Allegations of Alleged Corruption and Abuse at the Probate Court Level in Cook County, IL

July 9, 2011


The end of life has many challenges for the elderly.  It can be a fast or a long goodbye and might involve a transition to assisted living, a nursing home, or a live-in caretaker.

There will always be opportunists who like vultures circle to claim flesh whether the person is dead or alive.  Large sums of money are not always pre-requisites to the exploitation of the most vulnerable in our society, the elderly and disabled children.   Abuse also bi-passes color, race or creed.

It is up to each one of us to expose elder abuse when it happens around us to a loved one or to a friend or acquaintance.  Because Elder Abuse has in many ways become a national industry, the following website has been set up nationally To GUARD incompetent people from harming themselves, To CONSERVE  their assets and property; and To PREVENT them from becoming a “public charge:  www.nasga.com 
An International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA) has for the 6th successive year put together information, reports and resources for those who wish to participate in promoting Awareness to eh ‘silent epidemic’ of Elder Abuse.  World Abuse Awareness Day 2011 was observed on June 15th.   Although the  presence of wealth is more likely to bring out the worst in human kind, preying on the elderly can amount to little more than gaining access to an individual’s monthly Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Pensions or Veterans Disability payments.

Often it is a trusted lawyer that encourages their elderly clients to signs over control of their personal and financial transactions, many times without realizing what they are doing. These greedy and opportunistic lawyers then proceeds to charge for every minute of time spent talking and overcharging for every bill paid, while pretending to care for their elderly clients.

What I am about to relate, however, are allegations of abuse far more reaching and which further   allege corruption in the Cook County Probate Court located on the 18th Floor of the Daley Center in Chicago, IL.

My first encounter with alleged corruption in Cook County’s Probate Court was through a weekly Highland Park, IL cable Comcast TV program,  North Shore ‘Live’ Cooper’s Corner,  hosted and produced by Beverly Cooper.   Beverly Cooper is in her 30th year as producer of the show as a respected resident of Highland Park, IL.    http://www.google.com/search?q=North+Shore+Live+Coopers+Corner&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

On that occasion Beverly Cooper recounted her emotional and devastating encounters with the Cook County Probate Court System that took place over a period of years over the alleged abuse of her mother, Alice Gore.

According to the allegations made by Beverly Cooper, she was removed from her duly appointed, court-appointed guardianship; a Guardian ad Litem was appointed through deceptive measures by Probate Judge Lynne Kawamoto to replace Cooper; after which Beverly Cooper described how her court-appointed guardian working in collaboration with her lawyer Karen Bowes and her associate Bruce Lange, Judge Lynne Kawamoto, and the nursing home in which her mother was placed (owned by Morris Esformes and cousin to Miriam Solo), proceeded to drain the life savings from her mother’s account.

Beverly Cooper’s removal as her mother’s guardian was allegedly contrived through the manipulation of a court-documented, mentally disabled daughter (diagnosed with border-line personality disorder, psychotic behavior, suicidal ideations, and adjudicated as a threat to herself and others) by her trusted family lawyer of 27 years, Karen Bowes, in a plot where  Cooper’s daughter was briefed to say in sworn testimony in front of Judge Lynne Kawamoto of the Cook County Probate Court, that her mother had appropriated funds from her grandmother estate, Alice Gore, a false accusation.

There are laws preventing a court-documented, mentally disabled individual from being appointed guardian.   Alice Gore was 95 and bed ridden at the time her mentally disabled granddaughter was appointed guardian by Probate Judge Lynne Kawamoto to supercede her mother’s role.  http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=075500050HArt%2E+XIa&ActID=2104&ChapterID=60&SeqStart=14300000&SeqEnd=17600000

By the time Alice Gore died in February of this year, an estate worth over a million dollars had been depleted.  Annuity checks went missing, and an inventory and accounting of how and for what checks were written for the care of Alice Gore has yet to be addressed by the Cook County Probate Court, despite repeated requests made by Beverly Cooper.

Alice Gore died a pauper.  She lay six days in a morgue before her body could be claimed.  To add insult upon insult, the Coopers had to pay for the burial of Bev Cooper’s mother, Alice Gore.

In the aftermath of Beverly Cooper’s own hellish Cook County Probate Court experience with her mother, Alice Gore, she has featured ten individuals on her North Shore Live ‘Coopers’ Corner Comcast weekly TV program, all having similar stories to tell of alleged fraud and abuse experienced in their dealings with the Cook County Probate Court System.

These videotaped interviews have since been viewed all over Lake County, IL and surrounding collar counties on community public TV stations.  In my hometown of Lake Bluff, IL, Beverly Cooper’s videotaped TV program is featured on Channel 19 — the community station for Lake Forest and Lake Bluff, IL — four times a week following its live Wednesday night production in Highland Park.

So far Beverly Cooper’s TV program has featured testimonials of alleged abuse and corruption from ten individuals, with another testimonial scheduled on Wednesday, July 20.  DVD’s can be obtained by contacting Beverly Cooper at Bev.cooperscorner@yahoo.com  

Following are two of the most egregious of Bev Cooper’s videotaped testimonies alleging fraud and corruption in the Cook County Probate Court.  Both had appointed Guardian ad Litems with the subsequent depletion of their estates.

Thomas Poll, a veteran, starting with nothing, worked his butt off ding manual labor, formed a successful company — Leedester Poll — and became quite successful.   Bottom line:  His entire estate was depleted throughout guardianship proceedings in the Cook County Probate Court.  Driving home from Hines Veterans Hospital in Chicago, Thomas Pool claimed he was followed by Kevin Carter, an agent from Rehab Assist.  Carter talked his way into Pool’s home and proceed to write out a report stating that he would see Thomas Poll in court in three days.  The following week Thomas Poll was declare incompetent in front of Judge Kawamoto and a Guardian ad Litem was appointed.  Thomas Pool’s daughter stated that all $13 million of her dad’s estate was taken prior and throughout her father’s guardianship proceedings.

In the case of 93-year-old Lydia Tyler, with an estate in excess of $12 million, it was to be bequeathed in equal amounts to her 12 nephews and nieces.  One of the nephews, not satisfied with 1/12 of his aunt’s estate, manipulated his Aunt Lydia into signing her entire estate over to him.  Taking his Auntie out for a drive from her Chicago condo residence at Lake Point Towers, he drove her directly to a nursing home where a drugged Auntie may have unknowingly changed her will.  Auntie died within a week at the nursing home.  A Guardian ad Litem assigned by the Cook County Probate Court is alleged to have been used as the tactic for looting Lydia Tyler’s $12 million plus estate.  Additionally, all of Aunt Tyler’s valuable jewelry, pictures, and antique furniture disappeared from her Lake Point Towers condo.

Is it just coincidence that the Cook County Probate Court protocol, as experienced on the 18th floor of the Daley Building and which involved Beverly Cooper’s mother, Thomas Pool, Aunt Lydia, and others who volunteered testimony of alleged abuse of loved ones on Cooper’s weekly TV show, all came in contact with the same pool of judge — including Lynne Kawamoto; Guardian ad Litems Miriam Solo and David Martin; and nursing home facilities owned by Morris Esformes — which summarily appeared to act in consort through the rotation of judges and appointed court officials to remove a loved one from a caring relationship, resulting in the depletion of their estates.

Documentation exists that Mr. Morris Esformes has been under investigation by Lisa Madigan’s office in the past for allegedly placing homeless people into his public aid nursing homes.   These placements were done without proper criminal investigations prior to the placement.

Regarding Probate Judge Lynne Kawamoto, an Associate Judge in Circuit Court, she was found not qualified in 1994 by the Chicago Council of Lawyers.  www.ProbateSharks.comOther individuals allegedly involved in the “mischief” within the Cook County Probate Court System can be found on “WANTED” lists at www.ProbateSharks.com www.estateofdenial.com and www.nasga.com  

Several months ago Beverly Cooper and her husband, Ken, set up the following website on which contacts have the opportunity to tell their stories on Beverly Cooper’s North Shore ‘Live’ Comcast TV show.  www.ProbateSharks.com

Ken Cooper acts as the “school master” for ProbateSharks.com, and can reached through this web address to report alleged abuse and corruption:  verenusl@gmail.com 

ProbateSharks.com assists, educates and enlightens families of the dead, the dying, the disabled and the aged to better understand their rights in order to protect themselves from the excesses of the Cook County Probate Court.

As the site depends on networking, it invites you or someone you know to send stories that tell of probate abuse.  Names are kept confidential if there is fear of retaliation against a loved one.  The site postings reveal up-to-date incidences of alleged abuse in Cook County Probate Court.

of the estate are raised to the court.

Appropriately named “Sharks” and “Sharketttes” do the investigative work for www.ProbateSharks.com.

Through their diligence they have found that the Cook County Probate Court is proficient in the quick-sales of properties, 6 weeks on the average; placing of wards’ estates into OBRA Special Needs Pooled Trusts, resulting in public aid placement even for the rich; maintaining cases that are out of Cook County’s jurisdiction (Wards live in another county, yet funds are held hostage by the Office of Public Guardian.); spending down of disabled ward’s estates with guardian and legal fees; restricting family members from inquiring about their loved ones(s); and restricting family from visiting their lived one when concerns over the spending of the estate are raised to the court.

The level of proficiency of alleged abuse in the Cook County Probate Court System of Illinois to prey upon the most vulnerable should be of interest to the Chicago FBI.  For starters:  Just why is the First Nation Bank of Canada Manatoba Fiduciary being used for Chicago Probate Court funds?  Is it just a coincidence that the First Nation Bank of Canada was chosen, seemingly as a ploy to deceive, in so far as its initials are identical to the First National Bank of Chicago?

As has been demonstrated, court-appointed Guardian ad Litems have the authority to make judgments about medical care, property, living arrangements, lifestyle and potentially all personal and financial decisions for high-risk adults with cognitive impairments and for disturbed and mentally challenged children who become threats to themselves and others.  Absent the monitoring of court-appointed guardians, opportunities arise for abuse and malfeasance.

In interviewing Beverly Cooper for this article, I was informed that she has contacted the office of Attorney General of Illinois, Lisa Madigan, only to be told that her office does not handle Elder Abuse and that she should instead get in contact with the Department of Aging.

It is reprehensible that the inheritance due individuals might be disappearing into the pockets of those who serve as protectors of the public, especially the most vulnerable, the elderly and disabled children.

Please feel free to contact Beverly and Ken Cooper who first alerted me to the alleged Elder Care abuse and corruption in the Cook County Probate Court System.  They have given me permission to release their contact websites nationwide, so abuse of the most vulnerable is brought out in the open by those with the authority to investigate and to prosecute those involved in this egregious behavior which is occurring nationwide.   Beverly Cooper:  Bev.cooperscorner@yahoo.com   –   Ken Cooper:  verenusl@gmail.com.
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