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A Chilling Story of Fraud Targeting an Elderly Victim

JUNE 17, 2013 VOLUME 20 NUMBER 23 Last week a colleague told us a story that we think needs to be shared. Patricia Sitchler, a nationally-known San Antonio lawyer with the prominent Texas firm Schoenbaum, Curphy & Scanlan, P.C., described her client’s eye-opening experience with a fraudulent attempt to access her bank account. We asked […]

Mother Sues Son Over Transfer of Home and Bank Accounts

MARCH 15, 2004 VOLUME 11, NUMBER 37 Louise Friar worried about what would happen to her modest estate if she ever needed to go into a nursing home. She owned her home, and she had two certificates of deposit that represented her life savings. Whether she got the idea from friends, professional advisors, her own […]

Proponent of Invalid Will Must Pay Attorney’s Fees to Family

JANUARY 19, 2004 VOLUME 11, NUMBER 29 Edmond and Elma Crittell befriended Violet Houssien and, according to Ms. Houssien’s family, set about getting the older woman to write a new will. Some of the evidence in the later will contest proceeding indicated that they may have even forged her signature on the will and, in […]

Daughter Who Took Mother’s Money May Owe Nursing Bills

SEPTEMBER 15, 2003 VOLUME 11, NUMBER 11 Betty Budd spent the last years of her life at Presbyterian Medical Center, a nursing home in Oakmont, Pennsylvania. When she died she owed $96,000 to the facility, and only had $28,000 left in her estate. After collecting that amount, the nursing home filed suit against Ms. Budd’s […]

Administrator’s Sentence For Medicare Fraud Not Reduced

FEBRUARY 10, 2003 VOLUME 10, NUMBER 32 Medicare, the federal health care program for seniors and the disabled, has very clear rules prohibiting providers from paying referral fees. The rules are in place to help prevent fraud and abuse of the giant Medicare program and its funding. Over the four decades the program has existed, […]

Stockbroker Faces Both Criminal Charges and SEC In Theft

JUNE 10, 2002 VOLUME 9, NUMBER 50 Charles Zandford was a stockbroker working for Prudential-Bache Securities in 1987 when he first met William Wood. Mr. Zandford persuaded the elderly Mr. Wood to place over $400,000 in a brokerage account for investment. The money was intended to take care of not only Mr. Wood but also […]

Defendant In Medicaid Fraud Case Responds To Elder Law Issues

MARCH 25, 2002 VOLUME 9, NUMBER 39 On January 12, 2002, Elder Law Issues reported on the Medicaid fraud conviction of Massachusetts doctor Lorin Mimless (“States Vigorously Prosecute Medicaid and Medicare Fraud”). After his conviction Dr. Mimless filed an unsuccessful appeal with the Massachusetts Court of Appeals. Dr. Mimless read our report, and wrote to […]

Damages Upheld For Medicare “Whistle-Blower” Employee

JANUARY 28, 2002 VOLUME 9, NUMBER 31 When Illinois anesthesiologist Michael Brandon was fired he was sure it was in retaliation for his efforts to uncover possible Medicare fraud. He sued his employer, Anesthesia & Pain Management Associates, Ltd., and won a jury verdict. That was not, however, the end of the legal wrangling. Dr. […]

States Vigorously Prosecute Medicaid and Medicare Fraud

JANUARY 14, 2002 VOLUME 9, NUMBER 29 According to the federal government, as much as 10% of the funding for the joint federal/state Medicaid program is lost to fraud, mostly on the part of medical providers. The Medicare program is also deeply concerned about the possibility of fraudulent costs. Although both the Medicaid and Medicare […]

“Trust Mill” Shut Down, But State Pays Parent Company

SEPTEMBER 17, 2001 VOLUME 9, NUMBER 12 Fremont Life Insurance Company did a profitable business selling seniors living trusts. They used the usual pitch: avoid probate and the legal system, save on taxes and simplify your estate plan. Oh, and while we’re helping you plan your estate we think you should buy an annuity from […]

Robert B. Fleming


Robert Fleming is a Fellow of both the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. He has been certified as a Specialist in Estate and Trust Law by the State Bar of Arizona‘s Board of Legal Specialization, and he is also a Certified Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation. Robert has a long history of involvement in local, state and national organizations. He is most proud of his instrumental involvement in the Special Needs Alliance, the premier national organization for lawyers dealing with special needs trusts and planning.

Robert has two adult children, two young grandchildren and a wife of over fifty years. He is devoted to all of them. He is also very fond of Rosalind Franklin (his office companion corgi), and his homebound cat Muninn. He just likes people, their pets and their stories.

Elizabeth N.R. Friman


Elizabeth Noble Rollings Friman is a principal and licensed fiduciary at Fleming & Curti, PLC. Elizabeth enjoys estate planning and helping families navigate trust and probate administrations. She is passionate about the fiduciary work that she performs as a trustee, personal representative, guardian, and conservator. Elizabeth works with CPAs, financial professionals, case managers, and medical providers to tailor solutions to complex family challenges. Elizabeth is often called upon to serve as a neutral party so that families can avoid protracted legal conflict. Elizabeth relies on the expertise of her team at Fleming & Curti, and as the Firm approaches its third decade, she is proud of the culture of care and consideration that the Firm embodies. Finding workable solutions to sensitive and complex family challenges is something that Elizabeth and the Fleming & Curti team do well.

Amy F. Matheson


Amy Farrell Matheson has worked as an attorney at Fleming & Curti since 2006. A member of the Southern Arizona Estate Planning Council, she is primarily responsible for estate planning and probate matters.

Amy graduated from Wellesley College with a double major in political science and English. She is an honors graduate of Suffolk University Law School and has been admitted to practice in Arizona, Massachusetts, New York, and the District of Columbia.

Prior to joining Fleming & Curti, Amy worked for American Public Television in Boston, and with the international trade group at White & Case, LLP, in Washington, D.C.

Amy’s husband, Tom, is an astronomer at NOIRLab and the Head of Time Domain Services, whose main project is ANTARES. Sadly, this does not involve actual time travel. Amy’s twin daughters are high school students; Finn, her Irish Red and White Setter, remains a puppy at heart.

Famous people's wills

Matthew M. Mansour


Matthew is a law clerk who recently earned his law degree from the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law. His undergraduate degree is in psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Matthew has had a passion for advocacy in the Tucson community since his time as a law student representative in the Workers’ Rights Clinic. He also has worked in both the Pima County Attorney’s Office and the Pima County Public Defender’s Office. He enjoys playing basketball, caring for his cat, and listening to audiobooks narrated by the authors.