FLORIDA – CEAR, the Center for Estate Administration Reform addressed Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida, elected leadership and law enforcement today. A chart of documented cases accompanied the lengthy letter. The letter and examples can be found at www.cearjustice.org The focus is on fraudulent guardianships and coins a new phrase “Turked”. Recent guardianship headlines tell the tales of victims dying from COVID-19, isolated from their families. Shining light on a topic that is relevant for every American family.
The eye-opening letter to Governor DeSantis begins with some jaw-dropping numbers in his state.
“All these frauds are executed by predatory attorneys committing constructive fraud.” “Each of the 3,000 plus cases CEAR has counselled nationally the last five years follow a modus operandi; isolate the victim, defame legitimate protectors, and liquidate the estate.”
The letter goes on to say that CEAR “has observed a growing trend to take defamation to a whole new level nationwide whereby equity court judges and their allies influence law enforcement and prosecutorial resources to pursue criminal prosecutions of legitimate protectors.”
Rick Black [CEAR’s Director] explains that this is not a Florida problem. He states that “The federal arrest and criminal conviction of daughter Karyn Turk (Mrs. Florida) in 2019 set a new standard of corruption in Florida,” This caused CEAR to coin the phrase “Turked.”
He details that Karyn Turk’s very public odyssey started by her requesting that the nursing home be more responsive to her mother’s needs; reaching out to government agencies, the ombudsman, Dept of Elder Affairs and others. The director of the home didn’t take kindly to Karyn’s requests. He called a couple of well-known local guardianship attorneys, which led to Karyn’s mother being placed into guardianship—removing Karyn’s rights and access.
Those Infamous Palm Beach County guardianship attorneys were Brian O’Connell and Ashley Crispin-Ackal. They were subject of headlines in 2017 when a jury awarded a multi-million-dollar judgement to a family. A headline in the Palm Beach Post read “Jury hits lawyers with $16.4M for doing senior wrong in guardianship.” Karyn Turk stated “It’s utterly shocking that a jury award like this would not result in drastic change. An average citizen might believe a large jury award of this kind, would have resulted in some momentum. They might believe this would change the way these attorneys’ profit in the practice of guardianship. Sadly, from my experience, it has not.”
Rick points out that “For federal authorities to investigate and convict Karyn Turk is quite odd. Federal investigators don’t normally investigate $17,000 thefts of the type attributed to Karyn unless someone with a lot of influence is demanding it. O’Connell has influential ties to the Democratic Party and his uncle (and father of his former partner and cousin Phillip, Jr.) Phillip O’Connell, Sr. was the Palm Beach County State Attorney for a quarter-century.” It is important to note that Karyn Turk is a very publicly visible and outspoken Republican.
CEAR activists lobbied for passage of the federal Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Act(EAPPA) which was passed into law by President Trump in late 2017. The letter closes simply with a definitive message “CEAR will continue to advocate for families with the hope Florida authorities will too.”