Guardianship News:

New Mexico

New Mexico: Victims of Desert State still waiting for restitution, more than one year after Donisthorpe’s guilty plea

August 12, 2018 // 1 Comment

By Colleen Heild / Journal Investigative Reporter Saturday, August 11th, 2018 at 11:30pm A woman known in court records as “J.W.” died destitute this year. But she had once been a co-beneficiary of a $600,000 trust at the now-defunct and disgraced Desert State Life Management company of Albuquerque. Her money, along with savings and trust accounts of more than 70 other vulnerable people who were clients of Desert State, were part of the estimated $4.8 million embezzled by company CEO Paul [- more...]

New Mexico: New legislation gives regulators more power – but will they exercise it?

August 12, 2018 // 1 Comment

New Mexico financial regulators learned their lesson the hard way after discovering in early 2017 that millions of dollars had been embezzled from clients at the small nonprofit Desert State Life Management. The state Financial Institutions Division of the state’s Regulation and Licensing Department headed to the Roundhouse in Santa Fe this year to seek new laws to help prevent another such criminal scheme, which went undetected for years. “Unfortunately, it was a reactive response. But [- more...]

New Mexico: Pair plead guilty to fleecing WWII vet of $340,000; receive no jail time

June 24, 2018 // 0 Comments

Problems in the guardianship system in New Mexico continue. I’m referring to the article by Phaedra Haywood (“Pair plead guilty to fleecing WWII vet.” April 27). Obviously; Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer did not believe that 26 criminal counts were serious enough to put the couple in this case in jail. It’s the same twisted logic that allows attorneys and judges in this state to continue to overlook such criminals to hold them accountable. District Attorney Marco Serna stated [- more...]

New Mexico: Court administrator admits “We have no records showing the exact number of wards under guardianship in NM”

June 5, 2018 // 1 Comment

We were shocked, but ultimately not surprised, to find Barry Massey, Communications Officer for New Mexico’s Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) admit, in writing, We have no records showing the “exact number of wards under guardianship in NM” because it is uncertain how many of the total case filings remain active and require judicial monitoring Please see these two PDFs (below) which explain how instead of answering the question about how many wards have been created by judges [- more...]

New Mexico: Courts are unable to state whether ward is dead or alive – since 2010

March 25, 2018 // 3 Comments

By Colleen Heild / Journal Investigative Reporter Sunday, March 25th, 2018 at 12:05am What’s become of Elizabeth Hamel? There’s no indication as to whether she is dead or alive, or if the guardianship/conservatorship has been revoked. Hamel is among dozens of people placed under a legal guardianship or conservator in southern New Mexico over the past 20 years whose welfare is unknown – at least according to state district court records. The scant court records available to the public [- more...]

Did you know?

February 16, 2018 // 3 Comments

As a result of an increased awareness of the issues in professional guardianships brought brought about by AAAPG, other advocacy groups and dedicated citizens around the country, there is a lot of light being shone on the exploitation of seniors in guardianship and what to do about it. In Nevada a police officer. Lt. James Melton has been arrested for conspiring with notorious guardian April Parks to run her infamous racket exploiting the elderly and their families in Las Vegas. Also, [- more...]

New Mexico: Court suggests critical changes to state rules

December 30, 2017 // 0 Comments

By Colleen Heild / Journal Investigative Reporter Saturday, December 30th, 2017 at 12:05am New Mexico’s secretive system under which the state handles daily living and financial decisions for hundreds of incapacitated people a year would undergo a radical transformation if recommendations unveiled by a state Supreme Court commission are adopted. The commission’s final report of recommendations for an improved guardian/conservator system in New Mexico – released late Thursday – presents [- more...]

New Mexico: Plea bargain catches victims by surprise

November 30, 2017 // 0 Comments

 By Colleen Heild / Journal Investigative Reporter Federal law says crime victims have a right to “reasonable and timely notice” of any public court proceedings involving the crime. But Paul Donisthorpe’s sudden plea bargain Monday in a high-profile $4 million trust fund embezzlement scheme caught victims by surprise. Armando Ramirez, of Santa Teresa, helps support his brother Omar Ramirez, who lost nearly $1 million in a trust account managed by Donisthorpe that was supposed to pay for [- more...]

BREAKING NEWS – New Mexico: Former Desert State Life CEO pleads guilty in Federal Court to fraud, money laundering

November 28, 2017 // 0 Comments

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The former CEO of Desert State Life Management pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering in federal court Monday morning. Paul Donisthorpe, 62, will be sentenced to eight to 12 years in prison, according to the recommendation in his plea agreement. He also must pay $4,812,857 in restitution to the victims of his crimes. Donisthorpe ran a decade-long scheme in which he stole more than $4.8 million from more than 70 of his company’s clients. Many of them had [- more...]

New Mexico: latest guardianship hearing held in secret

November 27, 2017 // 1 Comment

By Colleen Heild and Olivier Uyttebrouck / Journal Staff Writers From the Albuquerque Journal A guardianship court hearing for Holocaust survivor Peter Grotte-Higley was held in secret on Tuesday, three weeks after the judge in the case postponed the matter saying she wanted to research the issue of whether two Journal reporters could attend. State District Judge Denise Barela-Shepherd at an Oct. 2 hearing instructed the attorneys in the case to research the “legal authorities either in [- more...]
1 2 3 4