severely violate the individual’s inalienable rights protected by the Bill of Rights.

Public Hearing Colorado Supreme Court-Athena Roe, J.D.

Available on OMPCO Judicial You Tube

What is Probate?

The “GAME”  of Probate or “estate administration” can come in many forms. Guardianship schemes, drugging the elderly, defrauding the estate by making false claims, and by financially exploiting the vulnerable. Probate lawyers always practice in areas of “real estate’ and land grabbing under the guise of “wealth management” –in other words your wealth.

If your parent, husband, wife, brother, sister,  or other family member’s died without a “Will” or if  they did not have a beneficiary “Deed” to the home,  payment on death and transfer on death on bank acounts, retirement accounts, etc.  the State Public Administrator will come in and take possessin of the home, bank accounts, and all other assets.  As a family member or beneficiary, you will lose control over every single asset your family worked to build within weeks.

The process is painful and often fraught with unscrupulous lawyers and judges who “rubber stamp” orders without due process of law. A Will does not protect assets.  Worse yet, probate lawyers will liquidate your family’s property for pennies on the dollar leaving you as a beneficiary a mere pittence.  Probate court abuse does not just affect the elderly. Families in divorce court may experience unique relationships with guardianships. NAPRA recognizes the lawyers who act ethically and genuinely try to help their clients. There are those who are not as noble and act adverse to their client’s case.

One way the corruption maintains itself is by silencing family members and beneficiaries “the  whistleblowers” who exposes the illegal acts, fraud,  and abuse. Your own lawyers my belittle you because of the vulnerability after the loss of a loved one and financially exploit widows, widowers,  or family members who speaks out against the rampant abuse. The ABA Rule for Lawyers and Federal Codes that address usury interest, exposure of fraud and felonies are as follows:

  •  Lawyer Rule 8.3 states, “lawyers must report criminal activity.”
  • 18 U.S.C.A. 4 makes it a crime NOT to report felonies.
  • Check  your state fraud laws at:

Fraud Scams

  • Often lawyers concoct schemes to defraud the estate. Investment companies work with lawyers and banks to purchase homes and property for pennies on the dollar. For example, your family home may be worth $350,000.00. If there is no beneficiary deed, the probate laweyer can set up a scheme to liquidate your home to an investment company for $75,000.00.
  • Another scheme is the fake future interet scam, if real estate companies assert “the estate owes future interest for CAM charges”–interest rates over 45% is considered a class 6 felony.

The Har Company, L.L.C., is a separate private consulting firm. At the Har Company, L.L.C., you will learn how to spot fraud, fee churning, and fight against unfettered liquidation of your family’s assets. We will have pro se support groups for families who have become inflicted with PTSD due to legal abuse. Dr. Huffer of Equal Access is an expert on the topic. The Har Company, L.L.C., does not provide legal advice or any information or advice inherant with your case. The Har Company, L.L.C.,  can make recommendations or referrals for counsel and support groups –  should the need arise. We work with Equal Access Advocates and some attorneys and counselors.

The National Association for Probate Reform and Advocacy supports and recognizes the following organizations all committed to making America a better place for our nation’s elderly, disabled, troops, widows, widowers, children and families affected by probate administration and reform efforts:

Network and Collaborate

The Americans with Disability Act, (ADAAA),

  • Dr. Karin Huffer, Equal Access,
  • The National Medical Malpractice Advocacy Association
  • Americans Against Abusive Probate Guardianship,
  • Kasem Cares,
  • Stop Guardian Abuse Nevada,
  • Families Against Court Embezzlement and Unethical Standards, (F.A.C.E.U.S.),
  • The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP),
  • The Estate of Denial, Lou Ann Anderson,
  • The Examiner, Lou Ann Anderson,
  • Westport Wow,
  • Marti Oakley of PPJ Gazette and T.S. Radio,
  • Senators and legislators,
  • The Judicial Integrity Project, Colorado,
  • The Honest Judge Amendment,
  • Probate Sharks,
  • Whistleblowers Summit,
  • The Law Project, NJCDLP,
  • G.R.A.D.E.,
  • Judicial-corruption.blogspot
  • and countless families and probate reform groups!

We as citizens of America must continue to demand the “gold standard”  that made America great – The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

See Website and Source of Information:

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“deducted $7 million in legal fees.” – Local case could change Connecticut’s attorney disciplinary system – a jury awarded $58.6 million — the largest medical malpractice award in Connecticut history — to Danny

A Wilton 12-year-old named Danny finds himself in the middle of an attorney misconduct controversy that has the potential to change Connecticut’s attorney disciplinary system.

The case involves millions of dollars and “some of the best-known and well-connected attorneys in Connecticut,” according to a press release from Connecticut-based legal legal_malpracticemalpractice attorney Howard Altschuler.

“Danny D’Attilo appears to be the victim of a system of attorney self-regulation that is turning a blind eye to allegations of unethical conduct of Danny’s former attorneys” — Day Pitney and Koskoff Koskoff & Bieder — “who are being treated as if they are too big to discipline,” the press release further states.

In May 2011, a jury awarded $58.6 million — the largest medical malpractice award in Connecticut history — to Danny and his parents, Cathy and Domenic D’Attilo, as a result of a doctor’s negligence which left Danny “severely disabled at birth and cut his life expectancy more than half,” according to the press release.

The medical malpractice parties settled in January 2012 for $25 million in order to avoid an appeal.

Altschuler told The Bulletin he was approached by Danny’s parents in May 2014 because “among other things, they were afraid their prior attorneys had not protected Danny’s future” and “they wanted to make sure Danny was never institutionalized and would always live at home.”

See Full Story at:

Also See 2011 Story:

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Connecticut Probate: Partners Report Lawyer to Conn. Officials, Allege $3 Million Theft From Client’s Estate

Partners Report Lawyer to Conn. Overall, it alleges Barry as fiduciary issued his firm fees in excess of $3 million in connection with the representation of Wilens.

State attorney disciplinary officials are seeking an interim suspension for a Southbury attorney, claiming he collected exorbitant fees of more than $3 million while acting as executor and trustee for a now deceased client’s estate.

The application for order of interim suspension was filed against attorney Robert J. Barry on Nov. 3 in Superior Court in Waterbury. In the application, Assistant Chief Disciplinary Counsel Desi Imetovski asserts Barry “poses a substantial threat of irreparable harm to his current and prospective clients.” The application notes he has about 70 pending cases in the seven-town probate court district that includes Southbury. “Respondent continues to represent numerous individuals in trusts and estates with access to untold monies,” the application states.

The Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel also asked the court to appoint a trustee to protect the interests of Barry’s clients. The court had not scheduled a hearing or taken any action on the application as of Nov. 4. The disciplinary counsel’s office declined to comment on the case beyond what is outlined in court documents.

Barry, of the law firm Sturges & Mathes on Heritage Road in Southbury, was admitted to the bar in 1967, according to the state Judicial Branch, which indicates he has no public record of discipline. A message left for Barry seeking comment was not immediately returned. It was unclear whether he has hired another lawyer to represent him in the matter.

Attorney Kevin Thornton, who works at the same firm as Barry, said he learned about the $3 million fees after hearing staff in the office express concerns about exorbitant fees being taken in a client’s case. After checking the firm’s financial records, Thornton said he and another attorney at the firm, Lisa Wnuck, met with the disciplinary counsel’s staff to discuss what they had discovered.

The firm’s website lists the three attorneys — Barry, Thornton and Wnuck. Barry’s areas of practice include estate administration, estate planning and real estate. Thornton said the extent of the financial situation is still being evaluated. He said after the situation was discovered, the partners argued and Barry tried to kick Thornton out of the building.

“I think this is the tip of the iceberg,” Thornton said. “No one else [other than Barry] was looking at the [financial] books until very recently. Of course, I am concerned about the firm’s reputation. It was founded in 1908 and its reputation has been stellar.”

According to court documents, in December 1998 Barry began representing Catherine Wilens. He prepared her will testament and set up a revocable trust agreement.

From 2010 through February 2014, Barry held a power of attorney for Wilens. During this time, he wrote checks payable to his firm, Sturges & Mathes, in excess of $743,000, the disciplinary counsel’s office claims. Barry then became the estate trustee prior to Wilens’ death, and as such, he wrote trust checks payable to his firm in excess of $900,000 between 2010 and 2014.

Wilens, who had been a Southbury resident, died on March 1, 2014. Barry was also the executor of her estate, which was valued at $9 million at the time of her death, according to the application for temporary suspension. Under the terms of the trust, two individuals, Madison and Megan Mahoney, were to receive $100,000 each, with the balance of the assets to go to the Cornell University’s medical school, to be held as “The Catherine Williams Wilens Memorial Fund,” documents show.

But from March 2014 through November 2015, Barry executed checks payable to his firm in the amount of about $1.4 million, the disciplinary counsel’s office claims. Overall, it alleges Barry as fiduciary issued his firm fees in excess of $3 million in connection with the representation of Wilens.

In May 2015, Barry filed a federal estate tax return, listing the value of the estate at only slightly over $8 million, omitting almost $1 million in assets, according to disciplinary counsel’s office. 

Full Article & Source: TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2015
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Connecticut is now the most expensive place to die: Probate fees on settling estates — a legal process that determines the authenticity of wills and the administering of a deceased’s assets — have risen, resulting in invoices that could top $100,000 or even $1 million.


HAR Justice suggests that beneficiaries pay attention to the red flags that attorneys use to unnecessarily liquidate estate assets and force probate properties into foreclosure

1) the “family allowance” scam, here attorneys pretend to be the good guy by telling the beneficiary that they can get some crappy allowance that in most cases is a “mere pittance”; 

2) failing to contact banks and mortgage companies so that your home and property goes into foreclosure;  

3) not communicating with beneficiaries;  

4) intimidation;  

5) all court appointees have all financial control over the estate; 

6) lawyers allow bogus “liens” (lens pendens) on your home or other real estate to force the beneficiary to refinance or sell as part of the scheme to defraud the estate;    

7) reroute the beneficiaries and decedent’s mail to the lawyers (public administrator, public trustee, or conservator’s P.O. Box;  

8) keep facts and evidence from the judge to perpetuate the scheme–keep the truth out of court;   

9) lawyers start to withdraw from your case after pillaging and screwing your case up, then they talk in their “locker room” arenas to discredit the beneficiary or client; 

10) denial of your 14th Amendment rights to an evidentiary hearing on the facts, evidence, and merits of your case and probate matter– this denial of your rights “violates” your Constitutional rights to due process of law;  

11) stops communicating with beneficiaries and family members;  

12) uses the phone as a primary way to churn fees. At $275- $500 per hour, this is a sure fire way for lawyers to eat up your assets and one of the most common “tricks in the book” this also keeps beneficiaries and clients from having solid evidence to use against the lawyer in court; 

13) the family “trust” home eviction. Trustees try to “evict” the beneficiary from the home or property of the decedent in order to liquidate the property to “the enterprise of real estate investors”– this is why you must have a beneficiary deed so the property transfers  out of probate– trusts are a scheme…; 

14) lawyers as “asset management companies”–almost all probate lawyers hold them selves out as asset management companies–really this is how lawyers, banks, realtor associations know when your property is up for grabs, also the primary way lawyers take property and homes from beneficiaries as “investors.” Do your research, lawyers have the “first dibs” on your property and a slew of lawyers have purchased and are living in probate/foreclosed properties purchased for pennies on the dollar. Probate is the modern day “mob” industry and should be regulated under anti-racketeering statutes.

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Connecticut has become the most expensive place to die in the U.S.

Probate fees on settling estates — a legal process that determines the authenticity of wills and the administering of a deceased’s assets — have risen, resulting in invoices that could top $100,000 or even $1 million.

“It’s outrageous,” Westport attorney Amy Day told CNBC. “We always had a cap on probate fees of $12,500. Now it’s not going to be unusual for people to pay upward of $50,000.”

One of the big reasons for the shocking increase in fees has been a budget cut at the state legislature that has strangled funding to the probate court system. A previous $12,500 cap on court fees has been eliminated, and fees on estates worth more than $2 million have doubled to 0.5% of the estate’s value.

Lawyers and judges have since remarked on the debilitating result of this decision. Judge Paul Knierim, Connecticut’s probate court administrator, said if the new fees were applied last year, two estates worth more than $200 million apiece would have paid more than $1 million in probate costs and about a dozen worth over $20 million would have paid more than $100,000. Knierim and some state lawmakers are planning to campaign for a reversion to the previous system next year.

“I think the fundamental problem is that the change in decedents’ estate fees imposes the burden of running the probate court system on a very small portion of the population,” Knierim said to CNBC.

State Governor Dannel Malloy put forward a state budgetlast month that included cuts in education, health care, and social services.

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Connecticut: Woodbury attorney accused of stealing $1.8 million from woman’s estate

National Association to Stop Guardian Abuse

A Woodbury man is facing federal theft charges after officials say he stole $1.8 million, most of which was slated for charity, from the estate of an Oxford woman

Peter M. Clark, 57, was arrested Thursday, according to a release from Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and charged with stealing from the estate of Miriam S. Strong, who died July 2, 2010.

At the time of her death, Strong had a will, which left money, property and other items to a list of individuals, the town of Oxford, the state of Connecticut and several religious and other charitable entities, according to the release. The will also called for the creation of a scholarship fund for college-bound students from Oxford.

Clark drafted the will as Strong’s attorney and served as a witness to Strong’s execution of the will, officials said. The will named Clark and another individual as co-executors. The investigation has revealed that, during the course of the administration of the will, Clark took at least $1.8 million from Strong’s estate for his own use.

Clark transferred some of the money to other accounts, used some to buy himself an all-terrain vehicle and gave some money to his wife, according to court documents. The estate account he had taken the money from was left with a meager balance of $13.40 when he had to make a report to the probate court, officials said. Court documents show that some of the beneficiaries of the will became suspicious when they had not received the money they had been told they would get and contacted the probate court, which in turn removed Clark as an executor while the investigation was under way.

The complaint charges Clark with one count of mail fraud, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years. Clark was arrested Thursday morning at his home in Woodbury, officials said. He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah A.L. Merriam in New Haven and will be released after he posts a $500,000 bond that will be co-signed by family members

Daly stressed that a complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Connecticut State Police – Western District Major Crime Squad. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah P. Karwan.

Full Article & Source:

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CONNECTICUT CITIZENS BEWARE: Probate Piracy can Involve the Involuntary Redistribution of Assets, which is also known as property poaching

Here’s How The Great $41 Trillion Generational Wealth Transfer Is Intercepted By Probate Pirates

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — It used to be that Theresa Lyons bartered with the elderly relatives in her family.

“My aging mother and her sister were helping me pay the rent, gas and electricity bills and I would take them out to eat and drive them around to where they needed to go,” said the single mother of three children. 

That was until 2011 when Blanca Tozzo, Lyons’s aunt, passed away and her mother, Carmen Hernandez Tozzo, was placed in a retirement home in Florida once the Department of Children and Families (DCF) stepped in. 

“I have no access to my mom’s finances,” Lyons told MainStreet. “The only way I can get any money is through a subpoena and blessings from the probate judge.” 

Once Tozzo became a ward of the state under a professional guardian, Lyons said most of her mother’s $100,000 in retirement savings was drained.

“The guardian isolated and drugged my mom, placed her in a lock down area with mentally ill and psychotic patients where she suffered dozens of falls, cuts, bruises and was almost killed by one of the male residents,” said Lyons, who is in her 50s. “When I complained, my visitation was taken away.” 

Lyons’s mother is among the senior citizens losing some $36.48 billion each year to elder financial abuse, according to a True Link study called Friendly Grandparent Syndrome. 

“These numbers indicate how the guardianship industry destroys the legitimate inter-generational transfer of wealth and in the process irreparably damages entire generations of innocent families,” said Dr. Sam Sugar, founder of the Americans Against Abusive Probate Guardianship (AAAPG) in Miami. 

That’s 12 times more than the previously reported $2.9 billion, because elders are ashamed and humiliated and in some cases drugged while residing in a retirement home. 

“They often refuse to report this crime,” said Jack Halpern, CEO of My Elder Advocate, a franchise that works with families to solve elder care-related crises. “Elder financial abuse is probably the most unreported crime in the country.” 

Some $16.9 billion of these losses a year comes from deceptive but technically legal tactics designed specifically to take advantage of older Americans, according to the 2015 True Link Report on Financial Elder Abuse.

“This crime is shielded from public view because the criminal is most often a lawyer in probate court,” said Kristi Hood, author of the book Probate Pirates (JKH Publishing, 2015). “The probate pirate attorney either directly or indirectly finds a way to pick the pockets of the elderly ward of the state, taking money that should be used to care for the person or charging their adult children exorbitant legal fees for help.” 

Uncannily similar to organized crime defined in the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act of 1970 (RICO), probate piracy can involve the involuntary redistribution of assets, which is also known as property poaching, with the elderly person becoming the enterprise that is defrauded. 

A friendly senior with cognitive issues can be a potential gold mine for unscrupulous charities, probate courts, home repair scammers, retirement homes, neighbors and even distant family members.

Baby Boomers and Gen X-ers are reportedly expected to be the recipients of some $41 trillion from their World War 2 generation parents as they pass away.

“The transfer of wealth is going to last for the next 30 to 40 years,” said Dan McElwee, certified financial planner and executive vice president with Ventura Wealth Management.

But an elderly adult who is extremely friendly is four times more likely to fall victim to high amounts of senior financial fraud.

“Those of us working in the field have long known that the United States is in the throes of an elder financial abuse epidemic,” said Shawna Reeves, director of elder abuse prevention at the Institute of Aging. 

Adult Millennial and Gen X children who find their elderly Boomer and World War II-generation parents have been targeted with legal tactics designed to rob them can report the fraud to their local district attorney’s office, consumer protection agency, the state attorney general and even the local FBI office.

“We are all affected by these scams,” Halpern told MainStreet. “When an elder loses their assets to scam and they need care, they will have to look to welfare and Medicaid.” 

Written by Juliette Fairley for MainStreet

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