Elderly Exploitation Scandal,  Spotlight on Balch & Bingham

Doesn’t Smell Right! Fighting Balch’s Alleged Elderly Exploitation Scandal; U.S. Attorney Vows Justice for Seniors

The fight continues.

In May of 2020, the publication Alabama Today caused a firestorm with the incredible and shocking audio recordings of a Balch & Bingham attorney Amy Davis Adams and Jefferson County Conservator Greg Hawley talking with 88-year old Joann Bashinsky, known as Mrs. B.

Ridiculously claiming Mrs. B could lose her home, run out of money, and have to fire her staff, Adams’ comments appear to have been an attempt to take control of Mrs. B’s affairs, a woman worth $218 million.

Hawley went ahead and appointed Balch’s Adams even though Mrs. B said no, according to Alabama Today. Days after the audio files were released, Probate Judge Alan L. King, who approved the guardianship of Mrs. B, abruptly quit.

Then, weeks later, the Alabama Supreme Court unanimously tossed out the temporary and emergency guardianship.

Mrs. B sadly passed away in January, but the fight, unbelievably continues.

Landon Ash

Landon Ash, the heir and grandson of Mrs. B, is courageously fighting the perpetrators and instigators who appear to have used and abused the judicial system against his beloved grandmother.

As commentator Kimberly Guilfoyle wrote earlier this month:

In neighboring Alabama, the family of deceased heiress and philanthropist Joann Bashinsky is still fighting a legal battle with her court-appointed guardian over five months after her death. It’s difficult to fathom why Judge Lee Tucker, who has jurisdiction in the case, hasn’t dismissed it by now – after all, the person supposedly in need of the court’s “protection” is no longer alive. In this case and so many others, based on my years as a prosecutor, something certainly doesn’t smell right.

More importantly, having worked closely with the U.S. Department of Justice for two decades, we, the CDLU, believe investigations of elderly exploitation cases are occurring now, intensely, behind the scenes, and have become a priority for federal investigators, especially after the Netfix series Dirty Money exposed the deep problem of court-appointed guardianships in an episode titled, “Guardians, Inc.”

Last week, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama Prim Escalona recognized World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, stating, “Our seniors are vital members of our community.  Unfortunately, they are often among the most vulnerable. Prosecuting those who prey on this vulnerable community is a top priority, and we remain committed to pursuing justice for the seniors in Northern Alabama.”

And we know Mrs. B made the horrors of her exploitation known, not only to the media but law enforcement.

“It feels like I’m nobody, like all my rights have been taken away,” Mrs. B said during an interview with AL.com in 2019. “I feel like I’m a prisoner in my own home.”

Balch & Bingham ought to be ashamed of their alleged misconduct.

And federal investigators should conduct a forensic audit of each and every “guardianship” Balch stuck their fingers in.

And Landon should demand so, too.


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