When a change in ownership within some of the largest players in the nursing home industry is described in the news as a “blockbuster move”; and when an earnings call to investors raises the specter of “even further upside potential” without any mention of superior care, quality of life, increased standards, greater accountability and better medicine, it is not nursing care. It is a different animal altogether, the savage world of publicly traded horse-trading.
It is worth noting here, that some of the parties cited in the article below are owners and operators of some of the worst rated nursing and rehabilitation facilities throughout the United States. Thus, shareholders to whom this article was addressed, are to some extent investing in substandard care. That’s just one part of the human tragedy. Another part of the human tragedy, cited in an earlier article below, tacitly admits that one methodology for adding shareholder value is manipulating the more lucrative sides of benefits from acute care patients “who also come with more lucrative Medicare and private insurance coverage than the typical long-term nursing home resident on Medicaid.” Statements like that should upend the comfort of Medicare and private insurance carriers.
Almost as disturbing as the theft committed by an allegedly religious man stealing from his underpaid employees in a nursing home; is the “justification” used to manipulate the mercy of others, namely, a poor education. This excuse for bad behavior creates quite a conundrum.
The State of New York (and likely others to follow) has taken a laissez faire attitude about Yeshiva education, namely that parents should be permitted to choose if to educate (or deny education for) their children. If a Yeshiva educated child comes out with an extraordinary knowledge of Jewish law, little or no ability to properly speak English, little or no future prospects (except perhaps fraud – as Stern illustrates) New York deems this acceptable. Now, it would seem, that same disenfranchisement (educational neglect) is being used to justify and perhaps escape accountability for frauds committed by poorly educated but “observant” Jews.
Something is very wrong with this picture. Either Yesivah children must be educated in civics subjects (oh… and right versus wrong) or they must be held fully accountable when that inadequate education leads to a life of fraud, theft, money laundering, and the list… grows and grows. The Yeshiva community really should not be able to eat their rugalach and have it to.
A former Connecticut nursing home owner will spend the next 2 1/2 years in prison for stealing more than $4 million from staff members’ pension and health plans.
Chaim Stern, 72, of Flushing, NY, was sentenced to 30 months in prison for embezzlement and tax offenses, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut announced this week. His prison time will be followed by three years of supervised release.
Stern’s sentencing comes three months after he pleaded guilty to the crimes that hurt three Connecticut nursing homes and led to the closure of one of them.
Because of Stern, the facilities failed to pay employment taxes and pay its shares of employment taxes between January 2017 and March 2018. Stern’s crimes resulted in a total tax loss of about $4.3 million.
We applaud the decision on the part of the Department of Justice, which has announced that it intends to pursue the prosecution of the final 6 counts against Philip Esformes. The jurors failed to reach a conviction in April of 2019. The remaining counts were for “paying and receiving kickbacks, money laundering, bribery and obstruction of justice. A conviction on these counts would be a modicum of justice for the elderly and their families. While Esformes claims to be “spending most of his days studying with rabbis, working, reconnecting with his children, and taking care of his father…” In our opinion, there is no manner of decency Esformes can show that would compensate the hundreds of victims (and their families) of his crimes.
Donald Trump’s commutation of Esformes’ sentence was a deplorable act, in and of itself. The elderly and their families deserved better from their President at the time and they deserve justice now.
May 4—Concerned that a convicted healthcare mogul freed by then-President Donald Trump might flee the country, Justice Department prosecutors urged a federal judge Tuesday to confine Philip Esformes to his South Florida home with an electronic ankle monitor and impose a $10.5 million bond to ensure his appearance for a new trial.
But their request was effectively rebuffed, at least for now.
U.S. District Judge Robert Scola instead granted a request by Esformes’ defense team to postpone the government’s bond proposal until mid-August, when it will be taken up again.
Justice Department prosecutors recently said they will pursue unresolved charges from Esformes’ healthcare fraud trial in 2019, when a federal jury deadlocked on the main conspiracy charge and five other offenses but found him guilty of 20 corruption-related counts. Scola sentenced Esformes to 20 years in prison and ordered him to pay $5.3 million in restitution to the taxpayer-funded Medicare program and a $38 million forfeiture fine.
“The trust that he broke was of epic proportions,” Allan Medina, the lead prosecutor in the $1 billion healthcare fraud case against Esformes, said at Tuesday’s hearing.
Perhaps the punishment for cruelty to the elderly in nursing care should be lying in the same nursing home bed forced to wallow in excrement and urine. Were we to be a legislators, this would be the top of our bucket list. Alas, should the punishment not fit the crime? And yet, those with the courage to speak out are inevitably doomed.
Most of New York’s nursing homes or those owned throughout the United States by New York nursing home conglomerates, are a special brand of hell to the elderly living in them; and their owners and managers deserve accountability. Many are understaffed or staffed by undertrained employees. In most care is substandard, if there is care at all. In many the food is unpalatable or barely edible, but it is inexpensive. In all but a select few, elderly patients can spend hours sitting in their own excrement, thirsty for a drink, exposed to Covid-19 and other pathogens. There is no accountability. Where laws exist there is no oversight. It is a vicious cycle.
In some, the owners use the open spaces for parties and celebrations – a show of wealth and so-called hospitality. After all, a nursing home is a hospitality business. Even during Covid-19, at the worst of the outbreaks, we received reports of massive gatherings in the halls of some of these homes, catered by top kosher caterers, but not open to the patients and their families.
In all but a select few, money flows like water; and the only beneficiaries are the owners and operators, their investors and the politicians who benefit from political contributions. Name the horror and you will likely find it in New York’s nursing homes. Sadly, so many of the nursing homes are owned by different combinations of the same uber-wealthy individuals who have already sold their souls for money. Their attorneys shut their eyes, look the other way. It is really not an attorney’s job to judge. And the billing is glorious to those attorneys for whom these are their top clients. If one is without a conscience, a sense of morality, and is already adept at skirting laws, falsifying records and documents, paying off or discrediting those who get in their way – will new laws do anything but pay lipservice?
Factor in the guardians, many of whom are complete savages, and we have a lethal mix. Many of the patients are sent to nursing home hell by self-serving guardians who likely get hefty kickbacks – a “quid pro quo” of sorts. Most of New York’s nursing homes are for profit. Their ownership structure can be a moving target, crafted to avoid accountability. Many are financed by hedge funds, hedge fund owners and investment managers; or are publicly traded in various portfolios in the stock exchanges of the United States, Israel, the Canadian Stock Exchange and so many others. It is business, after all. Are we talking about human life? Irrelevant really. We are talking about money.
Guardianship is an extraordinary racket, a well-oiled machine which includes (but is not limited to) social workers, judges, politicians, guardians, medical staff, nursing staff, attorneys, the judiciary and the list goes on and on and on. It is a vicious cycle with little hope of breaking. We have been told it is an “open secret” in government and those who attack the system inevitably doom themselves to a loss of livelihood, reputation, financial well-being and even family safety. The people involved in this racket are like a close-knit family “the Gansa Mishpucha” for whom money leads, whatever conscious there is or may have been was set aside long ago.
The multitude of people involved are not morally bankrupt, as that implies there was something there to bankrupt in the first instance. That is a stretch. The elderly in many of the nations nursing homes are nothing more than financially lucrative chattel; lives of meaningless vulnerable people whose daily existence generates cash. It is a godless business.
New York’s nursing homes and their owners are some of the worst. And then there’s the governor, Andrew Cuomo and his aides who were complicit in setting in motion further devastation as Covid-19 ravaged the elderly. So what did they do? They created immunity – and another loophole to escape accountability. We have coined that immunity the “Granny Killer Immunity Provisions”. Cuomo’s political existence has depended, in large part, upon a significant donor pool that exists within the nursing home industry. He is the quintessential beneficiary of political largesse.
Creating laws that would protect our morally challenged nursing home owners was all part of the movement of money. Until Covid-19 put the brakes on that, at least temporarily it just kept going. The Granny Killer Immunity Provisions immunized nursing home owners, operators and managers and hospitals. Those provisions have been overturned but their creation should be a warning to anyone in this fight. If the power of the nursing home industry can have sway over Governor Cuomo, it will happen again.
There is an effort (see below) to place restrictions on nursing homes. We again pose this: restrictions mean nothing if there is no one there to enforce. Our government is a part of the problem. Enforcement will not happen and the crimes against humanity – our elderly and most vulnerable – will continue. Do we not owe them more lest we all be savages?
While Gov. Andrew Cuomo was securing a reported $4 million deal to write a book on his pandemic “leadership,” he and his staff were busy suppressing the truth about New York’s nursing-home deaths in the wake of the March 25 order that forced homes to admit COVID-contagious patients. And it now turns out the coverup was even worse than we’d thought.
On top of blocking health officials from telling the truth, senior staffers also quashed a scientific paper that reported the true fatality total, The New York Times reported.
A June 18 e-mail from top aide Melissa DeRosa to health officials shows Team Cuomo was “anxious” about a pending Department of Health report on nursing-home coronavirus fatalities and out to downplay the idea that the March 25 mandate had proved deadly.
The Cuomoites were publicly citing a nursing-home death toll of about 6,000 by ignoring home residents who’d died while hospitalized. The draft report shared the full count of over 9,700, noting that the homes accounted for “approximately 35 percent” of all NY coronavirus deaths. But DeRosa — who at the same time was intimately involved in the gov’s book-deal negotiations — and other staff got all that edited out. The final report said the homes only yielded 21 percent of the state’s virus death total, making it seem below, rather than above, the US average.
The feud between Ron Kim and Andrew Cuomo is not over yet.
Assemblyman Ron Kim and Governor Andrew Cuomo had a very raw, very public falling out this past February that essentially catapulted the nursing home scandal—in which Cuomo is accused of hiding the number of fatalities from COVID-19 within New York State nursing homes—into the media spotlight. Kim became a household name overnight after the local politician alleged Cuomo threatened to ruin his career. Now, Kim is calling upon the Attorney General to join the fight.
Kim gathered with Voices for Seniors members in Foley Square on Monday afternoon. In the shadow of the Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse, the assemblyman stood ahead of those who had lost elderly loved ones to the deadly virus calling out the Governor for what he says are “Some of the worst and deadly policies that this country has ever witnessed.”
“For ten months Andrew Cuomo only listened to the worst operators, the lobbyists, to put forward policies that were not only deadly but were irresponsible and criminal. So, we are here once again calling for full accountability for Andrew Cuomo’s unilateral decision-making around nursing homes, in particular, we are asking for the Attorney General and every other investigator who has now opened up investigations into Andrew Cuomo to look into him and his allies, and his administration committing fraud,” Kim said.
While Attorney General Letitia James is reportedly already conducting an investigation into the slew of sexual misconduct allegations levied at the head of state, this demand for action asks James to look into a cover-up of deaths within nursing homes. Kim also cited the importance of this proposed investigation to the families of the deceased who formed Voices for Seniors, a group that looks to improve the lives of the elderly through advocacy. Members of the organization clutched photographs of perished family members and signs dubbing the Governor a “super spreader,” blaming Cuomo for the deaths of their loved ones.
As part of its recent budget, New York State has enacted a new law that significantly impacts nursing home operators in New York. Effective January 1, 2022, the new Section 2828 of the Public Health Law requires, among other things, that:
Not less than 70% of nursing home revenues shall be spent on direct resident care costs;
40% of the nursing home revenues must be spent on staff who work directly with patients (so-called resident-facing staff, as that term is defined in Section 2828), which is included in amounts spent on direct resident care costs; and
Nursing home profits are limited to not more than 5%, and profits in excess of this threshold shall be turned over to the [sic]
Pursuant to the legislation, the Department of Health shall promulgate regulations in accordance with the new [sic]
Direct resident care is defined to include non-revenue support services (e.g., maintenance and patient food service), ancillary services (e.g., laboratory and pharmacy services), and program services directly serving patients.
Direct resident care is defined to include non-revenue support services (e.g., maintenance and patient food service), ancillary services (e.g., laboratory and pharmacy services), and program services directly serving patients. Expenses that are specifically excluded as not related to patient care include, without limitation, administrative costs (other than nurse administration), capital costs, debt service, taxes (other than sales taxes or payroll taxes), capital depreciation, rent and leases, and fiscal services. Specifically excepted from the new law are nursing homes that provide certain specialized services, including, for example, behavioral intervention and neurodegenerative services.
Mr. Cuomo’s most senior aides engaged in a sustained effort to prevent the state’s own health officials, including the commissioner, Howard Zucker, from releasing the true death toll to the public or sharing it with state lawmakers, these interviews and documents showed.
A scientific paper, which incorporated the data, was never published. An audit of the numbers by a top Cuomo aide was finished months before it became publicly known. Two letters, drafted by the Health Department and meant for state legislators, were never sent.
This is being published on 5.3.21 at 11:11am – type edited at 3:05pm.
HOW THE MIGHTY HAVE FALLEN:
If this is to be a thorough examination of the facts and circumstances surrounding Steinmetz, one cannot escape the inextricable link he has to Dan Gertler and, well, to Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump. There are no coincidences here.
We have posted information which should be food for thought below, as well as past stories on this subject.
Steinmentz pillaged in the West African nation of Guinea while Dan Gertler focused on the Democratic Republic of Congo. These men, mining magnates [uhhh… gangsters,] for lack of a better word, just drew maps on their turf. And, while all of this was happening, Kushner was drawing battle lines, protecting each from inside the White House. He helped to negotiate, or at least to facilitate, the parties liaising to raze the Magnitsky Act sanctions placed upon Dan Gertler; while at the same time somehow keeping Steinmetz out of the limelight.
It remains a question of how or why the Suisse government got involved in the Steinmetz case when they helped facilitate payments made by Glencore to Gertler around the sanctions; but as we have said repeatedly, everything is orchestrated. It is a well-choreographed dance.
Let’s see what happens with Gertler. And, well… let’s see where the dust settles on Steinmetz
Law360 (April 30, 2021, 8:12 PM EDT) — A New York judge on Thursday agreed to consider additional arguments that Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz is the alter ego of a company that owes Brazilian miner Vale SA more than $2.17 billion following a dispute over an ill-fated Guinean mining project.
U.S. District Judge Vernon S. Broderick ordered Vale to provide supplemental briefing in support of its bid to force Steinmetz to respond to its discovery requests, which it sent to the businessman over a year ago.
GENEVA (Reuters) – In a landmark verdict in one of the mining world’s most high profile legal cases, a Swiss criminal court found Israeli businessman Beny Steinmetz guilty of corruption and forgery on Friday and sentenced him to five years in jail with a sizeable fine.
The ruling after a two-week trial is a blow for Steinmetz, a diamond trader, whose pursuit of the world’s richest uptapped deposits of iron ore put him at the centre of a battle that has triggered probes and litigation around the world.
Steinmetz said he would appeal the verdict, which also included a 50 million Swiss francs ($56.48 million) fine.
“It is a big injustice,” he told reporters in the courtyard of the Geneva courthouse.
Steinmetz and two others were variously accused of paying or arranging payment of $10 million in bribes between 2006 and 2010 to Mamadie Toure, whom prosecutors say was one of the wives of the former president Lansana Conte, to obtain exploration permits for iron ore buried beneath the remote Simandou mountains of Guinea and of forging documents to cover it up through a web of shell companies and bank accounts.
Toure, who lives in Florida, could not be reached for comment.
All three defendants denied the charges.
Presiding judge Alexandra Banna said Steinmetz and his co-defendants had used fake accounts and attempted to have incriminating documents destroyed to hide their criminal behaviour.
Banna said that Steinmetz had made an immediate profit from the rights to mine and not a cent went to the West African nation of Guinea.
No one from the government in Guinea was immediately available to comment.
Steinmetz, 64, a former Geneva resident who moved back to Israel in 2016, has in the past been ranked as a billionaire and one of Israel’s wealthiest men. Asked by the court to estimate his personal fortune, he said it was $50-80 million.
In december 2017 Donald Trump’s administration imposed financial sanctions on Dan Gertler. That came as a shock to the government of Joseph Kabila, who was then the president of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Mr Gertler, who was named alongside several allegedly crooked politicians and businessmen, was one of Mr Kabila’s closest friends. He was also a middlemanwho had sold much of Congo’s wealth in minerals to the world since arriving there in the wake of war in 1997.
America’s Treasury department said that Mr Gertler had “amassed his fortune through hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of opaque and corrupt mining and oil deals”. Between 2010 and 2012 alone Congo had “lost over $1.36 billion in revenues from the underpricing of mining assets that were sold to offshore companies linked to” the Israeli billionaire, it said. The sanctions froze Mr Gertler’s bank accounts and prevented any firm from doing business with him in dollars.
It was the summer of 2012, and Jared Kushner was headed downtown.
His family’s real estate firm, the Kushner Companies, would spend about $190 million over the next few months on dozens of apartment buildings in tony Lower Manhattan neighborhoods including the East Village, the West Village and SoHo.
For much of the roughly $50 million in down payments, Mr. Kushner turned to an undisclosed overseas partner. Public records and shell companies shield the investor’s identity. But, it turns out, the money came from a member of Israel’s Steinmetz family, which built a fortune as one of the world’s leading diamond traders.
A former Israeli Health Minister is set to be prosecuted for interfering in the Malka Leifer case by attempting to prevent her extradition to Australia.
Ms Leifer, 54, fronted the Melbourne Magistrates Court earlier this month and is facing 74 charges of child sex abuse, including multiple counts of rape, indecent assault and sexual penetration of a child.
She is accused of abusing three sisters – Dassi Erlich, Nicole Meyer and Elly Sapper – during her time as headmistress of Adass Israel School in Elsternwick between 2001 and 2008.
Israeli media is now reporting the former health minister Yaakov Litzman will be prosecuted for trying to prevent Ms Leifer from being extradited to Australia to face justice.
The Israeli police fraud unit has been investigating Mr Litzman for several months after it was alleged he pressured psychiatrists to state Ms Leifer was unfit to stand trial in Australia while the extradition case was ongoing.
Queens assemblyman and advocates rally for nursing homes investigation and immunity repeal
“Every time we get close to the truth, it seems like the governor is untouchable. How many more scandals? How many more women? How many more nursing home-related lies and frauds need to be exposed before we can hold him accountable?” Kim said during a virtual rally with advocates on Thursday, April 1.
This week, Arizona legislators will vote on bill 1377, which would shield nursing homes from civil liability for negligence while providing services during the Covid-19 pandemic.
At least 32 states have already passed laws or issued executive orders during the pandemic making it harder for nursing home residents or their families to take the companies that run these facilities to court. The new Arizona bill would protect any health care institution assumed to be acting in “good faith” except in cases of “willful misconduct” or “gross negligence.”
The provision of such broad immunity is particularly problematic for nursing homes in light of growing evidence indicating that during the pandemic, nursing home residents have suffered considerable harms from neglect and prolonged isolation, in addition to the risk of Covid-19 itself.
In a report published last week, Human Rights Watch documented serious concerns over possible neglect in nursing homes across the United States during the pandemic’s first year, when staffing was low and family members were often not allowed in facilities. Residents, family members, and staff reported extreme weight loss, dehydration, and infected bedsores, which in some cases may have contributed to death. In many cases, residents’ hygiene appeared to have been neglected as well, with family members reporting residents were left in soiled incontinence pads for hours at a time and their hair and fingernails grew long and dirty. Many nursing home residents, deprived of daily social contact because of restrictions on visitors and activities, declined physically and emotionally.
The academic evidence echoes our findings: just last week, an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association (JAMDA) found that in Connecticut nursing homes, depression, substantial weight loss, and incontinence increased among residents in the four months after visitor restrictions went into place.
Human Rights Watch, to continue reading click here.
For those of us who have been looking closely at Councilman Deutsch and his activities as a representative of the City council (both good and bad) in our opinion, it behooves the government to scrutinize Councilman Deutsch’s activities. One may want to look at the favoritism given, nay offered up, to certain people and communities. The same investigation that led to the guilty plea of Counselman Deutsch should not end here. It may be wise to start looking at each and every person with whom Councilman Deutsch did business, interacted, engaged with at clandestine meetings, and the resulting action on the part of the councilman. – LOSTMESSIAH
A New York City councilman pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court to a misdemeanor tax-fraud charge for filing fraudulent information on income and expenses tied to his real-estate-management business, prosecutors said Thursday.
Chaim Deutsch, a Democrat who represents parts of Brooklyn, failed to pay $82,000 in taxes owed to the federal government between 2013 and 2015, according to a criminal complaint. Prosecutors in the U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York said he also falsely claimed personal expenses as business expenses.
Mr. Deutsch, 52 years old, was first elected in 2014 and for part of his time in office he was the sole owner of Chasa Management Inc., a real-estate-management business, prosecutors said.
The councilman faces up to a year in prison and will have to pay restitution for unpaid taxes, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.
The Wall Street Journal, to continue reading click here.
THE CITY Sues the Department of Education to Get Brooklyn Yeshiva Investigation Documents
THE CITY filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the city Department of Education after the agency refused to provide documents related to its investigation of the content and quality of instruction at Jewish religious schools in Brooklyn.
The DOE launched its probe of the yeshivas in mid-2015 in response to complaints from former students and advocates connected to the group Yaffed, who alleged that little to no instruction in subjects such as English and math was being provided at roughly three dozen Orthodox schools.
In August 2018, after advocates accused the city and Mayor Bill de Blasio of slow-walking the probe, then-Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza wrote a letter to the state Education Department revealing that 15 of 28 yeshivas at the heart of the investigation had refused entry to DOE officials.
State guidelines requiring that education at private schools be “substantially equivalent” to instruction at public schools governed the inquiry, even as those standards have been shifting in recent years.
It wasn’t until December 2019 that Carranza confirmed officials had visited 28 yeshivas, which he identified in a follow-up letter to state education officials, and revealed summary findings without specifying the conditions uncovered at each school.
The investigation found that just two of the yeshivas visited by the DOE could prove they provided “substantially equivalent” instruction to their public school counterparts.
Five of the 28 schools were described as providing an “underdeveloped” level of learning, including some showing “no evidence that English is consistently used as a language of instruction,” according to the update provided to SED.
DOE Excuse Flunks ‘Smell Test’Carranza wrote that his agency was sending a letter to each of the 28 schools “communicating the information, observations, and findings specific to each school.” THE CITY requested copies of those letters under the state’s Freedom of Information Law on Jan. 2, 2020.
More than 10 months later, on Nov. 16, 2020, the DOE provided two of the 28 letters — regarding the schools where instruction was deemed substantially equivalent. Officials denied access to the remaining 26 on the basis that sharing them would “interfere with ongoing law enforcement investigations.”
A month later, THE CITY filed an administrative appeal with the DOE. City education officials denied the appeal on Dec. 28, 2020 — again arguing that the investigation was ongoing and that release of the letters would interfere with the probe.
We have contended from the outset that the oversight agencies are ineffective, corrupt, complicit in or facilitators of abuse, neglect and exploitation. Full Stop. We have contended that many of the players within the elder-care guardianship and nursing home context are inextricably intertwined in wrongdoing, most with incestuous relationships with the oversight agencies. We have posited that there is no such thing as reporting if it is left to the good will of those entrusted with the care of the elderly. We maintain that too many people are making too much money for the nonsense legislation to have any substance.
Oversight agencies must be held accountable for their failures. Elder abuse MUST be accompanied by criminal penalties, whether to the guardians, the owners and operators, the magnates, the investors, the employees or the judges and politicians that allow the abuse to continue unchecked. Elder abuse MUST be deemed unacceptable. Full stop. Elders MUST have the power to decide their own destinies. Elders MUST be believed until their statements are proven unbelievable, if that is possible. An Elder’s human dignity MUST be respected before all else and not entrusted in the care of those who lack humanity and conscience.
New Jersey’s four-part legislation pays lipservice to intent but does none of that. It assumes unicorns and rainbows with respect to an industry which is no different that legalized human trafficking. When you build a beautiful house on a flawed foundation the house is doomed. So too is the fluff and nonsense legislation in New Jersey.
Assembly Panel Advances Murphy & Vainieri Huttle Bill Package to Combat Abuse, Neglect & Exploitation of Seniors and Vulnerable Adults
Measures to Modernize Conservatorships & Guardianships; Address Financial Abuse; and Strengthen Protections for Vulnerable Adults
(TRENTON) – The Assembly Aging and Senior Services Committee on Monday approved a package of four bills sponsored by Assembly Democrats Carol Murphy and Valerie Vainieri Huttle to protect elderly or vulnerable adults from facing abuse, neglect or exploitation.
About one in ten Americans over age 60 have experienced some form of elder abuse, including physical or emotional abuse or financial exploitation. Mental or physical impairments may make them more vulnerable to abuse, and many cases go unreported.
People with disabilities are also at a higher risk of abuse, neglect or exploitation. About 30 percent of individuals with disabilities who need assistance with daily care, maintaining their health and safety, and accessing their communities have experienced some form of mistreatment.
“As we age, many of us will need a support system to help manage our health, finances, transportation and other aspects of life. This is especially true for seniors with dementia or other cognitive impairments” said Murphy (D-Burlington). “Sadly, too often the person trusted with an elderly person’s care ends up taking advantage of them. We must ensure the people caring for our most vulnerable have their best interests at heart, and everyone knows how recognize and report elder abuse.”
“Every person deserves to age with dignity,” said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). “We may face illness, disability or physical decline, but we should never face abuse. By strengthening protections for older adults and our most vulnerable, we are helping to keep our elderly loved ones safe and safeguard our own futures.”
Two bills in the package would modernize existing laws regarding conservatorship and guardianship in New Jersey. The first measure (A-4615) would require proposed conservatees or someone already under conservatorship to have counsel throughout the course of all court proceedings. The court would be required to appoint a counsel if they were ever unrepresented. The counsel would personally interview the conservatee or proposed conservatee within 72 hours before each scheduled hearing focused on conservatorship.
Counsel must also be provided to individuals under guardianships, or wards, as part of the second bill (A-4618).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala., March 10, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Today, legal counsel for the estate of the late Joann “Mama B” Bashinsky, the beloved Alabama philanthropist, announced several developments in the case of the permanent guardianship petition that haunted her for the last 18 months of her life before she passed away on January 3, 2021.
On Friday, Bashinsky’s counsel filed an appeal with the Alabama Supreme Court on one motion challenging an order issued by Judge A. Lee Tucker to pay a guardian ad litem fees for his own attorney on a prior matter. Following their appeal, Judge Tucker hastily ruled on numerous motions that have been delayed for weeks. Most notably, Tucker made a highly unusual ruling to deny the motion to dismiss the case in light of Mrs. Bashinsky’s death, further highlighting the numerous conflicts of interest among those involved in the case, including the judges and petitioners. The family is now forced to have to go to the Alabama Supreme Court once again because Judge Tucker won’t let the case die.
“These new decisions by Judge A. Lee Tucker are extremely disheartening, and confirm the corruption within the Jefferson County guardianship system at the hands of temporary conservator Greg Hawley and guardian ad litem Ken Guin, as directed first by Judge Alan King and now by Judge Tucker,” said attorney Susan Walker. “In my opinion, his latest rulings show that this court is failing to provide justice and fairness, as the Judge continues a case that has tormented the friends and family of Mama B, who suffered great distress for the last months of her life because of the permanent petition for guardianship and for conservatorship that threatened her finances and independence.”
The case has taken many unseemly twists and turns from the first day Mrs. Bashinsky’s fomer employees, John McKleroy and Patty Townsend, filed a petition to place her under a guardianship the very day she appropriately terminated them. On July 2, 2020, the Alabama Supreme Court issued an opinion declaring the emergency petition failed to establish an emergency and holding Mrs. Bashinsky was denied her constitutional due process rights. Since her death, the burden of exorbitant and unnecessary expenses on her family has endured as they navigate a case that would have typically died with the subject.
“Since the Alabama Supreme Court last saw this case, in my opinion it’s clear that petitioners McKleroy and Townsend along with former temporary conservator Hawley and guardian ad litem Guin are not acting in the best interests of Mrs. Bashinksy, but in their own financial interests, especially considering that they continue to pursue the assets of an elderly widow no longer alive to defend herself,” said attorney Walker. “There is no plausible explanation in my opinion as to why Judge Tucker would drag out the case of a deceased woman other than that it’s in the best interests of his friends in a system ripe with corruption and financial exploitation.”
We have opined about the various loopholes and veritable crawl spaces that have allowed Gertler access to millions, if not billions of dollars, otherwise unavailable under the Magnitsky Sanctions Regime. Some of this money was allegedly owed to Gertler by Glencore. The “praise” bestowed upon Gertler by foreign diplomats is almost embarrassing, but may have been required to get cooperating countries on board with the payment scheme. The workaround was craftily organized by funneling money through a payment system of mazes to Gertler via a series of Euro-based workarounds which required the assistance of the Swiss banking network and US Government intervention. It is unlikely the Swiss would have been involved absent a very public statement by the US. It is our opinion that the loopholes were identified and manipulated by President Trump and, in our opinion, Rudolph Guiliani, Paul Manaford and others within the Trump orbit.
Whether or not we have it all perfectly figured out remains a job for those with far higher pay grades.
While Gertler claims all of his actions in the DRC have been above-board, we think that depends upon whose morality and ethics one is using as the exemplar upon which all else is measured. As we see the world, Gertler’s almost unforgivable use of underpaid members of the DRC to afford him unquantifiable wealth is not a paragon of the divine intervention of his religious system of beliefs. Moreover, Gertler’s willingness to manipulate financial systems such that banks, investment companies and frankly heads of states and countries made his acquisition of wealth all possible, is all the more unsettling.
Guardianship is supposed to be a legal tool, but many nursing homes are abusing it. My Elder can help your family avoid this tragedy!
Nursing homes in New York State have been accused of using ‘guardianship petitions’ as a means to coerce elderly residents into paying outstanding fees.
A startling expose in the New York Times this week discusses a number of instances where nursing homes have requested courts to transfer guardianship away from the family. Ostensibly these requests are prompted by family feuds, suspected embezzlement or just the absence of relatives to help secure Medicaid coverage.
However, judges, legal experts, and others well versed in the guardianship process claim that often the petitions are used as a means of duress.
In a guardianship case last year involving a 94-year-old resident in a Jewish aged care facility, New York Supreme Court judge Alexander John Hunter issued a scathing 11-page critique of the motivations behind the petition made by the nursing home’s management.
In a more recent case, this time involving a family who refused to pay exorbitant rates to a Catholic nursing home, a court evaluator threw out the guardianship petition and questioned the motivations of the facility. The family spent US$10,000 in legal fees fighting the case.
Some nursing homes argue that guardianship petitions are the best way to resolve disputes about payment for care. The alternative is to sue an incapacitated resident who cannot respond.
“When you have families that do not cooperate and an incapacitated person, guardianship is a legitimate means to get the nursing home paid”, said Brett D. Nussbaum, a lawyer for the Catholic nursing home Mary Manning Walsh.
Article published without the permission of the Author. To continue reading on My Elder, click here.
New York’s now infamous corporate immunity law for nursing home executives has been placed on the legislative docket for repeal. The law, slipped into last year’s budget by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, shielded nursing homes from liability as they were forced by the governor to accept patients presumed to have COVID into their facilities.
Last Spring, while the national media was celebrating Cuomo, The Daily Poster helped break open the story of Cuomo passing the law after receiving huge campaign donations from the corporate group pushing it. As The Daily Poster reported earlier this week, the law has shielded administrators and executives from liability for a wide range of negligence claims, even those that don’t appear to be directly related to COVID.
Federal prosecutors charged the founder of the Borough Park shomrim with a three-count indictment for allegedly coercing a 15-year-old girl to travel for sex, authorities announced on Thursday.
Jacob Daskal, 62, had been charged in New York State court in 2018 for raping the teen victim, and was out on a $75,000 bond, but now the feds have stepped in — hitting him with charges of coercing a minor to engage in illicit sexual conduct, transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, and traveling with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct,
“Daskal, who was almost 60 years old when these crimes were committed, exploited the vulnerability of a young teenager by grooming her for sex and enticing her into having sexual relationships with him,” acting US District Attorney Seth DuCharme said in a statement.
Federal prosecutors say that Daskal — who founded the private safety group that patrols Borough Park in conjunction with the 66th Police Precinct — fostered a sexual relationship with the underaged girl, who abused his home in Brooklyn in 2017.
Daskal also allegedly took the girl to his summer home in upstate New York — crossing state borders into New Jersey along the way, according to court documents.
The cross-border crimes continued when the victim moved to Chicago, and Daskal allegedly communicated with the victim over Skype and text, asking her to pose nude during video chats and send nude photos, according to the federal complaint.
On Nov. 5 2017, Daskal traveled to Chicago to visit the victim, where he brought her to a hotel room for sex, prosecutors allege.
“A man who founded an organization aimed at creating a safer community should know the difference between right and wrong,” said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney Jr.
Governor Andrew Cuomo offered blanket immunity from prosecution for negligent nursing home executives last year. Now those who lost love ones during the pandemic thanks to those executives’ greed have nowhere to turn. Those who put profit over human life — and Cuomo — need to be held responsible.
As the Daily Poster reported last May, the Cuomo administration quietly inserted the liability shield provision into the state’s 2020 budget bill after a powerful health care industry group that donated more than $1 million to Cuomo’s political machine drafted and lobbied for the law.
The provision was ostensibly designed to help nursing homes as they made difficult decisions in the face of an unprecedented emergency. But the law extended the protections not just to medical staff, but also to corporate executives — and critics worried that the law would allow the facilities’ owners and operators to cut corners and risk people’s lives without repercussions.
As lawmakers pushing to revoke the measure noted in a legislative memo that month, the immunity law “egregiously uses severe liability standards as a means to insulate health care facilities and specifically, administrators and executives of such facilities, from any civil or criminal liability for negligence.”
Now, as Cuomo’s handling of nursing homes during the pandemic has exploded into a national scandal amid revelations of suppressed COVID death counts alongside reported threats against Cuomo critics and allegations of sexual harassment, the Daily Poster has found the law is indeed insulating nursing home administrators and executives from civil or criminal liability for their actions.
Over much of the past year, the provision has apparently had a chilling effect across the state, causing many lawyers to refuse all new nursing home–related negligence cases, whether or not they seem to be directly related to COVID-19, and limiting the scope of other legal actions begun before the pandemic. Though New York has seen more than fifteen thousand nursing home deaths, there have only been a handful of wrongful death cases filed in the state, according to data compiled by the law firm Hunton Andrews Kurth, which has been tracking COVID-related cases.
On April 3, 2020, as the media was reporting on how New York was becoming a global coronavirus hot spot, Cuomo signed into law the state’s budget bill for the year, which included a little-noticed provision on page 347 that noted that executives, board members, trustees, and other corporate officials at nursing homes and other health care facilities “shall have immunity from any liability, civil or criminal, for any harm or damages alleged to have been sustained as a result of an act or omission in the course of arranging for or providing health care services” related to COVID-19.
The liability shield, which covered both lawsuits and criminal prosecutions, was made retroactive to March 7, 2020. A Cuomo spokesperson would later insist the measure wasn’t due to industry influence — but lobbyists suggested otherwise.
The day before the measure became law, the Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA) — a major lobbying group that represents hospital systems, including some that own nursing homes, that has donated more than $1.25 million to Cuomo’s political operation — sent out a memo stating it had “drafted and aggressively advocated for this legislation.”
As GNYHA noted to its members in the announcement, “You and your heroic workers have enough to agonize over without having to worry about liability for decisions and actions made under extraordinarily challenging circumstances.”
The provision’s effect was immediate.
Holly Mosher, a partner at the Friedlander & Mosher, PC law firm in Ithaca, which focuses on nursing home negligence cases, told the Daily Poster that before then, her firm usually followed up on several reports of alleged nursing home abuse or neglect each week. Now, suddenly, they weren’t looking into any potential new cases at all. That included not just allegations of residents getting sick or dying from COVID-19 because of improper conditions, but also claims of negligence that seemed to have little to do with coronavirus at all, such as preventable injuries and bedsores, other than the fact that the incidents occurred in the middle of the pandemic.
To continue reading the article in its entirety, click here.
New York is a cesspool of corruption; and sadly for those of us for whom this State has some sentimentality, we may be deluding ourselves into believing it can be fixed. absent tearing down the entire system of government and rebuilding it. It does not help that there is very little in New York that is transparent and, more to the point, even transparency is shrouded in secrecy. For instance, most states prohibit vendors who have significant state contracts from donating to politicians within the state. Sounds logical. But New York does not have such a prohibition. Couple that with the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310 (2010)), which paved the way for mega-donors to give money in secret, and you have a recipe for unending money-meets politics power brokering. And the players have learned to game the system like a BlackJack card-counter plays a hand. New York has no safeguards against running amok either. And it has.
Moreover, for those of us who misguidedly thought it could not get any worse, Covid-19 made corruption that much easier. While all eyes were on the extraordinary havoc Covid-19 was wreaking on the state, and while many of us chose Cuomo’s news briefings over those of the President at the time, Cuomo was constructing a return to his donors. He had made promises that needed to be kept if he ever wanted to be President. While New Yorkers were dying, Cuomo was devising the “quid pro quo”. Sadly, the real difference between Cuomo and Trump is political sides. Both played to their acolytes similarly. Interestingly, many of Cuomo’s top donors in New York and the greater Tri-State area were also Trump’s top donors. There is an heir of true opportunism in that.
Real Estate moguls who had donated large sums (either themselves or through their attorneys) were given an “essential business” pass to continue building, or operating when all other businesses were shut down. Hospitals and nursing/rehabilitation homes were given the well-touted immunity from any and all liability for deaths that occurred during the height of the Covid-19 spread. It does not matter what was the cause of death. The immunity is very broad. Any accountability for the negligence of nursing home owners, operators and staff, if not gross negligence got a Cuomo signed pass without accountability. We have dubbed those provisions the “Granny Killer Immunity” provisions, and it is noteworthy that these hugely significant provisions were snuck into a well-needed budget bill.
And, for those mega-donors who did not need global sweeps in return for their investment in Cuomo: including exceptions to rules, regulations, standards of behavior or full on immunity, Cuomo returned his donor largesse into important and influential political positions. Some of the megadonor law firms, those responsible for deciding the political slate of Democrats who run in many counties, most notably Kings County were the beneficiaries of client satisfaction. Moreover, to add icing to the cake, the person tasked with investigating the wrongdoing within Cuomo’s administration, notably the nursing homes and the Cuomo sexual harassments allegations is also the beneficiary of many of those donations. Her hands are largely tied, the question is how she will play the political chess game.
It should be clear that where Cuomo did not directly reap the benefits of the nursing home lobby, the major New York hospital chains and the related unions, Cuomo had the benefit of donations from their lawyers and accountants, who stepped in and donated big. Some of the highest donations to Cuomo’s campaign came from law firms representing nursing homes, real estate magnates, construction contractors, their lending banks and finally union members. And, to add insult to injury, some of the top donating law firms also requested and received some of the most extensive PPP loans.
One might consider that the PPP loans actually went to donations to Cuomo’s campaigns if it all comes out in the wash.
We are not providing you with information you could not find on your own. There are countless articles that have questioned the Cuomo donations over the years. Few have connected the dots. We are directing you to the most intriguing of the articles, but there are many more. The following we have only excerpted . We encourage you to read the entire article. It tells an important historical story of who has been scratching who’s back, the graft, the political PAC’s that help to make it possible and the incestuous web of political ties and money. And… this was before Covid-19.
Our auditors at OpenTheBooks.com found 347 state vendors that gave $6.2 million in political donations to Cuomo over a six-year period (2014-2019). Meanwhile, these companies reaped $7 billion in state payments.
These donations represented the equivalent of more than half of the current cash on hand – $11.9 million – in the governor’s campaign committee as of 12/31/2019, according to disclosures.
We created an interactive map displaying by ZIP Code all of the governor’s campaign contributions since 2014. Just click a pin (ZIP Code) and scroll down to see the results that render in the chart beneath the map.
Hospitals – Covid-Positive Patients Transferred To Nursing Homes
The Greater New York Hospital Association (Association) funneled $1 million to Cuomo’s re-election through the state Democratic party in 2018. That same year, the Association and the healthcare union, 1199SEIU, backed Cuomo’s healthcare “reforms” and spent $5.9 million lobbying in Albany.
By February 2020, Cuomo appointed the Association’s past chair and board member Michael Dowling along with 1199SEIU President Dennis Rivera as co-chairmen of the “Medicaid Redesign Team.” (State Medicaid was $4 billion in the red because of Cuomo’s accounting gimmicks.)
Just six weeks before the governor’s appointment, Michael Dowling gave Cuomo a $5,000 campaign donation (12/14/19). (Dowling is also the CEO of Northwell Health – which received $10 million in state payments in 2019.)
Twenty-eight days before the governor made 1199SEIU president Dennis Rivera co-chairman of his Medicaid Team, the union gave $15,000 to Cuomo’s re-election fund (1/6/2020). Since 2014, 1199SEIU backed Cuomo with political endorsements and $95,250 in campaign cash.
Real Estate, Development, and Construction Companies
Between years 2011 and 2020, real estate tycoon Scott Rechler, owner of RXR Realty, LLC, his wife, children, and affiliated LLC businesses gave $540,000 to Cuomo’s campaign fund. Family donations amounted to $385,000 and multiple LLCs funded another $155,000.
Scott’s brother, Todd, Chief Construction and Development Officer at RXR Realty, also contributed an additional $90,000 to Cuomo during the period.
We found four real estate leases owned by RXR Realty affiliated LLCs and signed by two state agencies: Office of Inspector General and Commission on Judicial Conduct. These leases were signed in the years 2014, 2019, and 2020 and are worth $41 million with $13.7 million already paid out. (Note: In 2014, RXR bought the building and the state agencies were existing tenants.)
The public has a right to know whether Cuomo was serving the public interest or his private political interest when his administration negotiated these leases. Every single transaction is a potential conflict of interest.
Furthermore, in 2011, the governor appointed Rechler to the Board of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, where he became chairman. In 2017, the governor nominated Rechler to the Board of the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) and he served until 2019.
Big Four Accounting Firms – $360,000 in campaign cash
The independent accounting firms, Deloitte; Ernst & Young (EY); KPMG; and PriceWaterhouseCooper collectively gave Gov. Cuomo $360,000 in campaign donations during years 2014-2019. The firms reaped $258.8 million in state payments.
Between 2013 and 2015, New York regulatory agencies and the governor investigated Deloitte, PwC, and EY for alleged wrongdoing. The firms paid $45 million and other penalties to settle the various claims.
Are these firms “independent” auditors with a fiduciary responsibility to taxpayers? We found that the firms coordinated their campaign cash to the governor giving the same amounts on the same days in the same years.
Three of the Big Four – PwC, KPMG, and EY – each gave the exact same amount of campaign cashto Cuomo during the six-year period ($88,333.33). Deloitte contributed another $105,000.
We have been railing about for-profit nursing and rehabilitation facilities for years: when an elder care facility, any version of elder care, is for-profit, there is utter lawlessness. Money flows like water through a sieve, unencumbered by laws or oversight.
A thorough review of the names of for-profit nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities in New York, cross-checked with PPP Loans reveals that many of them (and/or their attorneys) were some of the largest recipients of PPP Loans during the first round of Covid relief. The second round remains to be seen. They will likely be the first to get PPP Loan forgiveness even though many of them did little, or more accurately nothing to protect their employees or their patients. In fact, the word “nothing” here is quite forgiving. It would mean a passive omission, simple apathy.
To put the narrative in a more truthful perspective, many of the for-profit nursing homes fed their own pockets with the Covid-19 funding. That money should have guaranteed staffing but they were underpaying wages or not hiring. And, many of the country’s nursing homes are owned by the same or similar groups of owners, and they actively manipulated and continue to manipulate the system to profit from Covid-19. Yes! To profit!
Many nursing homes (though not all) take out life insurance on their patients with them as beneficiaries of the policy, when the patient signs in. If that patients makes it past 30-days to 60-days depending upon the policy, the death of the patient generates income to the homes. It is a win/win. Well, the insurers are out – but there is little oversight there either. These are small money policies that generally are unregulated by the insurance industry.
LeadingAge, the “elder care facility advocacy group” believes that the failure of many of these homes cannot be fixed by oversight it can only be fixed by adding money. The comments by LeadingAge imply that there is not enough money to help these facilities take appropriate care of their patients. That is a vile and utterly false interpretation of events. The business model is profit above all else. A view from 30,000 feet shows his analysis doesn’t match the math with respect to many, if not all, of the for-profit elder care facilities.
The problem, in this blogger’s humble opinion: YOU CANNOT BUY MORALITY. IF YOU ARE LACKING IN A MORAL COMPASS, THERE IS NO AMOUNT OF MONEY IN THE WORLD THAT WILL FIX THAT. ADDITIONAL MONEY SIMPLY FEEDS THE MONSTER!
The nursing and rehabilitation home industry is a well-played, well-gamed and manipulated system run by super savvy individuals or groups who know how to game every aspect of the operation. Many are partially owned by the attorneys who represent them and some of those attorneys, at least in NY, help decide who runs on political tickets. These “moblike” industry is a web of somewhat incestuous industry connections. The Elder Care Centers will contract out linen and food services to friends, family or even themselves (a rose by any other name…). They buy drugs from distribution or drug companies owned or operated by their friends, colleagues or even their own corporate enterprises who provide a scratch on their proverbial backs. Foodservice is provided by friends, family or interrelated entities. Mobile medicine is provided by interrelated companies.
These facilities use inexpensive sharps for things like insulin and other injectable drugs that often result in more pain to the patient but less pain to the bottom line. Many reuse insulin or other injectable drug vials but charge each patient for their own, sometimes stockpiling the extra meds and sidestepping laws that prevent the reuse of needles or vials. Instead of giving their patients the name-brand drugs they may have used before admission to their facilities, they give them the generics and file claims for name-brand. They often fail to provide necessary services: occupational, speech, physical and other therapies, they claim to provide those services and bill for them; but many of the patients will attest to what they are not getting and therapy is on the top of that list. They charge for doctor’s visits that don’t happen or are substituted by RN’s, NP’s or PA’s so the doctors are often paid multiple times for the same hour in a day – a reward for often misdiagnosing ailments or over-diagnosing meds.
Facilities that have specialized Dialysis centers associated with their services have little reason to protect a diabetic’s kidneys when a slow destruction of the kidneys yields greater profit. Dialysis is far more profitable then kidney treatment and insulin.
These numbers can be obtained for the asking by law enforcement or anyone reading this blog. Nursing homes and rehabilitations centers need strict oversight absent loopholes. For-profit nursing homes need to be de-licensed – all of them. The ownership of the homes is available on public links. The links between owners in different states can be found by cross checking ownership state-by-state. We have done this analysis with respect to about 30 of the largest of the and most mafia-like ownership groups, which, by the way, own some of the country’s worst nursing homes. We are not stating anything that is not otherwise publicly available and we have been making these claims for years.
No one should be listening to the lobbyists. They have an agenda and quality care for elderly and vulnerable individuals is a far too altruistic endeavor. The lobbyists also have skin-in-the-game and it amounts to a fortune!
Among the 19 bills is one sponsored by Assembly Health Chair Dick Gottfried (D-Manhattan) that would prohibit the creation of any new for-profit homes and impose a morratorium expanding the capacity of existing homes.
“Lots of people have been discovering that there are enormous problems in our nursing homes. COVID may have brought them to light and made them worse but a lot of us know those problems have been there for many, many, many years,” Gottfried said during Thursday’s remote Joint Legislative Budget Hearing on Health.
He railed against the for-profit industry in an interview later Thursday evening with NY1, arguing those nursing homes often have higher infection rates and instances of bed sores among patients.
“We’re not going to license any more for-profit nursing homes or for-profit beds,” he said. “We should stop the creation of for-profit beds…you should [operate a nursing home] to care for people not because you want to make money.”
Right now, there are 401 for-profit, privately owned nursing homes out of the roughly 619 in the Empire State, according to a January report from the office of state Attorney General Letitia James.
Your piece in The Guardian speaks to the lobbyists who donated vast sums of money to Governor Cuomo’s campaign, thereby explaining why a toxic immunity provision “The Granny Killer Immunity” cleverly wound up a part New York’s budget. But your piece fails to mention the nursing home owners, operators and managers, not only those who run the facilities but those who own the property and the buildings, the magnates, who also donated hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not collectively millions, to the campaigns of both Governor Cuomo and Attorney General Tish James. While she has promised to investigate, don’t hold your breath. And her pre-emptive strike of a promise to investigate means violating the relationship with her donor pool and voting bloc. In our opinion, it likely “ain’t gonna happen.”
Those of us who have been following these stories for years, even absent Covid-19, know the numbers, we know the finances, we know the attorneys representing the homes and the individuals, sometimes at odds, and we know about their donations to politicians, to lobbyists, to political parties, to anyone who could help increase profits and minimize attention. Some of those same attorneys are also instrumental in getting Democrats elected statewide. It is not just the lobbyists who wanted the benefit of the Granny Killer Immunity protections, it’s also everyone in the food chain who makes money from the industry. And the net profit is almost unquantifiable.
Legislator Kim, in addition to everything else, with immunity came an additional source of profit – the sale of inventory. Many nursing homes at the very start of the pandemic had a stockpile of PPE, just as they should have. They obtained that equipment from Medicare, Medicaid, Insurance, private pay, accumulated over years, all a cost of doing business. All things considered that stockpile should be a requirement of the industry. But, many did not use that equipment in their own nursing homes and rehabilitation centers to protect their patients and staff, instead they raped their own facilities of that protective gear and sold it on gray markets.
Let me restate: when it seemed there was going to be a shortage, and potentially a salable need for Personal Protective Equipment, many nursing home owners and operators began to drain PPE from their properties. This meant they were making money off of the deprivation of their employees and those entrusted in their care to make an additional buck. And it was not just a single dollar. N95 masks were being sold from warehouses in New York and New Jersey to hospitals in California willing to pay upwards of $5.50/mask, out of fear of a shortage. There were brokers and middle men and procurement officers all benefiting from these sales, some unknowingly breaking the law and some irreverent.
Note to Reader: Lisa Siegel Belanger, the attorney who should be honored for her courage has been suspended for two (2) years. Why? She and her sister wanted to get her father out of the Massachusettes Guardianship system. On the bright side, they did not have the same leverage, a Bar license, to use against her sister. Please read the story. Please also note that Netflix removed her story. That said, “I CARE A LOT” tells the same story.
Upon years of my reviewing and obtaining voluminous court documentation throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts—particularly, in my professional experience as an attorney, there is no doubt, whatsoever, that public officials have been operating a racketeering enterprise through the probate and family courts, feeding off our most vulnerable citizens, the elderly.
These public officials do so through physical and financial exploitation of the elderly. 
In 2015, I filed a federal civil action in the District Court of Massachusetts providing overwhelming and irrefutable documentation that state elder protective agencies is one cog of many in a long-embedded governmental money laundering and embezzlement enterprise.
As laid out in my 2015 federal racketeering complaint, illicit monies are funneled through kickbacks arising from prescribed medications (especially antipsychotics) and fraudulent billings for Medicare & Medicaid services.
The indisputable fact is that these state “protective” agencies have a financial incentive to unlawfully initiate court proceedings in the Probate & Family Courts to have our family members judicially declared wards of the state.
For example, Medicaid services are reimbursable for “all of the activities involved in an APS (Adult protective services) investigations of allegations of abuse.” 
The Medicaid program process is called Administrative Claiming. For “non-providers,” funds for APS investigations are provided by Title XIX Medicaid Administration.
UNDER SEC. 2042. [42 U.S.C. 1397m-1], Social Security also provides funds specific to investigating reported elder abuse via the Department of Health & Human Services. In 2011, $3 million dollars from Social Security was funded for “investigative” services, and $4 million each year from 2012-2014.
medical providers and nonmedical entities receive kickbacks for the mere reporting of elder abuse.
Add to that, medical providers have even more of a financial incentive to facilitate reports of elder abuse where they have a subsequent and additional steady stream of income to be made through providing medical services.
The way to keep that continuous flow of income, people are involuntarily forced into the Probate & Family Courts by state “protective” agencies where they ensue formal court proceedings to declare people “wards of the state” upon which they are then routinely admitted into rehabilitation and/or nursing home facilities against their will.
This is all facilitated by elders being judicially determined to be “incapacitated.”
As shown, the medical community works hand-in-hand with judges and attorneys of the Probate & Family courts to literally abduct our family members by design for pure greed.
These public officials use these court proceedings to do so by claimed “mental health” issues and/or physical illness. Through the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) own published reports, state agencies guised as “protective services” have an established pattern of profiting from dismantling the family unit for more than 30 years nationwide.
Once elders are officially deemed “wards of the state” by Probate & Family Court judges, due to state protective agencies use to hook their claws into our family members, the governmental reign of terror is embedded through these judges appointing guardians and conservators to take absolute control over “the ward.”
At that point, the elder is then stripped of all individual freedoms, including personal decisions involving medical, financial or otherwise.
There is an irrefutable and well-documented pattern of court appointed guardians isolating the ward from family and friends, so as to facilitate involuntary drugging of the ward with antipsychotics and other Big-Pharma medications through subterfuge with the ultimate objective of liquidating the elder’s estate and to use the elder as a means to funnel funds via kickbacks and Medicare & Medicaid fraud.
Do NOT Call Elder Abuse “Hotlines”!
Even more alarmingly, for decades, state Attorney General Offices have continuously bombard citizens with “public service announcements” urging citizens to call “hot lines” to report abuse of elders.
Often times these calls to “elder abuse” hot lines are made “anonymously” with obvious underlying ill-motives, while other citizens are conned into thinking that they are going to be provided help to keep their family unit together when the state government has an established blatant and flagrant pattern of doing the exact opposite—they overtly seek to dismantle the family unit.
Showing the true motives of the offices of the Attorney Generals, they disturbingly blast a narrative that the majority of elder exploitation supposedly occurs by family members. For example, see: [SOURCE REMOVED]
Established evidence shows that governmental abduction of family members involves all ages, all socio-economic backgrounds, and all ethnicities.
Anyone familiar with this blog knows that the cornerstone of the Lost Messiah blog has been, from its inception, the deplorable condition of nursing homes and the abuses of patients within those homes. And the fact that so many of them are run by Orthodox or ultra-Orthodox Jews just makes it worse.
Judaism is founded on the principle of humanity, the sanctity of life, charity and human decency. To criticize the ownership of these nursing homes is not to be anti-Semitic. It is to have a conscience. Anyone not critical of the deplorable condition within many of the country’s nursing homes, New York’s response to Covid-19, the lack of Federal oversight of nursing homes, the endless flow of money from nursing home magnates to politicians and/or to judges and/or to doctors and hospitals and social workers and guardians is to be in my mind, blind or morally bankrupt. That is a full stop.
It was not until recently that I learned to understand the magnitude of the nursing home problem when factoring in guardianship. I did not know. Now that I do, I am just sad. I have seen for myself how it all plays out and it is devastating. Social workers in hospitals are paid to call attention to patients who provide easy targets for guardians, doctors are paid to provide diagnoses like Alzheimer’s, behavioral maladies, mental incapacity or other conditions. Judges are either blindly trusting of guardians or believing of what they are told or are part of the system that awards custody to guardians. Guardians stick patients into nursing homes with which they are connected. When all else fails, or a lawyer willing to stick a thorn in someone’s side comes in, Patient Care Intake Reports are tailored to direct the ward into a particular nursing home usually the one that is in some way connected to the guardian, whether through ownership or a system of payments. Either the ward has problems that the unconnected home cannot handle or the ward’s insurance is not the right kind. It’s all in the narrative. Many guardians are connected to some of the most deplorable nursing homes; and it is to those homes that some proudly send their wards. In other words, they are paid to fill a bed and reward the elderly cash-cow with confinement. It’s all in a day’s work. And it should be noted, the financial connections are publicly available in most states albeit hard to find.
The pockets are so well lined and the wheels are turning constantly, a well oiled corrupt and broken system. The flow of money is a steady stream. The process has been worked out to the most fundamental, almost atomic levels. Politicians are provided with hefty donations. In New York Judges are elected, they too benefit from the donations they receive. The methods of trying to get someone out of guardianship or out of a deplorable nursing home, one in which a ward is placed by a court appointed guardian runs slowly, if at all. So while the system of harming the elderly runs smoothly, the possibility of a correction saunters along at a snail’s pace.
Judges frequently accept the words of guardians at face value, even when it should be apparent that the guardians are dishonest (to put it mildly). Court appointed attorneys, many of them, have been a cog in the wheel of the system for so long that they do not even know the system is broken, or alternatively, they are part of the influencers helping to create certainty that the system will keep running, and…. unencumbered.
Covid-19 has made the problems that much worse. Patients in nursing homes cannot get visitors. There is no oversight, none. The foxes run the henhouses. And the money flows…
The movie “I Care a Lot” a controversial work of art in my opinion, does not delve deeply enough into the abuses of the elderly within the guardianship structure. It does not approach the confounding ability of judges to turn their heads as they grant guardianship of healthy people to individuals who, for lack of a better word, traffic in human lives. The system is broken. From where I sit, it might only work if guardians are rewarded for setting people who do not need their assistance free. Pay someone a ransom, of sorts. Indeed, there are people who need help, need someone to watch over them; and there are perhaps guardians who really care, for whom money is not the ultimate goal. If so, they the unicorns.
But without attention, oversight, accountability and a complete overhaul, the system will keep running. There is simply too much money involved. A human being is worth thousands. And “I Care a Lot” should be teaching legislators, both state and federal a very important lesson: the system needs to be torn down and rebuilt. The guardians need to be stopped. The nursing homes need to be held accountable.
The elderly caught in the system are being abused, treated like animals. Many would have more rights if they attacked their captors and wound up in jail. It is simply a sick reality.
And attorneys who might be helpful in the area of setting people free have the threat of disbarment personal harm hanging over their heads. The system is broken. Without tearing it down, it likely will not get fixed.
2021 | R | 1h 58m | Dark ComediesA court-appointed legal guardian defrauds her older clients and traps them under her care. But her latest mark comes with some unexpected baggage.Starring:Rosamund Pike, Peter Dinklage, Eiza González
You can make a lead character reprehensible — even repellent — and still hold on to an audience, but you’d better not make her dull. “I Care a Lot” is a pitch-black karmic comedy of bad behavior and worse payback; it made a stir at this year’s online Sundance festival and landed unexpectedly on Netflix last week. It features just about the worst person imaginable, a woman who bilks senior citizens out of their life savings by becoming their court-appointed guardian. But in Rosamund Pike’s chilly, hollow central performance you may find it difficult to care at all.
A stranger knocks on the door. The older woman who answers the door is informed that the visitor is now her legal guardian and will make all decisions for her. Within days, the older woman has been placed in a nursing home and her home sold so that the stranger may profit.
It’s a perfect opening for a psychological thriller. In fact, it is the opening for Netflix’s new featured movie “I Care a Lot,” starring Rosamund Pike as Marla, a ruthlessly ambitious woman who has made a business out of exploiting older adults. Her method: petitioning a local court to appoint her as emergency guardian for older adults whom she alleges cannot make decisions for themselves.
Unfortunately, the plot of “I Care a Lot” — despite its share of plot twists and theatrics — is not as far-fetched as it might seem. Every state allows courts to appoint a third party (called a “guardian” or “conservator”) to make decisions for someone the court determines is at risk because they lack the ability to make decisions for themselves. The process can provide needed protection to those who are unable to care for themselves. Yet it also has real costs. Not only do individuals for whom guardians are appointed lose the right to make some or nearly all decisions for themselves, but reports of unscrupulous guardians using the system to exploit vulnerable adults are far too common.
This exploitation is made possible, in part, by outdated state laws. Take Marla’s first “trick:” petitioning for a guardianship without telling her elderly mark. State guardianship laws permit courts to appoint “emergency guardians” without notice to either the person alleged to need a guardian or family or friends who might come to their defense. Even when state laws say that individuals are entitled to notice before a guardian is appointed, courts can (and do) waive giving that notice. And long-term guardians are also routinely appointed without the subject of the proceeding being present in court.
EXCLUSIVE – Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., demanded that the Department of Health and Human Services investigate New York nursing home deaths, citing the state attorney general’s report that Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration may have undercounted nursing home coronavirus deaths by as much as 50%.
Throughout the pandemic, there has been perhaps nowhere more dangerous than a nursing home. The coronavirus has raced through some 31,000 long-term care facilities in the United States, killing more than 163,000 residents and employees and accounting for more than a third of all virus deaths since the late spring.
Nurse Ratched does not reflect the caring, self-sacrificing nursing profession. Richard Gere’s nefarious legal tactics in “Chicago” would get a real attorney disbarred. Steve Martin’s sadistic, nitrous-oxide-huffing Orin Scrivello in “Little Shop of Horrors” is certainly not representative of the dental profession. Similarly, Pike’s portrayal of guardianship is a performance designed to engage viewers and generate an emotional response, but it is not rooted in reality. All of these are examples of art created to tug at viewers’ emotions to make the respective films more captivating.
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Larry Noodles has posted extensively on the Rabbi Daniel Greer case. He may be one of the foremost authorities on that subject and one of the major figures instrumental in the Greer conviction and in the corresponding civil suit victories.
The child who was abused by Greer may have Noodles to thank, at least in some small part, for the justice he sought and won. It is our hope that by publicizing this case, Rabbi Daniel Greer will be swiftly returned to prison to spend the remainder of his sentence behind bars and NOT in home-confinement, where he has been since Covid-19 provided him an excuse for release.
The child that he abused has a lifetime enchained by memories. Twelve years of Greer’s life is but a small piece of a life spent. Having said all of that, we must pose this question to our readers. Where are the Religious Leaders who should be speaking out. They should be acknowledging the tragedy in their midst. They should be expressing the shame and horror of the Greer case. They should be supporting victims. Instead… crickets. That, in and of itself, is a tragedy.
The United States Supreme Court declined to hear “Rabbi” Daniel Greer’s appeal of the $21 million civil verdict entered against him almost three years ago in Federal Court. Greer filed a petition for certification before the Supreme Court after he had lost on appeal at the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Greer’s attorneys argued on appeal that the verdict was “excessive” and “shocking” and should either be completely set aside or reduced. The Second Circuit held the following: “The amount of compensatory damages is undoubtedly high, but we are not persuaded that a new trial or remittitur (reduction) is warranted under Connecticut law. The award here is not excessive when compared to the awards in the cases cited above. Here, the record indicates that EM suffered repeated abuse for approximately three years, from the time he was fourteen until he was seventeen years old. At certain points, EM was abused for hours at a time, on a weekly basis. The first time Greer abused EM, he plied EM with alcohol, pretended to care about EM and his family, acknowledged EM’s parents’ financial struggles, and then kissed him. Eventually the abuse included oral sex, anal sex, mutual masturbation, and watching pornography together — while EM was a sophomore, junior, and senior in high school and Greer was a 60-something year old man.”
The New Haven Police arrested Greer a few months after the civil verdict of $20 million entered in the child rape case. If Greer had won the civil case I don’t believe that the State’s Attorneys Office would have filed the criminal case. If Greer had offered the victim a settlement, long before the civil case was filed, a civil case would have never been filed.
Greer’s attorneys also argued on appeal that the trial judge’s jury instructions pertaining to Greer’s refusal to answer questions based on his right against self incrimination was improper. The trial judge instructed the jury that they could make negative inferences against Greer due to his failure to answer difficult questions on cross examination. The Second Circuit listed the questions Greer refused to answer: Greer refused to answer whether he “sexually abused and assaulted other minors including Avi Hack” whether he “taught religious and secular studies, communal service, ethics, theology and Jewish history,” whether he “forced EM to have sex with him when he was a child at various locations in New Haven apartments he owned,” whether “he had molested EM in Greer’s bedroom” whether he “had sex with EM at a motel in Branford” whether he “forced EM to have sex with him at a motel in Paoli” whether he forced EM to have sex with him when EM was a child at a hotel in Philadelphia,” whether he “had sex with EM when he was a child at land in Hamden…”
Greer was sentenced to 20 years of incarceration suspended after 12 after he was convicted of child molestation. Greer is currently on home confinement, after he was recently released due to COVID19 in the prisons. Greer’s case will be reviewed again on February 1, by Judge Alander. Greer may or may not go back to jail. Eventually Greer will have to go to jail and spend 12 years in the custody of the Department of Corrections. Greer has already registered as a sex offender. Greer is allowed to leave his abode in order to go to doctor appointments and appointments with his attorney. A local recently told me that she saw Greer driving around in his minivan in his Edgewood neighborhood. Greer used to be known as the “Mayor of Edgewood.” Greer is now known as “The Pedophile of Edgewood.”
Greer was tried and incarcerated just before the pandemic. Greer has been in and out of prison ever since, due to issues in the prison related to the pandemic, and Greer’s age. Greer is 80 years old. At one point Greer’s son Ezi Greer drove his father to the Superior Court to turn him in to the Marshal. I was there and took pictures. I was shocked that Ezi drove his father to the prison. During the civil trial an expert testified that he had evidence that Ezi was molested by his father. Ezi Greer was active in politics in New Haven for many years, along with his brother Rabbi Dov Greer. Dov, Ezi and Avi Hack also helped run Greer’s yeshiva, where EM was enrolled. Avi Hack was also molested by Greer. Avi, Dov and Ezi protected Daniel Greer for years while Greer attracted minors to his yeshiva for the purposes of rape and abuse. After “Rabbi” Greer was sued Dov moved to Long Island, Ezi moved to Waterbury, and Avi moved to Providence RI. Avi’s father Harold Hack, who also protected Greer for year, also moved to Waterbury. Greer got Harold a job at the City of New Haven. Harold’s daughter is married to Ezi Greer.
Ezi, Avi, Dov and Harold refused to testify against Greer at Greer’s civil and criminal trials. I contacted numerous potential witnesses to testify against Greer in the criminal trial. A few showed up and testified against Greer. One testified that he was a classmate of EM at the high school and that he suspected that EM was being molested by Greer at the time he was in school. Another testified that Greer tried to molest him. A few others wanted to testify but found it too emotionally painful to show up in court and testify. I was surprised that EM had the strength to testify at the civil trial and the criminal trial. Greer’s lawyer William Ward mercilessly attacked EM at the civil trial, yelling at him calling him a “LIAR” and a “THIEF.” Greer’s lawyer Willie the Dow at the criminal trial was more respectful and didn’t yell and scream at the victim. The Dow probably learned from Ward’s mistake, attacking the victim, victim blaming, did not work out very well for Ward.
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A Jewish charity will offer chaplaincy services to alleged paedophile Malka Leifer when she returns to Australia, a decision that has angered some members of the religious community.
The Age has confirmed Ms Leifer will be offered support from the charity Jewish Prison Chaplaincy Victoria, a group contracted by Corrections Victoria to assist every Jewish person in the state’s system and support prisoners “to observe and grow while in prison”.
Corrections Victoria appointed the chaplain, independent of the organisation.
The charity’s role is controversial because it is led by Benjamin Koppel, the president of the Adass Israel Congregation, part of a small ultra-orthodox group of about 150 families based in Elsternwick and Ripponlea where Ms Leifer worked.
Mr Koppel was president of the Adass Israel Congregation when Ms Leifer left Australia in 2008, 24 hours after she was accused of sexually molesting some of the students and sacked by the board.
He [Mr. Koppel] was questioned in the Supreme Court in 2015 about the decision to hire Ms Leifer amid allegations she travelled to Israel with the assistance of the Adass board. However, there is no evidence or allegations to suggest Mr Koppel helped Ms Leifer, or knew about plans to help her leave for Israel.
Brooklyn Attorney Charged With Defrauding Real Estate Investors
Defendant Allegedly Misappropriated At Least $4 Million From His Victims
A criminal complaint was unsealed today in federal court in Brooklyn charging Shimon Rosenfeld, an attorney admitted to practice law in the State of New York since 1987, with defrauding multiple investors of at least $4 million by falsely claiming he was investing their funds in real estate opportunities. Rosenfeld was arrested this morning and made his initial appearance this afternoon via videoconference before United States Chief Magistrate Judge Cheryl. L. Pollak. The defendant was released on a $200,000 bond.
Seth D. DuCharme, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), and Patrick J. Freaney, Deputy Special Agent-in-Charge, United States Secret Service, New York Field Office (USSS), announced the charge.
“Through this alleged scheme, Rosenfeld abused his position as an attorney and betrayed his victims’ trust for his own selfish gain,” stated Acting United States Attorney DuCharme. “Those who commit fraud, including lawyers, must be brought to justice, and this Office will continue to work tenaciously to ensure integrity in the practice of law.”
“As alleged, Rosenfeld solicited investments based on his stated intent to purchase various real estate and ‘flip’ it for substantial profit. In reality, he didn’t buy any properties, so there were none to sell. Rather, Rosenfeld used the money he received to make his own financial trades and investments. Today, we’ve flipped the script on him and held him accountable for his fraudulent actions,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney.
“The U.S. Secret Service remains dedicated to investigating those who commit financial fraud and would like to recognize the efforts of our law enforcement partners in helping bring them to justice,” stated USSS Deputy Special Agent-in-Charge Freaney. “This investigation exemplifies the success that law enforcement can achieve when working in a collaborative manner. In this instance, the defendant allegedly perpetrated a scheme to defraud and misappropriated funds from numerous victims for his own personal gain.”
According to the complaint, between May 2014 and March 2018, Rosenfeld allegedly perpetrated a fraudulent scheme by soliciting and receiving approximately at least $4 million from various individuals (collectively, the “Victims”) based on fraudulent misrepresentations. Specifically, Rosenfeld induced the Victims to invest their money with the defendant based, in part, on representations that he would purchase real estate and sell it to a prospective buyer at a higher price, also referred to as “flipping” the property. Rosenfeld further told the Victims that he would split the profits from the real estate transactions with the Victims. In reality, Rosenfeld misappropriated the investors’ money by directing the funds into bank accounts he controlled and using the money to trade securities out of his brokerage account. Rosenfeld falsely told the Victims that there were problems with the real estate transactions, such as title or appraisal issues, to explain why no properties had been purchased.
If convicted of wire fraud, Rosenfeld faces up to 20 years’ imprisonment. The charge in the complaint are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Business & Securities Fraud Section. Assistant United States Attorney Hiral D. Mehta is in charge of the prosecution.
Shimon Rosenfeld is accused of using millions from real estate investors, including for a Crown Heights project, for his own trading.
BROOKLYN, NY — A Brooklyn attorney who scammed real estate investors out of millions of dollars has been charged with wire fraud, prosecutors announced.
Shimon Rosenfeld, 59, was arrested Wednesday after a federal investigation into his years-long scheme, which included at least $4 million “investments” in properties in Crown Heights, Greenpoint and in Philadelphia, Pa., according to court documents.
Rosenfeld told at least four investors that he would put their money into real estate projects, but instead ended up using the money for his own trades out of a brokerage account, prosecutors said. He is charged with wire fraud and could face 20 years in prison if convicted.
“Through this alleged scheme, Rosenfeld abused his position as an attorney and betrayed his victims’ trust for his own selfish gain,” stated Acting United States Attorney Seth DuCharme. Those who commit fraud, including lawyers, must be brought to justice, and this Office will continue to work tenaciously to ensure integrity in the practice of law.”
Malka Leifer, who fled to Israel, faces 74 counts of sexual abuse related to her tenure as a principal at a Jewish girls’ school in Melbourne.
JERUSALEM — An Israeli woman accused of sexually abusing students at an Australian school where she was the principal has been extradited from Israel, according to reports in the Israeli news media, concluding a seven-year deportation process that had tested relations between the two countries.
Malka Leifer, 54, is accused of 74 counts of rape and sexual abuse that investigators say took place between 2004 and 2008, when she was the principal of a Jewish girls’ school in Melbourne.
Australian officials formally sought her extradition in 2014, but the process was repeatedly delayed after Ms. Leifer’s legal team at the time argued that she was mentally unfit to stand trial.
Photographs published Monday on an Israeli news website, Ynet, showed Ms. Leifer being escorted aboard a plane in Tel Aviv on Sunday night.
Ms. Leifer’s lawyer, Nick Kaufman, said he had not received official confirmation that she had been deported but had been told she would be sent to Australia this week.
Officials at the Israeli foreign and justice ministries, state attorney’s office, police force and prison service declined to comment, as did the Australian attorney-general’s office.
Ms. Leifer, an Israeli citizen, moved in 2001 to Australia, where she later became the principal of Adass Israel, a school for ultra-Orthodox Jewish girls, and then fled to Israel in 2008 after details of the assault allegations emerged.
The sluggish pace of the deportation process drew occasional criticism from Australian lawmakers. The case also embroiled an ultra-Orthodox Israeli government minister from the same sect as Ms. Leifer, Yaakov Litzman, after the Israeli police accused him of pressuring psychiatrists to report that Ms. Leifer was not well enough to be tried.
Before posting the below commentary we want to provide you with some political backdrop from the New York Times that may provide some color regarding the relationship between Weiss and the former US President.
Two days ago Otisville inmate Sholam Weiss was counting the days until the year 2738, the day he was scheduled to be released from Federal prison. Weiss got the longest sentence for white collar criminals in the history of the Republic, 600 years longer than Bernie Madoff, even though Weiss paid his $125 million restitution in full. Today, thanks to a Presidential pardon, Sholam Weiss danced with his family and friends in upstate New York. Sholam is the guy above with the white beard. Sholam and a few other guys scammed National Heritage Life Insurance Company, based out of Florida, out of $450 million.
Sholam, a member of the bearded Satmar sect, was clean shaven before he got COVID19 in Otisville. After COVID19 Sholam turned to religion. You won’t find any athiests in a foxhole. Sholam grew his Hasidic beard and survived the plague, and lived to see his 700 year prison sentence reduced to gornisht, nada, nothing. Sholam lived to see his day of freedom and redemption.
Sholam lived on the lam for a year in Europe with his stripper shiksa girlfriend hiding from the Feds before he was caught. Sholam’s long sentence was meant to deter others from fleeing from the long arm of the Justice Department. Sholam invested some of his ill begotten gains in Scores strip club in Manhattan. Sholam was partners at Scores with John Gotti Jr. and other mobsters. The party ended when the Feds raided the club and wired up a few guys who were connected to Sholam’s insurance company. The Feds in New York used these informants to bust the mob for extortion. The Feds in Florida used these same informants to bust Weiss and his assocites for the massive fraud they committed at National Heritage Life Insurance Company.
Weiss was locked up in the Otisville medium with Sholom Rubashkin, who got a commutation of his 27 year sentence a year ago. I was locked up in the Otisville camp, which was separated by the medium with a barbed wire fence. Every now and then I could look through the fence and see Rubashkin or Weiss, or Mordechai Samet, who got an early release this past September. Rubashkin and Weiss ran the chapel for the Jewish inmates locked up in the medium. Samet and Weiss were cellmates. I heard from guys in the medium that Weiss and Rubashkin didn’t get along. Weiss had shaved his beard and was not as religious as Rubashkin and Samet. Weiss, Samet and Rubashkin were the only religious Jews in the medium for several years. I used to watch Samet jog every day in the medium with an African American inmate.
There was never more than a dozen Jewish inmates in the Otisville medium. In the camp there was always about 80 or more Jewish inmates out of a total of 118 inmates. The medium had about 700 inmates. Today the camp probably has less than 30 Jewish inmates and around 65 total campers, due to COVID19. If you had under ten years you went to the camp, if you had more than ten years you went to the medium. The Otisville medium was not as violent as most medium prisons, State or Federal, but there were reformed gang members and lifers locked up there, as well as aging mafioso who were sentenced in the 1980s.
Otisville inmate Jonathan Braun was scheduled to be released in 2027. Braun was an international pot dealer. Braun got ten years. Braun is a very wealthy man. Braun ran a high interest money lending operation for years while he waited to be sentenced. Borrowers filed lawsuits against him for his strong arm collection practices. Braun is currently celebrating his pardon with his wife and children in his new house he purchased recently. Braun said goodbye to New York Democratic political power broker Sheldon Silver, who is still locked up in the Otisville camp. Silver has four years to go. Silver tried to get a pardon but was stymied by Republicans as well Democrat Andrew Cuomo, who called the Donald to object to 76 year old Silver’s early release. According to the New York Times, Cuomo suggested that “the Jewish community” was lobbying the Donald to pardon Silver. Cuomo would be called a racist if he said that Snoop Dogg and the African American community lobbied to get Death Row Records founder Michael Harris a commutation. Harris was doing a life sentence for conspiracy to commit murder and drug dealing. Harris was a model inmate after 25 long years in Federal prison. It was time to go home.
Former Otisville inmate 43 year old Helle Nahmad was granted a post prison pardon. Helle did about 6 months in the Otisville camp for his role in a high end illegal sports betting ring, which also included Molly Bloom, who was the main character in the movie “Molly’s Game.” The Nahmad family is worth billions of dollars and owns the largest collection of Picasso paintings in the world. I was locked up with Helle. I taught Helle how to mop a floor in Otisville. Apparently billionaires don’t teach their children how to mop. Al Capone’s nickname at Alcatraz was “the wop with the mop.” Helle’s nickname at Otisville was “H’ell.” Helle was a decent guy. Helle regaled us with stories about the high life, where he partied with the rich and famous. Helle’s best friends were Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Brady and Tom’s wife supermodel Gisele. Everyone wanted to be Helle’s friend. But Helle didn’t like phonies. Helle liked to spend every night playing backgammon with a heavy set Italian guy from Maine, who was missing a few teeth, named Sonny. Sonny told everyone that Helle and him were besties and Helle was going to set him up in the art business when he got out. Sonny ended up getting shipped out of Otisville because he failed to pay a big gambling debt he had with another inmate. Sonny almost had a heart attack in my cell. Helle kept in touch with some of the guys after he got released, but he was not the type to give away money to ex-cons. He was a businessman. He sometimes compained about people on the outside who tried to rip him off. Helle had one of the actors from the Wolf of Wall Street visit him in Otisville.
45 year old real estate fraudster Eliyahu Weinstein was locked up in Fort Dix and was scheduled to be released on December 25, 2033 when he got a commutation of his sentence. Eli operated a real estate investment scheme out of Lakewood, NJ, and scammed Jewish investors in Lakewood out of a half a billion dollars, if not close to a billion. Eli is celebrating his freedom in Lakewood, but he will be back in Fort Dix if he violates his probation and starts up new scams. I predict that Eli will end up back in prison in a couple of years. Guys like Eli are addicted to crime.
Two Otisville guys who tried to get pardons and commutations apparently didn’t make the cut, Hassan Nemazee and Rabbi Mendel Epstein. Iranian-American Hassan Nemazee was a big time fundraiser for the Democratic Party. Nemazee was close to the Clintons, but not close enough to get pardoned by the Democrats. Nemazee was able to scam Citibank out of $200 million dollars by submitting a few phony brokerage statements of his net worth. Nemazee got ten years in Otisville. I was locked up with Nemazee. Nemazee was an arrogant old man. Nemazee was the Persian prince. Nemazee finished his sentence a couple of years ago. Before Nemazee got released he got in a physical fight with another old man. The guards laughed at them and threw them in solitary. I assume the Donald rejected Nemazee for the same reason that the Donald rejected Democrat Sheldon Silver, which is strange because there is speculation that the Donald will form his own political party. 75 year old Rabbi Epstein is locked up in Butner, after getting transferred out of Otisville for medical reasons. Epstein got COVID19. Epstein is scheduled to be released in 2024. I don’t know why the Donald passed over Epstein. Epstein and Nemazee may have better luck with Joe Biden.
A video of Shulem Weiss a few hours after his release from Otisville was posted on Youtube. Weiss, along with the other guys who were pardoned, were very wealthy and had big time political connections. Its not fair that they got released while hundreds of thousands of other guys are still locked up in animal cages. But anyone who has ever been locked up for a substantial period of time is celebrating their release. Nobody forgets the day of their liberation. The punishment does not always fit the crime. I met hundreds of guys in Otisville. I only know of two guys who ended up back in prison.
In 2014 Canadian Rabbi Mark Zirkind was caught speeding on a highway leading to Montreal. Mark had just flown into the Toronto airport and was heading back to Montreal in a rental car. Mark had picked up over a million dollars in cash from an international narco drug dealer at a shopping mall near the Toronto airport. Lesson to learn from Mark: If you have over a million dollars in narco cash you should obey the traffic laws.
Mark got busted by the Canadian Mounties and went to trial. At trial Mark claimed that he was duped by rabbis and narco dealers. Mark thought he was transporting “Shoah Gelt.” Mark told the Canadian jury that he thought he was delivering cash for safekeeping for Jews in Europe who were afraid of a second Holocaust. Mark told the jury that he was doing a mitzvah. The jury didn’t believe Mark. Mark got sentenced to four years in a Canadian prison in Saskatchewan where he learned how to smoke salmon and tan pelts.
Rabbi Mark enlisted his American brother Rabbi Zalman Zirkind to help him launder money for international drug dealers. Rabbi Zalman in turn enlisted his nephew Rabbi Benzion Zirkind to join him in the family business. The Rabbis laundered tens of millions in cash through New York, Hong Kong, Israel, Columbia, Canada and Mexico. Zalman and Benzion both got busted by the Feds. Zalman pleaded guilty. Zalman is getting sentenced tomorrow in Federal Court before Judge Denise Cote in New York City. Zalman was facing 14 years of incarceration based on the Federal sentencing guidelines. The Justice Department agreed to lower their recommendation to five years based on Zalman’s health and family issues. Zalman has many children and has some personal medical issues, as well as medical issues related to his children.
Zalman’s nephew Benzion pleaded not guilty. Benzion will be facing trial with his co-conspirators Emiliano Bomba, Brian Para Machado, Jose Baez, and Andy Garibaldi Lopez. I don’t believe that you can count Benzion’s co-conspirators for a minyan.
Zalman’s attorney has made the following arguments for leniency in court filings: “In contrast to many men in Zirkinds’ Orthodox Jewish community, including his own father, who relinquished all child rearing responsibilities, ie., never change diapers, grocery shop, or take their children to community outings, Zirkind proudly and fully shared home and child rearing responsibilities with his wife…. he would also fill the family car with gas, take out the garbage, pay the bills, deal with the bank, take the children to school and doctors’ appointments, and for the Sabbath, would make the cholent a special meal prepared on Friday to be enjoyed on Saturday… The reactions from people in Zalman’s community upon learning of his crime include scorn, ridicule and ostracism. Even some family members no longer want to have anything to do with him… Though now of marriage age, Zalman’s son appears to be ostracized by the matchmakers and mothers in his community. Before Zalman’s arrest, mothers and matchmakers were promoting others to marry his oldest son. Before his arrest, a marriage was on the short horizon. The Zirkind family, now shamed in the community by Zalman’s sins, and plea of guilt, the heretofore imminent marriage appears as a black hole in that young man’s future.”
The Feds will argue at sentencing that Zalman continued to launder millions of dollars of narco dollars after his brother Mark got busted in Canada in 2014. Didn’t Zalman see the writing on the wall? Zalman’s attorneys argued in response: “In the exercise of its informed discretion, the Government continued to allow Mr. Zirkind to deal with others after he was identified as a money transmitter. Had the Government chosen to arrest Mr. Zirkind in 2018 Zalman could have cooperated and might be facing a lower sentence or guideline range.”
Zalman received numerous character letters of support from prominent Rabbis in the United States and Canada. Zalman also received a character letter signed by renowned Canadian Professor of Mathematics, and author of many inspirational books, Rabbi Doctor Abraham Boyarsky. Dr. Boyarsky wrote the following: “I believe Zalman is a victim of an educational system that I battled fiercely for years… in 1990 I founded TAV College with a mission of training young men like Zalman to acquire a profession such as computer training and earn an honest living. For attempting to do the unthinkable, I was called a traitor by the rabbinical leaders in the community and threatened with cheirim, excommunication. My novel, The Chassidic Trauma Unit, portrays life in this educationally impoverished community. It is my good fortune that most people in my community can’t read English, otherwise I would have been lynched a long time ago.”Zirkind Letters
Considerations for Deciding on a Sentence – A Deficiency of Education? Really…
Zalmund Zirkind is charged with the laundering of funds derived from drug trafficking. There are numerous victims, including those who have fallen victim to drug abuse, overdoses and death for whom Zirkind, whether directly or indirectly, provided a pathway to use. His laundry operation was clever, considered and committed. And excusing this behavior on the basis of a failed education is a travesty.
If Hasidic education is inadequate it should be acknowledged as a failure and fixed. If the Hasidics are fighting any effort to provide them with an adequate education, they should not then be excused from the accompanying failures with respect to abiding by civil laws. The Zirkind family ascribes to their belief system, indoctrination of educational neglect, the accompanying insularity and community centrist religious practice. They should not be rewarded for their choices when running afoul of the law.
The community with which Zirkind identifies is entirely opposed to secular education with rare exception. They claim that their Torah education is superior to civil education, a claim echoed in the United States, Canada and throughout Europe and Israel. Rabbi Zalmund Zirkind is a rabbi, a person held in high esteem and regard, a person of allegedly moral superiority. He is supposed to be exemplary and pristine, setting an example for his followers.
The religious community has fought in courts the world over to prevent the imposition of civil education. There are claims in lawsuits wherein Torah education is described as “superior” and “secular studies as morally challenged.” If Torah education, absent civil studies, is superior are we to reward its failings? Is Zirkind, then, by virtue of the educational environment in which he was raised superior or is he morally challenged? He can’t have it both ways with the above letter also being evidence of reasons for leniency, a shield protecting him for the charges for which he has pleaded guilty.
While the person who wrote that letter claims to have fought the religious educational system for years, his fight is irrelevant. If Zirkind himself believed his education inadequate, why allow his own family members to follow suit? Perhaps so they will later have an excuse to claim that their deficient understanding of the world should yield the benefits of diminished sentencing when they commit crimes? That is an absurdity.
Rabbi Zirkind was to have been a pillar of his community, an example. His affinity for decency as expressed in the above letter does not mitigate the crimes he committed or the responsibility he had to provide a pristine example for his congregants. Were we to be lenient what message would that send to his followers?
The following are pages from the Government’s position on the Zirkind sentencing which can be found on the court docket. It is not to be deemed as complete.
Holding Nursing Home Magnates to Account for Their Flippant Handling of the Covid-19 Pandemic
From our perspective, it is about time that nursing homes in the State of New York are being held to account for their reporting of nursing home deaths. To this point, many have been poorly managed and the oversight of that management has been staggeringly absent. The reason? Well, Governor Cuomo, Tish James and many political candidates in both parties have nursing home owners, their lawyers, their vendors, their advocates all supporting political campaigns. Either that support comes in the form of direct check-writing or through Super PAC’s, courtesy of Citizen’s United. Trying to hold the same people who got you elected accountable for the horrors within their nursing homes is a risky gamble when it comes to a political future.
And then there are the lobbyists. You know. The ones who lobby the government for leeway, some wiggle room. This applies both to standards of healthcare, or rather, standards of moral human decency and financial accounting methods. That accounting is also Medicaid, Medicare and Private Insurance companies who are being defrauded time and time again. Why they have not thrown the breakers on eludes us.
A BuzzFeed News investigation, based on thousands of pages of documents and more than 100 interviews in the US, Congo, and Europe, provides a first-ever look inside Mer’s aggressive campaign to influence the Trump administration and serve Kabila’s interests. It shows how such efforts can shape foreign policy in ways unbeknownst to both the public and senior government officials, through meetings and phone calls that leave few witnesses and little trace of the private influences involved.
In this case, the most powerful nation in the world swept aside authoritarian abuses — even when many of its own top diplomats thought such a decision flew in the face of US interests.
Despite all the promises that Kabila’s proxies made in Washington that year, Congo’s election, ultimately held in December 2018, was neither free nor fair. Citing voting data that leaked after the election, international observers said that it was brazenly rigged in favor of a candidate with whom Kabila had struck a secret power-sharing deal. Kabila would officially step down, but he would still command Congo’s security forces, his allies would still hold top Cabinet positions, and his party would still wield a legislative majority.
Within days of the election, the leaked voting data sparked protests across Congo. Heads of state in Europe and Africa called for an international investigation. The US echoed the denunciation.
Mer’s efforts in Washington looked doomed.
But a month after the election, in January 2019, the Trump administration suddenly dropped its objections and instead praised “Kabila’s commitment to becoming the first president in DRC history to cede power peacefully through an electoral process.” The decision to reverse course came from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, BuzzFeed News has learned. But it shocked veteran diplomats and rank-and-file State Department officials who had crafted the initial policy. And it put an end to the international coalition that was forming to examine the election.
Let me refresh your memory, on November 7, 2019, in a follow up to an article I posted on November 6, 2019, I published an opinion piece entitled “Dan Gertler and the OFAC Sanctions – Someone Had to Have Been Negotiating with Glencore” wherein I corrected the record as to dates from the previously posted article and presented my theories. The relevant corrected dates of that article, however, only serve to substantiate my theory, that there were a series of well-timed announcements, one corresponding though seemingly unconnected to the other and all subtly buried in a haze of smoke and mirrors. Then came the pandemic and any modicum of an investigation into the activities of the relevant players fell to the wayside.
I maintain that there were lobbyists behind the scenes negotiating on Gertler’s behalf with respect to the Magnitsky Act Sanctions and corresponding payments from Glencore allegedly due to Gertler. Gertler’s proven connection to Kabila providing a backdrop. In 2019 I did not complicate matters, however, by adding in the Congo/Glencore connection because I had fully intended to fill in that piece at some future date. Suffice it to say that the sanctions were imposed upon Dan Gertler (and his related companies) by the United States for his mining activities and human rights abuses in the Congo. While both the US, for formality’s sake, and Gertler and his associates now deny the allegations of abuse that triggered the imposition of the sanctions, The Africa Report, Global Witness and Bloomberg to name a few, have made direct and undeniable connections between Gertler and those abuses. They have also directly connected Gertler to Kabila and Kabila to Gertler. While they have not necessarily tied Gertler to Kabila’s reelection, or rather re-positioning of power, the connection is largely undeniable; and we maintain the whole show was being negotiated by Guiliani and/or his associates and Mer.
The name ParCare is flying through the news media and blogosphere like wildfire. There are dozens of links, each regurgitating much the same story – that ParCare either fraudulently obtained and distributed Covid-19 vaccines or that ParCare legitimately obtained the Covid-19 vaccine but fraudulently distributed it to places for which they were not licensed to distribute and to people to whom they were not permitted to administer it. There are also variations in between. Sadly, however those two versions of the same story cannot co-exist.
Did ParCare obtain the vaccine legally or did they not? Simple question. One would think there is a simple answer; but no one is really demanding the answers from the State of New York, which has historically lacked oversight in all areas of healthcare and medicine. ParCare is allegedly cooperating with the investigation and has returned unused vials of the Moderna vaccine.
The most irking question is why is the very community that has flaunted unabashedly an aversion to the laws, even to the braggadocios conclusion that the group is not comprised of Americans and therefore not going to follow US laws, were some of the first to be granted access to a vaccine. Okay. If you are not going to follow the law then why should you be afforded the benefits that the law allows? How can a community so openly unwilling to cooperate and to do what’s right for the preservation of human life be granted first rights to healthcare and vaccinations supplied by the very same laws they refuse to follow? This is not about religion, it is about the sanctity of human life and a group unwilling respect it.
Our theory is that someone in Trump’s government or advisory group is in the process of going into business with Philip Esformes and the commuted sentence helps to facilitate that. Just a theory…
Suffice it to say, we have no other statement than that this is a disgraceful decision. It is everything wrong with the Presidential pardon power and a shining example of Trump’s failures as a human being, setting aside his failures as President. Yes. Some would disagree.
It is hard, however, to make a case for commuting the sentence of Esformes, though some have done it and we question their judgement. It would be like setting Bernie Madoff free. That, at this point, would come as no surprise.
Esformes spent years perfecting the craft of defrauding the healthcare industry and patients in nursing homes paid the price. He is a godless creature of habit and no amount of prayer in our view diminishes the harm he caused to vulnerable people and the healthcare industry at large. This opinion is yet another condemnation of the lack of nursing care oversight in the United States.
We submit that Trump should spend a few months in one of Esformes’ worst homes and see what he thinks afterwards. It could be almost like “Undercover Boss.” Trump would be forced to allow no one to know he is the President and get treated like other patients. If only…
Philip Esformes – Today, President Trump commuted the term of imprisonment of Philip Esformes, while leaving the remaining aspects of his sentence, including supervised release and restitution, intact. This commutation is supported by former Attorneys General Edwin Meese and Michael Mukasey, as well as former Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson. In addition, former Attorneys General Edwin Meese, John Ashcroft, and Alberto Gonzalez, as well as other notable legal figures such as Ken Starr, have filed in support of his appeal challenging his conviction on the basis of prosecutorial misconduct related to violating attorney-client privilege.
While in prison, Mr. Esformes, who is 52, has been devoted to prayer and repentance and is in declining health.
To read the article in its entirety in Yeshiva World News, click here.
But, so too are most nursing homes and rehabilitation centers. Many of them represent the greatest constitutional violation of life, liberty, happiness and dignity for those most vulnerable who are confined to many of the nations homes.
There are very personal reasons why this blogger knows so much about them and their deplorable conditions. Setting aside visits to upwards of 45 different nursing homes and rehabilitation centers throughout New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania and being asked to negotiate a bid on Personal Protective Equipment by an unsuspecting client, research on homes and their owners has made the entire industry stomach-turning. That client did not realize at the time that the equipment he was asked to broker had been taken from a nursing home (paid for by Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance) and warehoused in New Jersey. Someone else likely did the deal, the client walked away.
So, perhaps Covid-19 was necessary to open people’s eyes to the dangers of nursing homes and rehabilitation centers and to provide much needed incentive for the government to oversee them with vigor, zeal and a passion that reflects our need to protect the elderly and most vulnerable.
Well, this might just be wishful thinking.
Suffice it to say, most owners and operators are looking to the bottom line. It is about the money, the profit and loss, the quasi virtual auction of human life by social services, guardianship, social workers in hospitals and the individuals that make the wheels of the human life industry turn. Many are morally bankrupt and the more their pockets get lined the more soulless they become.
The pandemic is reshaping the way Americans care for their elderly, prompting family decisions to avoid nursing homes and keep loved ones in their own homes for rehabilitation and other care.
Americans have long relied on institutions to care for the frailest seniors. The U.S. has the largest number of nursing-home residents in the world. But families and some doctors have been reluctant to send patients to such facilities, fearing infection and isolation in places ravaged by Covid-19, which has caused more than 115,000 deaths linked to U.S. long-term-care institutions.
To continue reading in The Wall Street Journal, click here.
“We should be able to provide more services in the home setting that can enable somebody to be independent,” said Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. “Covid is going to force a national conversation about how we take care of our elderly, and clearly there are issues in nursing homes that go beyond infection control,” she said.
During his campaign, President-elect Joe Biden promised to spend $450 billion to make sure people who need long-term care can get support in the home and community.
They had survived so much already — war and dust storms, cancer and poverty, lost eyesight, lost spouses, lost memories — and still went on to find moments of grace inside the corridors of America’s nursing homes.
In Windsor, Conn., Johnny James ate chocolate bars with his visiting great-grandchildren. In Lewiston, Idaho, Edna McBride celebrated her 100th birthday. In Providence, R.I., Florence Tilles, who had two knee surgeries, liked to joke she would one day die at the 18th hole of her favorite golf course.
One day came on May 30, when 98-year-old Tilles fell victim to covid-19 amid a soaring death toll that included James and McBride and would soon grow to more than 80,000 residents in nursing homes across the country. They suffered alone, in homes locked down to visitors, peering at the masked faces of weary nurses and aides who risked their own lives to be there.
The industry and the government could have done far more, watchdog groups have said from the beginning, shoring up infection-control protocols and staffing, delivering stronger oversight of troubled homes and ensuring that coronavirus stimulus payments reached patients and caregivers rather than corporate owners.
Instead, 10 months later, thousands of families are learning to live without goodbyes.
The 51 residents whose stories are told here, one from every state and the District of Columbia, left behind at least 129 children, 230 grandchildren, 210 great-grandchildren and 41 great-great-grandchildren. Some blame the nursing homes for questionable care. Others say they are enormously grateful for the work of caregivers.
Law Firms prized for their Knowledge of Elder Care and Novel Approaches to Protecting the Elderly, and the conflicting interests of the Partners and Associates who Own Financial Stakes in Subpar Nursing and Rehabilitation Centers [OPINION]
The right to “sepulcher” in the law is the “right of a family member or next of kin to find solace and comfort in the act of burying a loved one.” Protecting this right alone can be the basis for a highly respectable and extremely lucrative boutique practice for attorneys. A lawsuit based upon that right can be relevant in situations where fallen soldiers are not returned home, victims of terrorist attacks are not returned to their families; and during the Covid-19 pandemic, bodies are improperly buried or even lost. A recent example is the case of Elayne Boosler, wherein a family members was buried at the hands of a guardian’s signature in the wrong cemetery at significant cost. That case is eliciting calls for an investigation. Her story is gruesome and complicated by a system of guardianship that itself is enshrouded in secrecy and disenfranchisement.
In the United States many law firms with highly intelligent and respected attorneys and practices focused on elder care, geriatric medical abuses, estate planning, insurance and disability, medical malpractice and related practices, simultaneously represent some of the worst offenders in nursing home care abuses. Many of the partners in these firms also own financial stakes in nursing homes, either with their clients or not. It is our opinion that these are diametrically opposed practices; and it is nearly impossible for a law firm to maintain the integrity of one practice area while being paid millions to represent the others. That is an opinion premised on what may be a debatable notion of ethics and moral integrity.
Admittedly, Covid-19 has created a mitigating factor in recent history. But our opinion is unwavering: the lack of care for the welfare of the elderly, the lack of interest in dignity and humanity has governed, with a wholehearted disregard for humanity, particularly in law firms with competing interests. This has occurred throughout our entire system of care and of justice. With respect to dignified and responsible elder care, the Covid-19 tragedy has denied the right to tens of thousands of families of nursing and rehabilitation homes’ patients to be physically present for their loved ones in life and, in many cases, to bury those same people who have had their lives taken by the virus.
We would argue that the fault lies though not entirely, with the owners and financial stakeholders of many of these nursing homes and rehabilitation centers. We would posit that they did not take proper precautions during the pandemic, choosing instead the path of least cost routing. Precautions would have undermined owners’ bottom lines. We maintain that the owners and operators were looking at their P/L Statements (Profit and Loss), and ignoring the potential loss of human life. Some nursing homes carry life insurance for their patients and are themselves beneficiaries of those policies. They therefore profit whether their wards live or die. This makes the situation all the more unpalatable.
For those owners whose real life profession is an active and lucrative legal practice, one which focuses on elder care, the rights of the elderly, estate planning and healthcare services, in our view there has always been a weighing of financial averages and significant conflicts. Moreover, the pandemic has increased the value of lobbying governments to reduce nursing home and even medical accountability, a conflicting premise if you are an elder care lawyer.
To add another wrench in the cogs of a lucrative attorney practice that plays both the elder care and nursing home ownership game, it is less expensive to lobby the government for Covid-19 related immunity provisions which protect owners (often themselves) from liability than to save lives and actually engage in “elder care.” It is a simple financial calculation. And at the end of the day, the elderly lose and the attorneys win.
A reasonable analogy would be a car company that hides known and foreseeable danger in manufacturing because the cost of reimbursement for the death of drivers and passengers is less expensive than recalling the vehicles in question. The outcome is based upon purely financial decisions which will continue status quo unless and until significant financial accountability is mandated.
In our view, both in the nursing home context and in the vehicle scenario, conscience and morality simply do not a play a role in the decision-making of owners and operators. In both instances manipulating political clout to obliterate the chance for families to seek financial compensation for loss of life or consortium has made and continues to make the most financial sense. In both analogous situations, if the people in charge are not held to account, both civilly and criminally, these financial equations will take precedent over the value of human life and lives will be lost.
And please remember, in the situation where the lawyers are the owners and operators of nursing homes, they make money either way. Their legal representation on behalf of owners generates bills for tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars in yearly billables. The nursing home ownership is gravy and the more immunity they obtain for themselves and their clients (who are often partnered with them) from liability the richer the returns on all fronts.
The nagging question is this: how can a law firm, any law firm, simultaneously have a blossoming and distinguished practice of elder care, “rights of sepulchre”, estate planning and other related practice areas and at the same time represent owners of some of the most deplorably run nursing homes in the country? We do not think that it is possible without an inescapable conflict of interest, setting aside the ethical and moral obligations to clients within those practice areas. As a securities matter, we would argue that the LLC interests associated with nursing home ownership represent securities interests and that it should be possible to implicate the SEC and its trading regime. That’s just a thought.
An SEC receiver appointed to preserve assets of the defunct Platinum Partners funds claims that the manager, Mark Nordlicht, of New Rochelle, owes the funds $220 million.
Melanie L. Cyganowski sued Nordlicht Dec. 7 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, White Plains, to stop him from using bankruptcy to get out of paying back creditors.
Nordlicht omitted information and made false statements in bankruptcy documents, the complaint states, as “part of a fraudulent scheme by the debtor to conceal estate assets from the Chapter 7 trustee and his creditors.”
Nordlicht’s bankruptcy attorneys did not respond to a message asking for their client’s side of the story.
Nordlicht co-founded Platinum Partners in 2003, and at one point managed $1.7 billion in assets. But by 2016, the funds were nearly insolvent.
The federal prosecutor in Brooklyn indicted him for securities fraud and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed civil charges. Both cases are pending.
Cyganowski was appointed to marshal assets of several Platinum funds, on behalf of the SEC.
This past June, Nordlicht petitioned for Chapter 7 liquidation, declaring assets of $137,052 and liabilities of more than $206 million.
But according to the Cyganowski complaint, Nordlicht should not be allowed to use bankruptcy to discharge debt because he engaged in a “long-running pattern of fraudulent conduct, by filing false schedules, lying under oath and knowingly deceiving the Chapter 7 trustee.”
A bankruptcy schedule, for instance, shows that Nordlicht and his wife, Dahlia Kalter, receive $25,000 a month from his mother for tuition and other expenses. But Nordlicht’s mother actually wrote them one check, according to the complaint, for $1.4 million.
Nordlicht allegedly did not disclose ownership of a luxury condominium on Manhattan’s Upper West Side or the use of shell companies to conceal assets, as “part of a larger scheme to frustrate a recovery by his creditors in this bankruptcy.”
Cyganowski links the alleged bankruptcy misinformation to Nordlicht’s management of the Platinum funds.
“THE CORRUPTION IN THE BROOKLYN DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS LEGENDARY AND I THINK IT HAS NEVER, EVER BEEN WORSE THAN WHAT HAS HAPPENED TODAY. IT IS OUTRAGEOUS. YOU ARE HIDING THE RESULTS OF A VOTE THAT YOU KNOW YOU LOST. JUST COME CLEAN. YOU LOST!”
Lost Messiah has been publishing articles for nearly 5 years as a labor of love, without the benefit of financial gains or advertising. The reason: WE DID NOT WANT TO BE BEHOLDEN, NOT TO POLITICS, NOT TO MONEY AND NOT TO HALF-TRUTHS OR MISPERCEPTIONS. Lost Messiah’s blogger needs your help defending a defamation lawsuit wherein the Plaintiffs are represented by partners at the law firm who are, in large part, responsible for choosing the judges who decide these cases. The case is about a lot more than just freedom of speech and press and the rulings could be used to set precedent going forward.
You may ask why this is relevant. Well, the Kings County Democratic Committee largely decides who is given the opportunity to run for political, legislative and legal positions which include Judgeships, if they want to run on the Democratic ticket. Given the history of allegations of corruption, the lack of transparency and the lack of “full disclosure.” Something has to give.
Democrats generally win in Kings County, particularly on the judicial slate.
It should be clear to anyone reading this that if you control the legislative branch and the judicial branch of Kings County, New York, you control the county. If you are a leader in the KCDC, you have significant power in Kings County, power that is not illegal but highly political and may raise questions of conflicts of interest. If you are also head of the Bar Association, you are effectively a “Macher” – a Rainmaker, a god among men in Kings County.
Many of the people responsible for the decisions regarding who gets a political, legislative and judicial presence on a Democratic ticket are attorneys who practice in Kings County in the very same courtrooms, before judges whom they were responsible for choosing. They work with the same legislators in creating legislation, which includes but is not limited to the most recent “Granny Killer Immunities” that prevent nursing home owners from any liability for their acts, conducts and omissions which led to the death of thousands of nursing home patients. The list goes on and on. But these are the issues that grace the pages of this blog.
While the somewhat incestuous relationship between the members of the KCDC and those who they determine will sit on the elective slate has been going on for years, it is the opinion of this blogger that there is no way on this earth that victors from the slate can avoid feeling beholden to those who made certain that they were elected for their seats. This blogger contends that there is no way that legislators do not favor those who gave them their political place on the Democratic ticket, it would be highly surprising if judges did not feel beholden to those who seated them, if not uncomfortable with the backlash were they to rule unfavorably; and there is no way that the system is fair and just, not for litigants, not for residents of the county and not for the ordinary people who need a fair and just system.
To compound this binary relationship between attorney members of the Kings County Democratic Committee and the judges chosen to run for judicial office, the hierarchical placement of judges is also decided by the KCDC, and many of the judges have allegedly given the attorneys who got them seated a padded caseload of guardianship cases, housing cases, foreclosure cases and others for which an attorney is appointed and there is a lot of money to be made.
Lost Messiah leaves you with this final thought – something to munch on: it is the opinion of this blogger that the alleged corruption plays a role in the trajectory of many lawsuits, particularly where big money and power players are involved.
It is the opinion of this blogger that the seemingly incestuous relationship between party politics and judges in Kings County must change; so even an inkling of impropriety would be utterly unheard of.
Brooklyn state Justice Edgar Walker ruled that party chairwoman Rodneyse Bichotte and the executive board violated election law by unilaterally appointing Democrats to newly created positions as well as other existing committee vacancies.
He nullified the 2,400 appointments.
There are 2,100 elected members on the county committee whose views were ignored, the judge said.
From The New York Post
“The Brooklyn Democratic Party has been abusing its power, undermining democracy, and violating the Election Law. It’s time for this to stop,” said Ali Najmi, the election lawyer who represented 11 plaintiffs in the case.
On Monday, the Kings County Democratic County Committee sued the state in Brooklyn federal court over the court order forcing the county committee to hold an organizational meeting, alleging that forcing the party to follow election law by holding a virtual meeting “restricts and limits their discretion in how to organize themselves,” and “infringes upon the party’s right to free association.” (The same day, however, the county committee sent a notice to members that a a virtual organizational meeting would move ahead on December 16th at noon).
The latest lawsuit comes after months of divisions—centered on members pushing for more inclusion within the party’s county committee—that intensified last week during heated discussions over recent rule changes. The most recent changes have resulted in accusations of a “power grab” among district leaders, leading Frank Seddio, the former party boss who still functions as a district leader, to say out loud what his criticshave long accused him of doing:
“We need all of the county committee members we can get to overcome these fucking progressives when we have the meeting,” Seddio said at a December 2nd meeting.
Yes keep them chained in poverty and in ignorance ……so that we keep shnooring for them ….
At a recent meeting of the Organization of Principals of Haredi Seminaries, the Vizhnitzer Rebbe expressed his strong opposition to haredi girls learning in university, likening advanced academic studies to the “Greek wisdom” that Torah sages have been traditionally opposed to throughout Jewish history, and asserting that the underlying purpose of introducing haredim to advanced university studies is to “implant ideas of heresy” into their minds.
“We are now approaching the festival of Hanukkah, and as is known, one explanation for the Torah verse describing how the ‘earth was empty and formless and darkness was upon the face of the deep’ is that it refers to the rule of the Greek Empire, and the attempts of the Greeks to cloud the vision of the Jewish People via their decrees,” the Rebbe said. “Their sole desire was to teach the Jewish People their Greek wisdom and to separate them, G-d forbid, from the Torah of G-d. Therefore, we use a specific term that hints at this ‘darkness’ when we refer to their attempts to make us forget our connection to Torah, because being connected to G-d and His Torah comes from a place of light, whereas the opposite comes from darkness.”
The Rebbe then linked his words to the current trend of university learning, saying, “I came here in order to arouse the listeners to the urgency of this matter of advanced academic studies which are forbidden, and indeed it should be obvious that such studies are in opposition to the wisdom of the holy Torah which enlightens mankind – they achieve the opposite effect and bring about only darkness.
“Such is the situation today as well,” the Rebbe continued, “in their attempts to convince us with nice-sounding phrases and persuade us that this will enable us to earn a respectable income, and from there things just deteriorate.”
Referring to the commonly made claim that having a degree enables a person to earn a higher income, the Rebbe said that given that this is accompanied by a decline in a person’s spiritual level, it should not be a matter for serious consideration, as “no G-d-fearing person wants his spiritual state to decline, regardless of possible material gains.
Please continue at the home of this article, on Dusiznies, here; and remember to browse their advertisements.
To anyone who does not want to be directly linked to the GoFundMe but who is interested in assisting the defense of the lawsuit against LostMessiah’s blogger you are kindly invited to send checks to LM’s attorney directly. Please put LostMessiah in the memo line of the check.
Henry R. Kaufman, P.C. 60 East 42nd Street 47th Floor New York, NY 10165 Phone: (212) 880-0842 Fax: (212) 682-1965
Hard Money (a/k/a Predatory) Lenders are More Likely to Sink you Than Save You! Avoid!
We could warn you off hard money lenders until the moon turns blue; and some of you will be convinced, nonetheless, to take out a hard money loan. These are also referred to as predatory Lenders who offer Predatory Loans. In times like Covid-19 when people are in financial dire straits, it may seem like the best possible option. It is not. This cannot be emphasized enough – these loans are not worth it. They are expensive and will most likely cost you your current business and a chance at a future. Inevitably these hard money loans end in a loss, regardless of best efforts, and often that reality takes months to set in, when finances have already been largely dissipated and the agony prolonged. And, when you are at your darkest, another offer will come into your “Inbox” providing the euphoric feeling that you have found an option. You have not.
The following is a warning and is intended to serve you well. “Dealstruck”
We have a spreadsheet of names of companies that offer hard-money loans, their top tier officials, their investors in some cases, their attorneys and collection agents and how many of these companies are interconnected. Many of these companies are represented by a cadre of collaborative attorneys who communicate with one another, so where someone has defaulted on one loan, there is another waiting in the wings.
That spreadsheet is available upon request.
Hard money loans are generally provided absent credit review, making them attractive to desperate borrowers with lousy credit. Depending upon the amount requested, the review is one that requires submission of bank account statements and receivables, nothing else. It seems too good to be true because it is too good to be true.
As an illustrative example using very simple numbers, you are short $20,000 and need it quickly. You take out a hard-money loan because they guarantee you an interest rate of 1.5% and immediate cash. Right at the outset, you get stuck with a fee usually referred to as a processing fee, an implementation fee, a finder’s fee or some other name making it feel acceptable. The lender promises this fee will be taken and capitalized from the top of the loan so you will not even notice.
In other words, the fee can be $2,000, $4,000 – any number but it feels palatable because there are no “closing costs.” Let’s assume for illustration that the fee is $2,000 or 10% of the total loan. You now owe $22,000.00 but have access to $20,000.00 of that money. You have already paid 10% on the loan before even getting started. Now for the sake of ease, the payback term is 10 months (these are generally short-term loans) and also for the sake of ease, lets pretend that this is a 0% interest loan – to make the numbers easier. Remember, you have already paid 10% capitalized on the top or 1%/month over 10 months. In essence that is 12% per year.
Now, lets assume that your monthly draw is $2,200/month (ease of numbers). This means that they withdraw $2,200.00 from your account each month. But, they tell you that for each draw, they are going to take another $110.00 for servicing fees. That means they are actually taking $2,310.00/month. That’s actually 1.55% each month. This adds up to $3,100.00 over 10 months or 15.5% over that same 10 months and that is without including what we said was the 1.5% interest fee that you agreed to. Consider how much this would be if we had calculated in the 1.5% interest rate you were offered as a “low interest loan”. You are being taken for a financial waterboarding and not even realizing it.
To add insult to injury, most of these companies require you sign a personal guarantee and a Confession of Judgement. This COJ means, if you fail to make a payment – or default on the loan – the Lender can submit the confession of judgement and you can be held to account for the entire debt even if you have completed 1 payment or 9 payments, it does not matter. In the simple example above, you are responsible for $23,100.00 without even considering the interest rate. To put it bluntly, you are generally on the hook for the entire amount of the debt until it is fully paid off.
Last year the State of New York implemented a law that precludes the use of COJ’s as a remedy. It has not stopped many of these Lenders because a COJ is legal in other states even if it is not legal in New York. So, many of these companies get around that by changing the forum and jurisdiction of both the agreements you sign and the place of adjudication. The combination is toxic.
For today we are going to warn you against the following company: “Dealstruck.” We have chosen this company because they are impossible to avoid once they get your email and/or telephone numbers. The emails hit your inbox daily, if not more than that, and it may seem like a worthwhile idea to look at the company and see what they have to offer. It is not. After multiple emails and telephone requests, they have not removed at least one person’s information from their registers.
The following is a text of their email. This company has been reported to the authorities for their harassing tactics. We offer a warning against using this company and companies like it, which are all some form of predatory lenders offering hard money loans.
In the interest of protecting a modicum of Dan’s privacy, we have removed his cell phone. The rest of the email is the actual text of what you might see coming into your email box. It is entitled “As you wish” or “More As you Wish” in its most recent iteration as follows :
Hi, I wanted to introduce myself and go over a few available funding options we have for you. Our rates start at 3% and we just started offering monthly payments. It would help if you could answer the following quick questions: How much are you looking for? Are you seeking short or long term funding options? Do you have any open balances? How soon were you looking to get funded? Do you have any current competing offers you would like us to beat?
Looking forward to your response. Alternatively, feel free to reach out to me on my cell to discuss open options.