The Kidnapping of Richard Maass-Part One


revision to correct spelling of name from Maas to Maass

In August 2012, a man by the name of Kevin Kelly reached out to me after he discovered via Facebook that my mother had been kidnapped and imprisoned in a nursing home by Mary Giordano, an elder care attorney with Franchina and Giordano in Garden City, NY. The same thing happened to his beloved grandfather by the same parties who destroyed my mother. We talked at length about the emotional hell we and our loved ones suffered at the hands of these people. He wanted his story told; however his physical and emotional health was such that he was unable to write it. This is the first part in a series of articles Kevin is writing about his family’s ordeal.

By Kevin Kelly

“My name is Kevin Kelly. I live in Manhattan, NY. My story is about the kidnapping and abusive guardianship of my grandfather, Richard Maass, at the hands of Mary Giordano, an elder care attorney and partner with Franchina and Giordano law firm in Garden City, NY. The late Judge Joel Asarch of the Nassau County Supreme Court in Mineola was the presiding judge who allowed these atrocious acts against my grandfather to happen, along with Anne Recht, the geriatric “care” manager of AMRecht Associates in Plainview, NY. I fought very hard to save my grandfather from these people; at a great deal of monetary, emotional and physical expense. No one in charge would listen; no one in charge cared; or so I thought, until I discovered that my grandfather was one of many victims of this particular trio; and one of thousands across the country.

My grandparents lived in their house in Glen Head, Long Island, since 1951. My mother and I moved there in 1981. We had our own apartment there and paid rent. We took care of my grandmother when she became ill until she passed in 1998, and we cared for my grandfather as his health started to deteriorate. Around 2001, he was officially diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Mom then hired a full-time aide to care for Grandpa in 2005 after she became ill. My Mom passed away in 2006.

After my Mom’s death, I continued to live in the house, pay rent, and spent many hours every day with Grandpa. Due to many months of chaos after my mother passed, one of my cousins who lived locally started to come around. He somehow managed to have a “new” power of attorney drafted in 2006, giving him complete control of my grandfather’s estate. When I looked over the paperwork months later, I discovered there was over $40,000 in missing funds. My attorney and I requested that my cousin return the funds and discharge himself as POA but he refused.

Since we were unable to get things resolved, I had my attorney file a motion in court in 2008 to have my cousin removed as power of attorney and have me assigned as guardian. Judge Asarch assigned a court evaluator to investigate and file a report. The report filed stated that I was very close to my grandfather, that my grandfather was very happy living in his home with me and he recommended me as the best choice for guardian. However, my cousin stated that he would fight it if I was appointed. Our attorneys agreed that we would let the courts appoint a guardian. I was completely unaware of what that truly meant. Judge Asarch appointed Mary Giordano as guardian and Anne Recht as geriatric “care” manager. We signed an agreement whereby Mary and Anne would be paid out of Grandpa’s funds, $600.00 and $500.00 per month respectively to “care” for Grandpa. A new full-time aide was hired to care for Grandpa 24/7.

Judge Asarch ruled that because I was not immediate family, I had to move out of the house. Rather than fight a lengthy court battle, I moved to an apartment in Massapequa in March, 2009 and continued to visit. One day in September 2009, I called the aide to let her know I was on my way over and she told me that Mary Giordano called and told her to pack my grandfather’s clothes because she was moving him to a nursing home. Mary never called anyone in the family to let us know nor did she discuss this with anyone. The aide was as shocked as I was, since he was happy and doing very well in his own home.

I rushed to the house immediately. When I got there, Anne Recht was there and the aide was packing for him. I asked Anne where he was going and she refused to tell me, stating that he was better off not seeing anyone for the first few days so he could “acclimate.” I called Mary and she claimed his money was running out and could not afford to live in his own home anymore.

My lawyer and I requested a hearing immediately after Grandpa was kidnapped. He told me that he never received any paperwork and that what Mary did was illegal; that an order had to be signed by the judge and no order was ever signed. We requested a hearing on the matter. Judge Asarch’s only response was that the move was not handled “properly.” We also advised Judge Asarch that this new nursing home was not a safe location for him, that the home was very dirty and smelled like urine; that it was very short-staffed. He was also forced to eat a kosher diet since non kosher food was not allowed. He was not allowed to have something as basic as a ham and cheese sandwich. In answer to our complaints, both Mary and Anne stated that Richard Maass was “very happy there, smiling and nodding and very talkative.” My grandfather was not at all talkative and only spoke with people he knew. They also stated that he was “too old to be eating what he liked anyway and should be on the nursing home’s diet.”  Judge Asarch ruled in favor of Mary and Anne.

When Grandpa was first moved to the nursing home, the staff would always answer my questions and willingly discuss his care with me. However, as his health continued to decline and my aunt and I voiced our concerns and complaints, Mary Giordano advised the staff that they were no longer allowed to answer any of our questions or address any of our concerns. Only Mary Giordano and Anne Recht had that right.

By January 2011, my grandfather’s health had deteriorated substantially. At that time I was visiting him daily and my aunt and I requested that he be moved to hospice. However Anne Recht claimed that he was too sick to be moved. We then requested palliative care. Anne said she would take care of it. There was never any sign of this care and it was apparent that his suffering and pain was increasing each day. When my aunt and I complained to the nursing home, they told us that no paperwork was ever submitted by Anne and they could not do anything for him at all without her approval. Nothing was ever done despite all of our calls and requests. I had to watch my grandfather suffer daily, in tremendous pain, until the day he passed away, February 28, 2011.

On the day of my grandfather’s wake, I arrived at the funeral home with my father. There was just one wake being held at that time. When I walked into the room, I was shocked to discover that it was not my grandfather who was in the casket. I approached the funeral home director who told me that my cousin contacted him and told him to change the date; that Mary Giordano was aware of this and in full compliance. The reason given was that a family member from Florida needed time to travel, which I knew to be false.

When I called Mary she claimed she had sent an email to my lawyer informing him of the date change. My lawyer advised me that he never received any such email. Mary’s secretary told me a different story. She said the reason the change was made was because they could not get a limousine that day. When my aunt called my cousin to find out what happened, he claimed that he changed the date because another family member from Vermont needed time to travel. To this day, we never found out what the truth really was.

That was one of the most difficult days for me. I had to contact family and friends and let them all know of the date change. Some were already on their way; some had sent flowers. My grandfather’s pastor was unable to give the eulogy on the new date due to previous commitments. What upset me the most was that all of these people–my cousin, Mary Giordano, Judge Asarch and Anne Recht—not only ruined the last few years of this wonderful man’s life but could not even show him any respect in his death. None of these people loved or cared about him, but I do believe they loved his money.

I cannot even begin to tell you how much pain this situation has caused me. Every day I think about him and wonder what more I could have done to save him. It is now almost three years since his death and I miss him every day.”

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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 November 16, 2013, in GUARDIANSHIP ABUSE and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. 250 people have clicked t like the article about my grandfathers abuse. Thank you to everyone please keep reading and share all the articles on this sight. Let’s pray that in 2015 we can get justice for the victims who have suffered because of judge asarch , Mary giordano and Anne recht.

  2. I hope that the more people who know about the abuse he and others suffered that this can be prevented in the future i also hope that those who caused his suffering will be held accountable..

  3. Thank you everyone for your support, i have alot more to tell and will keep you all informed..

    • And thank you Kevin, for telling your story. I know how difficult this has been for you. Telling our story instead of keeping it bottled up inside is a huge step towards healing. We need to put these criminals behind bars!

  4. Thank you for bringing this to our attention again. Diane, you are making such a big difference in shining a light on the abuses of the legal system by unscrupulous judges and attorneys.

    Kevin, knowing how close I was to my grandparents, I can feel the pain and suffering this has put you through. Please know that you have more friends who will help you as you continue to publicize and reach out. At some point, fair-minded and good lawyers will take note and start making changes. Hopefully the politicians who are involved in guardianship abuse will also step up. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

    • Hi Jim,

      Thanks for responding to Kevin’s story. It was so sad and surreal speaking to Kevin, knowing that these same people that did this to my Mom are just going around to people’s homes in Nassau County and kidnapping them and locking them up. In the case of Richard Maas, there was not even a judge’s order! I believe that Mary Giordano and Anne Recht are so egotistical and arrogant and greedy that they do whatever they want without repercussions because they had Judge Joel Asarch in their pocket. Now that he is dead, I wonder if they are still committing all of these illegal and heinous acts?

      I pray daily that someday an honest lawyer will do something about this. As for the politicians they can make the changes if they want to. I wonder, will anyone in a position of power ever step up? What will they do when it happens to them?

  5. who is his attorney?how many lives need to be destroyed before these tragedies stop???who was the court evaluator?were the records sealed? OMG, so many people,so so sorry for your loss…

    • Hi Sheryl,

      I am sure Kevin will reveal that in his next article. No, the records were not sealed as far as I know. These criminals will continue to destroy people’s lives as long as they are allowed to get away with it. This is America’s dirty little secret, killing off the elderly. We need to raise our voices in unison and put all of the culprits behind bars.

      Diane

      • Diane is right, we all have to find a way to make this public knowledge. As long as they continue to get away with this, they will destroy one family after the next. I for one am not going to stop until EVERY person in my Guardianship case is exposed. And I mean, ALL of them…the day is going to come where they are going to want to put my mother in a home,(she is currently still in her own house) and I will be prepared….but it is imperative that all of the families and the victims that have been affected by these monsters work in unison to rid our legal system of these horrors. The old adage “there’s power in numbers”, is true….

  6. Thanks for sharing your interesting but very sad story. Very sorry for your grief.

    Your story leads to many questions, such as:

    1. Who was the cousin taking the money? (Tell us more about the relationship between the cousin and the other players.)

    2. What was the cousin’s stated justification for taking the funds?

    3. How did the cousin somehow manage “to have a ‘new’ power of attorney drafted in 2006”?

    4. Did the court-assigned evaluator investigate the missing $40,000? What were the results of the investigation?

    5. Why did your attorney agree to let the courts appoint a stranger as a guardian?

    6. Why did your attorney give up and not vigorously fight for your right as a loving, caring family member to take care of your own flesh and blood?

    7. When Judge Asarch ruled that you were not immediate family, who was immediate family, no one?

    8. When the guardian claimed that your grandfather’s money was running out and could not afford to live in his own home anymore, what was the truth?

    9. What were his monthly expenses and how much in assets were remaining?

    10. What was your father’s involvement in this whole sad story?

    Elder Abuse Exposed.com

    • Hello,

      Thanks for taking such an interest in Kevin’s story. This has been a long and hard road for him and the telling of it has been difficult. I will answer what I can and wait for Kevin to answer in better detail.

      1. Kevin’s cousin, Kerry, lives a few miles from the grandfather’s house.

      2. Kevin has a list of how the money was spent.

      3. The cousin hired an attorney to draft this POA while Kevin was dealing with the loss of his mother and still reeling from her death. He then brought it to his grandfather and had him sign it. Remember, the grandfather did have Alzheimer’s.

      4. The evaluator assigned by the courts only talks to the person in need of a guardian and family. He was not assigned to do a forensic accounting on the missing funds.

      5. When no one in the family can agree, the court assigns an independent guardian. In this case, Kevin should have been the guardian and I am sure Judge Asarch was fully aware of this. However it is much more lucrative for the courts to assign someone else. And in the case of this trio, it was their MO to kidnap the elderly person, imprison them in a nursing home and then sell the house. They did it to my mother and many others.

      6. Kevin already spent over $20,000 of his own money desperately trying to save his grandfather. He had no more funds. As for his attorney vigorously fighting for him, yes, he could have continued if Kevin had an unlimited amount of money to spend on a fruitless court battle. You see, Judge Asarch had all of the power and did whatever he wanted and he allowed Mary Giordano and Anne Recht carte blanche in their treatment of the elderly. No matter how many times they went to court, the outcome would have been the same. The corruption in the court system is rampant.

      7. Excellent question!! Of course Kevin was immediate family but because Judge Asarch could say and do whatever he wanted, he judged Kevin NOT to be immediate family. For the purpose of this case, Judge Asarch said only sons or daughters or the wife was immediate family.

      8. The truth was there was plenty of money left for Richard Maas to live in his own home, just like in the case of my mother. BUT Mary decided there was just not enough and that Richard would be oh so happy living in a nursing home. See http://law.justia.com/cases/new-york/other-courts/2010/2010-20190.html

      9. See above link

      10. Richard Maas was Kevin’s mother’s father. Kevin’s father and other family members all live in Florida. I do not know what role he played other than to provide emotional support to Kevin.

      Kevin is in the process of writing another story which will certainly give many more details and tell us all about the ordeal he went through with Mary Giordano and continues to go through to this day. Stay tuned…

  7. Hi Kevin, I am so sorry to hear your story.My Case is still pending, and I have been unable to gain (or should I say regain), any say in my mother’s life. I feel everything you feel, and maybe even more..it is outrageous..I’m still fighting….I will prayer for you and your family, and please recognize that these Monsters will get what they deserve in the end. I for one, will keep fighting until the end, we ALL deserve justice for our loved ones…

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