Exploitation: The expenditure, diminution, or use of the property, assets, or resources of a protected person without the express voluntary consent of that person or his or her legally authorized representative…
A bombshell story on Alabama Today last Friday is rocking the legal and law enforcement community in Birmingham, Alabama.
A Balch & Bingham attorney, Amy Adams, (pictured above, left) was allegedly involved in a scheme that appears to be elderly abuse and exploitation while the FBI and U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town (pictured above, center) have done nothing to investigate.
The target of this alleged scheme: 88 year-old Joann Bashinsky, known as Mrs. B.
Alabama Today reports that according to two audio recordings:
[Balch & Bingham’s Amy Adams] tells Mrs. B that she could potentially lose her house and staff and run out of money. These “scare tactics” as Mrs. B calls them is repeated, no fewer than 10 times over the course of their 2 conversations. With Adams saying things like,
“You’re not going to have enough money to live off of the rest of your life if you keep going through your money the way you’ve gone through it the last couple of years.”
“It takes a lot of money to stay in your house and you’re not keeping enough money to stay in your house. You realize that right?”
“Okay. I’m just telling you – I’ve looked it you’re not keeping enough money.”
She doesn’t stop there at the threat that Mrs. B losing her house. She goes on to suggest that Mrs. B might need to fire some of those who help her at her home. Trusted employees, some of whom have been with her for many years. Adams says this about them, “We might have to get rid of some of the people that are on your staff.”
The problem is Mrs. B owns her house and has tens of millions in liquid assets not including stock. This painful conversation goes on for several minutes at a time off and on during both meetings. The basic theme of Adams being if you want to stay in your house you need to hire me or my firm Balch & Bingham — at $425 per hour. She goes on to joke though if retained drinks with her would for free, “I wouldn’t charge you for that,” she says.
Problem with Adams’ narrative is Bashinsky is worth $218 million, according to AL.com, and is the widow of the Golden Flake Foods founder.
Alabama Today adds:
After Amy Adams spoke alone with Mrs. B, Hawley continues to push Mrs. B to hire Adams. Refusing to allow Mrs. B’s existing lawyer to be in the room. When Mrs. B decided not to hire Adams, telling me that she felt like Adams talked down to her, tried to use scare tactics, and made her feel disrespected, you’d think this would be the end of Adam’s chapter in this sordid situation. It wasn’t. After this meeting, [Greg] Hawley hired Adams himself.
And who is Greg Hawley?
Hawley is an attorney appointed by the court in Jefferson County to allegedly represent Mrs. B’s interests. According to Hawley’s bio, “In 2013, Presiding Probate Judge Alan L. King appointed Hawley as a County Conservator for Jefferson County.”
And who approved the order to have Balch & Bingham attorney Amy Adams allegedly forced upon Mrs. B as her attorney? Probate Judge Alan L. King.
From the awful allegations of targeting poor black children in North Birmingham to now allegedly exploiting an elderly widow, Balch & Bingham appears to have no soul.
Mark A. Crosswhite, the CEO of Alabama Power and a former Balch partner, appears to be constantly kowtowing to Balch’s demands and needs. As Balch’s top client, Alabama Power should publicly fire Balch & Bingham and end the bruised relationship.
Instead, Crosswhite was too busy downing cocktails with U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town., who refuses to investigate Balch’s alleged unsavory and possible criminal conduct.
No investigation or criminal charges will arise because Balch & Bingham appears not only to have allegedly exploited black children and elderly widows, but allegedly exploited the enormous unchecked power of their two biggest stooges: Crosswhite and Town.