Friday, July 28, 2017

Lawyer Fights Subpoena in Thompson Estate Case

By Walter F. Roche Jr.

With the deadline just days away, the original attorney for the estate of the late U.S. Senator Fred Thompson has filed an objection to a subpoena requiring his deposition testimony this week.

In papers filed Tuesday in Davidson Probate Court, Charles A. Trost charged that he had not been given proper notice for the deposition and, in fact, still has not been served.

The objection is but the latest development in a continuing battle over the late senator and presidential candidate's estate.

Thompson's widow Jeri has filed an objection to a $14,000 claim filed by Trost's law firm, Waller Lansden Dortch and Davis, for work performed in an abortive effort to make last minute changes in the television actor's estate.

In the one-page filing Trost's lawyer said the subpoena was not properly served and that the estate's new attorneys had failed to follow proper procedures including providing at least 21 days advance notice.

The dispute over the bill first surfaced last year, but was put on hold about the same time Thompson's two sons by his first marriage charged that changes had been made in the estate plan when the late senator was no longer competent to approve such changes.

That dispute ended abruptly after Jeri Thompson complied with an order to provide the sons with details on any last minute changes in her husband's estate. She said the only change had been in the secondary beneficiary on a life insurance policy, a change that turned out to be irrelevant.

Because of the failed effort to change the estate plan's, the will finally filed for Thompson by Trost was over a decade old and omitted the two children from his marriage to Jeri.

The subpoena calls for Trost to appear for a deposition on Friday.


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Lawyer Fights Subpoena in Thompson Estate Case

Adults Under Guardianship Should Have Chance To Regain Rights, ABA Says

The time is ripe for people subject to court-ordered guardianship to have the ability to regain the right to manage their money, American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging said in a study issued Monday.

“An unknown number of adults languish under guardianship beyond the period of need," the commission said. "Others may never have needed the guardianship in the first place, as a less restrictive option could have sufficed.”

The study called guardianship both a “gulag and a godsend” and buttressed its case by claiming guardians must perceive their role as enhancing self-determination and working toward termination of guardianship with sufficient support.

“Education and training for lawyers targeted specifically at restoration proceedings could help change practices and attitudes,” the commission said.

While noting the stripping of money management and other abilities from an adult as the result of a guardianship proceeding is generally viewed as permanent, the report noted rights can be restored when a judge finds the adult is deemed fit to do so or additional evidence has surfaced showing the person does not meet the legal standard of being incapacitated.

Nearly 70 percent of the time, all financial privileges were restored by courts in Minnesota, Washington State, Illinois and Kentucky from August 2012 to August 2015 as a result of hearings on whether an individual under guardianship should regain rights, according to the study.

The ABA commission urged the enactment of state laws enbling people under guardianship to have their rights restored when warranted. The laws should also give guardians attorneys to push for their rights and include requirements that courts regularly review the need for guardianship.

The commission cited as an example the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council Manual for Legal Professionals, which shows how the individual, the guardian, the attorney and a supportive living coach can work together to set out and follow concrete steps to gradually transfer management of money from the guardian to the individual.

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Adults Under Guardianship Should Have Chance To Regain Rights, ABA Says

Keokuk woman convicted on theft charge

QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) - A Keokuk woman accused of financially exploiting an elderly family member was found guilty of theft Wednesday, according to court records.

Laura Hawkins was scheduled for a jury trial this week, but records show she waived that right and a bench trial was held instead. Records show Hawkins was then found guilty of theft and is scheduled for sentencing in September.

According to court records, two counts of financial exploitation of the elderly over $15,000 were dismissed.

Police said Hawkins was the power of attorney for a 77-year-old family member who was a resident at Sycamore Healthcare in Quincy. Authorities said Sycamore officials informed them Hawkins was possibly financially exploiting the resident.

Police said the investigation determined Hawkins misused thousands of dollars belonging to the victim.

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Keokuk woman convicted on theft charge

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Guardianship firm seized by marshals

A Final Four basketball junket. Caribbean cruises and other luxury vacations. Purchases at an Albuquerque RV Center and a Mercedes-Benz dealership.

The alleged lavish spending by the co-founders of one of the state’s largest nonprofit guardianship firms was financed out of the accounts of their special needs clients, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. And on Wednesday, a multiagency federal task moved to put a stop to the alleged decade-old embezzlement scheme involving millions of dollars with the indictment and arrests of the co-founders of Ayudando Guardians, a nonprofit guardian/conservator company based in Albuquerque.

Susan Harris, 70, and Sharon Moore, 62, were taken into custody Wednesday, and both women are to appear at detention hearings today at 9:30 a.m. in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque.

State court records show Ayudando as having been appointed by state district judges to serve as guardian, conservator or personal representative in more than 350 cases since 2000. The company’s publicly available 990 tax form for 2015 said the company provides guardian and conservator services to the elderly, veterans, the disabled and the homeless.

The 28-count federal criminal indictment alleges millions of dollars were embezzled from client accounts since the company was created in November 2006. The charges include conspiracy, mail fraud, aggravated identity theft and money laundering.

“This case is all about the victims,” acting U.S. Attorney James D. Tierney said in a press release. “The victims in this case relied upon Ayudando to manage their finances and meet their needs. If the allegations in the indictment are true, the principals of Ayudando cruelly violated the trust of their clients and looted their benefits. Federal law enforcement has now stepped in to ensure that the looting stops.”

Efforts to reach defense attorneys for Harris and Moore were unsuccessful late Wednesday.

According to the indictment, Ayudando receives government benefit payments from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and U.S. Social Security Administration on behalf of many of its clients, and acts as a fiduciary or representative payee for these clients by paying their expenses and maintaining the balances for the benefit of the clients.

The actual number of clients whose accounts have been affected wasn’t detailed in the U.S. Attorney’s Office press release, which said the corporation provides services, including financial management, to hundreds of individuals with special needs.

Ayudando also is under contract with the state Developmental Disabilities Planning Council to provide guardianship services to New Mexico residents who are eligible for Medicaid or a similar public benefit and who have been deemed incapacitated.

The company’s 2017 contract with the state was capped at $640,800, according to state records. Under the contract, the company was supposed to purchase a bond for the indemnification of losses and submit to audits.

In addition, court-appointed guardians and conservators are required to submit to the court an annual report and/or financial accountings for each client.

Marshal take over
The U.S. Marshals Service on Wednesday took control of Ayudando’s business operations to ensure that victims of the crimes charged, who include disabled veterans, continue to receive the “services they deserve and are entitled to,” U.S. Marshal Conrad E. Candelaria said in a press release.

Federal authorities also received a court order to take receivership of the corporation, which has its headquarters on Central SE and has an office in Mesa, Ariz., according to its website.

The order authorizes the U.S. Marshals Service to operate the business to ensure assets are not improperly spent or removed, and that the interests of Ayudando clients are protected as the criminal case goes forward.

Ayudando clients or relatives of clients who wish to speak to someone about their accounts or expenses can call Ayudando, which is being operated by the U.S. Marshals Service.

Tax forms filed by the corporation for 2015, the most recent year for which records are available, show Harris earned $138,230 a year as president of Ayudando and Moore was paid $126,720 annually.

Stealing the money

The indictment described some of the ways the two women allegedly stole from clients.

For instance, Harris wrote 12 checks totaling $457,883 on the client reimbursement account from June 2011 to March 2014 for personal purposes, including checks of $50,950 made out to Mercedes-Benz of Albuquerque and $26,444 to Myers RV Center. Harris is accused of using an Ayudando credit card to pay $140,790 to cover luxury vacations for herself and others, including the cruises and a basketball junket, knowing that Moore would pay off the charges using client funds, the indictment alleges.

Harris and Moore allegedly used $392,623 from the Ayudando client reimbursement account to pay off balances on a company credit card used by the defendants and their families for personal purposes.

As part of the alleged scheme, which federal prosecutors described as “sophisticated,” Moore in 2016 allegedly mailed fraudulent documents to the VA that falsely represented balances in 10 client accounts, claiming the accounts had an aggregate balance of more than $1.9 million when the actual value was $72,281.

Ayudando, Moore and Harris also are accused of engaging in aggravated identity theft by using their clients’ names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers and VA file numbers to commit mail fraud.

The federal indictment comes at a time when the FBI is believed to be assisting in the investigation of an Albuquerque trust company operated by CEO Paul Donisthorpe.

State financial regulators have found a minimum of $4 million missing from client trust fund accounts managed by Desert State Life Management. About 70 clients are affected, many of whom are physically or mentally disabled or elderly. The money allegedly went into private companies controlled by Donisthorpe.

No criminal charges have resulted, but the U.S. Attorney’s Office has filed a forfeiture petition to seize three of Donisthorpe’s properties, alleging a scheme to defraud vulnerable clients.

Full Article & Source:
Guardianship firm seized by marshals

Employee blows whistle on guardian embezzlement case

For more than a decade, one of the state’s largest guardianship firms was routinely appointed by the courts to protect clients whose disabilities left them unable to handle their money or pay their bills.

Behind the scenes, federal officials say, Susan Harris and Sharon Moore were allegedly running up the company credit card of Ayudando Guardians to the tune of $4 million by living the life of luxury and paying the American Express bills with client trust money.

Then last June, according to court testimony Thursday, one of Ayudando’s employees assigned to pay and manage the bills walked into the office of an unidentified federal law enforcement agency and blew the whistle – alleging that supervisors were embezzling client money.

“It’s difficult to imagine a greater betrayal of trust,” said assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremy Pena on Thursday just before federal magistrate Steven Yarbrough released Harris and Moore pending trial under certain conditions, including that they put up their homes as security.

Both women pleaded not guilty during the detention hearing.

Moore’s attorney, Fred Jones, told the magistrate she couldn’t afford any amount of bond for her release. “She has no money … She has no credit cards. No line of credit,” he said. Moore, according to Ayudando’s most recent 990 tax form, had a salary of $126,720 for 2015.

Harris’ attorney, Robert Gorence, said Harris should be released because she has been in the community for 40 years and has significant family ties here.

The 28-count indictment unsealed this week charges the women and the company with mail fraud, money laundering, conspiracy and aggravated identity theft.

Their arrests were the product of a year’s worth of investigation by the FBI, IRS, Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General, and the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Social Security Administration, according to federal law enforcement officials who appeared at a news conference Thursday.

The indictment alleges that Ayudando, which was set up to act as a fiduciary or a representative payee for individuals needing assistance, was run by Harris as president and Moore as secretary. Part of the alleged embezzlement scheme involved Ayudando concealing the theft from some clients’ accounts by replacing the missing money with funds taken from other clients, the indictment states.

IRS Special Agent Ismael Nevarez Jr. at the news conference made reference to the company’s name.

“This contains the word ayudando, which in Spanish means, help or to help others and is especially troubling,” Nevarez said, adding that instead of helping people, the “defendants were greedy and helped themselves to their clients’ money.”

Acting U.S. Attorney for New Mexico James Tierney said the investigation was ongoing. He said authorities don’t yet know how many Ayudando clients lost funds, but prosecutors in the indictment focused on the federal violations involving 10 veterans whose Ayudando account totals were inflated when reported annually by law to the VA.

The indictment alleged the two women enjoyed a lavish lifestyle of travel with client funds.

Harris, in the indictment, is accused of writing checks from the company client reimbursement account or using the credit card for a $21,852 payment to All World Travel, and more than $17,000 for two Celebrity Cruise trips to the Caribbean isles in 2013 and 2014. Moore charged a $8,958 vacation to a resort in San Diego in 2015 and used the charge card to spend $3,479 for a 13-person vacation to San Diego last December, the indictment alleges.

Tierney said the maximum prison sentence they faced under the charges was 30 years.

The U.S. Marshals Service is managing Ayudando operations, so clients with questions or concerns can call the company at 505-332-4357. The U.S. Attorney’s office can be reached via email at or at 505-346-6902.

New Mexico FBI assistant special agent-in-charge Derek Fuller said he and the other agents involved in the Ayudando case want to deliver a message.

“If you are managing funds for people who depend on you for your honesty and you decide to help yourself to the till,” Fuller said, “we will come after you.”

Full Article & Source:
Employee blows whistle on guardian embezzlement case

Ayudando exec testified for industry before arrest

When the new state Supreme Court commission studying guardianship reform met in May, the person who testified on behalf of professional guardians in New Mexico was Sharon Moore from Ayudando Guardians.

The same Sharon Moore appeared last week before a U.S. magistrate in Albuquerque to plead not guilty to federal charges of embezzling millions of dollars from Ayudando clients to finance a “lavish lifestyle.”

Alongside her in the courtroom was her “business partner” at Ayudando, Susan Harris, who – along with the company itself – is also charged in the 28-count indictment with criminal violations.

The indictment accuses the two women of charging up to $4 million in personal expenses, including travel, on the Ayudando company credit card and using funds from special-needs clients to pay the bills as they financed everything from cruises to luxury vehicles.

Two months earlier, Moore told the special commission that those employed by Ayudando adhered to a “model code of ethics,” and that the company had the trust of district judges who appointed it to act as guardian for clients in need of services.

According to the indictment, Ayudando receives government benefit payments from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and U.S. Social Security Administration on behalf of many of its clients, and acts as a fiduciary or representative payee for these clients by paying their expenses and maintaining the balances for the benefit of the clients.

The indictment contends that Moore, the chief financial officer, filed fraudulent reports from January to November of last year with the VA involving about 10 veterans who are Ayudando clients.

An attorney for Moore, 62, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

Since the indictment was unsealed last Wednesday, the state Office of Guardianship, which contracts with Ayudando to represent indigent clients, has not responded to Journal questions about the company – such as whether audits were conducted or bonds were required as a condition of receiving annual contracts.

The state sunshine portal shows that since July 2009, the state has contracted to pay Ayudando more than $5.7 million to act as court-appointed guardian for clients who are indigent or are otherwise eligible for a state-paid professional company to manage their living and other expenses.

The state Office of Guardianship, which approved Ayudando’s most recent annual contract, for $640,000, has offered no explanation for its silence related to its oversight of Ayudando.

But Moore, in her testimony to the Supreme Court commission on May 12, offered some details about Ayudando’s operations.

‘We do have standards’

Moore said the company has about 185 clients, but she didn’t provide a breakdown as to how many are indigent and therefore qualify for state-paid guardianship services, and how many are private.

Moore said her company, which she said has been in existence for about 14 years, employs nationally certified guardians. Both she and Harris are on the list of New Mexico guardians certified by national Center for Guardianship Certification in Harrisburg, Pa.

Such certification isn’t required by state law but is mandated in Ayudando’s contract with the state.

Moore said state district judges in New Mexico put their trust in Ayudando when appointing the company to act as guardians or conservator or both.

“And therefore, we don’t just run amok. We do have standards,” Moore told the 16-member group in May.

The commission, which includes judges, lawyers, representatives for the aging, Governor’s Office appointees and a member of the public, was appointed by the Supreme Court in April after concerns were raised in the Journal and elsewhere that courts in New Mexico needed more oversight of the guardians, who typically operate under the public radar because such cases are deemed confidential and are sealed by law.

The checks and balances provided by the current guardianship system rely heavily on judges, who by law are supposed to review annual reports submitted by guardians as to the welfare of the “incapacitated person” under guardianship.

Additional oversight
In the case of Ayudando’s work for the state, there was another layer of oversight, Moore told the commission.

“We do a lot of work for the Office of Guardianship,” she said. “We are audited for sure once a year, and if there is a problem they (the office) get called in on, they come to us.”

She said the caseload for each of the 12 guardians who work for the Albuquerque-based company, can be as many as 30 clients under the Office of Guardianship contract.

But Moore added, “I try not to overwhelm them. Some might get to 30 if they have nursing home clients.”

In contrast to family members who say they have been left out of the process when a professional guardian is appointed for a loved one, Moore said her company actually helps clients or their families write letters to the judges overseeing the case if there are concerns about a guardian’s conduct.

Federal prosecutors say it wasn’t a judge or a state audit that prompted the investigation that led to the FBI, IRS, VA and Social Security Administration investigation of Ayudando. It was an unidentified Ayudando employee who contacted a federal law enforcement agency with the embezzlement allegations.

The indictment prompted one former Ayudando employee to contact the Journal via email, saying in part, “Though I am sad for some really good people working at Ayudando Guardians, I am glad to know justice is being served against this heinous agency that duped so many vulnerable adults.”

The U.S. Marshals Service, meanwhile, has assumed control of the business operations of the firm.

Full Article & Source:
Ayudando exec testified for industry before arrest

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Fred Thompson Estate Fee Fight Heats Up

By Walter F. Roche Jr.

The battle over legal fees being sought from the estate of the late Fred Thompson is heating back up with a series of actions in Davidson Probate Court this week.

In papers filed Wednesday, Jeri Thompson, the widow of the late actor and U.S. Senator, hired a new lawyer who promptly issued a subpoena and deposition notice to Charles Trost, the Nashville, Tenn. attorney whose firm's fees are in dispute.

The new attorney representing Jeri Thompson is John P. Konvalinka, a Chattanooga based attorney, court records show.

The subpoena requires Trost to appear for a deposition on July 21 at the offices of Neal and Harwell, which also has represented Thompson's estate.

Though the issue was put on hold months ago, Jeri Thompson has questioned some $14,000 billed by Trost's firm, Waller Lansden Dortch and Davis for estate work done in the weeks before the late presidential candidate passed away on Nov. 1, 2015.

In one filing she termed the fee request,"inappropriate, improper and not a valid claim."

The effort by the Waller firm to update Thompson's will and estate plans was an apparent failure and his estate was finally opened with a will over a decade old that did not include his children from his second marriage with Jeri.

The legal fees are not the only dispute to surface in the Thompson estate. Two of Thompson's children by his first marriage intervened in the estate charging that estate assets may have been shifted just prior to the senator's death and at a time when he was not competent to approve any changes.

That suspicion was apparently triggered when the fee dispute became public.

After Jeri Thompson complied with a court order to disclose details of the estate assets and any last minute changes, the two sons dropped their claim.

Jeri Thompson stated that the only change executed just before the senator's death was an inconsequential one, involving a secondary beneficiary on a life insurance policy.


Full Article & Source:
Fred Thompson Estate Fee Fight Heats Up

Guardianship services firm faces embezzlement and fraud charges

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Federal law enforcement officials announced Wednesday that they have indicted one of the state's largest nonprofit guardianship firms with federal conspiracy, fraud, identity theft and money laundering offenses.

The charges, which are contained in a 28-count indictment, arise out of an alleged decade-long sophisticated scheme to embezzle funds from client trust accounts managed by Ayudando Guardians, a non-profit corporation that provides guardianship, conservatorship and financial management services to hundreds of individuals with special needs.

The 28-count indictment alleges that Ayudando Guardians co-founders Susan Harris and Sharon Moore embezzled millions from their special needs clients to support lavish lifestyles including cruises and car purchases.

Both Harris and Moore were taken into custody Wednesday. The Associated Press reports both women pleaded not guilty.

The indictment includes two conspiracy counts, 10 counts of mail fraud, nine counts of aggravated identity theft and six counts of money laundering.

"The victims in this case relied upon Ayudando to manage their finances and meet their needs. If the allegations in the indictment are true, the principals of Ayudando cruelly violated the trust of their clients and looted their benefits," said acting U.S. Attorney James D. Tierney in a statement released Wednesday. "Federal law enforcement has now stepped in to ensure that the looting stops. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and its partners will conduct this prosecution in a manner that provides for the continued receipt of benefits by Ayudando’s clients while holding the principals of the company accountable for their conduct."

According to the indictment, Harris and Moore perpetrated the embezzlement scheme by:
  • Setting up client trust and company bank accounts which only they controlled;
  • Transferring funds from client accounts to Ayudando company accounts;
  • Using client funds to pay off more than $4 million in charges on a company credit card account used by Harris, Moore and their families for personal purposes;
  • Writing checks from Ayudando company accounts to themselves, cash and to cover personal expenses;
  • Replenishing depleted client accounts with funds taken from other clients;
  • Mailing fraudulent statements and certifications to the VA; and
  • Forging and submitting forged bank statements to the VA.
The indictment details some of the alleged activity, such as the writing of 12 checks for a total of $457,883 on the Ayudando client reimbursement account for personal purpose, including a $50,950 check made out to Mercedes Benz of Albuquerque and a $26,444 check made out to Myers RV Center.

Both co-founders could face decades behind bars.

Ayudando clients or family members of Ayudando clients who need to speak with someone about their accounts or expenses should call Ayudando, which is now being operated by the U.S. Marshals Service, at 505-332-4357.

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Guardianship services firm faces embezzlement and fraud charges

Press Release: Jean Kasem, Widow of Radio/Television Icon Casey Kasem, Files Lawsuit Against Kasem's Adult Children and Others for Wrongful Death, Negligence and Fraud

Suit details willful starvation and dehydration of Casey Kasem, which caused his death in 2014; complaint outlines pattern of wire fraud and bogus elder abuse claims about Jean Kasem, repeatedly found to be unsubstantiated by law enforcement, protective services and doctors.

SEATTLE and LOS ANGELES, July 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Jean Kasem, widow of legendary radio DJ and pop culture icon Casey Kasem, has filed a lawsuit in federal court in Washington state, accusing three of her late husband's adult children from a prior relationship 40 years ago, of conspiring to seize control of Casey through a "homicidal guardianship scam." The suit alleges that the adult children – Kerri, Mike and Julie Kasem, along with Julie's husband and their attorney Troy Martin – chemically restrained Casey Kasem and then caused his death to go after Casey and Jean's financial assets.

Also named as a defendant is Catholic Health Initiatives, one of the nation's largest healthcare systems, which owns and operates the facility where Kasem died.

Casey Kasem was "pronounced" dead at 3:23 am, June 15, 2014, at St. Anthony Hospital in Gig Harbor, Washington. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, Seattle, seeks damages for, among other things, "the conscious pain, suffering, anxiety and fear of impending death experienced by Casey Kasem."

The complaint alleges that Casey Kasem was criminally separated from his legal family of 35 years against his will and subjected to a forced, isolated hospital entrapment. It asserts that Kasem's adult children, using a fraudulent Durable Power of Attorney, made a series of rapid, unilateral decisions to terminate his life, completely ignoring his wife's desperate pleas and without any authorization by Washington State Judge Jennifer Irvine Forbes.

According to the complaint, Jean Kasem's husband was forcibly taken by his 44-year-old daughter Kerri to St. Anthony on June 1, 2014 for an "independent medical evaluation." St. Anthony hospital's examining physician, attended by Casey's personal physician, Dr. Donald Sharman, cleared Casey to be returned to the care he was receiving at home. St. Anthony Hospital's examining physician stated in his written medical report, "His {Casey Kasem's} current care plan and management in his current home has been appropriate today. Dr. Sharman's recommendations and availability have been excellent and timely."

The evaluation concluded at around 6:00 pm on June 1, but Casey was not returned home to his wife as intended. Instead, the complaint alleges that Kerri Kasem's attorney contacted St. Anthony Hospital's examining physician and fabricated an excuse for an "overnight observation," which was not authorized by Judge Forbes. As a result, Casey was held against his will at St. Anthony Hospital.

On June 2, 2014, Judge Forbes read St. Anthony Hospital's examining physician's report and found "no compelling argument from the doctor in the report that he {Casey} needed to stay in the hospital." She then authorized that Casey be immediately returned home to his wife.

Concurrently, Dr. Sharman and Jean Kasem called St. Anthony and were informed by the attending physician that, "Casey Kasem's medical evaluation had concluded and his overnight observation went well, he is discharged and you can come pick him up."

That afternoon when Jean, Dr. Sharman, Casey's private nurse and one of Jean's attorneys arrived at St. Anthony Hospital with medical transport to pick Casey up and bring him back home, they were stalled for hours by hospital staff.

According to the complaint, St. Anthony Hospital's attending physician, who previously told Dr. Sharman and Jean Kasem that "Casey was discharged," reversed himself, saying Casey would not be discharged. He also could not explain to Dr. Sharman and Jean why Casey needed to remain in the hospital. Kerri Kasem's attorney then screamed, "Casey is not leaving the hospital period!" From that day forward, Dr. Sharman, along with Casey's private nurse, Jean, her attorneys and Liberty Kasem were all banned from St. Anthony.

Full Press Release and Source:
Jean Kasem, Widow of Radio/Television Icon Casey Kasem, Files Lawsuit Against Kasem's Adult Children and Others for Wrongful Death, Negligence and Fraud