“I’m of afraid of him [the guardian], don’t add him to the account,” the elderly man whispered into the ear of the bank manager when they were alone.
By CELIA JEAN
JUNE 14, 2020 11:03
Man in wheelchair, illustrative
(photo credit: PICKPIK)
Two men who had assumed the role of legal aid and general guardian of a 92-year-old Holocaust survivor were found guilty of exploiting his assets in an investigation carried out by the Justice Ministry.
The men, who were living with the wheelchair-bound elderly man, attempted to take over his assets with his consent by way of false misrepresentation. They had withdrawn hundreds of thousands of shekels from his account, and made the man write a will and sign a power of attorney. The investigation found that the man was not in a state to resist their actions, and wasn’t aware of the implications of the legal changes.
The two men were living with the elderly man, and upon legal investigation into the man’s case, multiple people were found to be living with the old man, whose apartment had been wired with listening devices and cameras.
All consequences of the men’s attempts at trying to take over the elderly man’s assets were exposed and stopped following an intervention by the Justice Ministry, who found that the men were found to have a long history of criminal acts.
The Tel Aviv Family Court allowed the publishing of most of the case to the public, however some aspects were held back.
The case was first discovered during the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, after he was seen accompanied by the men several times during trips to his bank in southern Tel Aviv, during which a requested to withdraw a large amount of money was made.
Bank workers found the scene suspicious and requested the identity of the two men. In response, they presented the power of attorney allowing them to legally handle the man’s affairs. The power of attorney document was found to be invalid.
Additionally, when the elderly man was sat in private with the bank manager, the man elderly man whispered into the manager’s ear, “I’m of afraid of him [the guardian], don’t add him to the account.”
The bank turned to the Administrator General and the Official Receiver, a branch of the Justice Ministry. In light of the circumstances, the court approved the appeal the same day, even without the elderly man present. Details of the men’s actions in the life of the elderly man soon transposed.
A welfare attorney and a lawyer assigned to the elderly man’s case arrived at the man’s home, where they found a caretaker hired by the two men, and evidence was found that other tenants were living in the apartment. The apartment was networked with listening devices and cameras. The other tenants turned out to be the two men.
During the visit the elderly man seemed to be very confused and did not remember the bank visit or anything regarding recent withdrawals of money from his account. Additionally, during the visit, neighbors found the attorney and lawyer, and explained to them their accounts of the men’s attempts at exploiting the elderly man, and asked them to help.
The Justice Ministry investigation found that the men had a record of criminal history. One man had a history of fraud and violence, and had previously served a prison sentence. The second had a history of fraudulently obtaining money by way of impersonating a police officer.