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


This is Part Three of Joan Pezzollo’s story about the guardianship abuse of her mother, Marilyn Ingrasani, and the tragedy that befell her family.   

As of the last court hearing, overseen by Judge Knoebel of the Nassau County Supreme Court, Joan was given “permission” for a total of four “supervised” visits with her mother before the next hearing in August; this despite the protests of Virginia Belling, George Esernio and Joel Kaplan. These visits will be supervised by Virginia Belling, the geriatric care manager assigned by the late Judge Joel Asarch.  

As of yesterday, July 10, 2013, Marilyn lies dying in a hospital bed. Joan is forbidden to see her Mom.

By Joan Pezzollo

“Every day I try to wrap my head around this nightmare. I look back and wonder how I was made out to be the villain when my mother and I truly adored each other and I did everything I could to care for her. I ask myself and others over and over again, how can a woman, an uneducated illegal immigrant, posing as a home health care aide and medical student, manage to “fool” a litany of so-called “legal experts” with a combined total of over 150 years’ experience in the law? Did she really fool them or were they working together with her? According to experts that I have spoken with who are very familiar with the criminality of the court system, the judge and these attorneys knew exactly what was going on. The consensus of my family and friends and every other person whose loved ones are/were victims’ of guardianship/elder abuse, this case is simply about money and the looting of my mother’s estate.

The late Nassau County Supreme Court judge, Joel Asarch, who was the presiding judge over this case and at the helm of this abuse, had been practicing law since 1979; he was also a judge for the past 12 years up until his death.

The guardian attorney, George Esernio of Albanese and Albanese in Garden City, New York, has been practicing many different facets of the law for the past 45 years. His bio states that he is active in community and charitable organizations and has served as an officer, director and general counsel of the North Shore Boys & Girls Club among many other foundations. Shouldn’t a person involved with children be kind and compassionate and knowledgeable? George has refused to allow me to see my own mother for the past four years. In fact, I provided Mr. Esernio with a stack of pictures showing me, my mom, the twins and the rest of my family all together before she met Rachel. Before he wrote his report, that no one is allowed to see, he sent these back to me via courier. He was not remotely interested in the fact that Rachel Jones was lying, that she was the one committing elder abuse.

The lawyer who started this mess, Joel Kaplan, a partner in Kaplan Belsky Ross, LLP in Garden city, NY is also the guardian-ad-litem (GAL) for my mother and assigned by the court to “watch out for her needs.” His bio states that he is “an experienced litigator in all fields of law” and president of B’nai Brith International. Well, B’nai Brith International touts the fact that “advocating for seniors” is a prime agenda item.  If that is true, how has he allowed the abuse of my mother to go on for so long?

Judge Asarch, when I applied for guardianship of my mother to protect and save her from Rachel Jones, denied my application. But he did assign a geriatric care manager, Virginia Belling, of Virginia Belling Senior Placement Services, Inc., in Massapequa, NY to “oversee” my mother’s care. Virginia’s website states that she is “chair of the advisory board of the Long Island Alzheimer’s Foundation, and has worked with the foundation since 1987.  SENIOR PLACEMENT SERVICES specializes in assisting those affected by Alzheimer’s disease, and in improving the quality of life for Alzheimer’s patients and their families.” So here is a woman who supposedly knows about this disease and yet ignored my pleas for help and never investigated Rachel’s background. Virginia allowed a non-certified home health aide to live with and care for my mother, allowed her to give my mother medication and never checked on the conditions of the home or my mother’s hygiene.  She refused to do a mini-mental status on Mom from the beginning. It took two years of going to court before the judge finally ordered Virginia to obtain a safe return bracelet, which is crucial for patients with Alzheimer’s. The elaborate alarm system in my mother’s home, including cameras, was disabled by Rachel Jones. This system was installed for the protection of my mother after her home was burglarized. It also allowed anyone who was caring for her to know if she opened the door to leave which is very beneficial for the caregiver of an Alzheimer’s patient.

I hired private detectives, at my own expense, to investigate Rachel and what was truly going on in Mom’s home. It was discovered that she had no home health care training, no specialized training caring for an elderly person with Alzheimer’s, that she was not a medical student, had no driver’s license, and was in this country illegally, Once Virginia was notified about all of this, she simply ignored these facts and still allowed Rachel to stay on as Mom’s caretaker and drive my mother around. I was flabbergasted! Every one of the attorneys, including the judge, had a legal responsibility to report Rachel to immigration and to the police and not one of them filed any report or called any agency. Virginia also knew that Rachel took my mother to the DMV and had her sign over one of her cars to her, a Toyota Camry. And when the lease was up on her Mercedes, despite the fact that Judge Asarch denied my mother the right to drive, Rachel brought her to the dealership to buy the car out. I found that out when the salesman called me to find out what was going on and why this woman Rachel was arranging for this. This was done despite the fact that neither had a valid drivers’ license nor could legally drive. Virginia knew about that also.

Rachel was also paying herself weekly out of my mother’s checking account. Sal, my mother’s power of attorney, acknowledged that Rachel was doing this. She took whatever she wanted each week; no one cared or reported what Rachel did. When Rachel became pregnant, Virginia still allowed her to live there and raise her child. George Esernio was the guardian at that time and also allowed this to go on. Rachel and her son and her friends took over the entire house. Rachel hired one of her friends, Glynnis, to watch my mother while she was going to her prenatal visits and Lamaze classes. She paid Glynnis out of my mother’s checking account as well, without the approval or knowledge of any of the “legal team members”; and even when I made them all aware of this fact, they still did nothing. ”

Next—the report from the private investigator  

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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 July 11, 2013, in GUARDIANSHIP ABUSE and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Every story I read about elder abuse, starting with the sad/horrific story about Dorothy Wilson makes me so angry I have a hard time holding myself back & being civil. Even though these liars/cheats/thieves do not deserve to be treated in a civil manner, they deserve to be treated in the same despicable way that they treat their victims/marks & the victim/s families.

    • Thank you, sgmaps, for taking the time to comment and read the real truth about what is going on in our country to the elderly. It is absolutely appalling what one human being is capable of doing to another, and it’s all for money. When Joan reached out to me while desperately trying to find a way to save her mother, we discovered that the same judge was involved in our guardianship abuse cases. And after talking about our cases, we discovered that both Mary Giordano, Franchina and Giordano in Garden City, NY–the attorney who kidnapped my Mom– and George Esernio, attorney with Albanese and Albanese, Garden City, NY, share the same address. All of the other players work in the same town, they all know each other and all are members of the Nassau County Bar Association. AND Mary Giordano and Emily Franchina give continuing education classes on Estate Planning and Elder Law, courses which are approved by the New York State Continuing Legal Education Board. So the very people who teach the law to other lawyers are the ones committing the abuse. Many of us once believed that the legal profession was so honorable. I don’t know how they look in the mirror every day. they should all be totally ashamed of themselves.

      • I have been following your story ever since it first appeared. This latest piece of info that you have shared about the complicity/duplicity involved in your & Joans cases is simply mind boggling & almost sounds like the plot for a soap opera, except for the unfortunate fact that it is fact, not fiction.
        Power of Attorneys, medical & financial are supposed to protect you (from the levels of government from taking over) but it seems that they can just be a license for the unscrupulous to ruin your lives & drain your finances. I doubt that any of these scoundrels are capable of feeling shame or sorrow.

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