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Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Health Care Advisor and An Attorney Conned Sick Elderly Man

Court FightJerry and Frances Berkowtiz of West Palm Beach, Florida have recently brought allegations against Princella Lewis, a financial advisor at Prestigious Lifecare for Seniors (PL Firm), and Glenn Ricardo Miller, their attorney, for conning them out of $1 million. The couple claims that the Lewis and PL Firm coerced them into giving PL Firm money. This whole story begins this past year when Jerry was diagnosed with cancer and hospitalized. After his stay at the hospital, he was transferred to a nursing home. Shortly after his arrival, Jerry was referred to the PL Firm and Princella Lewis, who agreed to provide Jerry and his wife financial advice. Glenn Miller was retained by Jerry to prepare any legal document that might of be necessary.

When the documents were signed, Lewis and PL Firm persuaded Jerry's wife to make a cashier's check worth $55,000. The cashier's check was suppose to be the money needed to establish a trust, but this did not stop here. Not only did the couple make a cashier's check payable to PL Firm, an employee drove Frances to her personal bank with the instructions to transfer all of her money into one bank account that was held by SunTrust Bank and her. Under the supervision of PL Firm, Frances transferred more than $1 million in funds. The complaint alleges that once PL Firm had the money, they refused to work with the couple, give them copies of what they had signed, or an accounting. When Frances tried to reclaim the money, Lewis threatened to have her committed in a mental institution. The complaint filed against Lewis, PL Firm, and Miller alleged that the three abused their position and took advantage of the couple. The complaint highlights the fact the illegality of PL Firm's actions, including the threats made against Frances. The couple is seeking damages and their finances returned to them.

See Iulia Filip, Sick Old Man Says He Was Conned for $1M, Courthouse News Service, Apr. 2, 2013.

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/trusts_estates_prof/2013/04/health-care-advisor-and-an-attorney-conned-sick-elderly-man.html

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