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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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The Rampant Abuse of Elders By Using Guardianship


Jack Halpern does an incredible job of protecting the elderly from the abuse of individuals as well as the abuses of the system. If you or your loved ones are facing any challenges right now relating to elder abuse please call Jack immediately at 212-945-7550. It is too late for my Mom; don’t let it be too late for your loved one. 

Diane  

My Elder Advocate

Click on the above link to read the entire article and sign up for Jack’s newsletter.

By Jack Halpern, CEO, My Elder Advocate

It is an often occurrence, that My Elder Advocate is called in to Advocate for a resident in a Nursing Home who has been placed there against their will by a court appointed guardian, and generally is being abused or neglected. In many of these guardianship cases, close family members have been banned from visiting their loved ones by guardians. In other cases nursing homes have been declared guardians and they have pillaged the personal accounts of the people they are supposed to protect.

As the number of seniors increase, so will the number of individuals with cognitive disabilities such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. This trend has produced an increasing demand to invoke guardianship on behalf of incapacitated seniors. However, guardianship – a legal tool which gives one person or entity the power to make personal and/or property decisions for another – has the potential of harming older adults rather than protecting them if not carefully administered. The rising incidence of elder abuse in this country and continuing reports of the failure of courts and the states to prevent exploitation of incapacitated adults by their guardians have long been of concern to My Elder Advocate and other advocates across the country.

Take the case of a former cab driver who befriended an 87-year old customer with Alzheimer’s. The cab driver was also a convicted bank robber. Somehow, he was granted guardianship of the elderly man. He embezzled more than $640,000. He used some of it to pay for exotic dancers and a new Humvee. He’s now in prison. The money’s gone forever.

The appointment of a guardian occurs when a judge decides an individual lacks capacity to make decisions on his or her own behalf. Adult guardianship protects at-risk individuals and provides for their needs while at the same time removing fundamental rights.

The major functions of a guardian of an adult include:

• Making decisions the person is unable to make for himself or herself, and giving consents the person is not able to give.

Exercising rights on behalf of the adult that the adult is unable to exercise for himself or herself.

• Acting as an advocate for the adult’s best interests.

• Taking action to protect the adult from abuse, neglect, self-neglect, financial exploitation and violation of rights.

Click on above link to read more…..

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