Dec 31, 2018
Albuquerque, New Mexico
The 15 Million Dollar Guardianship Heist
A Christmas tale that puts the Scrooge into Christmas
In review of the guardianship law, we find that the guardianship law was enacted for the protection of the protected person and the protected person’s assets. The Uniform Probate Code states, that the adult guardianship law is to protect the incapacitated person and to protect the incapacitated person’s assets. Using the guardianship law for any purpose other than protection, would be an unlawful and wrongful use of the guardianship law. What we are seeing in New Mexico is the wrongful use of the guardianship law. Instead of using the guardianship law for protection, the guardianship law is wrongfully being used for the removal of assets.
Guardianship reform in New Mexico will never be accomplished unless the “help-yourself-to-all-of-the-assets” by the judges and their appointees is stopped
The classic example in New Mexico of the wrongful misuse of the guardianship law, can be seen in the guardianship case of Mrs. Blair Darnell, published in the Albuquerque journal, “Who Guards the Guardians”, by Diane Diamond. During the 6 year period of guardianship, of which Mrs. Blair Darnell was confined to her own home, an estimated $6 million of assets was removed by court-appointed lawyers and “professionals” and taken from her estate. A brief inventory of the property disposed of by the court without any documented accounting includes: an over $5 million horse ranch, 2 homes, 2 trust accounts, bank and savings accounts, art collection, vehicles, social security income and everything else of value. The exact value of the estate is impossible to determine, due to the confidentiality of guardianship. Under New Mexico law, financial accountability and transparency is not allowed in guardianship cases.
The next hearing in Blair Darnell’s case is scheduled for January 8, 2019 at 2:15pm in Judge Shannon Bacon’s courtroom in the 2nd Judicial District courthouse, 400 Lomas NW, Albuquerque, NM. This is a public, open hearing that anyone can attend.
Blair Darnell’s case is still legally open, legally unfinished, with the probate of her estate never completed, and property still not distributed over three years after Blair’s death. Blair’s property remains in the hands of whomever the court-appointed conservator wanted to put the property in the hands of. The case has been re-opened, at least two-three more attorneys engaged and receiving money that should never have to be paid to them had Judge Beatrice Brickhouse of New Mexico’s 2nd Judicial District correctly administered Blair’s guardianship, conservatorship, trusteeships, and Blair’s personal property, so that Blair Darnell’s heirs – the rightful owners of the property the court has misplaced and not correctly administered – could receive the property Blair had determined they should possess, not some stranger or corporation that the conservator or Judge Brickhouse chose without consulting the owners of the property.
The next hearing in Blair Darnell’s case is scheduled for January 8, 2019 at 2:15pm in Judge Shannon Bacon’s courtroom in the 2nd Judicial District courthouse, 400 Lomas NW, Albuquerque, NM. This is a public, open hearing that anyone can attend and we urge all interested parties to attend this court hearing to show support for immediate corrective action and for the court to order all of Blair Darnell’s outstanding property to be returned to her heirs as she intended. No one’s property should be disposed of contrary to their written Will, in any fashion the court finds most expedient for the court – that’s not what a Judge is supposed to do when a Will is probated. The Judge is supposed to follow the Will to the letter, not make-up whatever they want and let their appointees do that, as happened to Blair Darnell’s property.
In New Mexico’s epidemic of the wrongful misuse of the guardianship law, millions of dollars of assets have been taken away from incapacitated elderly and disabled citizens. In the Ayudando Guardians Company, the federal government uncovered $4 million taken and embezzled from their clients’ trust accounts. In the Desert State Life Management Company, the federal government uncovered that $4.8 million was taken from their victims. The federal government has intervened, closed down, and brought charges against Ayudando and Desert State guardianship companies; however, New Mexico authorities, have yet to recognize any wrongdoing or to take any meaningful action against the wrongful misuse of the guardianship law.
Former wards and beneficiaries of Ayudando and Desert State are left seeking restitution – restitution that no one at any level of law enforcement is actively seeking for them. This could be because the people law enforcement would have to ask for an accounting & return of the pilfered funds are the District Court Judges who conscripted the parties into court-ordered guardianship and/or trust accounts. The judges alone are responsible for the missing millions, stolen from the wards and beneficiaries of these criminally-run companies, that the judges used as repositories for their conscripted wards’ and beneficiaries’ wealth.
The massive amount of assets that have been taken from New Mexico guardianships in the last 20 years, has been appalling and shocking. For a comparison, the largest bank robbery heist in American history was $2.7 million. Both Ayudando and Desert State guardianship companies, taking 4 million dollars and $4.8 million from guardianships respectively, have far exceeded the largest bank heist in American’s history. In the guardianship of Mrs. Blair Darnell, the removal of nearly $6 million of assets was twice the amount of the largest heist in American history. The removal of approximately $6 million of assets from the guardianship of Mrs. Blair Darnell, could be the largest heist in New Mexico history.
And to think that these heists — totaling nearly $15 million — were all conducted by judges who use guardianship laws to protect themselves and their appointees against the public discovering what happened to nearly $15 million entrusted to the courts, that has now been stolen, much less what happened to the actual people – the rightful owners (Ayudando’s wards and Desert Trust’s beneficiaries) of nearly $9 Million. You’d think the judges would be more curious as to what happened to the total of $15 million, including Blair Darnell’s guardianship, under their watch, especially as these same judges routinely petition the legislature for more money to fund their guardianship activities. Shockingly – the Legislature hands over millions to the same courts that can’t account for $15 Million of money entrusted to the District Courts that is already missing.
Guardianship reform in New Mexico will never be accomplished unless the “help-yourself-to-all-of-the-assets” by the judges and their appointees is stopped, wrongfully taken property is returned to the rightful owners and the true protection of the guardianship law is followed by all judges and their appointees.
Concerned Senior Citizens