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Mother allegedly misuses $57K of daughter’s inheritance (SD)

A Mitchell woman has been arrested for allegedly misusing more than $57,000 in Social Security benefits that were intended for her juvenile daughter following the death of the child’s father. Darla Kay Johnson, 54, was arrested April 29 by special agents of the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General and the Davison County Keep Reading…

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Texas judge pleads guilty to fixing cases for car repairs

SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) – A veteran Texas criminal court judge pleaded guilty on Monday to fixing cases in exchange for car repairs and faces two years in a federal prison. Angus McGinty, 51, resigned last year as a state district judge in San Antonio after he was indicted. McGinty could have gotten up to 20 Keep Reading…

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Wisconsin’s shame: ‘I thought it was a home invasion’

‘They came with a battering ram.” Cindy Archer, one of the lead architects of Wisconsin’s Act 10 — also called the “Wisconsin Budget Repair Bill,” it limited public-employee benefits and altered collective-bargaining rules for public-employee unions — was jolted awake by yelling, loud pounding at the door, and her dogs’ frantic barking. The entire house Keep Reading…

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Texas guardianship bill moves forward

State Rep. Stephanie Klick, R-Fort Worth, has a bill offering greater protections to those targeted for court-initiated guardianships. From Watchdog Arena: A Tuesday hearing before the Texas House Committee on Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence addressing HB 3914 rekindled the ongoing debate over abusive guardianships. Reform advocates call the system one-sided and exploitative even as probate Keep Reading…

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Tom Benson’s lawyers want courtroom closed as lawsuit on his mental capacity proceeds (TX/LA)

In lawsuits such as the one in New Orleans involving questions about Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson’s mental capacity, it’s not uncommon for the courtroom to be closed to the public for at least some of the proceedings. But Benson’s lawyers apparently don’t want to take any chances. They filed a motion Monday asking Keep Reading…

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Prominent Atlantic County attorney goes to prison for stealing life savings of elderly (NJ)

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A prominent Atlantic County attorney is sentenced to state prison for stealing seniors’ life savings. “This is why people don’t trust lawyers… because of one lawyer’s decision to line her own pockets at the expense of elderly victims who were unable to defend themselves,” Superior Court Judge Michael Donio said during the Keep Reading…

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Bell County offers much perspective in taxpayer-funded lobbying debate (TX)

Bell County Commissioner Tim Brown and other Texas local government officials squared off against taxpayer advocates Monday in a Senate Committee on State Affairs hearing on SB 1862, a bill that seeks to stop local governments’ practice of taxpayer-funded lobbying. Perspectives differed sharply. The nature of testimony was telling as well. Local government officials decried Keep Reading…

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Post investigates: How professional guardian got marriage annulled (FL)

Glenda Martinez-Smith found the love of her life as a senior citizen. Martinez-Smith, 68, said she felt like she hit the lottery when she met retired Army Col. J. Alan Smith of Boynton Beach through a senior dating website. “It was like a fairy tale,” she recalls. But the retired school teacher said their bliss Keep Reading…

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Police chief ‘overhauls’ policies amid Webber estate dispute (NH)

PORTSMOUTH — Questions about the city Police Department’s ethics, internal investigations and contact with the elderly have been raised during the past several years because of an officer’s $2.7 million inheritance and a pending court case to contest that inheritance, said Police Chief Stephen DuBois. “I don’t want to give the impression that I’ve been Keep Reading…

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Taxpayer-funded lobbying under fire in Texas

Taxpayer-funded lobbying is a practice that both harms taxpayers and demeans the Texas legislative process. From Watchdog Arena: The tone was low-key, but stakes were high on Monday as Texas local governments squared off against taxpayer advocates in a Senate Committee on State Affairs hearing on taxpayer-funded lobbying. SB 1862 seeks to not only stop Keep Reading…

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Missing millionaire’s mystery still unsolved (FL)

Almost like the opening scene of a mystery thriller, a motorboat washed ashore along nightclub row on Fort Lauderdale Beach on a warm June evening of 2012, lights on and outboard motors running. But there was no trace of its owner, multi-millionaire Guma Aguiar, only his wallet, cellphone and some clothing; no blood or other Keep Reading…

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Guardianship reform could offer new freedoms (TX)

Dawn Carlton is intellectually disabled, but she says she manages fine on her own. She lives in a cheery South Austin apartment with her cat, Bella, where she manages her rent and bills, as well as her medication. And although it took her six years to learn, she proudly says she knows how to drive and Keep Reading…

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Singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell’s website denies she’s in coma

LOS ANGELES — Conflicting information about Joni Mitchell’s health was released Tuesday, with a longtime friend stating in a court filing that the singer was unconscious and unable to care for herself while a statement from the Grammy winner’s website stated she is alert and expected to make a full recovery. Mitchell has been hospitalized Keep Reading…

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Longtime Cleveland attorney charged with stealing $115,000 from estate (OH)

CLEVELAND, Ohio — An 84-year-old Cleveland attorney is accused of stealing $115,000 from the estate of a client, and using the money to pay his bills. Gerald Cooper is charged in federal court with wire fraud for stealing from the estate of Henry Luke. He used the money to pay credit card bills, sports tickets and mortgage Keep Reading…

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Liberia: Bassam ejected over Milad Hage’s estate

At long last, Lebanese businessman Bassam Jawhary has been booted out of the late Milad R. Hage’s estate after almost six years of legal battle over the property between him and the late Milad R. Hage’s wife, Oumou Sirleaf Hage. Documents including purported letters of testamentary which were in possession of Mr. Jawhary placing him Keep Reading…

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