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How the Elderly Lose Their Rights


by Rachel Aviv

A reporter from New York magazine wrote a very detailed story about the kidnapping of Julie Belshe’s parents and other families horror stories.  Julie and I worked together on her story and printed it here years ago. It is wonderful to see that mainstream media is finally paying attention to the horrific crimes being committed all over the country against our parents and loved ones. This is happening every day. My own mother was kidnapped by Mary Giordano, elderlawfg.com,  and imprisoned in a nursing home against her will.  No reporter would touch the story. The DA refused to prosecute. Mary Giordano still practices elder law today.   

For years, Rudy North woke up at 9 A.M. and read the Las Vegas Review-Journal while eating a piece of toast. Then he read a novel—he liked James Patterson and Clive Cussler—or, if he was feeling more ambitious, Freud. On scraps of paper and legal notepads, he jotted down thoughts sparked by his reading. “Deep below the rational part of our brain is an underground ocean where strange things swim,” he wrote on one notepad. On another, “Life: the longer it cooks, the better it tastes.”

Rennie, his wife of fifty-seven years, was slower to rise. She was recovering from lymphoma and suffered from neuropathy so severe that her legs felt like sausages. Each morning, she spent nearly an hour in the bathroom applying makeup and lotions, the same brands she’d used for forty years. She always emerged wearing pale-pink lipstick. Rudy, who was prone to grandiosity, liked to refer to her as “my amour.”

On the Friday before Labor Day, 2013, the Norths had just finished their toast when a nurse, who visited five times a week to help Rennie bathe and dress, came to their house, in Sun City Aliante, an “active adult” community in Las Vegas. They had moved there in 2005, when Rudy, a retired consultant for broadcasters, was sixty-eight and Rennie was sixty-six. They took pride in their view of the golf course, though neither of them played golf.

Rudy chatted with the nurse in the kitchen for twenty minutes, joking about marriage and laundry, until there was a knock at the door. A stocky woman with shiny black hair introduced herself as April Parks, the owner of the company A Private Professional Guardian. She was accompanied by three colleagues, who didn’t give their names. Parks told the Norths that she had an order from the Clark County Family Court to “remove” them from their home. She would be taking them to an assisted-living facility. “Go and gather your things,” she said.

Rennie began crying. “This is my home,” she said.

One of Parks’s colleagues said that if the Norths didn’t comply he would call the police. Rudy remembers thinking, You’re going to put my wife and me in jail for this? But he felt too confused to argue.

Parks drove a Pontiac G-6 convertible with a license plate that read “CRTGRDN,” for “court guardian.” In the past twelve years, she had been a guardian for some four hundred wards of the court. Owing to age or disability, they had been deemed incompetent, a legal term that describes those who are unable to make reasoned choices about their lives or their property. As their guardian, Parks had the authority to manage their assets, and to choose where they lived, whom they associated with, and what medical treatment they received. They lost nearly all their civil rights.

Without realizing it, the Norths had become temporary wards of the court. Parks had filed an emergency ex-parte petition, which provides an exception to the rule that both parties must be notified of any argument before a judge. She had alleged that the Norths posed a “substantial risk for mismanagement of medications, financial loss and physical harm.” She submitted a brief letter from a physician’s assistant, whom Rennie had seen once, stating that “the patient’s husband can no longer effectively take care of the patient at home as his dementia is progressing.” She also submitted a letter from one of Rudy’s doctors, who described him as “confused and agitated.”

Continue reading story here:

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/10/09/how-the-elderly-lose-their-rights

 

 

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The Kidnapping of Rudy and Rennie North–Julie’s Story Part Two


This is the story of one of my dearest friends that I met through Facebook. Julie Lynn Belshe was on the internet one night desperately searching for anybody that was going through the horrific nightmare she and her parents were experiencing. She came across a video I posted of my Mom crying desperately to be released from the nursing home she had been imprisoned in by Mary Giordano, elderlawfg.com, an elder care attorney in Mineola, NY. Julie was horrified and deeply saddened. She watched this video over and over for days. She couldn’t sleep for weeks. She knew she had to reach out to me because I was the only one she found at that moment who was exposing the truth about this insidious crime. For the past few years, Julie has worked tirelessly to free her parents from the clutches of April Parks and the corrupt Clark County Nevada judicial system. In the process, she has discovered that there are thousands upon thousands of elderly victims of this country’s huge criminal guardianship enterprise system.   

Julie’s parents, Rudy and Rennie North were kidnapped August 30, 2013, and freed June 2015, after two years of living as “wards” of April Parks, who took all of their personal belongings. Julie is still actively pursuing the return of their assets. While some items are now in their possession , a  painting worth thousands coveted by Dr. Basu, the doctor who is responsible for stating that they needed a guardian, is still missing.

By Julie Lynn Belshe as told to Diane Wilson

For the past two and one half years I have been trying to find a cure and trying to heal from one of the most insidious outbreaks of disease that has exploded across our country. I have managed to find support groups and individuals who are suffering from the same kind of pain, the same insidious disease. They are working together to end this nightmare and I feel blessed that I found them. It is a long road but together I believe we will eliminate this problem once and for all.

Evil and greed and the lust for power and money are the causes of this secret disease. It is well-known amongst advocates as Guardianship Abuse of the Elderly and Disabled. It is America’s dirty little secret. The media has refused to report it in the past but is now beginning to expose it; the politicians refuse to help their constituents and turn a blind eye to this Holocaust; families close their eyes to it or they are part of the enslavement, theft of assets and drugging of other human beings.

I am a daughter, a mother, a wife, a friend, a businesswoman, a sister, an aunt, an accountant. I am your neighbor, your co-worker. I stand next to you in church, behind you in the grocery line, sit next to you in the movie theatre.

My name is Julie Stulman North Belshe. This is the story of the illegal kidnapping of my parents, Rudy and Rennie North on August 30th, 2013. This is a story that MUST be told. This happened to our family and it can happen to yours if we don’t speak up and stop it now.

I am the mother of three amazing children and have been happily married for the past 26 years. My husband and I own our own business and value family above everything else. Through the years our family has suffered through illness and loss and tragedies. Somehow we managed to make it through with the love and support of each other. Through it all we managed to keep our family together.

I was born and raised in Orange County, California, one of three children. In 1989, my brother died in a motorcycle accident. Our family grew closer as we worked hard to heal from this loss; unfortunately the stress and grieving became overwhelming for my Mom. A few years later she was diagnosed with leukemia. After undergoing several rounds of chemo my mother was left with very little energy and her health took a turn for the worse.

One year after Randy’s tragic accident, my sister Heidi and I were in a car accident. While stopped on the freeway in heavy traffic, a van hit us while traveling at 40 mph. My sister’s BMW was crushed into an accordion. We were lucky to be alive. At that time, my sister and I were put under the care of a chiropractor, physical therapist, and pain management doctor. According to the X-Rays, MRI’s and other tests doctors advised both of us that our injuries had changed our lives forever and certain activities would be very limited. For me it was my neck–bone on bone with three bulging discs. My back had four bulging discs.

My sister and I resumed our professional lives in Huntington Beach, California and made the best out of our situation. We lived together and were very close. Heidi was four years older than me and the best sister anybody could ever ask for. In 1987 I met my soon to be husband and after a short time, we moved in together in an apartment in Laguna Beach, California. One year later we got married.

In 1992 we moved to Las Vegas, Nevada. Life was magical and everything I always dreamed of. On June 29, 1994, I gave birth to our beautiful baby boy. Evan was truly a blessing in every way and my parents were thrilled! Dad was traveling on business at the time and Mom came to stay with me for two weeks. She fell head over heels in love with her precious new grandson.

The following year my sister gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Allie Renee. My parents decided they wanted to move to Las Vegas, Nevada so we could all be together. In 1996, my parents packed up their belongings and moved one block away from me and my family! My sister and her family followed a few months later.

On September 30th, 1997, I gave birth to my second son, Parker. That same year my sister gave birth to another precious baby girl, Andrea. The following year, on November 16th, 1998, I gave birth to my third son, Aaron. Our family was growing in leaps and bounds and my parents were in heaven being surrounded by their loving daughters and five grandchildren!

We were a very busy and close-knit family. My backyard is a virtual oasis and family and friends always congregated there. There were weekly get-together’s, barbecues, swimming, boating, watching movies. All of the family holidays were held at my home. Mom and Dad were very involved with their family. As the children grew older, I would have coffee with my parents every morning after dropping them off at school. Life was perfect and the years just flew by.

Tragedy struck my family again in May 2008. I received a call from my father. I knew from the tone in his voice that something was terribly wrong. He said “Sweetheart, it’s your sister, Heidi. She has passed away.” My heart stopped; my sister; my best friend…gone. I raced over to her house and kissed her goodbye before they took her. We all somehow managed to get through the funeral. Heidi left behind three beautiful children and a husband and our family life as we knew it changed in an instant.

Mom’s condition worsened and in 2010 she was diagnosed with CLL, Chronic Lymphatic Leukemia. She started undergoing chemo sessions again. During these sessions my Dad and I sat by her side. I would bring her fresh fruit and vegetables for juicing, homemade chicken soup, jello and fresh Star gazing lilies to cheer her up. I laid with her on the bed and held her and talked. We laughed and cried together and talked about Heidi and Randy and all of the good times we always had as a family. Our memories were our treasures. I made sure to check in on my Mom a few times a day, either calling or stopping by.

My Dad continued to attend all of the boys’ football games and other sport activities. After the games we would all go out to eat or just grab a pizza to take home. Life started to regain a sense of normalcy again. According to the doctor, Mom was in remission; however her actual condition was getting worse. She lost feeling in her arms and legs; her hands were becoming claw like and the days were becoming increasingly difficult for her. Many days I would get a call from my Dad to let me know the ambulance was on its way and that I was to meet them at the hospital. After one of the many hospital stays she was diagnosed with chemo neuropathy. She was transferred to rehab where she received physical therapy and learned how to become mobile again using a wheelchair. I visited often and checked in on my father as well. After a few weeks at the Southwest Rehab Center, I was able to bring my mother home. I arranged for a nurse, a maid and hired a friend of mine as a caretaker. After a short time, my friend could no longer put in the hours required. It was then that I stepped in and became my mother’s caretaker for six days a week. I cooked for both of my parents and showered my Mom daily. I took her out for walks and slowly got her acclimated to going out in public in a wheelchair. This was a very difficult transition for a beautiful woman who never went out unless her hair and makeup was perfectly done and her shoes and clothing and jewelry were all perfectly matched. With a lot of love and emotional support, my mother started to become her old self again. The physical therapist came a few days a week to work with her and the nurse stopped by a few days a week to monitor her health.

While Mom was starting to recuperate, I went over one day to find my father acting very strange. Thinking that he had suffered a stroke, I immediately took him to the hospital where he was diagnosed with a prostate infection. I stayed with dad until he was comfortable and then went back to my mother’s house to stay with her. While Dad was in the hospital my husband and my three sons came to help my mother so I could run back and forth to the hospital. Once I brought my father home from the hospital, the nurse showed me how to change a catheter bag and what to watch out for. My parents were thrilled to be back together again.

So now Mom was home. We had all of the instructions from the doctor and followed them to the tee. Unfortunately she became constipated and after a few days we had to rush her to the emergency room where she was admitted for the next three days. My husband and I took turns staying with my parents between the hospital and their home. He literally ran our own household during this time and was not at all resentful. I was grateful to be able to give my parents the care they deserved along with lots of love and attention. Who else but family would you want taking care of you during an illness? In addition, I cooked, cleaned, ran errands and did it all out of love. I never missed one day.

Eventually, with Dad’s health greatly improved, and with my parents understanding and agreement, I decided to take a break and go back to caring for my own family. I made certain everything was in place for my parents; all of their doctors had me listed as their emergency contact and I only lived a few blocks away. This occurred on April 1st , the day before Easter Sunday. I continued to call them every day and of course continued to visit. Things were going smoothly. During this time period, my parents decided to contact an attorney to have a will made up and to make certain their personal possessions were divided up amongst their family the way they wanted, including their very precious art collection.

What happened next should send a chill through every single citizen of this country.

In August of that same year, a pain management doctor that my parents had been seeing for a number of years, Dr. Sanghamitra Basu, decided to pay an unannounced visit, with her husband, to my parents’ home. She did not contact me or my parents in advance; she just showed up at their home. When they walked into the house, Dr. Basu started talking about how wonderful they looked and how she hoped that when she and her husband are older they hope to be just like them. She also expressed an unusual interest in my parents’ art collection. Apparently she found out what they had during many conversations with my father over the years and had asked him if she could “borrow” one of his paintings. Dad always thought she was joking. During this visit, she asked my father five different times if she could “borrow” a particular painting. She stated that she wanted him to “loan” it to her; that she wanted to hang it up somewhere but she had not decided exactly where it would go. My mother was becoming very angry with her and finally just said absolutely not and ended both the conversation and the visit.

It was this doctor who wrote a Physician’s Certificate stating that Rudy North suffered from confusion, and the deterioration in his health was a permanent status. She also claimed he was in “immediate risk of physical harm” and had an “immediate need for medical attention.” She also stated that there was a “substantial and immediate risk of financial loss.” In the report where she had to provide an assessment of the needs of the Proposed Ward she filled in “medication management, financial management, safety assistance, ADL assistance, housekeeping assistance.” It must be noted that my parents’ house was always immaculate. This was nothing but one lie after another.

On page two of this Physicians Certificate, Dr. Basu wrote “It is in my opinion that this patient needs a guardian of Person and Estate. I have advised the patient of his/her right to counsel and the Proposed Ward does not wish to be represented by counsel in the guardianship proceeding.” Dr. Basu NEVER discussed this with my father. He never knew about any of this. However, Dr. Basu did compliment my parents on their lovely home and how great they looked. She also knew about me and knew where to contact me. Instead Dr. Basu either mailed or faxed this over to the public guardian on August 12th, 2013.

It is now obvious to me that Dr. Basu was working alongside April Parks, using her status as a doctor to find out which people are “ripe for the picking.” It is a scam of gigantic proportions. Her visit and subsequent writing of a “Physician’s Certificate” is what started this nightmare. On August 28, 2013, April Parks filed an electronic document to the court stating that she would be taking temporary legal guardianship of Rudy North. She listed my father as the ward and my mother as wife of the ward. She stated that there was no family contact since their only daughter was a drug addict. More lies…

On August 30th, 2013, my parents were just finishing up breakfast and tidying up the house when the doorbell rang. The only person they were expecting was an aide from hospice who came each day to assist my mother with her shower. When my father answered the door for the aide, April Parks, along with her entourage was also there and just entered the house. She handed my father a piece of paper showing that she was now his legal guardian and that they were there to take them. My father was in total shock when April Parks said to my Mom “You are going on a three-week vacation and then you will be coming home” My Mom was pleading and crying. My father desperately tried to calm her down. April Parks said you have four options:

“You will either go to the hospital, go to a mental facility, go to Jail, or go to an assisted living facility in Boulder City.” My Mom pleaded with April Parks “Please don’t take me. Let me call my daughter.” April said “We will contact her.” And with that, they were taken away.

I was never contacted.

I had plans to visit my parents the next day with my children. I started calling them that morning to let them know we were on our way but they never answered the phone. I called before I left home and on my way there, more than twenty times. I knew their daily routine and I knew something was very wrong. When we arrived, the porch light was on, the newspaper was out on the front porch and the house was locked up. I drove back home and told my husband that my parents were gone and I feared that someone had kidnapped them. I continued to call their house and decided to drive back there the next day. When I arrived I found a sign on the door to contact the “professional legal guardian in case of emergency.” That was it. The state of Nevada had stepped in and taken my Parents without contacting any family member.

As soon as I got home I called the private “legal” guardian, April Parks, who told me, “Julie this is legal.” I didn’t ask if it was legal but those were the first words out of April’s mouth. This is legal I asked? Where the hell are my Parents? She told me where they were and reminded me again that this was all “legal.” She repeated that a number of times. I didn’t respond. I just hung up. By the time my husband and I arrived at Lakeview Terrace Assisted living Facility my parents were clearly shaken. They were terrified and in shock. They had no access to a phone. Their personal cell phone was gone, nowhere to be found. They had been placed in the model apartment at the facility with a cardboard bed. My Dad was totally humiliated and embarrassed that he had not been able to protect his precious wife, my dear mother.

We all cried and hugged and I kept repeating over and over again that I would fix this and please don’t worry.

For the first few weeks I stayed with them eight hours a day, trying to keep them calm and make sense out of a situation that made no sense at all. I mean, we were in America, right? Land of the free? Wasn’t kidnapping illegal? My husband and I scheduled appointments with one attorney after another but not one wanted to get involved. I researched and dug deeper and deeper until I finally found out that this was going on all across the country! I read horror stories all over the internet about the kidnapping of people’s parents and grandparents and husbands and brothers and sisters. Really?? In America?? If all of this was true, how was I going to save my parents?

This is one of the creepiest scams out there; with the blessing of the courts these scammers and criminals were raking in billions of dollars by kidnapping the elderly, locking them up in nursing homes and assisted living facilities and drugging them to make them complacent and compliant. This was slavery, human trafficking. The judges and politicians were in on it; they all knew what was going on. Many people from Hospice, doctors, private agencies, hospitals, law firms, lawyers, private “legal” guardians, all of these criminals are getting kickbacks from this huge scam.

For years all of the complaints to Nevada officials from victims and their families had fallen on deaf ears. Not one person would listen. Not one person would stop this.

Does An Abuser Deserve Forgiveness?


by Diane Wilson

Definition: verb abused, abusing. 1. to use wrongly or improperly; misuse: to abuse one’s authority.

2. to treat in a harmful, injurious, or offensive way

Noun wrong or improper use; misuse: the abuse of privileges.

Every human being on this Earth is born with inalienable God-given rights; no man or woman has the right to take these away from another human being. Those who commit such heinous actions deserve to be punished for it. Crime does not pay, or does it??

All across America, in every state, in every city, in every town, we are seeing the horrific abuse of our most vulnerable citizens; the elderly, the disabled and the children in a country where we once believed we were all free. These crimes are being committed by strangers as well as family members and so-called loved ones and friends.

I grew up in a loving home with two parents who worked hard, obeyed the law, paid their taxes and taught their children right from wrong. We went to Bible school and church on Sundays. I was told that the police were good and would protect you from criminals; that the courtroom was where justice was always served and if you lied on the stand under oath you were committing perjury and would go to jail. I would learn much later in life that those teachings were not true, that the land of the free was indeed not free, that crime paid handsomely and lying under oath despite evidence to the contrary did not mean an automatic jail sentence, not if you were in cahoots with the judge and his cronies.

So I no longer believe in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny or the tooth fairy. I no longer believe crime doesn’t pay or that justice is served in the courtroom. I no longer believe that America is a free country, free from tyranny and a protector of human rights. Yet I do believe in a much Higher Power, God, our Prime Creator, Master of the Universe. My faith in Him is very strong and completely unshakeable. With that knowledge, I also know that God doesn’t judge us. I know He forgives us when we sin. I know we are here to learn life’s lessons and to learn forgiveness. We need to learn to forgive ourselves and others as well.

Forgiveness is something I am seriously struggling with right now. I applied for guardianship of my mother to protect her, her home and her assets; to make certain that she would always remain in her home and never end up in a nursing home. This was what my siblings wanted for her and what my mother did not want. No one wants that. I was naïve about court. I was unaware that judges and lawyers and other so-called professionals conspired together to play family members against each other in order to gain control of the elderly person’s assets. I was unaware that they all benefitted monetarily from their actions. It took me a long time to forgive myself for bringing this to court in the first place. I know that I saved my mother’s life by doing what I did, but was it ultimately worth it? After all, the last three years of her life were made a living hell under the “watch and care” of the late Judge Joel Asarch, a Nassau County Supreme Court judge; Mary Giordano, an elder care attorney with Franchina and Giordano in Garden City, NY and Anne Recht, a geriatric care manager with AMRecht Associates in Plainview, NY.

“Forgiveness is Divine.” I struggle with that too. I understand what forgiveness means. I understand forgiveness frees you to live life without holding on to anger and resentment. Forgiveness of ourselves and others for the wrongdoings we have caused ourselves or suffered because of another’s actions also has tremendous physical and psychological effects. I am completely aware of this. I am no longer angry at those who took my mother’s life. The judge passed away shortly after my Mom died. I heard rumors that he committed suicide. Was it his guilt? Guilt for sentencing so many others besides my mother to life imprisonment in squalid nursing homes with no hope of ever getting out? Can I forgive him? I don’t know.

Anne Recht went on to get her own home health care license. This allowed her to hire home health aides through her own company and not rely on other home health care agencies. So now instead of insisting that a nursing home was the only way out for a person, as she did in my mother’s case, she now insists that they are better off in their own home. Money always seems to make people change their set of beliefs. Can I forgive her? I don’t know.

That leaves Mary. Mary Giordano is still being assigned guardianship cases of the elderly through her law firm, Franchina and Giordano. From what I have been told nothing has changed. I received a phone call last year from an attorney who wanted to speak to me about Mary and the crimes she committed against my mother. It seems she had a client whose mother had the ill fate of having Mary assigned as her guardian. The daughter did not like Mary at all and did some research on her. She came across all of the stories about Mom. This lawyer was hired to get Mary removed as guardian and hopefully replace her with her daughter, someone who loved and cared about her mother, not a stranger. I spoke with her a number of times and then the calls stopped. I never did find out if her mother was saved from the same horrific fate as my mother.

The most recent case has to do with a friend of Mary’s, Joan Bebry, who was a very wealthy woman. Apparently Mary wrote her will and when Joan died, Mary became guardian of Joan’s disabled son. It wasn’t too long before Mary was removed as guardian and a family member is now in charge. It is now in the courts. From what I “heard”, there was a substantial amount of overcharging on Mary’s part and missing funds. Is that true? What I do know is that the same thing happened in my mother’s case.

So now getting back to forgiveness and the fact that forgiveness is divine. Does that mean that I am not capable of doing what mankind is sent here to do? I struggle with forgiving the people who abused my mother. How do I forgive someone who kidnapped my mother from her beloved home? How do I forgive the person who locked my mother up in a nursing home against her will? How do I forgive someone who knowingly signed off on giving antipsychotic drugs to my mother that eventually killed her? How do I forgive this woman (who was supposed to protect her and follow the law) who committed perjury on the stand against me time and time again, who took her money and her peace of mind, who locked my mother up in her own home with strangers, isolated her from her own family, from her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, who denied my mother the simplest request of a warm sweater when she was cold? How do I forgive her? Can I forgive her? Does she deserve forgiveness?

I know that I can forgive the person and not condone their actions. I teach that to others all the time. I struggle with forgiving Mary for so many reasons, one being that she is not at all remorseful for what she did. I know this because she continues to do the same to others. She never once said she was sorry.

Does an abuser deserve forgiveness? I don’t know the answer to that question.

For those of you who have endured a similar experience, how have you handled forgiveness?

 

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