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A prominent New York attorney is caught in the middle of apparent abuses of the elderly and allegedly pilfers their estate during the guardianship process, according to relatives of victims who hope to bring exposure that will stop her actions.

Mary Giordano is a partner with the New York State law firm, Franchina and Giordano, and among her duties is that Giordano is routinely chosen by the Nassau County Superior Court system to be a guardian for elderly guardianship cases.

But two relatives involved in cases in which Giordano was a guardian say their relatives were forcibly removed from their homes, their assets plundered, and their family members had the life sucked out of them until they died depressed and isolated.

Diane Wilson found her mother Dorothy Wilson lying on the floor at her home on December 8, 2008. Advised due to long standing family disputes to enter her mother into guardianship, Wilson said by March, 2009, at the order of then Nassau Supreme Court Judge Joel Asarch (pictured above) she was removed as guardian and instead Asarch appointed Giordano as the court appointed guardian.

As Wilson’s guardian, Giordano was given power over nearly every decision in Wilson’s life including how her money was spent, where she lived, and her medical care.

Giordano ordered a reverse mortgage be placed on Dorothy Wilson’s home which netted about $275,000 and along with Wlson’s pension of about $2,300 month, Judge Asarch claimed in court the money would last for five years.

But it only lasted two years, and Diane Wilson told RebelPundit that proper accounting of the expenses were never provided by Giordano.

Worse yet, in November 2010, Wilson was tricked and forced to move out of her home and into a nursing home.

“Dorothy Wilson is currently placed in the Bristal, an assisted living facility in Massapequa. She was taken there on November 3, 2010, on the pretense of having lunch, by her daughter, Candice Bruder,” Diane Wilson said in a complaint to the New York State Unified Court Grievance Committee. “After she was there, she was told she was moving in there and her clothes were brought later that same day. She is not allowed to leave the Bristal at all, including Thanksgiving. The family is only permitted to go there and visit.”

The elder Wilson, who was 87 at the beginning of the process, was miserable and felt like a prisoner her entire time at Bristal.

“On November 15 (2010), after placing three phone calls during a 3 ½ hour period, I was finally able to speak with my mother. During the entire phone call her “caseworker”, Tracy, sat next to her while my mother begged me to come and pick her up and take her home. She had no privacy. When I went to visit her in the evening, she cried the entire time, begging me to take her home, asking me over and over again why I never came, why no one visited her, why no one called,” Diane Wilson said the same complaint.

Wilson was force to stay in the facility for thirty days at a cost of $53,000, and Giordano never provided a line by line breakdown of why the costs were so high.

On August 22, 2011, on the direction of Giordano, Dorothy Wilson was again moved to Meadowbrook Care Nursing Home in Freeport, New York again against her will

On September 2, 2011, Giordano again moved Wilson into another nursing home Maria Regina Nursing Home in Brentwood, NY. Giordano also attempted to sell Wilson’s house.

What followed was a series of furious court maneuvers until on October 18, 2011, Giordano resigned as guardian but still Judge Asarch kept Dorothy Wilson in the nursing home. She died there on October 23, 2011.

Throughout the process Dorothy Wilson sent a series of letters to the judge begging to be allowed to be cared for by her daughter.

“It’s very strange that my daughter Diane is not allowed to go into my house.” Dorothy Wilson said in a letter dated October 20, 2011. “She is the only one I trust.”

Dorothy Wilson also made a series of You Tube videos begging to be released.

“I hate it here. I want to go home.” Dorothy Wilson said while holding back tears in one You Tube video. “I feel like I’m locked up in a jail.”

A call to Giordano’s law firm was left unreturned.

Kevin Kelly told Rebel Pundit he experienced something very similar with the guardianship of his grandfather, Richard Maass, which also started when a family dispute introduced guardianship directed again by the combination of Judge Asarch and Mary Giordano.

Kelly said his story started in 2008 when he was living in a home his grandparents owned since 1951, and helping to take care of his grandfather who had Alzheimer’s after his grandmother’s death in 1998.

After a dispute between Kelly and one of his cousin’s, Judge Asarch brought in Giordano to be Maass’s guardian, and the nightmare began, Kelly told Rebel Pundit.

Asarch decided that Kelly wasn’t “immediate family” and forced him to move out of the home which Kelly did moving to an apartment near the home in March 2009.

In September 2009, without telling Kelly, Giordano had Maass moved out of his home and into a nursing home.

Kelly said that Giordano never produced an inventory of Maass’s personal property and personal items were missing in the days immediately following Maass’s forced removal from his home.

Kelly said in a follow up visit he noticed items missing: all of the artwork on the walls, grandfather clock, the entire crystal and china collection, two antique end tables, all of Maass’s clothing, an air conditioner wall unit, a mattress, lamps, a therapeutic/massage recliner and most of the assorted knickknacks accumulated by his grandparents over six decades.

Kelly said Maass was forced to live out the rest of his life in a nursing home for Jewish people even though he was Christian. He said his grandfather repeatedly expressed a desire to move back into his home but that Giordano never allowed it.

According to court documents, Maass’s estate was in excess of $600,000 at the time guardianship began, however at the time of his death on February 28, 2011, Kelly never received a final accounting of his grandfather’s assets and he isn’t sure how much if any money was left.

Worse yet, Giordano changed the date of Maass’s funeral at the last minute forcing the family to scramble as many people were coming in from all over the country.

A former employee, Janet Bergen, who assisted Giordano with Wilson’s case, died in her forties of cancer in 2012.

Another former employee of the firm who asked to remain anonymous said that Bergen repeatedly asked to be taken off the case and felt extremely stressed over the way it was being handled.

RebelPundit has confirmed that Giordano is currently being investigated for her handling of the estate of Joan Bebry, a wealthy woman who died in March 2014.

According to David Brooks spokesperson for the New York State Unified Court System discipline is done by that entity’s Grievance Committee and he was unaware of any malfeasance by Giordano.

Diane Wilson filed a formal complaint with the Tenth District’s Grievance Committee. According to a representative of the Grievance Committee, Giordano hasn’t been disciplined.

Giordano’s law partner, Emily Franchina, has been on the Grievance Committee in that district since 2000.

Judge Asarch died suddenly at 60 in 2013, and according to the New York State Judicial Commission, which is in charge of discipline for judges, Judge Asarch’s record is also clean, though Wilson also filed a formal complaint with the New York State Judicial Commission.

Giordano continues to be assigned cases as a guardian.

 

 

 

 

29 Responses

  1. Elaine Renoire

    Guardianship is designed to “guard” incompetent people and “conserve” their assets. Dorothy Wilson’s guardian, Mary Giordano, did neither. Dorothy Wilson’s spirit was broken; she was miserable the last days of her life and she was afraid. One cannot watch the video of Dorothy Wilson begging her daughter to take her out of the facility without a box of Kleenex and without the feeling that it could happen to ones own mother. Richard Maas suffered the same – confined in a facility against his will by Giordano. How many others?

    Who protects the vulnerable from their court-appointed “protectors”?

    Thank you for this article, Mr. Volpe and Rebel Pundit. Awareness is key to reform; and informing the public about guardianship abuse will help others from falling victim.

    Join the national movement for reform of unlawful and abusive guardianships and conservatorships. Join NASGA: http://www.StopGuardianAbuse.org

    Reply
  2. Kathleen Dunn

    Two very tragic stories of two people that just wanted to live in their own home and be with their families. Instead they were forced to live in a facility in misery. Which most likely shortened their lives. Guardianship Abuse is going on everywhere here in Pinellas County, Florida many Judges are ignoring advance directives and appointing a professional guardian. My Mother’s advance directive was ignored, now she is held against her will and denied everything, even rehabilitation by an abusive guardian. Mary Giordiano is Disgraceful and should be removed as a guardian and charged with ABUSE. Any guardian that forcefully removes someone from their home and isolates from family, friends, and restricts visits, etc. Should be removed as a guardian and charged with ABUSE.

    Reply
  3. paula Fowler

    This is very sad – ESPECIALLY THE VIDEO. I am in litigation fighting a guardisnship I was persuaded to accept using the term ‘incapacitated under the pretense of ‘vulnerable’…….I have had the same (or similar) attemped and I am in no context elderly, mentally compromised, disabled or INCAPACITATED

    Reply
  4. Jack White

    People need to start coming forward with their tales of abuse by the Judicial/LEGAL system. I’m starting to see an increase of this nonsense called ‘RECEIVERSHIPS’ in which judges hand away assets and property to their lawyer friends and EVEN real estate agents to liquidate. To me this ALL boils down to ASSET FORFEITURE… or legal theft! This has been going on through the legal system for decades and people NEED to wake up to this machine which has grown so big, it’s become an industry.

    Reply
  5. Julie Belshe

    Nothing shocks me with the legal system and their pawns. Family is the only thing that matters to most people who have evolved beyond hurting and greed! These People involved with taking the rights and material items away from these people should be facing the maximum sentence. What people fail to understand is that anyone who has been through this suffers a intense amount and is left comforting their loved ones and giving them false hope. The supposedly law makers are killing off our loved ones for no other reason than for GREED. Why not find another avenue, as their are certainly many of making your money upon the destruction of our families. We all come in the world the same way as we exit. You law makers in my opinion have some heavy karmic boots. So gladly that we do have g-d on our side. Keep up the fight my friends that have had to endure such a bleak and unbelievable road…We Adore, Love, Honor, and Respect our elderly, disabled, and people in our life. I guess that was something that the legal guardians and legal system wasn’t ever taught when they were young, such a pity.. In my opinion, nothing more than hurt and disgusting behavior. G-d Bless Our Families!!!!!!

    Reply
      • Sylvia Rudek

        Those who profit financially and/or job security learned how to control and manipulate the system into a lucrative business, the protection industry, unregulated, no oversight, totally out of control.

  6. Dana Lawhon

    This woman should have been disbarred a long time ago she is a thief plain and simple. Mary Giordano should be in jail with all the other thieves and crooks.

    Reply
  7. Kelly Bingaman

    this is so absolutely sickening. I wonder why these things never happen to the attorneys, judges, etc and or their families. This was no different than when I was hospitalized in the ICU unit in pennsylvania unresponsive for three days and a bankruptcy trustee refused to grant me my bankruptcy after my husband raised all our marital debt, left the marriages, stoke a blind 74 year old woman’s credit cared to pay all his bills including hiring a lawyer, only refused to submit my bankruptcy until he held a hearing as the tester, plaintiff, plaintiff attorney vs me, which I never knew about, ordering the courts to give him entitlement to my home and sell it. Upon my discharge eventually from the hospital, we walked into MY home to find five strangers. Turned out they were realtors showing my handicap accessible home I just built a few years earlier. If that wasn’t bad enough, I didn’t have a deadbolt…I had a keyless entry so anyone would just call the attorney and say they were realtors and with no verification they were given the combination to enter my home.
    The rich get richer, the poor get poorer until they give up on life completely.

    Reply
  8. sherry Johnston

    the abuse in guardianship is epidemic across America. Our judicial system has no regard for the elderly. There is going to have to be a civil revolt against these guardians to put fear back into these predators. Until the guardians become victims of families retaliation this will continue. My mother Willie Jo Mills died at the hands of Judge Christine Butts and the professional guardian Ginger Lott in Harris County Texas.

    Reply
  9. ida mayer

    This is disgusting. Those who must be protected most are taken advantage of in our society. It’s a scary world for those of us getting older with every day. Hope changes are made and justice is served .

    Reply
  10. Daniel Ryan

    Daniel P Ryan: This attorney/professional guardian, Mary Giordano, has displayed ruthless, heartless, undeniable actions of criminal wrongdoing in several cases ACTING in the capacity as a professional guardian. In my opinion, it’s easy to see, she sees other human beings as “objects” to exploit and even exterminate for her love of money and power. I firmly believe she should be charged with crimes against humanity, and “when,” not if, found guilty, should be handed at least a life sentence. There are countless more psychopathic bottom-feeders just like her in this human trafficking industry our probate courts nourish throughout this nation, and it’s high time every single American knows this “dirty secret !!!

    Reply
  11. paula fowler

    I SO Agree with what you just said and personally have compared human trafficking to predatory and abusive guardianships as two peas in a pod for a long time now!!!! The only difference in the thieves of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in both cases is that the CPG’s, attorneys, judges and politicians have zero conscience compared to the thugs and mafia and gangsters!

    Reply
  12. Kevin Kelly

    I want to thank mr. Volpe for publishing this article about the abuse of my grandfather richard maass and the abuse of Dorothy Wilson. I also want to thank everyone who commented on this article .please share this article with your friends so we can prevent the abuse of future victims. I have one correction. It was my mother Maureen Kelly who cared for my grandfather until her death on February 10th 2006

    Reply
  13. Don Acree

    Mary Giordano should be sent to prison for kidnapping, theft, and maybe even accessory to murder (since she probably shortened Mrs. Wilson’s lifespan).

    Reply
    • Kevin Kelly

      I know that the life of my grandfather richard maass and the life of Dorothy Wilson were shortened when my grandfather was kidnapped his health quickly deteriorated and his care was not nearly as good as it was when he was living in his home.

      Reply
  14. Kevin Kelly

    Today my grandfather richard maass would have been 100 years old. He had an amazing life except for the last several when he was forced to suffer because of the crimes committed against him. I know that he is in heaven with my mother and the rest of his loving family. Heaven is a place that judge asarch is not in and a place that Mary giordano and Anne recht will never see. Happy birthday grandpa I miss you and mom so much.

    Reply
    • Diane

      Kevin, Mary Giordano definitely was responsible–along with Asarch and Anne Recht, for the early deaths of my mother, your grandfather and countless others; the drugs that were forced upon them, the kidnapping and imprisonment caused unbearable stress. I KNOW Mom would have lived many more years if these awful people were not in their lives. Unfortunately they became victims of the criminal enterprise known as surrogate court
      .

      Reply
  15. BarbinOregon

    Mary Giordano ….You ought to be ashamed of yourself. What you have done truly leaves me unable to find words to describe the level of disgust I feel at this moment. I am sad for anyone that falls into your path…..

    Reply
    • Diane

      Thank you for your comment Barb. I am doing everything I can to warn people about this woman and her law firm. Her partner, Emily Franchina, is not any better. She knew everything that Mary was doing and did nothing to stop her. The fact that Mary Giordano has not been disbarred yet and is still being placed in control of innocent people’s lives is incredibly frightening. I am grateful to Michael Volpe for writing this article to help get Mom’s story out to the public. More stories are on my Mom’s website http://judicialdestructionofdorothy.wordpress.com/

      Reply
  16. Paula Fowler

    I have a BIG, Big hearing coming up in just an hour or two concerning ‘my guardianship’ (why I haven’t had time to post) Please everyone keep me in Your Thoughts and Prayers – I need my Freedom back!!!

    Reply
  17. D. Conrad

    I lived with Kevin Kelly for nearly 3 years after Judge Asarch ordered him out of his home. During this time we attempted to contact Mary Giordano several times regarding his grandfather, Richard Maass’s care. Kevin and I witnessed his cousin, Kerry Webber removing Kevin’s personal items (priceless family heirlooms left from Kevin’s inheritance) from Maass’s property shortly thereafter. We contacted Giordano who failed to take proper action. Furthermore, she never honored Richard Maass’s wishes, housing, or his religious and personal beliefs. I remain appalled by the disregard of professional responsibility and disrespect from Giordano’s office. Unfortunately I can only now hope that this is not an example of standard protocol and that this does not happen again.

    Reply
  18. eileen

    It is good to see that a guardian finally is seeing the other side of the court process. In my experience the guardianship industry protects its own, even with egregious cases. In a hearing to replace the guardian, all the lawyers (including the petitioner’s lawyer) will praise the guardian while reciting standard guardianship phrases like “feuding siblings” or “dysfunctional family.”
    It is hard to imagine how any care facility other than a hospital can charge $53,000 in one month. Notable also in Mrs. Wilson’s case is the number of times she was moved. Moving the elderly is devastating, especially if there is dementia. Even a move from one room to another in the same facility sets the patient back. Guardians often use this technique just before an annual review because a decline in the ward’s condition makes it easier to justify the continuation of the guardianship.

    Reply
    • Diane Wilson

      Thanks for reading Mom’s story Eileen. It is so important that people know what is going on with our elderly. In my mother’s case, having her jewelry stolen, being denied access to her own money and isolated at various times from her family, being threatened that she was going to be placed in a nursing home, being forced to see a psychiatrist while the court appointed geriatric care manager, Anne Recht, sat in on all of her sessions writing down every word she said, being taken to doctors appointments by strangers while she was forced to disrobe in front of Anne Recht, being threatened by the guardian that the police would be called if she didn’t behave, then forced into nursing homes ultimately killed her. Guardianship needs to be abolished. It is nothing but slavery using Nazi- like tactics to control and then destroy the individual.

      Reply

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