October 31, 2013
By Brenda Craig
San Francisco, CA: A quick check of the California Bar Journal from October 2013 gives just one more example of the financial exploitation of American senior citizens. According to the Journal, this is the largest “misappropriation in the Office of Chief Trial Counsel’s memory.”
In 2004, a young San Francisco attorney, Wade Anthony Robertson, met a wealthy 77-year-old doctor from Maryland. Robertson had a great investment for Dr. Cartinhour. He told him he could invest in a big litigation case that was going on in New York and the return on his money would result in a multimillion-dollar payback.
Robertson kept convincing Dr. Cartinhour to pour more and more money into the scheme. In fact, Robertson was using the doctor’s money to finance his own investments.
Dr. Cartinhour became suspicious and hired another attorney in 2009 to check on Robertson. The plan to defraud Dr. Cartinhour began to unravel. Cartinhour brought a suit against Robertson and was awarded $3.5 million in compensatory damages and $3.5 million in punitive damages.
Robertson, who is no longer eligible to practice law, began a series of frivolous suits aimed at delaying repayment of Dr. Cartinhour’s funds.
In September 2013, nine years after Dr. Cartinhour’s unfortunate first meeting with Robertson, a judge in the case found Robertson “culpable of moral turpitude by engaging in a scheme to defraud, misrepresentation and abusing the legal process,” as noted in the California Bar Journal.
The judge also noted that Robertson has shown no remorse for his behaviour, and that he failed to admit any wrongdoing, and furthermore, his “misconduct occurred less than three years after he was admitted to practice law.”
Dr. Cartinhour is just one of the millions of older Americans that are targeted for financial exploitation every year in the US.
The Office of Attorney General in the State of California advises seniors to always have a family member supervise financial transactions and that professionals supervise the family members. And being rich, poor or middle income, it doesn’t seem to matter to the would-be perpetrators of financial exploitation.
Fortunately for Dr. Cartinhour, the courts in California came to his rescue. It has some of the toughest financial elder abuse laws on the books.
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