Any Charges Reported on this blog are Merely Accusations and the Defendants are Presumed Innocent Unless and Until Proven Guilty, through the courts.

February 21, 2012

Experts Call for Federal Body to Act on Elder Abuse (AUSTRALIA)

By Emily Bourke
20 February, 2012

ELEANOR HALL: A Queensland family is launching legal action to recover millions of dollars, handled by some of their late father's advisers.
Queensland farmer Roger Hack died last year after a long battle with dementia. But much of his wealth is missing and his children are going to court to try to recover the money.
Advocates for the elderly say cases like this one are not isolated and most receive no publicity.

Emily Bourke has our report.

EMILY BOURKE: Roger Hack was a banana farmer on Queensland's Sunshine Coast and his business made him and his family very wealthy.
But after being diagnosed with dementia he entered into a complicated domestic arrangement with a friend who took control with his affairs.
As he deteriorated, he was moved from his home and cut off from his family.
And his fortune - in the millions of dollars - was squirreled away in a maze of trust funds and investments which his family can't access.

RICHARD HACK: I will follow this through to the very end.

EMILY BOURKE: His eldest son is Richard Hack.

RICHARD HACK: It had taken many years to prepare the property for sale and when we finally realised those assets, it was all just cash. So there were tens of millions of dollars in cash went into a trust account, in a law firm's trust account, and my father was in charge of the various structures that controlled those cash funds.

EMILY BOURKE: So what went wrong?

RICHARD HACK: Oh, where do you start? Basically, Dad trusted a female friend of many years, he couldn't comprehend and focus in the latter days when he was in charge of all this cash, and that's when she stepped in and provided the lawyers and the accountants - and those people were her preferred people.

EMILY BOURKE: At the family's prompting the Adult Guardian and the Public Trustee stepped in.
But Roger Hack died before the mystery of his missing millions could be solved.

Richard Hack says some money has been retrieved.

RICHARD HACK: There's probably about $15 million of which about six has come back to us. The luxury I suppose that my family has is that a) we were wealthy to start with. I don't believe many people out there would have the luxury of just digging in and just staying with the game. I have even heard examples where people have just decided to pack up and walk away 'cause quality of life for them was more important than fighting 'til the end.

EMILY BOURKE: The Hack case is set to go before the courts but the story serves as a cautionary tale.


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