Meet Joan, Another Victim of the Legal System…One of Judge Asarch’s Last Abused Citizens
The frustration and heartbreak and anger of those whose loved ones are being held in abusive guardianships are growing in leaps and bounds. I receive many calls and e-mails and letters from people desperate to tell their story. They tell me how they cried after reading about my Mom, they tell me how they could not bear to watch my mother pleading for release from captivity, and they offer me their condolences over and over again. Some wish to remain anonymous, for now. Others tell me that because I went public with my story it gave them courage to go public with their own horrific tale of abuse. They are no longer afraid.
This is the story of one such woman. Through many e-mails and phone calls, through tears and gasps and starts and stops; through crying and anger and yelling and absolute frustration and shock, I finally heard her story; a story that should have been reported in the mainstream media, on the evening news and headlines in all of the local and national newspapers. The media was notified in this case, as it was in my mother’s case, but once again, they completely ignored this story as well. After what I personally have seen and been through and after all of the stories I have heard, I thought nothing would surprise me anymore. But each story carries its own unique tale, its own DNA, its own pain and heartbreak. And each and every story breaks my heart just a little bit more, while making my determination to fight for justice even stronger.
Joan Pezzollo is a loving daughter desperate to save her mother. She is an intelligent and articulate woman who holds a masters degree in sociology and psychology; the wife of a prominent doctor; the mother of five children and two stepsons; the beloved daughter of Marilyn Ingrisani of Carle Place, a woman who is currently under the guardianship of George Esernio, an attorney with Albanese and Albanese in Garden City, NY. She is another victim of the extraordinarily corrupt judicial system of Nassau County in Long Island, New York.
This is part one of Joan’s story and her long and painful ordeal.
May 20, 2013
by Joan Pezzollo
“My parents had all of their paperwork in order. I am the executrix of their living will and estate, in addition to their power of attorney and irrevocable health care proxy. They trusted me implicitly and wanted to be certain they were taken care of should anything ever happen to them. After my Dad passed away in 2001, my mother kept her house but spent significant periods of time with me and my family in my home. Once I became pregnant with my twins, in February 2008, my mother moved in with me, going back to her home only to retrieve mail. We put a down payment together on a beautiful home with a mother-in-law suite so we could live together. I gave birth to my twins in October of 2008 and within the next few months my family and I moved into our new home. Mom did not make the move with us because she still had to sell her house along with her condo in Florida.
After I gave birth, I hired a baby nurse to help me. When she left for a holiday in Trinidad for three weeks a woman by the name of Rachel replaced her for that time period. She and my mother got along very well. She told me that she was a med student on leave of absence from Columbia and a home health aide. After the Christmas holidays Mom made plans to go to Florida to pack up her condo and put it on the market for sale. Her dementia and her health were steadily declining and I did not want her traveling alone and I was unable to go because I was breastfeeding my twins.
I received a call from Rachel around that time and she volunteered to make the trip with my mother. I had not done a background check on her but I believed she was qualified and Mom loved her so I felt secure enough to allow that. In February of 2009, my mother and Rachel flew to Florida, all at my mother’s expense.
While in Florida, Rachel placed a phone call to me on behalf of my mother. At the time Mom’s dementia was such that she had great difficulty remembering telephone numbers and using the phone to call out. Rachel told me my mother wanted to speak with me. As soon as my mother got on the phone she started yelling at me and accusing me of stealing her money from her Sun Trust account. This was an account that had been closed down years earlier by my father’s financial advisor; an account that I never had access to. Mom had forgotten that the account no longer existed but no matter what I said she did not believe me. What I did not know at the time was that Rachel had figured out how wealthy my mother was and was doing everything she could to pull my mother away from me. During that trip, Rachel somehow convinced my mother that her grandchildren and I were after her money. She also fabricated a story stating that I was in collusion with a friend of mine, a doctor, to have my mother killed. Somehow Rachel had even turned the rest of my family away from me.
They returned from that trip on Easter Sunday, 2009. Rachel brought my mother to my home and Mom gave me a painting as a housewarming gift. She refused to interact with anyone in the family. It was obvious to everyone there that a substantial personality shift had taken place. My husband and I were very concerned. Immediately after that trip Rachel moved into my mother’s house and her plans of moving in with me and selling her home were cancelled.
By either April or May of 2009, Rachel had convinced my mother to make her power of attorney. Rachel took my mother to see a lawyer by the name of Joel Kaplan. She presented herself as an aide and made up a story that Marilyn Ingrasani no longer wanted anything to do with her daughter or her grandchildren and she wanted her daughter’s power of attorney revoked. Joel Kaplan did not reach out to me; he did not ask for any documents or proof; he did not contact my parent’s attorney; he did not question anything. He simply took a check from my mother for $7500.00 and issued the necessary paperwork. I found out about this in June 2009 when I received a letter in the mail from the attorney. I tried to visit my mother but Rachel would not allow me in the house. We went to the police and when they arrived my mother told them she wanted me out of there. They did nothing and left.
My mother physically assaulted me in front of Rachel. I stood there and put my hands over my head and just allowed her to hit me. My husband video recorded this while Rachel just stood there and watched. It was obvious that my mother had suffered some sort of a psychotic break because our relationship had always been close and loving. I immediately hired a lawyer and applied for guardianship. That is how I ended up in Judge Joel Asarch’s courtroom.”
Part Two: Judge Asarch appoints a guardian