PART 3: ISOLATE, MEDICATE, LIQUIDATE: How to Fleece a Senior
Seek to Shut Down Drugging, Embezzlement, Fleecing of Seniors ̶ Judge Denies Hearing
by Lonnie Brennan
Marvin H. Siegel is 88 years old. Five years ago, a home health aide dialed 911 and Mr. Siegel was transported to Beverly Hospital. He was subsequently locked up involuntarily in a Whittier Pavilion psychiatric ward according to court filings. Why the health aide called 911 remains a matter of controversy. Mr. Siegel’s daughters charge that their father was snatched up as part of a standard operating procedure amongst certain lawyers and their accomplices. The goal: to begin the process of isolating, medicating, and liquidating their father’s $6 million estate.
And the daughters believe they’ve found the equivalent of a “smoking gun”: a call to Whittier by one of the lawyers accused of stealing Mr. Siegel’s money and entries in the Whittier computer system occurring days before the grab, as the daughters claim in court exhibits. Court filings state that their father was administered drugs at Whittier and while drugged, he was misled to believe that his family was trying to steal his money and – while under the influence of these mind-altering drugs – lawyers convinced the confused elder to affix his signature to documents which stripped away decades of careful, deliberate family estate planning instruments, and stripped the senior from control of his millions.
Fast forward five years. Mr. Siegel remains medicated with anti-psychotics, isolated from certain family members, and is “held as a prisoner in his own home, with around-the-clock, so-called medical aides – more like guards,” his daughter Lisa Siegel Belanger says.
Lisa – an attorney like her retired father – sought immediate court relief, but was shut down at all avenues, in the lower courts and in District Court. But during the course of her efforts, she began to amass a tremendous amount of documents, not just on her father, but on many other seniors like her father. In thousands of pages, court transcripts, and related documentation which stack several feet high, she states that she has found repeated evidence of systemic fraud, money laundering, embezzlement, and organized racketeering within the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court system.
Lisa and one of her sisters at one point filed a 462 page complaint with 2,767 numbered paragraphs and 393 separate exhibits. In it she detailed many instances of senior abuse and corruption, and presented 28 specific charges for fraud and other unlawful actions related to the taking of her father and the liquidation of his estate. Lisa said she included everything possible to allow anyone to read it and make a decision to move the case along to a jury trial, based on fact not opinion.
Court Refuses to Hear the Case
Lisa’s filings to free her father were rejected by the lower courts, and at District Court, Judge Allison D. Burroughs rejected the filings three times. (The judge gave a number of reasons for rejection, mostly centered around length and failure to be “concise.” Lisa filed a shortened version – it too was rejected. Then she filed her third version, condensed to 48 pages, reducing the charges from 28 counts to four counts, and reducing the list of defendants. It too was rejected.
In her refusal to take up the case, Judge Burroughs dismissed all defendants named in the summary document, as well as all those previously named.
“In my opinion,” Lisa said in response to the dismissal, “the title of the article published by Law360.com on March 30, 2017 specifically pertaining to the dismissal of the amended federal civil action that my sister Devora and I filed (Belanger & Kaiser v. BNY Mellon et al.) says it all: “13 Escape Claims They Defrauded An Elderly Man.”
“In Judge Burrough’s memorandum, I submit that she erroneously relies on a broad and sweeping statement indicating that Devora and I did not set forth factual assertions to support a claim for which relief can be granted—as shown, Law360’s title broadcasts otherwise. As conveyed in the article written by Law360, Devora and I (as plaintiffs) set forth more than ample factual support from which a jury can determine that the purported May 25, 2011 revocation of our elderly father’s Durable Power of Attorney (executed in 2003) directly occurred by fraud and deceit of the named Defendants,” Lisa said.
“Given that our father explicitly set forth in his 2003 Durable Power of Attorney that Devora and I (his daughters) were his designated attorneys-in-fact (legal term meaning agent and representative to stand in his stead), he purposefully created and gave Devora and I legal interest in that 2003 written advanced planning instrument. Therefore, it is axiomatic that Devora and I can in fact be granted relief for the fraudulent revocation of our father’s 2003 Durable Power of Attorney,” she explained.
At press time, we were informed that when Judge Burroughs was an attorney, she worked closely with counsel of one of the key defendants in this case, and according to Lisa, the judge should have either recused herself or at the very least revealed/discussed such past assocations. A review of Massachusetts District Court Case No. 1:12-cv-11632-RWZ is apparently in order, amongst others.
Lisa and her sister Devora are now in the process of compiling an appeal to the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. If Lisa was not a lawyer, she estimates that the cost to her and her sister would have easily exceeded $100,000 in legal fees to take the case this far. She said that for most people who are not lawyers, it’s virtually impossible to fight back.
Excerpts from the
In the following paragraphs, we’ve included a few excerpts from some of the prior court filings.
A Near Miss?
“…Elder [Mr. Siegel] stated: “I don’t know who the hell called you guys. I don’t need anything. This is my house and I have everything I need…I don’t see why anyone called you guys. I have everything I need and I am fine. Leave me your card and I will have my daughter call you if I need anything…”
Was it a Planned Snatch?
“…Defendant Attorney Cuffe made knowing and intentional misrepresentations … that “nobody” had anticipated the involuntary commitment…[but documents show] he made calls to the adult behavioral unit of Defendant Merrimack Valley Hospital, along with faxing Father’s medical record to Defendant Merrimack Valley— 2 days prior to the involuntary commitment.”
“Investigation notes entered into the computer system of Defendant [Elder Services of Merrimack Valley] ESMV… state that Defendant ESMV and its staff had information that: Elder’s assets are roughly $7 million including the home he lives in which is paid for; Elder has a will that divides the elder’s assets equally between the elder’s three (3) children; and Elder has a trust where the majority of his assets are managed by New York Mellon Bank and he has an investment banker by the name of Brian Nagle who is the personal banker for his account.”
“The evaluator of Defendant Beverly Hospital did not inform Daughter Lisa that Father’s being admitted to Defendant Whittier Pavilion was an involuntary commitment… did not mention, in any manner, that antipsychotics would or could be a potential result of Father’s admission …”
“…the very next day after Defendant Brian Nagle spoke with Defendant Attorney Tarlow—Defendant Attorneys Tarlow and Watson went to see Father, while locked-down at Defendant Whittier Pavilion.”
“… Father is being forced to ingest antipsychotics with Father having no underlying diagnosis of any psychiatric or mood disorder—the court ordered forced administering of antipsychotics is based solely on the diagnoses of Alzheimer’s and dementia.”
“In court testimony of Defendant Dr. Peter Cohen—the expert psychiatric witness used by designated Defendants…evidences that Father does not have an underlying diagnosis of an actual psychiatric or mood disorder warranting the use of antipsychotics.”
[The filings state that the defendant’s own written records] “document—before Father had been forced to take antipsychotics…that Father was very capable of independent activities at that time; such as self-care, handling of medication, use of the telephone, and the ability to walk with the mere use of a cane. Also, reflected in the records was the above average intellectual functioning of Plaintiffs’ father before forced administration of antipsychotics.”
“As a result of continuous court ordered forced administration of antipsychotics, Plaintiffs’ father’s emotional and physical quality of life has rapidly declined. Medical treatises well establish that Seroquel and Risperdal accelerate the deterioration of an elder’s cognitive function.”
Since 2005, the FDA has issued a “black-box warning” regarding antipsychotics, that are specifically, based on the increased risk of fatality for elders due to the most common adverse side-effect of causing pneumonia and other respiratory issues. Low blood pressure is another common side-effect causing fatality in elders.
“Furthermore, Defendant Dr. Portney’s affidavit stated that Plaintiffs’ father had not shown any adverse side-effects from taking Seroquel—to the contrary, overwhelming evidence shows that Defendant Dr. Portney knew that such statement was false; that he had specific knowledge that Father, in fact, has suffered adverse side-effects from taking Seroquel—which was, also, well-known by designated Defendants (Attorney Marsha Kazarosian, Attorney Brian Cuffe, Attorney Robert Ledoux, Attorney Cheri Myette, Attorney Maxa Berid, Attorney Thomas Barbar, LICSW Michael Novack).”
“… Defendant Attorney Cuffe admitting, in court, that … he had actual knowledge that the home health care agency (Defendant Right At Home) was concealing antipsychotics in Plaintiffs’ father’s food.”
Lawyer and Judge –
Setting Drug Dosages
“Defendant Dr. Cohen’s treatment order had the starting dosage of Seroquel be 50 mg up to 250 mg; Dr. Land’s treatment order had the starting dosage be 25 mg up to 300 mg…Defendant Attorney Cuffe submitted …a specific dosage… Judge Abber crossed out the dosage and handwrote his own dosage order…Defendant Attorney Cuffe had written the antipsychotic dosage as: Seroquel up to 300 mg per day—Judge Abber, instead, hand-wrote: initial dosage of 25 mg”
“An alternative antipsychotic medication and dosage…was: a) Risperdal, up to 6 mg per day —with the addition made by Judge Abber: with an initial dose of 1 mg bid” and b) Zyprexa, up to 20 mg per day—with Judge Abber changing the 20 mg to 10 mg and the addition of: with an initial dose of 5g per day.”
“Showing ill-motives is Defendants’ seeking Father to be given the maximum amount of antipsychotics proposed by the professional witnesses—who were not Father’s treating doctors. Further compounding the egregiousness of Defendants actions is the fact that they knew Father had been receiving 12.5 mg of Seroquel, twice a day…”
“… she [daughter Lisa] and Plaintiff Daughter Devora had been precluded from being able to obtain an independent medical examination of Father so that they have a full and adequate opportunity to present their case…”
“Father openly and vehemently expressed that he wanted Plaintiff Daughter Lisa and her family to permanently reside with him and to tend to his personal care and needs,” the filings state, and then provide a string of documents supporting this statement. In their filings, the daughters repeatedly cite hospital and various caseworkers and others own writings and words, over a period of years in their printed computer journals, that state their father’s wishes were repeatedly ignored.
In one note, Defendant Diane Powell wrote that Defendant Attorney Myette informed her that Father wants to remain at home; that Defendant Attorney Myette reported “elder [Father] is bored, lonely, depressed.” [after the removal of his daughter and her family from his home]
Burial Plans – Really?
“For example, Plaintiff Daughter Lisa had discovered that Defendants had been making—under stealth—burial plans for Father…”
“…Defendant Attorney DeNapoli called Attorney Long (counsel for Plaintiff Daughter Lisa) to propose what he characterized as an offer of settlement … if Plaintiff Daughter Lisa would withdraw her petitions he would facilitate Plaintiff Daughter Lisa immediately receiving $100,000 from Father’s estate…”
Father Seeks Release
“…Defendant Diane Powell sent an email to Defendant Attorney Berid…that stated:
… Mike went to see Mr. Siegel yesterday in his home and he appears to be doing well. He was focused on Mike going to the papers [newspapers] with him and helping him “expose what is going on…”
Charge of Systemic Fraud, Corruption
“…this Complaint and accompanying exhibits…provide specific and concrete evidence that there is an established systemic pattern by officials associated with the Massachusetts Probate & Family Courts of deliberately engaging in knowingly unlawful acts of intrusion into the private affairs of citizens for the specific purpose of maintaining a very intricate and extensive criminal enterprise of embezzlement and money laundering—such criminal enterprise is operated under the veil of color of authority. As a matter of routine custom and practice, officials of the Massachusetts Probate & Family Courts engage in knowingly illegal conduct specifically intended to dismantle the family unit and the sanctity of family integrity so as to facilitate their ultimate objective of obtaining illicit gain.”
“…the incessant abuse of power inflicted by Defendants—and their agents—is overwhelmingly widespread throughout the Massachusetts Probate & Family Courts and not an isolated situation or aberration.”
“…Defendants resorted to acts of retaliation against Plaintiffs that shock and chill the conscience.”
“… systemically use tactics to dismantle the family structure…the tactics routinely used include, but are not limited to, obtaining court orders to: forcibly separate families who live together; unjustifiably and unlawfully restrict communications between elders and their families and friends; unjustifiably and unlawfully drug elders with antipsychotics. …Consequently, the systemic use of such afore-described tactics inflict serious physical and emotional harm upon the elders and their families.”
The filings provide multiple examples and supporting documentation on numerous individuals.
At press time, the rejections by the court have been appealed and a pre-hearing settlement conference has been scheduled.
Kevin Hall, the New England Director of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (www.cchrnewengland.org), said that the isolation, medication, and estate plundering of a senior “couldn’t be done without the psychiatrists wrongfully labeling and drugging the elderly with phony diagnoses (mental health diagnoses, unlike medical, are subjective and based only on opinion, so therefore you could never prove a diagnoses as fraud or even incorrect). It also takes crooked attorneys.”
“If any other person in society drugged a person in order to steal his or her money, they would be in prison,” Mr. Hall said. “These psychiatrists should also be in prison except that they are allowed to hide under the guise of medicine.” ¨