Estate of Denial news clips (5/6/16)

“Mr. Social Security” Indicted for Defrauding Government Out of $600M in Disability Benefits

Special Needs Answers

April 28, 2016

A notorious Kentucky attorney who called himself “Mr. Social Security” has been indicted in federal court after an ongoing FBI investigation uncovered evidence that he worked with doctors and an administrative law judge to procure hundreds of millions of dollars in benefits for clients who may not have been disabled.

As we’ve previously reported, attorney Eric Conn built the third largest disability benefits practice in the United States out of his tiny eastern Kentucky town.  According to the indictment, Conn worked with a team of doctors to submit fraudulent medical evidence to the Social Security Administration in support of his clients’ disability applications.  Once the applications were initially rejected, Conn allegedly paid off administrative law judge David Daugherty to approve the applications on appeal.  According to a previous investigation, Daugherty, who was also indicted, never rejected an appeal by one of Conn’s clients.  The team of Conn and Daugherty apparently obtained more than $600 million in potentially fraudulent benefits for Conn’s clients, although many of those individuals may have been eligible for assistance despite Conn’s alleged misconduct.


‘Zappa Plays Zappa’ Pits Zappa vs. Zappa

The New York Times

April 29, 2016

For a decade, Dweezil Zappa, a son of the rock star Frank Zappa and a noted guitarist in his own right, has been paying tribute to his father’s music under the name Zappa Plays Zappa. The project, which features exacting performances of Frank Zappa’s famously complex music, has toured the world and won a Grammy.

But when Dweezil Zappa takes the project on the road this summer, it will be with a far less catchy name: Dweezil Zappa Plays Frank Zappa.


After Louisiana Supreme Court denies appeal of Saints, Pelicans owner Tom Benson’s competency ruling, here’s what’s next in the case (TX/LA)

The New Orleans Advocate

May 2, 2016

The Louisiana Supreme Court will not take up the lawsuit filed by Tom Benson’s estranged relatives over the family patriarch’s mental health, leaving in place a ruling that found the owner of the Saints and Pelicans was mentally competent when he altered his succession plans.

The high court’s decision, announced Monday, could mark the end of a family drama over Benson’s mental state that spilled into public view more than a year ago, although a separate lawsuit will continue to play out over control of various assets.


Disbarred Billings lawyer denies embezzling $65K from heirs to man’s estate (MT)

Billings Gazette

May 2, 2016

A Billings attorney disbarred last year for mishandling a client’s $300,000 settlement is now facing federal fraud charges from the case.

Appearing for arraignment in U.S. District Court on April 29, Randy Scott Laedeke pleaded not guilty to two charges of wire fraud.

An indictment accuses Laedeke of embezzling about $65,497 for personal expenses from a client who had received a $300,000 settlement over the death of her husband. The fraud ran for six years, from 2008 until Dec. 31, 2014, the indictment said.


Financial Advisor Accused Of Defrauding Clients Out Of Thousands (TN)

May 2, 2016

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – At least a half dozen senior citizens here in Tennessee say they lost their life savings.

And the man responsible, they say, was their financial advisor who promised to make their golden years even more golden.

Now they’re angry, embarrassed and worried about their futures. They trusted this man and now he’s accused of taking their money and spending it on himself.


Lawyer: Onosko should pay for stalling inheritances (NH)

May 2, 2016

PORTSMOUTH — A lawyer who helped overturn a fired cop’s $2.7 million inheritance claims that Police Commissioner Joe Onosko is costing his clients money and that Onosko should personally pay for those unspecified costs.

Representing the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Shriner’s Hospitals for Children, attorney David Eby petitioned the Strafford County probate court last week for permission to submit an affidavit detailing the costs he claims are due to Onosko’s court intervention. Onosko last month filed a motion, on behalf of the Police Commission, asking a judge to invalidate an agreement struck between Eby and the city that would pay Eby half of his $579,000 in fees for work overturning an inheritance to former police Sgt. Aaron Goodwin.


Convicted former Chatham County Probate Court clerk Kim Birge challenges pension denial (GA)

Savannah Morning News

May 3, 2016

Convicted former Chatham County Probate Court Chief Clerk Kim Birge has challenged the denial of her county pension benefits based on her conviction in violation of benefit rules.

The challenge was filed Thursday in Chatham County Superior Court for Birge and her husband, Lawrence Franklin Birge. It named Chatham County acting through the Chatham County Pension Board.


Tentative settlement reached in fight over photographer Vivian Maier’s estate (IL)

Chicago Tribune

May 3, 2016

A tentative settlement has been reached in the long-running dispute over the work of amateur street photographer Vivian Maier, the reclusive Chicago nanny who rocketed to posthumous fame after tens of thousands of her undeveloped photographs were found in an old storage locker.

The agreement, revealed in a filing in Cook County Probate Court and first reported by the Tribune, signals a potential end to a stalemate that began nearly two years ago when the county’s public administrator took over Maier’s estate, including the publishing rights to a collection that’s been heralded as some of the most stunning street photography of the 20th century.


Britney Spears is forced to face off against one-time friend and ‘manager’ Sam Lufti

Daily Mail

May 3, 2016

Her lawyers unsuccessfully argued that the star is fearful of the man she once called one of her closest allies but by the looks of the singer, her lawyers were not lying.

Britney Spears looked far from happy as she headed to the Los Angeles meeting between herself and former ‘manager’ Sam Lufti on Monday

The sit down, which is seeing Lufti’s lawyers question the 34-year-old, is four years in the making as until now it was ruled Britney was not well enough to be deposed.