This is an appeal for help in exposing a case of corrupt practices in the probate court of the District of Columbia. Mine is probably not the only family to have suffered an entrenched system that allows third party administrators appointed by the court to appropriate money from residents who cannot afford the protection of a powerful law firm.
I have been the primary caregiver for my 89-year-old mother, Victoria, since her fall down basement stairs in 2004. In 2008, I petitioned DC Superior Probate Court to make me my mother’s guardian/conservator. The court appointed me as my mother’s guardian but decided I was not capable of managing my mother’s $756 per month in Social Security benefits. Instead, the court appointed attorney Paule Guillaume Levadas as her conservator. In September 2009, Paule Levadas asked the court to compensate her $13,750 for 55 hours of service ($250/hour) and $67.89 for expenses (postage and copies) to be paid from my mother’s estate (social security benefits).
Shortly after her appointment, Paule Levadas began refusing to pay some of my mother’s bills. I notified the court, and in February 2010 she was ordered to reimburse me for the caregiver expenses.
However, the financial abuse continued. Again, in September 2010, DC Probate Judge John M. Campbell issued an order that Ms. Levadas reimburse me for the money I paid for my mother’s dentures, her green card, food, medicine, doctor co-pays, etc. Levadas to date has refused to comply with the court orders to reimburse me for above-mentioned expenses.
While at the Social Security Administration (SSA) office to correct a clerical error involving my mother’s Medicare benefits, I provided an SSA representative, on request, with the court documents showing that Paule Levadas resisted using my mother’s SSA benefits on her (my mother’s) behalf.
SSA determined, from the documents provided, that there was obvious fraud (their words) and removed Ms. Levadas as my mother’s “Representative Payee.” SSA notified Ms. Levadas that, “she must return all Social Security benefits that she was holding in my mother’s name to the agency”.
Levadas immediately filed a petition with the court demanding that I be removed as my mother’s guardian, and DC Probate Judge John M Campbell complied. Judge Campbell further decided that I intentionally went to SSA to have Ms. Levadas removed and circumvent the court’s authority. The judge evidently decided to ignore the court filed documents that Ms. Levadas was refusing to pay my mother’s bills even after being ordered to do so.
Because of the court’s latest order removing me as guardian, I am no longer able to take my mother to doctor appointments, take her on outings, have her in my home for overnight visits, or take her on vacations, etc. without first getting the approval of Judge Campbell.
In my opinion, this is just another case of elder abuse which has become prevalent around the nation, according to media reports. I do not understand how a judge who is supposed to protect citizens from illegality would sanction such misdeeds by his appointed representative and would try to prevent me from uncovering any additional abuse.
Please contact me should you need additional information. I appreciate any help you can provide with this urgent problem.