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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 111487
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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I was on my mother' checking account with Regions Bank

Customer Question

Hi, I was on my mother' checking account with Regions Bank covered by a Durable Power of Attorney from Oct 2007 and took care of her financial affairs and medical affairs until her death I thought but I ran into my own medical problems and almost died in a hospital in Hawaii. I was not told by anyone at the bank either by phone, email or any written documentation that someone went into a branch of Regions Bank in Mobile, AL and removed me from my mother's bank account covered by the Durable Power of Attorney fraudulently, changed the address fraudulently and the thief at the bank helped 3 women steal over $42,000.00 from the change of address in April 2010 - Mar 2011. Our mother died Mar 19, 2011 but we were not told of her death for 4 days nor we were told that she had been admitted to the hospital 5 times between Sept 1, 2010 and her death, Mar 19, 2011 even though my sister, Debbie was listed on the Durable Power of Attorney. She was only called once, Sept 1, 2011 and told that our mother had been abandon and admitted to the psych ward for getting angry and hitting a resident. The assisted living facility she was living at advised that they did not bring her to the hospital but a supposedly friend who lied, stole, committed fraud, forgery, kidnapping and possibly murder. We went to the bank after speaking with the funeral home in Mobile, AL to see how much was in her account and found a change of address, fraudulent ATM charges, fraudulent pin withdrawals and 2 fraudulent checks. I contacted the bank in person at the Dauphin Island Parkway branch across from the cemetery who contacted the fraud dept. I spoke with the fraud investigator who never sent me the pictures and written documentation from the change of address in April 2010 - Mar 2011. He only sent me pictures from Mar 13, 2011 - Mar 19, 2011 and a check for $2147.11. I asked for the rest of the money and the pictures and paperwork. He said that my mother died. I said, "I know and where is the rest of the money that was stolen and the pictures and the written documentation. Still nothing to this day. We have even contacted 2 DAs and the financial crimes unit of the Mobile Police Dept in Mobile, AL and have gotten nowhere. We know now that identity fraud is also involved. Someone is either saying that they are my sister, Debbie or me and calling the Assisted Living facility where our mother lives prior to her going into the hospital 01 Sept 2010 and saying that they are my sister and wanting to know if the facility had called the police concerning stealing our mother's car in the parking lot of the facility after my mother and her supposedly friend got into a argument about money and stealing the car out of the parking lot of the facility. We have also since found out that this someone who was passing themselves off as me talked with 2 of my lawyers about bringing lawsuits against the bank, 2 hospitals, nursing facility and a hospice but I did not speak with either of my attorneys in the time questioned and the DA does not give a damn. My last lawyer resigned before I contacted him on 17 Sept 2014 to tell him that I had been removed from my mother's account fraudulently in April 2010 and put back on Mar 2011. I was never told any of this. I put in a complaint to Regions and they told me to contact this individual who speaks with the managers of the bank branches in case of problems. She was supposed to call me back several weeks ago but never contacted me. I also called the fraud dept again in Mobile and spoke with another person who told me to have my lawyer contact their legal dept. I asked for the number. He refused to give me the number. I tried to contact Regions legal dept and was referred to the complaint dept who told that the issue was closed.
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 12 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Since your mother has now died, you need to open probate on the estate of your mother to continue to pursue the claim with the bank. Even though you and your sister had durable powers of attorney, once your mom died, those documents are no longer valid and you must open probate on her estate. Then once probate is open and someone is named as administrator of the estate, that person through the estate attorney can pursue the claim against the bank for fraudulently allowing the account to be changed and for the loss of money.
Furthermore, if the person is identified, the estate has to be the one to pursue charges against them criminally and also the estate can sue the person for return of money.
So, you and your sister must get a probate attorney in AL, where your mom resided at her death, get the estate opened so you can lawfully pursue legal action on behalf of the estate.
As far as the parties you spoke to, they should have told you this. Additionally, if someone is impersonating you, the police and DA should be looking at this as an identity theft case as well, since you are a victim of identity theft and you need to complain about that as well to the DA.
These are your options based on what you are saying above, even though I know you said you tried things, the legal process is you have to open the estate and also try to pursue this as identity theft with you as the victim.
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
I have gone thru Probate and I am the executor of the estate but we have not received anything of the estate except for the car that I got back the day of the viewing after I called for her to give us a ride back to the hotel after signing the papers and writing the check for the funeral. she dropped off the car almost on empty because I closed the debit card. I will try to contact a lawyer in Alabama but I live in Idaho and I am on Social Security Disability after nearly dying 5 years ago when all of this started happening. Money was stolen out of my mother's safe, at least 30 thousand if not more. I have been in contact with the Mobile Court system and was told that no guardianship or conservator was granted and my mother did not remove me off her bank account either. She knew that I was alive and was in contact with me and my sister. We went to a lawyer here in Pocatello, ID and tried to draw up another Durable Power of Attorney listing me as primary, my sister Debbie as secondary and as a last resort, the supposedly friend of my mother's and I thought mine, Joanne but we did not hear our mom's voice at the lawyer's office and I did not check the signature which was not our mother's. It was a someone just signing "Mary S Randall" on the document and having the notary witnessing and signing the paperwork 5 years ago. The Mobile county DA is saying that my mother asked someone to sign her name. No way. No how. My mother worked for the US Government for 31 years dealing with millions of dollars for 31 years. Her last job was Chief of Disbursement at the Corp of Engineers in Mobile, AL downtown and each day the tellers and her would gather cash and checks and deposit them with a guard to the banks in which the US government had a account. She got to know the people at the highest offices to the bottom of the pole. Mom was also in your face Alabama fan if you cover Alabama football, you know what I am speaking about. The US Government's books had to balance each year. My mother was the one who told me if she had ever had any problems with a bank or credit union to ask for any pictures and written correspondence from the incident time frame until you discovered the problem which I did so but to no avail with the bank. 3 employees told me that the truth is not important or a thief is not either but a prepared statement is. What is a prepared statement? The DA and the previous DA who is now trying murder cases is saying that Joanne was my mother's legal guardian even though the signature was not my mother's on the document and the DA and the police has a email with my mother's last Alabama driver's license with picture and signature, a Xerox copy of a statement she signed refusing to leave with Joanne and a young man July 3, 2010 after getting into a argument about money and stealing mom's car in the parking lot of the living assisted facility. It was signed and dated and witnessed by the nurse/orderly who told the young man to respect his elders after he yelled at my mother to shut up and sit down and the DA and police also have documents of her checks that she signed in Aug 2010. This DA is saying again that she had someone signed for her again. So foolish. Do you know of anyone in Alabama that I could call and check with besides the DA? Who is in charge of hospitals that I could logged a complaint with? We have just found out that our mother had been admitted to one of the hospitals 5 times and we were never told of this even when I received the paperwork from Medicare 3 to 4 months after our mother's death. We found out that she had been under hospice care 3 to 4 months after her death when I received this statement from Medicare and when I finally spoke with the hospice after speaking with the funeral home who gave me the name and told me that the hospice delivered mom's body to them instead of them calling the funeral home and having them pick up our mother who disappeared for over 3 months. We did not where she was and her supposedly friend would not answer the phone. I have tried the Board of Health of Alabama but they say that they are in partnership with the hospital? Who can I contact to complain about the assisted living facility also? My sister and I were never contacted about the argument either due to someone posing as my sister but they should have called me. Back to my question with the hospital. I found out from the clerk at records that mom had been admitted Jan and Feb 2011 and we were never contacted by either Medicare or the hospital even though my sister Debbie was on the Hippa Release. I contacted Medicare and asked them why I was not contacted.. They said that they mailed me the information to my sister's P.O. Box, the P.O. Box on record which is a lie because my sister would have contacted me right away. I had been taking care of our mother for 15 years and if my sister had received the mail from Medicare, she would have given it to me. I am now wondering if someone at Medicare is in on
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
is involved or in on it. I have just found out that my former lawyer (3rd) sent me a email dated Mar 6, 2013 but I never saw until Jan 2014 because my computer was in the shop and I found another email dated towards the end of mar 2013 saying that he was glad to speak with me. the problem again was I did not speak with him in March 2013 and he did not bring any lawsuits against the institutions involved and did not have the women served and now I can not bring any lawsuit against the women because I have not been able find another lawyer to take the case or speak with the legal dept of the bank.
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
I do not know that name of the original DA and cop since neither one contacted me or my sister and neither the 2 cops and the 2 later DAs have contacted my sister either. We do know that the fraud investigator sent a fraudulent report to the former cop and DA stating that less then $3000 was stolen and not the amount that I told him on the phone and the fraud investigator never came to our hotel room to speak with us or to look at the documentation that we had. We have also found out that the notary from 5 years ago never spoke in person with the DA or the police and was never shown the documentation I sent to the police or the DA either. The DA is basing his decision on a phone call, not proof and will not show me the document from the bank even though he said that he would not prosecute the case. He said that I might believe that Joanne took advantage of my mother but he could not prove it in a court of law. He is unfortunately a idiot and was not interested in getting a copy of my mother's hospital records even though the police has a copy of both the records from Crown Healthcare, the nursing facility that mom was at but the doctors would not speak with me because my name was not on the call-out sheet which proved to be fraudulent nor the hospice records either. I still have not heard from the head DA of the county either?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 12 months ago.
An Idaho attorney cannot deal with this if it happened in Alabama. So you have to get an attorney in Alabama to file suit against the bank and also against the individual who did this.
If the police and DA will not deal with the issue, you would have to file a civil suit against the responsible parties and take all of this into civil court to seek to recover your rightful property to the estate.
You can get a local AL attorney at the same sites used by other attorneys, http://www.hg.org or http://www.lexmundi.com
You can also seek to report the identity theft and bank fraud/wire fraud to the FBI, since they also handle these types of matters, but do not rely on them as you would still have to file a civil suit against them.
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
I did speak with the FBI and the original agent, a woman told me that Joanne did not know that Durable Power of Attorney was fraudulent. I told this woman that Joanne knew that it was fraudulent since she was there when whoever signed it signed my mother's name and it was witnessed. I called another agent and he said to get a lawyer and then I called again months and years later another agent in Salt Lake City and recently one on the phone. Unfortunately we have several idiots in the FBI and the local police and the DA office in Alabama.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 12 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
It is not the point if they knew it was fraudulent, someone stole your identity and impersonated you. However, I would suggest getting a local attorney in AL and you would need a general litigation or civil law attorney.
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Thank You for your suggestions. Do you know who is in charge of hospitals in anyone state or who is in charge of assisted living facilities so that I could lodge a complaint with that agency or organization? Does Legal Aid do any good?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 12 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
You can complaint to the state department of health or the US department of health and human services or to both of them.
Legal aid would not assist in cases like this, you would need to get your own attorney in Alabama.
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Thank You again. I have another question. I have never seen the documentation from the change of address in April 2010 - Mar 2011 from Regions and the fraud dept. I spoke with my lawyer here in Idaho and he got me the section of Alabama law for the Freedom of Information act. Is there a form I need to fill out for the state of Alabama or any state or can I just write a letter or a email to either the DA or the bank?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 12 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
You need to write a letter to the government agency in AL, there is no form, and you need to state you are making the request for the information under the freedom of information act. You cannot send it to the bank as the freedom of information act applies only to government agencies not private parties.
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Why I was asking that question was that I wanted to get a copy of a statement that I was shown by a employee of Regions bank that told me that they had a thief working at their bank. I lived overseas in the Marshall Islands at a US Army base for 22 years and had my mail and my mother's financial and medical information delivered to my P.O. Box instead of my street address. No one knew my street address ever, not my mother, my sister, or Joanne, Joni, Joanne's daughter, or her niece Kat or her nephew ever. This document I was shown in Aug/Sept 2011 listed my street address, listed Joanne as a caretaker and was signed "Mary Randall". I told the lady at the bank to call, the fraud investigator and tell him that they had a thief at Regions. I never accuse anyone at the bank since I did not know who the thief is. The bank manager who I just found out was still there at the bank told me to sue her and Regions though I never spoke with her ever. The employee never told us of the theft, fraud, forgery while I was there in Mar 2011 or even in Aug/Sept 2011. I have since found out that the employee Susan W. never contacted the fraud dept. Is there any law or organization beside the DA to ask for a copy of the fraud dept fraudulent report to the Mobile Police and the DA office saying that less then $3000 was stolen instead of the actual amount stolen, over $42,000.00.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 12 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
You cannot get statements from a private company like a bank through the freedom of information act.
When you file your suit against the bank and the individual liable for this, your attorney will serve what is called "discovery requests" or "subpoenas" and that is how you will get the information. However, a civil suit has to be filed first.
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Thank you for your help and suggestions. I will try to contact the DA today and see if I can get a probate lawyer to bring the suit up against the bank and others. We have also found out that our mother had been admitted to a hospital 5 times and my sister, Debbie was on the Hippa Release 5 times but we were only called once. The hospital advised that our mother's legal guardian would tell us which they stated was Joanne, my mother's supposedly friend. My sister was only called once and told that our mother had been abandon at the hospital and admitted to the psych ward for getting angry and hitting a resident. We have also found out the mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer's which we have in our family 3 generations and now Parkinson with our mother and our aunt, mom's sister with both of them dying in early 2011. We feel that the supposedly friend passed herself off as my mother's daughter, caretaker and legal guardian even though mom did not sign the 2nd Durable Power of Attorney and was notarized in Mobile, AL. The DA is saying that my mother asked someone to sign for her. He is a idiot. He also does not want to get a copy of mom's records at the 2 hospitals involved. How can I find out if he has a relative or close friend working at either hospital, nursing facility or hospice care? Who can we contact to register a complaint about a hospital, nursing facility or hospice or a bank with local, state or federal agencies?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 12 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
If your mother was not legally competent then nobody could be asked by her to sign and this is not valid. You would need to present the proof she was not mentally competent to the DA.
You can contact the US Department of Health and Human Services about any complaints about the hospital. Also, you can contact the AL Department of Health and Hospitals.
Also, please do not forget, the experts on this site are not employees of the site, so they get no credit for spending time with you unless you leave positive feedback. Thank you.
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
The problem was that Joanne was passing herself off as my mother's daughter, caretaker and legal guardian and not one of the institutions involved asked for any ID or written documentation. To this day. We did not find any of this until after my mother's death 3 to 4 months later that our mother had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's when my lawyer here in Idaho received the paperwork from Crown Healthcare, the nursing facility that mom was at for 3 months before disappearing and Joanne would not answer her phone until a week before mom's death and then we were not told of her death until 4 days later. I did call the DA's office of the original person I spoke with the fraud dept cases and left a message and left a message for the head of the Mobile DA office for the county of Mobile, Mobile, AL and also called the Financial Affairs Unit of the Mobile Police Dept who advised that they could not do anything because the DA cleared the case saying that he would not prosecute. I did tell him that he could contact the hospital and get a copy of mom's medical records at the hospital that she was admitted to 5 times but he was not interested. He was more concerned that he did not give me any legal advise. We do believe that someone at Medicare is involved in all of these crimes at the hospital and other nursing facilities and the bank. We found out from the clerk at the records dept that mom had been again Jan and Feb 2011 to the hospital in question though I was never informed by Medicare. I was told 3 to 4 months after mom's death that she had been admitted to this other hospital where her actual doctor's offices were but even they were not notified. I called Medicare and why I was not told that she had been admitted to the hospital in those time frames and they advised that they sent the documentation to the following P.O. Box which was my sister's. I knew then that was false because my sister would have given any and all documentation pertaining to my mother or me. She did not get the information nor were we told that she was under hospice care either. I am in the process of trying to get our mother's records from both hospitals.3 DAs and 3 cops and 3 women who stole the money and no one would call me or my sister or apparently because someone signed the second Durable Power of Attorney but was not my mother's signature nor mine but apparently it is alright to do all of these crimes in Mobile, AL and get away with everything because he spoke to the former notary from 5 years ago but never spoke to him in person or have the police speak to him and show him any pictures or documents but I am suppose to take this person's word. Not even close. My mother went thru personal bankruptcy prior to me being added to her bank account in Oct 2007 and she had to get a lawyer to defend her when a check disappeared between the cage where she worked at the Corp of Engineers in Mobile, AL at the Federal Building and a floor upstairs. A gentleman signed for the check and it disappeared between the cage and upstairs. He later died possibly of AIDs. He was HIV + and people at the Corp were donate vacation time so that he could have medical care. Mom had to fill several inches of papers from her attorney, Hank Caddell which took him 2 years to clear up the mess. His associate spoke with the Fraud DA but I was never told about what. I do know that she accepted the case representing me and the estate but we never received her documentation from her for me to sign and she never called me back either in a years time so I hired another lawyer and he did nothing either. I did find out that he sent me a email dated Mar 6, 2013 but I never saw it because my computer was in the shop and I found another email dated the end of the mar 2013 saying that he spoke with me but I never spoke with him. I do not know who did but it was not me. We have since found that the last lawyer who quit and said that it was a conflict of interest said that he spoke with me before 17 Sept 2014 to quit but I never spoke with him.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 12 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
I understand all of this, which by the way is mostly repetitive, so I did read it all before. I told you ultimately you would have to sue in civil court where you can prove this and get money damages and you have to do that in AL.
I cannot help what the DA or law enforcement does, they have their own discretion. You need to get an attorney in AL and get them to file suit as that is the only way this is going to get resolved and it is not going to get resolved by you relying on or waiting for these government entities to do something, as you said you already have been through that.