Peter Falk – Columbo. Image source.

The Court’s Guide To Covering Up Elder Abuse: No Longer Rare Occurrences

by Dale Theresa
Health Impact News

Two of our readers Diane Wilson and Sara Harvey wrote to us about their experience with finding proper medical care for their Baby Boomer family members. They fought for the return of guardianship much like Laredo Regular did for his grandfather, Julius Corley.

Health Impact News and has previously published the tragic story of Julius Corley who was medically kidnapped in New York. (See: World War II Veteran Medically Kidnapped in New York Dies in Pain on Thanksgiving Day.)

Unfortunately, Diane’s mother would also die within the system before Diane could regain legal custody and return her mother to her home.

While on this legal journey, Diane and Sara spoke with others that they met along the way, or who contacted them via their websites. Kevin Kelly stated during an interview:

“I began corresponding with Diane after I read her website and saw that she had been denied a say for her relative by the same two people that denied me in New York.”

The Peter Falk Bill

Diane hoped that we could speak with Catherine Falk about her father’s bill, and thought she could probably give us more people who have the same types of stories and issues.

Catherine Falk is the daughter of the late actor Peter Falk, better known for his work as “Columbo.”  She is the co-founder of the Catherine Falk Organization which was developed  to outline a legal path for the care of incapacitated persons by their loved ones and grant them rights such as visitation, and general health knowledge.  Basically the bill requested that adult family members be allowed to participate in the care or at least observe the care of those they love if they were not, or could not be the guardians.

In June of 2015 the state of California adopted Bill #AB 1085, otherwise known as the Peter Falk Bill. The bill was created by Catherine Falk and her associate after she was denied visitation to her then ailing father and not informed of his death, burial, or even the location of his grave by her half-sister. The two were unable to communicate productively, but Peter was well taken care of and happy.

Will the Peter Falk Bill Stop Elder Abuse and Senior Medical Kidnapping?

David H. Lenok is a New York licensed attorney and a senior editor of who focuses on general wealth planning, and he reviewed the bill last year.

His view of the Falk Bill and its effect on the quality of life in general for our elders in need was a bit disparate from the hopeful voices of our readers who contacted  Medical Kidnap in order to share their stories of what has become an abuse of power through court appointed guardians.

Lenok believed that the Falk Bill did little more than mediate a squabble between siblings who just simply did not get along, but whose father was well cared for and happy despite their indifference towards each other. Lenok described the bill as mundane, but pointed out what he thought to be its only high point: the necessity for legislators to take a closer look at these types of situations as he believed they opened the door to elder abuse.

The Falk Bill is now making its way across the country and was recently made public in Washington state. Ms. Falk informed Medical Kidnap that after their California victory she and her partner at the Catherine Falk Organization concluded that “If we change some things around, then we can do it for all the states.”

But what is the bill and exactly what is it designed to remedy?

Health Impact News was contacted by several readers who fell victim to New York State’s guardianship system and whom had been in contact with Ms. Falk. They are advocates of her bill which requests that adult family members be allowed to visit with and receive knowledge of their loved ones condition, location, and care unless otherwise dictated by the courts.

The Larger Problem Today: Elder Abuse and Senior Medical Kidnapping

Julius Corley military photo

Julius Corley’s family was denied the right to question medical decisions and care for him. His tragic death highlights a broken system that abuses seniors. Photo supplied by family.

However, our reader’s problems were compounded by the courts and their ability to dictate who can do what, with whom. The door to elder abuse has long been knocked off its hinges starting as early as the 1980s with the S&L scam that was perpetrated against the elderly Baby Boomers.

Unfortunately, this road map for Boomer carnage has led the way for a more clandestine, organized, and once undocumented illegal activity–kidnapping and medical abuse of today’s senior Boomers.

Under the guise of court appointed guardianship, our seniors are being drained of familial contact, removed from their homes, isolated, given unnecessary drugs rendering them lethargic and semi-comatose, and then relieved of their property.

Once the money runs out, as Diane Wilson tells us, the seniors are then rejected from court care. They are either given to an estranged relative or hospital, and dumped into nursing homes (like Julius Corley), where families can now visit whatever remains of their once lively, viable, and cognizant loved one, if they have survived the entire ordeal.

Elder Abuse and Medical Kidnapping is NOT Rare – It is the Norm

These occurrences are not rare, just rarely spoken of.

If you are able to afford an attorney, that attorney immediately informs you to not speak with the press. As thinking beings, we wonder what this accomplishes.

As prior victims, our readers, are aware that the orders to “not speak with the press,” are a prelude to burying the issue. The quieter the issue becomes, the less likely the issue will be resolved in your favor.

The system is not about justice, it’s about compensation. Lawyers determine if there is any money to be made from your case—this determination dictates if the plaintiffs will actually have legal representation, or not.

Our interview divulged several fears held by the victim’s family members. The most predominant fear being acquiring an attorney who would not bleed them financially and do nothing, or sell them out to the court system in order to recoup his/her now vested interest in the case’s outcome.

Families that are quite capable and willing to care for, or locate proper care for their elderly loved ones, are being denied this inalienable right by hospital administrators and their ‘pop up’ judges.

Elder Abuse is a Civil Rights Issue that Needs to be Addressed

There are already laws in place to address civil issues. Sadly the Falk bill will give no new voice to the people who have lost their loved ones simply because they questioned the care or lack thereof given to their family member.

Where is the voice for those who were actually seeking proper care for their parent or grandparent? When is a grandson not a relative, or not family? Why and how can a county appointed worker take the place of a family member? See:

The Kidnapping of Richard Maass

Medical System Robbing Seniors of Their Life Savings

One thing about the Falk Bill that is amazingly frightening is the stipulation for a family member who is ”seeking to gain financially” as more county guardians will find this an easy target for jurisdiction.

Which is worse, a family member for whom the assets of that elderly person were compiled (by that elderly person and their family) spending their own money for their care; or a complete stranger appointed as guardian by the courts, who with the court’s permission, depleting a 270k reverse mortgage which should have allowed the owner a safe and familiar home environment until death, but instead adds an additional 50k to the debt, sells the home, then places the now financially crippled patient into a nursing home and denies the family members visits, or any medical information claiming it to be a HIPAA violation? See:

Judicial Destruction of Dorothy Wilson

See Also:

Sara Harvey:

Dr. Francisco Corbalan won’t let me see my husband, but he will sure take advantage of the insurance I provide. It’s bad enough what he’s doing to Gary, but for him to get rich doing it is more than a person can stand. My husband remains today in the hands of his abusers, the very same people who tried to end his life in 2009.

My husband has had so many surgeries, and no one can understand why he needs so many…(see video above)

Watch out baby boomers you are next and my husband is one of them. What happens when state government breaks its own laws? They make new ones. AOLTC — Gary is on page 4 titled DNR as Punishment for Wife’s “Interference.”

Kevin Kelly:

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.

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.”

Ann Recht wouldn’t let us talk to him. My grandpa had a lot of valuable stuff in the house and my cousin broke in and stole a lot of it and Mary Giordano said they weren’t going to pursue charges. The house was later sold in one day by a friend of my cousins.

Diane Wilson:

The guardian claimed that there was no more reverse mortgage money available on my mothers home over 350k. The court attorney, assigned to help me get my mother back was Jamie Butchin Berko from the Mental Hygiene Legal Services in East Meadow, New York, she told me,…. ‘It is to my understanding that you will get your mother back when the money is gone.’

My mother was under an abusive guardianship and kidnapped from her home of 60 years by Mary Giordano, an elder care attorney with She was then imprisoned in a nursing home against her will despite the fact that I was willing and able to care for her in my home. The court even visited my home to see if it was “safe” for my Mom and came to the conclusion that it was. But then they tried to say I did not know what her medical needs were and therefore could not care for
her. Mom’s only needs were help ion [sic] changing her colostomy bag, which she was able to do on her own and handing her daily medication to her. That was it. The judge and guardian were only interested in getting her out of her house so they could sell it.

They put it up for sale as soon as they got her in the nursing home. The law firm’s office manager was the real estate agent.