From Illinois (via Arizona), cont.

JUNE 1, 2009

Judge Considers Jail Time for Women Seeking to Protect Elderly Aunt’s Interests

CHICAGO — Cook County Probate Judge Maureen E. Connors will rule 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 3, on whether two Phoenix women seeking to protect their elderly aunt’s estate will spend time in jail.  Judge Connors has allowed the counsel for an estate fiduciary to press “direct criminal contempt” charges against the women as a result of their continued pursuit within the civil court system to protect the interests of 93-year-old Lydia Tyler from what they believe is a coordinated effort on the part of guardians and associated parties to deplete Tyler’s estate.

Mary Lynn Drabik and Mary Sue Richards, both of Phoenix, say their aunt was targeted with an unwarranted guardianship as a tactic for looting assets from her multi-million dollar estate.  On May 29, Judge Connors issued a ruling barring Drabik and Richards from further involvement in resolving their aunt’s affairs.  They now face a fine of up to $500 and/or three days in the Cook County jail for the contempt charges.

Drabik and Richards’ advocacy efforts began three years ago as they discovered what appeared to be financial exploitation of their aunt’s estate.  The women initiated court action to bring those they believed responsible to account, as required by law.  Drabik and Richards stated “At every turn, the more harm discovered, the more vicious the attacks on us have become.  Organized rings of ‘professionals’ – attorneys, investment advisors, court agents, public agencies and other persons and institutions of trusts – do not want to be exposed.  At every level, ‘professionals’ shatter lives and plunder the life savings of victims to enrich themselves.”

“Those who dare to pursue due process – justice for wrongdoers and remedy for victims – become victims themselves when the ‘professional’ perpetrators are allowed to manipulate the courts and to persecute, fine, even imprison advocates.”  Furthermore, Drabik and Richards, both in their 60s with Lynn Drabik being an accountant/tax specialist/IRS enrolled agent and Mary Sue Richards a Registered Nurse, now face a loss of their careers and livelihoods if criminal charges go forward.

Guardianships have become controversial as families across the U.S. learn the increased frequency of probate instruments being abused with targeted individuals experiencing a deprivation of their liberty and a looting of their assets.  Web sites addressing probate and estate administration corruption detail the difficulty that advocates or other family members routinely encounter in attempting to fight such actions.  With the aging Baby Boomer population and without legal reform, it is anticipated that increased numbers of Americans – at all economic levels – will share the fate of Lydia Tyler.


Stories of Denial