Meet Joan, Another Victim of the Legal System…One of Judge Asarch’s Last Abused Citizens-Part Two

This is Part Two of Joan Pezzollo’s story and the tragedy that befell her family. As stated in part One, George Esernio, the guardian attorney with the law firm Albanese and Albanese in Garden City, New York, has isolated Marilyn from her children and grandchildren without cause.

Update: Joan received a phone call yesterday, May 28, 2013 from Sal, a family friend, informing her that her mother was in the hospital, having suffered a stroke. Joan immediately contacted her lawyer and told him she was going to see her mother and was concerned the guardian would try to stop her. When Joan’s attorney called the guardian, George told him that Joan’s mother had already been released. Joan then called the hospital and found out that not only was her mother still there, but she had been there for the past three days. He also told Joan’s lawyer that there was no health care proxy, which is not true. When Joan arrived at the hospital she found that the contact information listed on hospital records were the name and numbers of the aide that had been fired in December, 2012 and the current aide, Molly. Strangely, Molly was also listed as the next of kin. George Esernio’s name was listed without a telephone number. No family was listed on hospital records. Joan then discovered that her mother had been admitted to the hospital on many previous occasions and the guardian never notified Marilyn’s family.

Why are so many lies being told? Why isn’t the guardian doing the right thing and notifying Marilyn’s family when she falls ill? What excuse could there possibly be for all of this odd, secretive and abusive behavior?  

By Joan Pezzollo

“Judge Asarch did not immediately assign a guardian to my mother nor did he declare her incapacitated.  What he did do was assign a geriatric “care” manager, Virginia Belling, Senior Placement Services, Inc. on Broadway in Massapequa. She was supposed to look out for my mother’s health and make certain that her home was safe and someone was always there to look after her. Rachel had somehow convinced Virginia Belling and Judge Asarch that she and my mother had a close and loving relationship and Mom did not want me around. Ms. Belling kept Rachel on as an aide. She never did any investigation nor had any background check completed on her, which is required. It was never addressed in court that she was in this country illegally and did not even have a driver’s license. Ms. Belling simply left Rachel as  Mom’s aide and in her care despite my protests. Even after the facts were uncovered that Rachel had no credentials, that she lied about her educational background, that she was not a med student, that she was driving my mother around illegally, without a driver’s license, Virginia Belling and Judge Asarch still allowed her to stay.

I never said anything more than a good morning to Judge Asarch. I never had a trial or presented any  testimony, there was never any eye contact, and there was never even a hearing or conference. Despite all of this, Judge Asarch stated that “Ms. Pezzolo would have us believe that Rachel has a Svengali like effect on Mrs. Ingrisani when in fact they have a warm and loving relationship.” He also stated in open court on the record that “before I decide who her guardian will be should it be necessary, under no circumstances shall it be Joan Pezzollo.” He gave no reason why; there was no investigation done, he never spoke to me, he just blatantly discriminated against me.  Although I was my mother’s health care proxy and it was irrevocable, he got around that by illegally “suspending” it. It was not until July, 2011, that Judge Asarch finally declared my mother incapacitated, without a guardian and leaving my mother isolated from her family and in Rachel’s care. To the best of my knowledge, it was not until sometime around November, 2011, that a stranger, an attorney by the name of George Esernio with Albanese and Albanese in Garden City, NY was finally appointed as her personal guardian. Judge Asarch assigned POA to Sal; a close family friend of my father’s who is an accountant and financial advisor. Sal has assured me that my mother’s money has not been touched.

George Esernio has refused to allow me or my children to see my mother for the past four years. Not once did George try to arrange any kind of mediation to resolve this or find out if Mom’s illness contributed to this type of behavior. Elderly people with advanced dementia can be easily turned against their loved ones, especially when they are consistently lied to. This is part of the disease and something George Esernio should have known. George also told my law firm that he will not get on the phone with me because he “does not speak to a lay person.” How can he get any clients if he refuses to speak with someone who is not a lawyer? In fact, there was an order of protection filed against me by Joel Kaplan, based on an affidavit given by Rachel who was not even present during the hearing. All of these actions were taken based on false allegations made against me by a woman who came into my family’s life for three weeks in October 2008; within three months time she managed to get attorneys and family members to believe all of her lies. My lawyers and I worked hard to disprove all of these allegations along with letters and testimony from my friends and family, but none of that mattered. My mother, in her severe state of dementia, went along with all of this which only fueled George’s actions to keep Mom isolated.

In December 2012, Rachel took my mother’s credit card and bought herself $800 worth of Tiffany glasses. Since Sal handled the bills, he contacted George and advised him about this. That is when George finally fired Rachel. A new aide, Molly, was then brought in to care for Mom.

I was desperate to see my Mom and begged Sal to help me now that Rachel was gone. Sal cleared my request with the court evaluator, Ernie Bartol, who thought it was a “wonderful idea” since Mom is at the end of her life.

 The last few weeks were both heaven and hell. She is now in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s but she knows who I am. We spent a lot of time just smiling at each other and hugging and holding hands. Mom was thrilled each time I was able to sneak in to see her. What I discovered however, was that my mother was living in squalor; the condition of her once beautiful home virtually destroyed; the smell inside made it virtually uninhabitable. As I walked around I discovered that almost all of the light bulbs were missing from the lamps and high hats; the vacuum cleaner was gone; the refrigerator had very little food in it; there were no cleaning supplies in the house. While I was there my mother, who is not ambulatory, was unable to reach the bathroom in time and had an accident. The aide did not bother to put her in the shower and clean her up. She only half attempted to clean her with some toilet paper. She said she had nothing else to clean her with other than a small bottle of hand sanitizer. I went into the basement and found it filled wall to wall with garbage. All of the expensive custom-made draperies and valances had been removed from the windows and tossed in a pile on the basement floor. I went into her bedroom and found that her expensive custom-made bedspread was gone; stolen. Mom’s huge jewelry box was also missing, along with all of her jewelry valued at over $500,000. And in the middle of the family room was a pile of all of my mother’s valuable artwork, partially wrapped with bubble wrap as if someone was getting ready to move it out of the house. George Esernio is responsible for all of these missing items, but he has not told anyone where they are.  There is an alarm and camera system running but I am not sure if there is any film. The alarm system is not working.  One of the windows in the garage is broken and the front door jamb is cracked all the way down to the bottom, as if someone tried to break in. I have a report in my possession that details all of the activity that has gone on in and around the house for quite some time.

Molly, the aide, called George Esernio and told him I was in the house. She then falsely accused me of stealing a piece of my mother’s jewelry. It became quite apparent that she does not want me there either. George Esernio then immediately called my attorney and banned me once again from going to visit my mother and told the aide not to let me in. George Esernio has been telling everyone for years that my mother does not want to see me and that it is detrimental to her to be around me and my children. Sal told him that there was no truth to what he was saying, that he personally witnessed how happy my Mom was with me back in her life. 

What exactly are the roles that George Esernio and Virginia Belling play in my mother’s life? Other than to be paid exorbitant fees for allowing her home to be ravaged, her personal possessions to be stolen and her care to be diminished to the point of abuse, in my opinion their association with my mother is nothing short of criminal.”      

This story is horrendous. There are many more details that will shortly be published in a continuing series of articles on the abuse of this woman and her family. All of these guardianship cases are about nothing more than money. The arrogance, coupled with the atrocious egos and the misplaced beliefs that the attorneys and judges involved are somehow above the law, allow these crimes to go on unabated, unchecked and unstopped. 

About Diane Wilson

Guardianship must be abolished. This draconian law strips human beings of their civil and humanitarian rights. It is used as a method to dispose of the elderly and disabled, steal their estates, and isolate them from their loved ones.

Posted on May 29, 2013, in GUARDIANSHIP ABUSE and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Joan Pezzollo

    Thank you Deborah. I appreciate your support. It is like living in a nightmare. Its the only way to describe it…..

  2. Deborah McEwin

    This is heartbreaking! Unbelievable, how anyone guilty of such atrocities remain out of jail and can continue doing this criminal behavior. There is a place in HELL for these monsters. Praying, you’re reunited with your mother before it’s too late…

  3. Dr. Gene Pezzollo

    Diane… I am certain that these “expert legal minds” as you refer to them were well aware of Rachel’s motives and agenda. They just didn’t care. Clearly billable hours take precedence. The needs of their ward are irrelevant. Marilyn Ingrisani and others like my mother-in-law are simply a means to an end. Contrary to their claims Asarch, Esernio, Belling etc. do not consider what is best for the incapacitated individual. They just want to continue to “grease” the wheel, regardless of the consequences.
    Marilyn has been deliberately isolated from family & friends under the guise that it was her decision. They utilized the paranoid delusions that are the hallmark of advanced Alzheimer’s & dementia to facilitate their own interests & justify the isolation. They refuse to address the fact that isolation is in fact elder abuse, because permitting access & transparency will expose them for who they really are. The practice must be stopped and these individuals must be exposed. I assure you that I will use whatever legal means that are at my disposal to do so.

    • Thank you for your diagnosis Doctor. You are 100% correct. Paranoid delusions are the hallmark of this illness–which anyone in the business of dealing with the elderly knows– and Rachel and the “legal eagles” in the Nassau county judicial system used it, in my opinion of course, to eagerly dip their hands into Marilyn’s bank account.

      I experienced this first hand during my own mother’s illness. My siblings lied to her and told her I was stealing her money and her jewelry and her reactions to me were the same that Joan experienced. The difference was my mother suffered from dementia only; it was not advanced; she did not have Alzheimer’s. So I was able to reach her before it was too late and show her exactly what the truth was. Rachel purposely isolated Marilyn and used the legal system to do it and they played right along with her. They knew what the truth was and they still do. Joan sent hundreds of photos to George Esernio showing him how close they all were and all of the family photos, all current. He refused to look at them and sent them all back to her. Now why would he do that? Why wouldn’t he do a “real” investigation as a lawyer is required to do by law? Why wouldn’t George Esernio do a backgrund check on Rachel? Why didn’t George listen to your friends and family? Why didn’t he research exactly what Alzheimer’s and dementia do to an elderly person’s mind? Why is Marilyn living in squalor? Why was her home destroyed by the previous aide? Why is there no food in the house? Why were all of the curtains torn down? Where did half a million dollars worth of jewelry go? Why was Rachel allowed to bring in other “friends” to live there? Why, when Marilyn was declared “incapacitated” did Rachel have her sign her car over to her? Why was that allowed? Why are there unrepaired broken windows in the house? Why does the home smell so bad that it is uninhabitable? Why was there no soap or toilet paper in the house until Joan spent her own money during the small window of time she had to visit her mother? And why is there an aide there now who is elderly herself, in her 70’s, unable to pick Marilyn up, on all sorts of medications herself, who does not shower her when she has an accident? And why is there a geriatric “care” manager, Virginia Belling, Senior Placement Services in Massapequa, who is getting paid and not doing her job? There are so many questions that remain unanswered. However, you and I and Joan know all of the answers to these questions. So does every other family member who has a loved one isolated and locked away under the guise of “guardianship” which is supposedly for protection of the “ward.” They want the money, and they want it so badly that Marilyn cannot even have a bar of soap or toilet paper.

      Justice will be done, I pray it is not too late for Marilyn. However, your response indicates that you are going to do everything in your professional power to save this woman from the hell she has been forced to live in. I look forward to hearing some good news.

  4. Joan Pezzollo

    Thank you for all your support everyone… I am a TRUE believer in Karmic dept, and I do know that you reap what you sow. These people will all reach the same demise as Asarch, which is to say, they did it to themselves. I love my Mother with every fiber of my being, and I will never stop fighting for her rights. All of the tactics used by Asarch, Esernio NOT intimidate me, in fact, it does just the opposite. It makes me fight harder. George Esernio has been abusing and neglecting my mother while taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from my mother’s estate, and is arrogant enough to believe that I am just going to sit around and watch him do it. He is sadly mistaken, I just hope his health lasts long enough so that I can watch him self-destruct…

  5. It is sometimes a harsh world we live in. What I can tell you is that Joan will find peace when this is all done for having tried everything within her legal rights to gain access to her mother. What George Esernio and the others involved will find out is that they will be heading towards the quick fate that others who do this end up with, such as the late dishonorable Judge Asarch. I do “know” that the lawyers, current judge and aides associated with the abuse, alleged thievery and cruelty to this family will be at the hands of some intense Karmic interaction.

    While that may sound a bit “new age” to those who have no faith or have a false or hypocritical belief in a Higher Power, I have seen enough and heard enough from my two decades of working in the field with people to know how the universe operates. Nevertheless, I’ll pray for their souls when redemption comes to them for their heinous actions.

    • Thank you for your response Jim. Your comments are always welcome and much appreciated. There is nothing that sounds “new age” about what you stated. The point is if your intentions are evil, as those who have isolated Marilyn from her daughter and grandchildren have been and continue to be in this case, then you will suffer the consequences. I think these “legal eagles” somehow forgot what life and love and people are really all about.

      Joan has been working tirelessly to save her mother from this awful fate after Rachel showed up and I can tell you that the love she has for her mother is such that she will never stop fighting for her and for justice.

      The former Judge Asarch certainly left one awful and sad legacy behind.

  6. Dr. Gene Pezzollo

    In my opinion New York State is aiding and abetting elder abuse and is as culpable as the corrupt judiciary and their cronies that prey on the incapacitated and the disabled under the guise of providing protection for their wards.

    • Thank you for your comment Dr. Pezzollo, and please allow me to extend my sympathy to you for the heartbreak and pain you and your family are suffering at the hands of these cruel people in the judicial system. Your mother-in-law and your wife long to be together as they always were. But somehow this woman Rachel, an illegal immigrant from Trinidad came in to your life and used Marilyn’s illness to work some form of mind control, and of course we do not know what drugs she was possibly feeding her. The very sick part of all of this is that Judge Asarch, Virginia Belling and George Esernio appear to have been working hand in hand with Rachel to perpetuate the abuse. And if they were NOT working with her then that means that all of these “expert legal minds” were fooled by this one woman with no education who should not have even been in our country. What is your opinion? I do trust your expert knowledge.

  7. MaryAnna Tygart

    I am so sorry you and your mother are going through this. It is so sad that these people stole so much from you and your family and the most disheartening is stolen memories and time your babies could have spent getting to know their grandmother. :**(

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