Category Archives: Elderly Exploitation Scandal

Balch & Bingham Lies and then Withdraws; Alleged Elderly Exploitation Scandal Explodes

In a detailed report this morning outlining communication exchanges with embattled law firm Balch & Bingham, Alabama Today exposed that Balch lied twice about representing Joann Bashinsky (Mrs. B), the widow of the Golden Flake Foods founder who is worth $218 million.

Alabama Today in a report titled “Balch & Bingham and the lies they’ve told” writes about the dishonesty:

Lie one: The day [Balch & Bingham partner Amy Davis] Adam’s left the case. The statement… saying that Adams was withdrawing from the case, was sent May 20, 2020. Yet, Adams was copied on emails related to the case, and her name was on filings related to the case for weeks following….

Lie two: Upon getting word that Adam’s name on documents and emails, [Alabama Today] reached out to ask why there was no record of her withdrawing from the case. That’s where the second lie comes in. {A Balch spokesperson] tells me that no written request for withdrawal is required, an answer she would have needed to get from Adams herself or another lawyer.

On June 25, 2020, a little over 2 weeks after Wall says no withdrawal is needed, what does Adams finally get around to doing? Well, ….She files for withdrawal.

Having worked closely with Greg Hawley, the appointed Conservator of Jefferson County, and Judge Alan L. King (who had appointed Hawley in 2013), Amy Adams’ conduct has come under scrutiny after Mrs. B recorded and released her conversations with Hawley and Adams to Alabama Today.

Judge King abruptly “retired” hours after the audio recordings were published.

Alabama Today published the motion to withdraw which states that Hawley will continue to be represented by lawyers of Sirote & Permutt, P.C.

And why is the law firm of Sirote & Permutt, P.C. so significant, now, today, this very moment?

They are one of two law firms fighting the appointment of James P. Naftel II as Judge King’s replacement and filed suit against Alabama Governor Kay Ivey yesterday. writes:

The lawsuit does not challenge Naftel’s qualifications but says the appointment is not valid because state law requires the governor to choose from three nominees submitted by the Jefferson County Judicial Commission.

The Governor disputes their argument.

The alleged elderly exploitation scandal has exposed the need for transparency and a criminal investigation.

Kudos to Alabama Today for exposing the alleged elderly abuse.

Now is the time for the FBI to probe all transactions, track wealth building, and conduct a forensic audit of all conservator estates and the personal finances involving Judge Alan L. King, Balch & Bingham’s Amy Davis Adams, and JeffCo Conservator Greg Hawley.

As they say, money is the root of all evil. Corrupt money is the root of all bribery.

Outrageous Fees Exposed in Alleged Elderly Exploitation Racket

A third installment of Alabama Today’s investigative series on the Elderly Exploitation racket exposes the outrageous fees manifested by insiders who appear to be gaming the system for their own pockets while dwindling assets of estates.

Alabama Today writes about the horrific experience of Susan Evans whose father was forced into conservatorship after suffering early signs of dementia.

The judge is none other than Jefferson County Probate Judge, Alan King. The conservator is none other than veteran litigator and probate lawyer, Greg Hawley. The witness whose alleged false and unconfirmed testimony caused the court to move the temporary conservatorship to permanent? Is none other than Hawley’s own assistant, Margaret Holland.

If you’ve been following along in this series those names will sound familiar. They’re the same two players involved in the Joann Bashinsky [Mrs. B] case.  As a matter of fact, they’re the same players as a number of cases in Jefferson County, Alabama.

And what fees is Susan Evans able to confirm?

 [T]he costs of attorney fees for the family totals nearly $65,000 of which $55,000 is being paid-out of the estate. Money that could and likely should have stayed with the family and estate, if not for the judge’s order.

Until this week, after five years of Hawley being the conservator, Evans had not had a full accounting of her father’s assets or of the costs associated with the conservatorship. This week Holland provided that breakdown for the first time. You may remember Holland from the first post. Holland is the assistant who sent confidential medical and financial documents to [Balch & Bingham’s Amy] Adams “accidentally”.  

It states, “Fees are based off of a percentage of the Estate which in total is roughly 9%. It is calculated only at a Partial and/or Final Settlement Hearing. This is an Alabama State Statute = 2.5% of what’s received, 2.5% of what’s disbursed and 4% attorney’s fees.”

Balch partner Adams

Balch & Bingham’s Amy Adams has yet to be fired for the alleged unethical and egregious conduct before Mrs. B, who brilliantly recorded her meetings with Hawley and Adams.

Adams will be investigated further, reports say. Alabama Today writes, “(Don’t worry, if you’re missing Hawley’s “friend” Amy Davis Adams from Balch & Bingham, she too will return in several future installments of this series beginning later this week.)”

Balch & Bingham’s Alleged Elderly Exploitation Victims Speaking Up

Another eye-popping report from Alabama Today titled “Protected or Prisoner Part 2: How our grandparents and their livelihoods are being stolen by the court system” has rocked the legal establishment.

We have learned that other victims of the alleged elderly exploitations scheme have reached out to Alabama Today directly.

Even we, the CDLU, have been contacted via our tip hotline by alleged victims of The Birmingham Triangle of Balch & Bingham’s Amy Adams, Jefferson County Conservator Greg Hawley, and Judge Alan L. King.

At $425 an hour, Amy Adams of Balch & Bingham has reaped generous fees from numerous estates. Now with audio files allegedly implicating Balch’s Adams in using bogus “scare tactics” and allegedly demanding an 88 year-old widow fire her other lawyers, Balch appears to be in hot water, boiling hot water.

And Balch, along with Judge King, who abruptly announced his “retirement” just hours after the audio files were published, could possibly be investigated for criminal and/or financial misconduct if numerous more victims speak up.

Alabama Today points out that lawyers and judges in Alabama have been prosecuted and gone to prison for misconduct, writing:

Late last year, the Attorney General’s office announced that Marshall was had obtained a felony indictment of Limestone County District Court Judge on Ethics, Exploitation, and Theft Charges.

The charges center around Doug Patterson and his ward Charles Hardy. According to the Attorney General’s office, “Hardy, who is now deceased, was an incapacitated senior living in a Limestone County nursing home for military veterans. At the time Patterson became his conservator, his account had over $43,000. By December 2016, the account had less than $200, and Patterson had withdrawn $47,800 for his own personal use. Patterson deposited Hardy’s money into his personal account, his law firm account, and his business account. Some of these withdrawals took place after Patterson became a judge. In each of these instances, Patterson converted the money to personal use unrelated to Hardy’s care or well-being.”

Another judge was sent to prison. Alabama Today writes:

In 2008, then-Attorney General Troy King successfully brought charges against Covington County Probate Judge Sherrie Phillips. Phillips was arrested and convicted of 6 felony ethics and theft charges stemming from $1.8 million she stole from the estate of a deceased man, Cary Douglas Piper of Castleberry in Conecuh County. She served three years of a ten-year sentence and was released in October 2012.

As another alleged pattern of corruption emerges, a criminal investigation and forensic audit are in order.

Like disgraced ex-Balch partner and convicted felon Joel I. Gilbert or the alleged spearhead of the Newsome Conspiracy Case, ex-Balch partner Clark A. Cooper, Balch & Bingham’s leadership should consider immediately firing Amy Adams.

Balch’s newest scandal is about to boil over the top. Time to turn off the burner.

Report: Balch’s Alleged Elderly Expoitation Centers on Millions of Dollars; Alleged Kickbacks

A new report from Legal Schnauzer focuses on why Joann Bashinsky, the widow of the founder of Golden Flake Foods, was allegedly mislead by Balch & Bingham’s partner Amy Adams and forced into a court ordered guardianship and conservatorship by Judge Alan L. King.

The conclusion is simple: Mrs. B’s enormous wealth. She is worth $218 million.

What we do know is that Balch was going to bill Mrs. B at $425 an hour, according to audio recordings published by Alabama Today.

However, Legal Schnauzer writes:

A legal source spells out in stark terms the law and math in the Bashinsky case, while also providing insight into Alabama’s nasty courtroom culture:

Judge King completely ignored the letter of Ms. Bashinsky’s personal physician of five years and instead used a report from a Dr. Carolyn Harada to declare her incompetent and appointed a conservator so that the conservator could hire out Balch and Bingham as the conservator’s attorney and they could all claim a fee of 4 percent of her $218-million estate–a total of almost $9 million and a complete scam. I wonder how much of that fee was going back to Judge King as a reward for his dirty deed.

Our source has little doubt about what drove judge King’s retirement:

Judge King has resigned over the leaked Bashinksy tapes. I do not think he wants the FBI investigating how much of that 4-percent fee, which he was going to award to Balch on Ms. Bashinsky’s $218-million net worth, was [allegedly] going to be kicked back to him.

Judge King abruptly announced his retirement on Sunday just hours after damning audio files were posted by media outlet Alabama Today. (Audio files can be heard here.)

Now federal investigators appear to have 9 million reasons to investigate Judge King, Balch partner Amy Adams, and the Conservator of Jefferson County, Greg Hawley, a friend of Judge King who appointed Hawley Conservator in 2013.

Thankfully for Mrs. B and the rule of law, the Alabama Supreme Court stayed all actions on this case in January, a major setback to Balch and company.

Judge Involved in Balch’s Alleged Elderly Exploitation Scheme Abruptly Quits

“I’m sure I’ve made plenty of mistakes.”

Judge Alan L. King

Alan L. King, the Jefferson County probate judge who signed off on an order drafted by his longtime pal Greg Hawley that forced an alleged corrupt guardianship and financial control directive upon an 88 year-old grandmother worth $218 million announced his abrupt retirement this morning, according to

The announcement comes just hours after the release of damning audio files from media outlet Alabama Today of Balch & Bingham partner Amy Adams allegedly telling Joann Bashinsky, known as Mrs. B and the widow of the founder of Golden Flake Foods, could run out of money, lose her home, and have to fire staff.

Greg Hawley, appointed as Conservator of Jefferson County by King in 2013, can be heard rejecting Adams about her alleged false claims, stating he has yet to get a complete, “whole financial picture” but “cannot say” what Adams told Mrs. B.

Greg Hawley rejects Balch & Bingham’s Amy Adams alleged false claims
(Source: Alabama Today)

Even though Mrs. B allegedly refused to hire Balch partner Adams, Hawley hired her under his directive and authority at a cost of $425 an hour.

In January, the Alabama Supreme Court stayed all the shenanigans of King, Hawley and Balch & Bingham.

In today’s announcement, King states, ““I’m not really one to look back and worry about stuff. I’ve worked hard,” he said. “I’m sure I’ve made plenty of mistakes, but none that I really dwell on.”

Federal investigators should dwell on the grave injustice and alleged elderly exploitation of Mrs. B and hold Balch & Bingham’s Amy Adams, County Conservator Greg Hawley, and Judge King accountable.

Like disgraced former State Representative Oliver Robinson, King is foolish to think that “resignation” or “retirement” could impede a criminal investigation.

Bombshell: Audio Files of Balch Partner’s Alleged Exploitation of 88 Year-Old

Alabama Today was the first to report the allegations of elderly exploitation and abuse by a Balch & Bingham partner last Friday.

Now the news outlet has dropped audio files of Balch partner Amy Adams allegedly threatening 88 year-old Joann Bashinsky, known as Mrs. B.

Friday’s news story has been updated with audio files and they are damning. (Alabama Today audio files are also located on the bottom of this post.)

Telling Mrs. B she could run out of money, lose her home, have to fire her staff, Adams was pushing overtly to represent Mrs. B, but Mrs. B said no, according to Alabama Today.

Ignoring Mrs. B, Greg Hawley, the Conservator for Jefferson County, (pictured above, left) hired Balch & Bingham to represent Mrs. B.

As Alabama Today reported:

Nevermind that at the beginning of the conversation [Balch partner] Adams gives her word that she’s not interested in helping Hawley just in being Mrs. B’s attorney, “When Greg called me I told him the only way I’d do it is if we could fire him because I wasn’t going with him. I’d only go with you and that’s what I told him that’s the only I would come.” 

It wasn’t just a promise by Adams that she would only represent Mrs. B. Here’s what Hawley said, “Let me tell you, there are lawyers – Amy’s very decisive. Some people use the B-word to describe her, okay. She’s a great lawyer, but she’s very decisive, and she will represent you. And I even told her, and I’ll tell you this and I’ll tell you this, in front of her, and I’ll put it in writing that if she ever sees a conflict of interest developing between what’s best for you and something different I say, I want her to represent you, not me.” 

“I want her to represent you, not me.” Those were his words and then he hired her anyway after Mrs. B said she didn’t want her engaged. It’s enough to make one’s head explode.

The root of this power grab is Mrs. B’s $218 million fortune. If Mrs. B were worth $218,000 we doubt we would see these alleged insidious if not unethical shenanigans.

Recording of Balch partner Adams conversing with Greg Hawley after her meeting with Mrs. B.
(Source: Alabama Today)
Balch partner Adams alleges she has seen Mrs. B’s finances (Source: Alabama Today)
Balch partner Adams claims there is not enough money. (Source: Alabama Today)
Balch partner Adams brings up lifestyle needs. (Source: Alabama Today)
Balch partner Adams asks, “Do you want to stay in your house?” (Source: Alabama Today)
Balch partner Adams says she “can be really mean.” (Source: Alabama Today)
Mrs. B shuts down Balch partner Adams;
“But the house is paid for.”
(Source: Alabama Today)
Initial greetings at meeting between
Balch partner Adams, Greg Hawley, and Mrs. B.
(Source: Alabama Today)
Mrs. B’s King & Spaulding attorney refused entry. (Source: Alabama Today)
Mrs. B wants to make sure “you’re for me.”
(Source: Alabama Today)

Disgust at Balch as Alleged Elderly Exploitation Scandal Erupts

Even the Alabama Supreme Court appears to be disgusted with the shenanigans allegedly involving Balch & Bingham partner Amy Adams and the alleged exploitation of 88 year-old Joann Bashinsky, known as Mrs. B.

In January, the Supreme Court stayed all proceedings against the elderly woman worth $218 million after Mrs. B’s attorneys filed a Writ of Mandamus, according to

The scheme to control Mrs. B’s financial affairs appears to have been orchestrated by two fired employees who had worked for Mrs. B; Greg Hawley, the Conservator of Jefferson County; and Balch’s Adams (above, left) even though Mrs. B allegedly did not want Balch representing her, according to an explosive report on Alabama Today last Friday.

And what did these alleged co-conspirators apparently say was wrong with Mrs. B?

That she has dementia.

Yet the physician who treated Mrs. B for over five years provided written testimony that Mrs. B, even after being tested and treated by a neurologist, did NOT have dementia, and was competent to make decisions on her own.

So why did the court approve an order appointing a temporary conservator and guardian?

Because a letter from Dr. Caroline Harada (above, center) and other reports appear to have declared that Mrs. B had dementia and was “in need of protection.”

And what is Caroline Harada’s connection to Greg Hawley and the alleged co-conspirators?

Harada and Hawley were both listed as contributors to the prestigious, private Highlands School in 2015-2016, where Hawley’s wife Sally had been on the Board of Trustees.

Harada and her significant other, Fred Vars, (above right) a professor of law at the University of Alabama, were listed as contributors to the Highlands School.

Vars has written about mental health, gun violence, and suicide, including a letter to the editor with Harada in 2012 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

And what do they whine about in their letter? A Wisconsin Supreme Court decision holding that individuals with dementia cannot be placed involuntarily into “units for the acutely mentally ill.”

In other words, Mrs. B, worth $218 million, if she had dementia, could be placed involuntarily into a unit for the acutely mentally ill, and that would be just fine, perfectly fine.

Disgusting. Absolutely disgusting.

Balch’s Alleged Elderly Abuse and Exploitation; FBI Silent

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, 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.

Town chugs with Crosswhite.

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.