Estate of Denial news clips (4/26/17)

Declaring War on Financial Abuse of Older People

The New York Times

April 14, 2017

Amy A. Lecoq was a stay-at-home mother raising her young son and mourning the death of her mother. But when her grandmother reluctantly admitted five years ago that she had been swindled out of her life savings, Ms. Lecoq sprang into action.

She shed her home-centered life, first to push prosecutors to investigate and bring charges, and then, earlier this year, to become an activist, traveling around her home state of Washington to lecture and testify about the financial exploitation of older Americans. She has also become a lobbyist, exhorting state lawmakers to pass legislation that would toughen penalties for people who take financial advantage of vulnerable older people like her grandmother.


Richmond probate judge asks whether lawyers taking too much from woman’s estate (RI)

The Providence Journal

April 19, 2017

RICHMOND, R.I. — A contested probate case is raising questions about how a 90-year-old woman from Ohio became involuntarily committed to a Rhode Island assisted-living facility.

The case of Rita Cole, of Cincinnati, has attracted the attention of an advocacy group called the Americans Against Abusive Probate Guardianship, which — along with a relative and friend of Cole’s — alleges that a court-appointed guardian had Cole committed to a Providence assisted-living facility last spring and has since been improperly withdrawing money from her estate.


Michael Jackson’s mom tentatively sidelined in lawsuit against her late son’s estate

April 18, 2017

Michael Jackson‘s mother cannot intervene as a plaintiff in a lawsuit brought against her late son’s estate by four people who maintain they had interests in a company the singer created before his 2009 death, a judge tentatively ruled.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Linfield is scheduled to hear arguments Wednesday before issuing a final ruling on Katherine Jackson’s motion.


Family bilked out of millions appeals to ‘Public Protection Fund’ (NH)

The Union Leader

April 19, 2017

CONCORD — The state Supreme Court on Wednesday heard arguments in a 16-year-old case involving a blind man and his brother who were bilked out of $2.3 million by a Manchester lawyer with help from his police captain brother.

At issue is whether the New Hampshire Public Protection Fund, maintained by the New Hampshire Bar Association to compensate the victims of dishonest attorneys, should be on the hook for the maximum allowed payout of $150,000, as the family maintains, or only $14,000, as lawyers for the fund maintain.


Lawyer sentenced for stealing from Judge John ‘Kung Fu’ Phillips (NY)

New York Daily News

April 20, 2017

A Queens lawyer who admitted to stealing over $500,000 from the estate of the late Judge John Phillips was sentenced Thursday to up to three years in prison.

Frank Racano pleaded guilty earlier this month for dipping into Phillips’ escrow account after the historic Slave Theatre and an adjacent lot in Bedford-Stuyvesant sold for $2.28 million in 2012.