EMPLOYMENT ISSUES UNIQUE TO JEHOVAH'S WITNESS EMPLOYEES

JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES FINANCIAL HONESTY & INTEGRITY SUBSECTION PAGE 10 OF 12
 
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GIFTS, WILLS, and ESTATES
 
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CANADA

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CROWN v. WALTER SHANDRO was a 1985 Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, criminal court case which involved a prominent Jehovah's Witness Elder and Attorney named Walter Shandro. Notably, Shandro was also a part-time teacher at the University of Alberta's law school. Shandro taught "Legal Ethics".

Walter Shandro, then age 53, was an Estate Specialist and senior partner in an Edmonton law firm whose clientele included the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Canada. In latter 1984, the firm discovered that Shandro had misappropriated funds from an estate he was handling. When confronted, Shandro admitted not only this instance, but one additional instance. The matter was submitted to the Law Society of Alberta, which appointed auditors to examine the firm's accounts. The audit revealed defalcations on 28 of Shandro's files, dating back to 1973, totaling $213,814.11(Estates in which the WatchTower Society was named beneficiary amounted to $139,268.42.) Throughout the audit, Shandro admitted each defalcation with which he was confronted as the auditors uncovered each one and showed the theft to be provable. Over the years, Shandro had simply drawn checks payable directly to his creditors, his retirement account, to an investment company owned by Shandro, to personal bank accounts, and for property taxes and other miscellaneous personal expenses. 

Walter Shandro pled guilty and was sentenced to five years in prison. On appeal, the Alberta Court of Appeal reduced Shandro's term to 42 months. The court noted that Shandro had both completely cooperated with police and the prosecution, as well as made full restitution, including interest, to the aggrieved clients. In fact, Shandro was financially well off, and did not even need the money that he stole. Rather, he had taken the money due to a developed sense of entitlement. Multiple fellow members of the Jehovah's Witnesses appeared as character witnesses on Shandro's behalf.

IN THE MATTER OF WALTER SHANDRO. In 1985, Shandro was DISBARRED by the Law Society of Alberta.

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IN THE MATTER OF FRANK RADLEY MOTT-TRILLE was an October 1997 Law Society of Upper Canada disciplinary proceeding in which the then 65 year-old prominent Ontario Jehovah's Witness Elder and Attorney, Frank R. Mott-Trille, was DISBARRED for misapplication and misappropriation of money entrusted to him by multiple clients -- many being FRM's fellow Jehovah's Witnesses. JW Daughter, Sarah E. Mott-Trille, who practiced law alongside her father (and once at WatchTower Canadian HQ), was not implicated, and testified on her father's behalf (as did many other fellow Jehovah's Witnesses).

Frank Radley Mott-Trille was a Rhodes Scholar, who had begun practicing law in Great Britain in 1953, before returning to Canada in 1954. Over the decades, numerous Jehovah's Witnesses chose FMT to handle their legal matters. Based on complaints from some of those clients, the Law Society issued three formal Complaints -- in July 1993, September 1993, and June 1994. FMT agreed to stop practicing law in July 1994, until the Complaints were resolved.

In April 1994, FMT's Shelbourne Ontario Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses formed a "Judicial Committee" to conduct its own internal investigation. The JC found that FMT had committed "theft", and decided to "publicly reprove" him. Quickly, however, the JC changed their decision to "disfellowshipping" FMT. FMT appealed, but lost that appeal. Thereafter, in May 1994, FMT appealed to the Governing Body of the Jehovah's Witnesses in New York. In January 1995, FMT was notified that his "disfellowshipping" had been "annulled", and that new JC hearings would be held sometime in the near future.

In February 1995, FMT settled the first lawsuit that had been filed against him by fellow Jehovah's Witnesses, Jeanette Steed, in 1993. In June 1995, the Law Society held its first hearing on the two Complaints that it had issued against FMT. In August 1995, FMT settled the lawsuit that had been filed against him by fellow Jehovah's Witnesses, A. F. Danley, in 1994. Both the Danley settlement and the Steed settlement included non-disclosure/confidentiality agreements.

In September 1995, FMT filed legal action seeking damages against the multiple accusers and the members of the first Judicial Committee. FMT also sought an injunction restraining the new Judicial Committee from holding hearings until the completion of the Law Society hearings. Most if not all claims were eventually dismissed from 1995-99.

In October 1995, FMT filed another legal action seeking a declaration that the decisions of the original Judicial Committee, the Appeal Committee, and the proceedings of the new Judicial Committee are void and have no legal effect. FMT also sought an injunction restraining the new Judicial Committee from proceeding with any information obtained from Steed or Danley, which he claimed would be in breach of their confidentiality agreements. Most if not all claims were eventually dismissed from 1995-99.

Around November 1995, FMT again sought an injunction to prevent the new Judicial Committee from conducting its hearings until the Law Society proceedings and FMT's civil actions had concluded. In January 1996, an injunction was GRANTED restraining the new Judicial Committee from holding hearings until after the Law Society hearings had concluded.

Those Law Society hearings resumed in February 1996, and continued through December 1996. In January 1997, the Disciplinary Committee issued its findings and recommendations, which the Law Society adopted in October 1997. The Law Society of Upper Canada issued this DECISION, in part:

The following particulars of professional misconduct were found to have been established:

Complaint D189/93

(a) On or about May 21, 1992, the Solicitor misapplied $35,000 more or less from his client Ruth Ramsbottom;

(b) On or about June 11, 1992, the Solicitor misapplied $89,131.13 more or less from the estate of Phyllis Winters;

(c) In or about August 1991, the Solicitor misapplied $65,000 more or less from the estate of Florence Antoniuk; and

(d) In or about September 1991, the Solicitor misappropriated $45,000 from the estate of Margaret Finlay by using these funds to pre-pay his fees on an unrelated matter (WatchTower Society was beneficiary).
 
Complaint D246/93

(a) During the period December 18, 1991 to January 19, 1992, the Solicitor misapplied $675,000 more or less from his trust account of funds belonging to his client, Jeannette Steed; and

(b) In the period November 4, 1991 to December 30, 1991, the Solicitor transferred $224,745.41 from his trust account to his general account representing fees and disbursements prior to the delivery of a fee billing as required by ... the Law Society Act.
 
Complaint D180/94

(a) On or about December 9, 1988, the Solicitor misapplied $30,000.00 more or less, of funds to be held in trust for the benefit of Vera and Michael Giammarco.

Interestingly, the Law Society's Opinion was extremely deferential to FMT. It went out of its way to say that all of these instances of "misapplication" and "misappropriation" lacked criminal intent, and there was no corresponding criminal prosecution. The Law Society even agreed to allow FMT to "resign" rather than be outright disbarred. FMT was disbarred only because he refused to resign.

There were also indications that there were more "incidents" than those handled by the Law Society. Note that the above Complaints seem not to include the "A. F. Danley" incident. Additionally, the Opinion mentions that by October 1997 that FMT was in bankruptcy proceedings due to already having reimbursed affected clients $1,500,000.00, but that he still owed another $1,500,000.00, plus interest. The Lawyer's Professional Indemnity Company had also paid out $85,000.00by the date of this Opinion, and it is believed that that was only about half that it eventually paid out. Now, do the math for the incidents listed in the above Complaints. There seems to be lots more to this story.

Frank Mott-Trille was reportedly "disfellowshipped" at some point after the Law Society proceedings, but we do not know when such happened, nor for what reason. We are not even sure such related to these "incidents".

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JEANETTE STEED v. FRANK MOTT-TRILLE was the 1993 civil lawsuit filed by elderly Jehovah's Witness client Jeanette Steed, which was settled with a confidentiality clause in 1995. The Law Society disciplinary committee ruled that FMT had invested $675,000.00 of Steed's divorce settlement funds without Steed's authority. The Opinion characterizes FMT's decision to do such as one that was influenced more by his desire to benefit other FMT clients who had invested in an abortive Holland's Landing real estate project than by a concern for the safety of Steed's investment. FMT loaned Steed's $675,000.00 to a partnership consisting of FMT's cousin and two Jamaican clients of FMT, who invested the money in a real estate project which never materialized. That loan occurred in January 1992, but Steed was not notified until she received her first interest check in June 1996. Steed settled with FMT in 1995 by taking over that over-valued property, and receiving $150,000.00 from FMT's two daughters, and $75,000.00 from FMT's professional liability insurance carrier.

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RAYMOND CARLYLE LAYBOURNE and LAYBOURNE ENTERPRISES LTD v. ROY LYNDON LAYBOURNE and SHARON LAYBOURNE was a 2004-07 Canadian civil court case which involved a real estate dispute between a father and his son and daughter-in-law (reported to be Jehovah's Witnesses). In the 1990s, Raymond Laybourne and his son, Roy Laybourne (postal employee), had constructed a home in/near Humboldt, Saskatchewan, on real estate titled in both names jointly. Thereafter, this dispute arose over who was the beneficial owner of the property, and whether the funds advanced by Raymond Laybourne to his son and daughter-in-law were a gift or a loan. At his examination for discovery on September 30, 2004, Ray Laybourne (farmer of 7500 acres) refused to provide Roy and Sharon Laybourne's attorney with a copy of his Will, and refused to answer questions from Roy and Sharon Laybourne's attorney relating to gifts made by him to his other children -- on the grounds that the questions were not relevant to this case. In March 2005, Ray Laybourne was court ordered both to provide them with a copy of his Will, and to answer the questions put to him with regard to gifts and/or advancements to his other children. Final outcome of lawsuit unknown. 

See also: SHARON DALE LAYBOURNE v. SOMMERFELD, a 2002 personal injury lawsuit which appears to provide background information regarding this same Humboldt property.

See also: ROY L. LAYBOURNE and SHARON D. LAYBOURNE v. ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF BRITISH COLUMBIA, ET AL (2012-15).

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SAWDON ESTATE v. WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY OF CANADA was a July 2012 Ontario, Canada "estate" court decision. This Canadian court opinion is significant in that the Judge's Opinion includes a REPRIMAND of attorney DANIEL POLE for SUPPOSEDLY failing to properly notify his clients about his relationship with the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY OF CANADA, and the JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES.
 
There appears to be much more to this story than what is found in this court opinion. It is inconceivable that the deceased, Arthur Sawdon, would have included the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY OF CANADA as a beneficiary in two different Wills without knowing that his attorney, DANIEL POLE, was not only a JEHOVAH'S WITNESS ELDER, but had both once worked as a Estate Specialist Corporate Attorney at the Canadian Headquarters of the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY, and subsequently, as an independent attorney, Daniel Pole had represented the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY OF CANADA in multiple well publicized court cases. (Daniel Pole also once worked in the law offices of Jehovah's Witness Frank Radley Mott-Trille - see below.)
 
This court opinion fails to mention what relationship, if any, various members of the Sawdon Family have/had with the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY and Jehovah's Witnesses. In order for the trial judge to conclude that DANIEL POLE's relationship with the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY OF CANADA and JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES to have been "undisclosed", BOTH the Sawdon Family and DANIEL POLE seemingly would have had to conceal certain information from the court. The seeming "missing pieces" may be supplied when the probable "Appeal" is filed by the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY OF CANADA. If no "Appeal" is filed, such may reveal that the Parties do not want a higher appellate court scrutinizing what actually occurred in this case. In the meantime, let's take a brief look at the info provided in this Ontario trial court Opinion.
 
Arthur Sawdon died in March 2007. Sawdon was predeceased by his wife, who was the mother of his five surviving children. In Arthur Sawdon's "Last Will", prepared in July 2006, by attorney DANIEL POLE, the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY OF CANADA was named as the "residual beneficiary" of any estate assets not otherwise handled in the WILL. At the same time, DANIEL POLE also prepared for Arthur Sawdon a separate "Transfer and Assignment", which purported to transfer Arthur Sawdon's 75% interest in SAWDON HOLDINGS INC. to the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY OF CANADA, subject to "life interest" in favour of Arthur Sawdon. SAWDON HOLDINGS INC. had been formed for Arthur Sawdon by DANIEL POLE back in 1993, in the Cayman Islands, to hold Sawdon's investment monies and avoid Canadian tax. In 1994, Arthur Sawdon had gifted a 5% interest in SAWDON HOLDINGS INC. to each of his five children.
 
In October 2006, DANIEL POLE traveled to the Cayman Islands with the aforementioned "Transfer and Assignment". However, the Trust Administrator for SAWDON HOLDINGS INC. refused to recognize or accept the document. Interestingly, neither Arthur Sawdon nor DANIEL POLE ever mentioned anything about the "Transfer and Assignment" to Sawdon's five children.  At this trial, DANIEL POLE testified that he had told Arthur Sawdon that it did not matter that the Trust Administrator had not accepted the "Transfer and Assignment", because the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY OF CANADA was the residual beneficiary in Sawdon's Will, and would receive Sawdon's 75% share in SAWDON HOLDINGS INC. in that manner.
 
In April 2007, after Sawdon's death, without authority from executor Wayne Sawdon, or the beneficial shareholders of SAWDON HOLDINGS INC.DANIEL POLE,

a)   wrote to Wayne Sawdon on April 2, 2007 and said "As it stands now, the Watch Tower is the majority shareholder [of SAWDON HOLDINGS INC.] and I am waiting to see if they have any instructions for me.";

b)   wrote to the Trust Administrator on April 11, 2007 requesting that "you immediately amend your records to note that the interest formerly seized by Mr. Sawdon is now held by" the Watch Tower;

c)   wrote to Wayne Sawdon on May 7, 2007 that the �majority shares were transferred inter vivos by Arthur Sawdon.�; and

d)   wrote to the Trust Administrator on May 8, 2007 �instructing� them to record the Watch Tower as the 75% shareholder of Sawdon Holdings. Mr. Pole concluded:

I must warn you that if the CIBC fails to perform the transfer of shares as necessary, I will advise the transferee Watch Tower Society of your refusal.  In such case I anticipate that I may be instructed as corporate secretary to commence a legal proceeding to compel the CIBC to act with the legal costs and damages that may be appropriate.

 
This court Opinion does not address who eventually received that 75% stake in SAWDON HOLDINGS INC., nor does it reveal whether SAWDON HOLDINGS INC. even held any significant assets at the time of Arthur Sawdon's death. Instead, this court case was over $1,075,872.83 in CASH, which Arthur Sawdon had in seven bank accounts, which were jointly held, with a right of survivorship, with Sawdon's two sons, Wayne Sawdon and Stephen Sawdon.
 
The WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY OF CANADA attempted to claim the $1,075,872.83 in CASH as the "residual beneficiary" of Arthur Sawdon's WILL. To make a long legal story short, the Ontario trial court ruled against the WATCH TOWER SOCIETY, and in favor of Arthur Sawdon's five children.
 
Here is an excerpt from the court decision which relates to attorney DANIEL POLE (emphasis added):
 

THE CREDIBILITY OF THE WITNESSES

[49]       I accept the evidence of Wayne Sawdon and Gladys Fisher as credible and reliable.  The evidence of these witnesses was direct and clear.  Ms. Fisher's evidence was unbiased.  Both witnesses had no hesitation answering questions fully and completely. Their evidence was consistent with the documents, the agreed facts and other evidence.

[50]       With respect to the evidence of Stephen Sawdon, while I found most of his evidence to be reliable, some answers were biased.  Fortunately for the Applicants, the significant portions of his evidence are consistent with the evidence of Wayne Sawdon and the documentation signed by Arthur Sawdon.

[51]       With respect to the evidence of Mr. Pole, I reject it entirely.   There are a number of reasons I have concluded his evidence is neither credible nor reliable:

(a)         Mr. Pole is a lawyer.  I find it surprising and questionable that Mr. Pole would not disclose a conflict or even a potential conflict that he was an �elder� or �lay minister� with the Jehovah�s Witness church and had acted for the Jehovah�s Witness church prior to the preparation of the 2004 Will or the July 2006 Will or the Transfer and Assignment.  Mr. Pole�s reason for not doing so � because he wasn�t wearing his Jehovah�s Witness �hat� at the time � is simply not a good answer.  Arthur Sawdon and the other shareholders of Sawdon Holdings were entitled to know all of Mr. Pole�s �hats� when Mr. Pole provided advice or prepared documents for Arthur Sawdon;

(b)         Mr. Pole�s answers in cross-examination by the Estate Trustee�s counsel were combative and he took every opportunity, whether or not relevant or appropriate to the question asked, to give answers favourable to Watch Tower;

(c)         Some of Mr. Pole�s answers made little sense.  For example, Mr. Pole�s evidence as to knowing Arthur Sawdon�s intention regarding the Joint Bank Accounts after his death make no sense when Mr. Pole didn�t know the joint nature of the bank accounts until after Arthur Sawdon�s death. Daniel Pole�s evidence was inconsistent with his earlier evidence that he had told Arthur Sawdon, if he set up joint accounts without a Declaration of Trust, the monies would go to the joint account holders on his death. Even more inconsistent was that two weeks after Arthur Sawdon signed the July 2006 Will, Arthur Sawdon opened up two new joint accounts with his sons with a right of survivorship. Notwithstanding, Mr. Pole was adamant that it was Arthur Sawdon�s intention that the monies in the Joint Bank Accounts were to go to the estate; 

(d)         Mr. Pole�s actions subsequent to the death of Arthur Sawdon are demonstrative of a appearance of bias in favour of the Watch Tower:

i.      Mr. Pole advised Arthur Sawdon that the Transfer and Assignment had not been accepted by the Trust Administrator and that the Watch Tower would receive the shares as the  residual beneficiary under the July 2006 Will. The Transfer and Assignment apparently was a moot issue. However, upon Arthur Sawdon�s death,  Mr. Pole�s actions in  his attempts and threatens to get an immediate transfer of the shares of Sawdon Holdings to the Watch Tower, not as a residual beneficiary but as an inter vivos gift, gives the appearance of bias in favour of the Watch Tower. Mr. Pole�s explanation that he did this to avoid estate fees was not a credible explanation;

ii.            Despite instructions by Wayne Sawdon, the executor under Arthur Sawdon�s July 2006 Will, not to advise the Watch Tower about the Watch Tower�s potential entitlement under the Will, Mr. Pole nevertheless communicated the information to the Watch Tower; and

iii.           Mr. Pole�s attempts to get the Trust Administrator to immediately effect the Transfer and Assignment from Arthur Sawdon to Watch Tower, without authorization from potentially interested parties, are also evidence of apparent bias in favour of the Watch Tower. I reject Mr. Pole�s explanations as to his authority to pursue the transfer to the Watch Tower as his explanations are wrong in law and appear to be an effort to justify taking his actions:

�        Authority under the Charities Accounting Act., as amended --- There was no legal obligation on Mr. Pole, under the Charities Accounting Act to advise the Trust Administrator as no property intended for a charity vested in him;

�        Authority under the Power of Attorney --- The Power of Attorney, given by Arthur Sawdon, even if relevant, had expired upon the death of Arthur Sawdon; and

�        As solicitor for or director of Sawdon Holdings --- Mr. Pole had not received any instructions from Sawdon Holdings or its board of directors or its officers to demand the transfer to the Watch Tower. There is no reason that Mr. Pole would have written the letter without the prior knowledge of Wayne Sawdon, the only other director of Sawdon Holdings, a beneficial shareholder of Sawdon Holdings and an officer of Sawdon Holdings.  Further, there no reason that Mr. Pole would have made the demands without the prior knowledge and approval of Wayne Sawdon, the executor under the July 2006 Will, a beneficiary under the July 2006 Will and someone who might object to the transfer of the shares to the Watch Tower.

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JOHANNE LABERGE v. JEAN YVES BERMOND and MURIELLE CIMINI was a 2015-16 Quebec, Canada civil court WILL contest. According to Canadian press reports, in April 2015, when daughter Johanne LaBerge went to the hospital to take care of matters for her recently deceased Jehovah's Witness Mother, Louise LaBerge, hospital officials told her that they already had turned over the corpse and personal effects to her mother's Jehovah's Witness Minister, Jean Yves Bermond, and his wife, Murielle Cimini. Hospital officials reportedly told Johanne LaBerge that Jean Guy Bermond had told them that the deceased, Louise LaBerge, had no family.

That was not the only surprise. Allegedly, one week prior to the death of Louise LaBerge, she had executed a NEW WILL, which left ALL OF HER ESTATE to Jean Yves Bermond, and his wife, Murielle Cimini. Interestingly, in addition to being one of the Elders at the Gatineau Outaouais Congregation Of Jehovah Witnesses, Jean Guy Bermond was also the TREASURER.

Reportedly, Louise LaBerge had executed a prior WILL in 2008, in which she allegedly had left her entire estate to her only daughter, Johanne LaBerge. Johanne LaBerge filed this civil lawsuit contesting the validity of the 2015 WILL in July 2015. That lawsuit was reportedly settled in 2016. Johanne LaBerge reportedly received money and/or property valued at $300,000.00 . It is not known what Bermond retained from the estate of Louise LeBerge. Even though she was given the empty urn, Jonanne LaBerge also mourned the fact that her mother's remains had been cremated and already scattered by Jean Yves Bermond.

Reportedly, Louise LaBerge had converted to the Jehovah's Witnesses in 1985. Not unusually, at some unknown time, and under unknown circumstances, Louise LaBerge and her daughter had become estranged. Apparently, they had somewhat mended fences at some point prior to the execution of the 2008 WILL. Although Johanne Laberge reportedly had contact with her mother only a few weeks priior to Louise LaBerge's death, noone reported the death of her mother to Johanne LaBerge until an Uncle did so about a week after the death.

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ESTATE OF DOREEN G. DUNN v DARYL KIERNAN was a 2011 Edmonton, Alberta, Canada civil court case that likely resulted due to the partial estrangement of an elderly Jehovah's Witness Parent from some or all of her children who may have rejected the parent's WatchTower religion. In this lawsuit, a Daughter, and as of August 10, 2009, the legal Trustee, of elderly Jehovah's Witness, Doreen Gloria Dunn, sought the return of an alleged $25,000.00 "gift" made to Daryl Kiernan, a Jehovah's Witness Minister and friend of Dunn, on the alleged grounds that Dunn was suffering from mental impairment at the time of that "gift".

In 1992, at the age of 65, Dunn, who was the mother of four adult children, began living "independently" at a senior's residence facility. In January 2004, at the age of 76, Dunn initiated testing for memory issues with her own physician., who indicated no evidence of significant cognitive dysfunction. Cognitive function was tracked thereafter. By May 2005, it was clear that Dunn's cognitive function was declining and a diagnosis of possible Alzheimer's dementia was made. Frequent testing followed. Dunn was concerned about her memory by March 2006, but continued to achieve well on mental tests. By April 2006, there was a diagnosis of very early dementia. Dunn was put on medication, and improvement in her memory was noted in June and July 2006. In August 2006, Dunn's doctor noted that she understood concepts and was capable of contributing to decision making. She was described in May 2007 as having stable early Alzheimers. She was seen frequently by the doctor for assorted ailments.

In August 2007, Dunn sought medical opinion regarding her fitness to execute a will. The doctor's note indicated that Dunn had four children, and stated she would like to divide her estate equally among those four kids. The doctor's assessment was that she had mild cognitive dysfunction but was capable to execute a will. In January 2008, Dunn indicated to the doctor she was upset and distressed because the plaintiff Daughter was trying to tell her how to make out her will. A diagnosis of anxiety was made. In April 2008, Dunn expressed concern about her son's pressure on her to move into some sort of assisted living facility. In July 2008, Dunn and plaintiff Daughter again sought medical opinion as to Dunn's capacity to execute a will. The doctor concluded that Dunn should be referred for a formal capacity assessment and that she appeared able to participate in decision-making but it was not clear to what extent. An outpatient report, dated November 20, 2008 indicated that Dunn suffered from dementia and that with her lawyer, Allison MacCallum, an effort was being made to set up a personal directive and enduring power of attorney. Dunn wanted her daughter as well as her friend, the defendant, as her agents.

In November 2008, Dunn suffered a fracture to her left foot, and she was admitted to the Grey Nuns Community Hospital for treatment to her foot and investigation regarding the deterioration of her senile dementia condition. Shortly after her admission to the hospital, Dunn executed an Enduring Power of Attorney naming the defendant, Daryl Kiernan, described as her "friend", as well as her daughter, the plaintiff, jointly, as her attorneys. The Power of Attorney was prepared and executed under the supervision of Dunn's attorney.

Due to Dunn's worsening dementia, decreased functional level, and cognitive level, she was deemed unsafe to return to her seniors apartment. On discharge from the Grey Nuns Hospital, Dunn was transferred to a long-term care facility, where she remains, and where, on the explicit direction of the plaintiff Daughter and the other members of Dunn's family, the defendant, Daryl Kiernan, has been denied any access to her.

After Dunn had been admitted to Grey Nuns Hospital, the plaintiff Daughter took Dunn's purse for safe-keeping. The frugal Dunn's purse contained hundreds of dollars in cash, as well as a bank statement. In November 2008, the bank balance was only around $12,000.00. The last time the Daughter had seen Dunn's bank statement, in 2006, it had contained approximately $38,000.00. Daughter questioned Dunn about the missing money, but Dunn would not respond. Daughter then asked her mother if she given money to the defendant, and her mother admitted that she had.

An examination of Dunn's bank account showed a withdrawal of $25,000.00 on April 16, 2008. Daughter testified that she asked the defendant about receiving money from Dunn, and the defendant said that the $25,000.00 was a "gift" that Dunn had put into his bank account. The Daughter felt that if the defendant truly had been a friend of her mother, the defendant would not have accepted it. The Daughter asked the defendant if he would return the money and he refused to do so.

At trial, the 75 year-old Daryl Kiernan testified that he had known Dunn from the time he was four or five years old through family connections and through membership in the Jehovah's Witnesses. He stated that after Dunn got married that she moved away and he did not see her again until meeting her one day while at the Justik Clinic, some 10 to 20 years ago. Daryl Kiernan stated that he recognized Dunn, that they got re-acquainted, and that he offered her a ride home (in his convertible Cadillac). After driving Dunn home from the Justik Clinic, the defendant said she had called him. He discovered that she was alone and seemed not to have any visitors at the seniors facility where she was living.  Kiernan would take Dunn out for afternoon drives, or for lunch, or sometimes dinner. He helped her by taking out her garbage, doing some chores, but mostly by simply visiting with her and taking her out. They became very friendly, and he and his family, including his wife, found Dunn very likable, and became fond of Dunn.

Daryl Kiernan said that Dunn and he did not discuss money or financial affairs and that he never asked for money or to borrow money. He claimed that he usually paid for any meals they had unless Dunn absolutely insisted otherwise. In April 2008, Daryl Kiernan and Dunn had gone for lunch, following which, she asked him to drive her to his bank. They went into the bank and she said, "Give me your card."  Daryl Kiernan wondered what was going on, and Dunn said that he should look in his bank account. Daryl Kiernan learned that $25,000.00 had been deposited in his account. He called Dunn and she said that's for you helping me. The defendant stated that he and Dunn were "good buddies"; that he never asked for a gift or for any money; his sole interest was in her friendship. The defendant said that he considered Dunn to be quite intelligent and that he did not notice deterioration and found that she "understood and replied" in their conversations.

On cross-examination the defendant again reiterated that the $25,000.00 had been deposited in his account without his knowledge. When shown the bank draft, Exhibit 4, which apparently contained his signature, Daryl Kiernan stated that he had no recollection of having signed the back of it, and did not think that was his signature.

Think that you know the outcome of this case? The Court ruled in favor of Daryl Kiernan. Here is the court's reasoning, which bears studied reading for any children of elderly JW Parents who find themselves in similar circumstances (This Canadian judge's poor grammar and poor punctuation should not go unconsidered):

There is no question but that Dunn paid $25,000.00 to the defendant for no legal consideration. There is also no question that Dunn had a long-standing and progressive condition of Alzheimer's dementia and was to some extent suffering from diminished capacity. It appears to be trite law that where property or money is transferred without consideration the person receiving the property or money (the "donee") has the obligation of satisfying the court that the person making the transfer (the "donor") had the mental capacity required by law at the time of the transfer. Clearly the court must be satisfied that the donor understood the nature and effect of what was being done, the extent of what was being disposed of, the ability to comprehend and appreciate the claims on the donor to which effect should have been given. The court must be satisfied that there was no disorder of the donor's mind that poisoned affections, perverted a sense of right, or prevented the exercise of natural faculties, and that there was no insane delusion that influenced the disposition. The transfer must not be one which would not have occurred if the donor had been of sound mind.

This legal capacity required is the same whether it is in connection with a gift made during one's lifetime or a gift made by way of will and in both cases a sound and disposing mind and memory is required. Too strict a standard would result in elderly people being deprived of the right to dispose of their property. In the case of an alleged gift considerable weight must be given to the interest of other persons, particularly those who have a legitimate interest in the property of the person making the gift. All of the circumstances of the transaction are relevant. Where the value of the gift is comparatively trivial in relation to the donor's other assets the standard may be somewhat relaxed but where the effect is to dispose of a substantial portion of the donor's estate, as in this case, then a higher degree of understanding is required and the donor must understand the extent of all moral claims on the donor's estate and the extent of the property disposed of.
 
In this case there is no suggestion in the evidence that the defendant did anything, other than offer friendship, to cause Dunn to make a gift to him.  There is no suggestion that the defendant invited or suggested that he should  receive anything from Dunn. In fact I accept the defendant's testimony as having been entirely candid and truthful. This is not a case where there is any suggestion of influence and certainly not undue influence that prompted this gift. Nor was the defendant in a position which would give rise to any presumption of improper influence. I am very conscious that the evidence of the defendant in a case of this kind must be weighed with considerable care.

Some courts have gone so far as to hold that the evidence of a donee should not even be taken into account and that the donee must be able to show by separate and independent evidence the intent of the donor to make the gift and the donor's mental capacity. I do not accept that there is any such hard and fast rule. In my view the donee's evidence has to be weighed with scrupulous care and must be considered in the light of all of the circumstances but if accepted can establish both the intent to make a gift and the capacity to do so.

The court is always placed in a difficult position when a case is presented by someone who is not trained in the law and particular care has to be exercised in such circumstances. In this case, clearly the physician who treated and diagnosed the ongoing condition of Dunn from 2004 to 2009 ought to have been called as a witness, as well as the solicitor who prepared the Enduring Power of Attorney in November 2008 and certified that Dunn appeared to understand the nature and effect of the Enduring Power of Attorney.  Further, some witnesses, if any were available, ought to have been called who were objective, that is, who had no interest in the outcome of the case. Both the plaintiff and the defendant have clear interests in the decision.

On the evidence I am satisfied that Dunn intended to make a gift to the defendant of the $25,000.00. While Dunn's memory and other cognitive functions were impaired to some extent I cannot find that she was so lacking in capacity that effect should not be given to the decision which I am satisfied she made. Dunn's decision appears capricious to persons adversely affected by it. However, reviewing the progress of her condition I am satisfied on the balance of probabilities that Dunn understood what she was doing, was aware of what property she then had, was well able to appreciate any claims that should be made on it, that she had no disorder or delusions of any kind that affected her decision and that she was of sound and disposing mind and memory. I am satisfied that she had full knowledge and that the gift was voluntary, deliberate, well understood and made with a full appreciation of its effect nature and consequences. Notwithstanding her reply to the plaintiff's questions on learning of the payment, I find the payment was not made to look after Dunn, it was simply made gratuitously.

A number of circumstances appear to me to lend credence to this conclusion. Dunn was described as being fiercely independent, strong willed, and resentful of interference from others, even from well-intentioned offers of assistance. She maintained control over her own affairs, including in financial matters, executing a "springing" Power of Attorney under the guidance of her own solicitor and, apparently, both of the parties to this action, who were named, notably, as joint attorneys, in November, 2008.  She was conscious of, and concerned about, her mental condition and its progression for several years. She obtained the bank draft for $25,000.00 in her own name and held it for a week before depositing it in the defendant's bank account. This indicates some degree of contemplation or reflection rather than a sudden precipitous action. I was satisfied that when she became re-acquainted with the defendant, she was a lonely and sad person and that the defendant brought her considerable warmth and happiness.  I have no doubt that she enjoyed her rides in the defendant's (Cadillac convertible) automobile on sight-seeing to places like Hawrelak Park and areas around the city and that she enjoyed the defendant's company.  She should not be denied the right to be generous and her right to deal with her property should not be interfered with so long as she had mental capacity, a clear intention to make a gift, and the means to give effect to it, which she had and she did.  In addition some weight must be given to the certificate of her solicitor given in November, 2008.  ... ...

MORON!!!
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PAULETTE GRASLEY ET AL v. ESTATE OF PATRICIA GLORIA BRUNTON was a 2009 Saskatchewan, Canada civil court case in which the Deceased's recently located Daughter and a friend of the Deceased contested her Last Will and Testament, in which she left much of her nearly MILLION DOLLAR estate to a family of Jehovah's Witnesses who had befriended her in her latter years. The insightful and wise Canadian Judge disallowed their contest, and even awarded costs to the estate.

Patricia Brunton apparently had been a person of questionable morals during the first half of her life. She reportedly left home at an early age and never again contacted her large family. At some point in life, she even changed her name, and greatly falsified her age. She was known to have delivered at least two children, both of whom she gave up for adoption, at birth, and never attempted to contact again. Around 1964, at the real age of 43, she began living with a man named Percy Poirier, who was able to take care of Brunton financially. Percy Poirier predeceased Brunton in 2005, and left her an estate valued at $934,000.00.

Sometime around 1996, when she was about 75 years-old, Patricia Brunton somehow became acquainted with Suzanne Corkery and Michael Corkery, and their two daughters, Kristin Corkery, and Caitlin Corkery -- all of whom were Jehovah's Witnesses. Despite the fact that the Jehovah's Witnesses religion has long had a six-months conversion program, which may follow a few months of preliminary recruitment, the Corkery family members were nice enough to have kept up their recuitment efforts of Patricia Brunton for eleven years, until she died in 2007. 

Pat Brunton made her first Will in 2004, after she experienced a heart attack. Percy Poirier had been named Executor, and was the recipient of the bulk of her estate. In that first Will, Bunton also devised $30,000.00 to Kristin Corkery and $30,000.00 to Caitln Corkery. Michael Corkery was named alternate Executor, and possibly alternate residual beneficiary.

That first 2004 Will was replaced by a second Will executed only 15 days before Brunton died in August 2007. The second Will appointed Kristin Corkery as Executrix, and beneficiary of specific bequests, as well as designating her the residual and ultimately the primary beneficiary. The Will also made unknown small monetary and real property bequests to a few individuals and charities. At trial, the Attorney who drew up the second Will testified that he went to the Hospital to meet with Brunton to gather the necessary info. There, that Attorney met with Pat Brunton and Suzanne Corkery. Suzanne Corkery was nice enough have already prepared a written document summarizing the testamentary wishes of Brunton, which that Attorney claimed that he confirmed item-for-item with Brunton. Additionally, Brunton further instructed that Kristin Corkery be appointed as her Power of Attorney.

Patricia Brunton's longtime real friends were upset even before they learned about her new Will. Over the years, Patricia Brunton had expressed to friends her desire for a elaborate funeral where she was well-dressed for all to view. Kristin Corkery broke the bad news to them that Brunton had requested that she be cremated (a recent JW tradition), and that there be no funeral, nor even a published obituary. It was only due to the furor of Brunton's real friends that a short service and informal viewing was conducted shortly before Brunton was cremated.
 
The 2007 Will left $30,000.00 to one female friend, a real property of unknown value to an old friend of Percy Poirier, and $10,000.00 each to the Kidney Foundation of Canada and the Regina Humane Society. Brunton's home and $100,000.00 cash were specifically left to Kristin Corkery. As residual beneficiary, Kristin Corkery also received the balance of Brunton's estate valued at over $750,000.00.
 
Percy Poirier's old friend to whom was left the real property of unknown value testified at this trial that Poirier had expressed to him his concern about the Corkerys just before he died. Poirier requested that he protect Brunton from the Corkerys designs to either convert Brunton to their Jehovah's Witness faith, or take over her life. He testified that Poirier made him promise that, "I want you to make sure that Jehovah Witnesses don't get my lands and oil wells; and that Suzanne and Kristin do not get all of Pat's money."
 
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The 1992 Supreme Court of British Columbia case, MARIE HIGGINS v. ESTATE OF MARIA WOJCIECHOWSKI, contains incomplete info regarding yet another instance of one or more Jehovah's Witnesses who had inserted themselves into the life of an elderly non-relative -- possibly in a failed attempt to be named in the Deceased's Will. In this case, the Deceased, who was in her mid-80s, left two surviving daughters -- in their early and latter 60s. Two adult children had already pre-deceased her. The older Daughter had had a good relationship with her Mother up until 1981, when her then late-70s Mother stopped attending church with her, and began to accuse older Daughter of stealing from her. Thereafter, the older Daughter saw her Mother less frequently, and allowed her younger sister to see after more of their Mother's affairs.

Shockingly, in October 1986, only a few months after she had last visited her Mother, and had taken her to have her eyes checked and to get new glasses, oldest Daughter received a letter purporting to be written on behalf of her mother by a Peggy Bolton, whom older Daughter described as "a Jehovah's Witness who was accustomed to visiting her mother". That letter asked the Daughter not to visit any more, as [daughter] upset [mother], and resulted in [mother] ending up in hospital.  Daughter was again accused of stealing from her Mother. After receiving that letter from the Jehovah's Witness writer, Daughter telephoned her Mother, who told Daughter that she didn't want to talk to her, and hung up on her. Daughter collapsed, and had to be taken to the hospital.

Mother wound up executing her last Will only a couple months before she died in October 1989. That last Will left everything to younger Daughter. While we know that the aforementioned Jehovah's Witness Recruiter was not named in that last Will, we don't know whether youngest Daughter had a relationship with the JWs.

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AUSTRALIA - INTERNATIONAL

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JEHOVAH'S WITNESS THIEVES TARGETING ELDERLY IN SWITZERLAND

SWITZERLAND v. UNIDENTIFIED JW COUPLE was a 2015-17 Swiss criminal prosecution. Beginning in 2013, an elderly Jehovah's Witness Widower, who then was in his mid-80s, and in declining health, began to be regularly "looked after" and "helped" by three fellow Jehovah's Witnesses -- an immigrant JW Couple and that JW Wife's mother. JW Husband, now age 32, is Dutch, while JW Wife, now age 30, and her mother are Polish. Those three JWs apparently eventually obtained an apartment in JW Widower's apartment building so that they could be near JW Widower. This seems to indicate that the local Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses would have been fully aware of the relationship between JW Widower and the three JW Immigrants. The local Swiss JWs may even have been relieved that they themselves did not have to see after JW Widower.

In October 2015, JW Widower required surgery and was hospitalized for one week. JW Widower gave his apartment key to JW Couple so that they could keep an eye on his apartment and access clothing and other personal items for JW Widower. After JW Widower's release from the hospital, JW Widower spent several days recuperating further at JW Couple's apartment. Media reports do not report JW Widower's prognosis at that time, but JW Widower may not have been expected to live, or to live long, because, when JW Widower returned to his own apartment, he discovered that $265,000.00 USD in CASH, $10,000.00 USD in collectible coins, and some jewelry was missing. (We will later get to why JW Widower had $265,000.00 USD in CASH at his apartment.) Interestingly, JW Widower did NOT immediately report the theft to the Police. Probably waiting for the local Body of Elders to decide how to handle the matter, it took two weeks before JW Widower called the Police.

Investigators quickly identified JW Couple as the obvious thieves. However, the three JW Immigrants were prepared. The three JWs produced a recording of JW Widower stating that the cash, coins, and jewelry were being given to them as compensation for their past, present, and future "care" for JW Widower. There was testimony that JW Widower had stated in front of JW Couple and unidentified third parties that JW Couple would also inherit the rest of his estate after his death. JW Widower also hand wrote a Power of Attorney naming JW Wife over his affairs relating to matters of housing, banking, and postal services.

JW Widower later denied making that POA. JW Widower also later denied giving JW Couple his cash, coins, and jewelry. JW Widower also later denied stating that JW Couple would inherit the balance of his estate. Interestingly, JW Couple still were convicted of theft, and even for making an unauthorized recording. JW Couple reportedly were sentenced to a mere two years in prison.

 JW Widower died prior to the criminal trial, but not before making a new WILL leaving his estate to parties not identified in media reports. JW Widower allegedly did not have any family, thus it probably can be assumed that his last confidants were  Jehovah's Witnesses who made sure that JW Widower named as his beneficiaries the WatchTower Society and/or individual Jehovah's Witnesses. However, how large was JW Widower's estate is yet to be determined.

MORE INTERESTING was what Investigators discovered while attempting to sort out this mess -- including why JW Widower was keeping so much CASH at his apartment. Swiss investigators discovered that JW Widower was himself a "thief". At some point in his past, JW Widower had embezzled several hundred thousand Swiss francs from a deceased Swiss Couple whom had entrusted JW Widower to distribute that undeclared money to their "heirs" after both persons had died. (Can't help but wonder whether that victimized couple also were Jehovah's Witnesses, and where had they obtained that large amount of cash?)

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HARELLA CAROLINE JOHNSTON and LEAH DELILAH FELSMAN v. HAREL JOSEPH HERROD, ROBERT MATTHEW HERROD, and RACHEL REBECCA HOLLINGSWORTH was a 2007-12 Supreme Court of Queensland, Australia, civil court case which involved five Jehovah's Witness siblings (all in their 50s) in a dispute over the estate of their father, Harel Robert Herrod, who died in February 1999. In addition to the ranch real estate owned by Deceased, he was also an equal partner along with his two sons in the operation of said ranch. Harel J. Herrod and Rachel Hollingsworth were Co-Executors of the estate. Notably, Harel Herrod and Robert Herrod were both JW ELDERS at their local Kingdom Hall.

In settling the estate, the two JW Elder brothers submitted an accounting to the two plaintiff sisters which indicated that the fair market value of their interests in the ranching partnership was a mere $55,000.00 each, and proposed to buy out those two interests. The sickly Harella Johnston agreed to sell her interest at the indicated $55,000.00 worth, but Leah Felsman refused. In October 1999, Leah, including the sickly Harella, initiated legal proceedings in family court, which was eventually stayed pending the decision in this later civil court proceeding. When the two JW Elder brothers learned of the first lawsuit, they repeatedly threatened to have both Leah and Harella DISFELLOWSHIPPED for having taken both their natural and spiritual brothers to worldly court. The two JW Elders even allegedly vowed that the two sisters would never see a penny from the estate. Although both Leah and Harella were devout Jehovah's Witnesses, they refused to kowtow to their JW Elder brothers. Not only did they proceed with the initial case, but they also filed this lawsuit in 2007. In 2012, the Supreme Court of of Queensland ruled that Leah and Harella had been intentionally defrauded by their siblings. The Court found that the two JW Elder brothers had falsified multiple financial records, and had lied on the witness stand regarding such. The third sister, as Co-Executor, was also found to have breached her fiduciary duty when she turned over insurance proceeds to their mother to which each sister was entitled to a third, plus conspired with the two brothers in their shenanigans. The three defendants appealed this decision and its monetary award. In December 2012, the Court of Appeal ruled in the plaintiffs favor in most regards, except that the monetary award was drastically lowered. The Court of Appeal ruled that instead of their individual share of the ranching operation being worth only $55,000.00, the court ruled that their individual share was valued at $136,267.00. To that was added $8,962.00 from the insurance proceeds, making $145,229.00. The court then added interest of$128,623.00, for a total award of $273,851.00 to each sister.

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MELODY SANDERSON v. ESTATE OF JOHN MADDISON was a 2003-04 Australia Will contest which may not be fully appreciated unless the reader has a Jehovah's Witness background. When Melody Sanderson initiated this Will contest in January 2003, she was an 81 year-old married "Bethelite" living at the WatchTower Society's Sydney, Australia HQ, along with her husband, Thomas Sanderson. The married couple began to "full-time pioneer" in 1954, and in the latter 1950s, they attended the WatchTower Bible School of Gilead in the United States. (Founded in 1942, the original name was "Watchtower Bible College of Gilead" in the WatchTower Cult's routine modus operandi of exaggeration. In 1947/48, the WatchTower Cult was forced to change "College" to "School"because "Gilead" did not meet the New York Department of Education's standards for use of the label, "College".) From the late 1950s until 1999, the Sandersons served as WatchTower Society missionaries in India. They then returned to live and work their final years at WatchTower Australia HQ.

After her brother died in 2002, and left his entire $453,000.00 estate to the University of Melbourne, Melody Sanderson initiated a contest of her brother's Will under the legal theory that her brother had assumed a legal obligation or responsibility for her proper maintenance and support, and that since no such provision had been made in his 1963 Will, then it was up to the courts to "carve" such provision from his estate.

Melody testified that over the decades that she and her brother had kept in contact via letters, and that when Thomas and she visited Australia, that "if they were in Melbourne", she would visit with her brother and exchange gifts. (The ony two visits were probably in 1984 and 1990, when John gave the couple $500.00 on each visit.) After having returned from India to live at WatchTower HQ in Sydney, they had visited John in Melbourne "two or three times". Melody testified that her relationship with her brother was "close" throughout their lives. "He had friends, many friends, but nobody as close as what I was to my brother,"claimed Melody. Melody further claimed that "[John] told me that he was going to provide for me in his Will, since he was wealthy and my husband and I were not. ... Don't worry, I'll take care of you."

John and Melody's father and mother had died in 1931 and 1934, when John was eleven and fourteen, and when Melody was eight and eleven. Melody thereafter lived with an Aunt there in Hamilton, while John was sent to live with another Aunt in Brisbane. It is not known when or how Melody came to be a Jehovah's Witness, but the JWs were especially hated in Australia from the late 1930s until the 1950s, and were even "banned" for several months during WW2. During WW2, John had served in the RAAF, and suffered injuries which continued to pester him for the rest of his life. Although Melody attempted to make it seem that John and she had been close prior to the Sanderson's going to the United States, and then to India, in the latter 1950s, she testified that John's only marriage had occurred in 1961, when she lived in India, rather than when that only marriage did occur -- in 1950. Melody also thought that John had attended and graduated from the University of Melbourne after WW2, when he had actually graduated from the University of Sydney.

With respect to their "needy" financial situation, 81 year-old Melody Sanderson testified that Thomas and she received free room and board at WatchTower HQ, plus $260.00 monthly allowance. They also received a $360.00 monthly pension. Melody Sanderson deposed, "We have no other security for our future. My husband and I receive free accommodation in return for our religious work, but we have no savings with which to provide for ourselves in the event of our heath failing, or our having to find our own accommodation, or should either or both of us need to enter supported accommodation. ... If we fall illthe Watch Tower Society is under no legal obligation to look after us but in practice it would look after us if we want. There is an infirmary at the complex and some nurses there also. However the view of my husband and I is that if we could not work we would voluntarily leave the complex and would not want to be supported by the Watch Tower Society. In that event we would like provision towards purchase of a unit elsewhere. We do not desire an ongoing payment of income from the estate as it would affect our pension, which carries certain benefits such as free travel and subsidised medicine."

Interestingly, although the Sanderson's had sworn a life of poverty as WatchTower Missionaries and Bethelites, the Sandersons somehow managed to purchase a brand new 1999 Toyota Camry when they returned to Australia in 1999, and in 2004, they had $45,000.00 in the bank. 

John Maddison's Will was executed in 1963. A friend who had worked for Managing Director John Maddison at Siemens from 1956 until John resigned in 1967 was named as Executor in the 1963 Will. He deposed that he did not know that John even had a sister until after John's death.

A very close female friend of John's since 1967 testified that she knew of Melody, and that John had spoken of the Sanderson's visits, and that John had given her Melody's contact info in case of an emergency, but that she had never met nor spoken to Melody until after John's death.

Needless to say, the Court ruled that the childless Sandersons had no dire need for financial support, and that there was zero evidence that John Maddison had assumed any legal obligation or responsibility for Melody Sanderson's maintenance and support. Most readers should suspect by now who it was that really wanted to eventually get its hands on John Maddison's $453,000.00 estate.

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VICTORIA v. MARIA ANGELINA STALLONE and DOMENIC ANTHONY NATALE was a 2008-11 Australia MURDER-FOR-HIRE criminal prosecution which aptly demonstrates that the fear of being disinherited by an elderly JEHOVAH'S WITNESS PARENT who may devise their estate to the WATCHTOWER SOCIETY, or even make a gift of a significant portion of their assets prior to their death, is a fear shared INTERNATIONALLY by children of Jehovah's Witness Parents -- by both children whom are JWs themselves, and by children whom are themselves not JWs.

In this case, the JW Parent was 82 year-old Dominico Natale, and in September 2006, the oldest two of his four children, Domenic A. Natale, age 46, and Maria A. Stallone, age 44, attempted to hire a "hit man" to kill their JW Father, although the "hitman" turned out to be an undercover police officer. Siblings, Desapina Dimovski, age 40, and Franka Biasizzo, age 39, allegedly were told of the plot, but did not participate, although Maria spent the day of the "hit" with one of those sisters in order to establish an alibi for herself. Arrested in September 2006, the brother and sister cut a deal with the Prosecutor in September 2008 to plead"Guilty" to "incitement to murder". Each defendant was ultimately given the typically Australian light sentence of 9 years in prison, with a 6 year non-parole period. On appeal to the Supreme Court of Victoria, the panel of Judges cut the sentence to even a lessor prison term -- 7/4, holding that the trial court judge had not given sufficient weight to ALL the circumstances -- BOTH past and present. What were those circumstances?

Although widely reported by the Australia media, few if any of the media articles about this case captured the real essence of what had occurred. "I accept that your father was not in any way a good, kind or caring father to either you or your siblings. Nor a good kind or caring husband to your mother. ... ... The family home was not a pleasant environment and it is said that your father beat your mother regularly and also the children of the marriage prior to his leaving the family home. He disputed paternity of all four children, was exceedingly jealous of his wife and was clearly a difficult, irascible man who appeared to have no great love for either his children or his wife. ... ... Your father's behaviour towards you as his children was reprehensible", stated the mostly unsympathetic female trial court Judge to the two defendants, whose own marriages and adult lives had unsurprisingly mirrored that of their despised JW Father.

In 1962, Dominico Natale and his pregnant Wife had immigrated to Australia from Italy. In 1965, Dominico Natale and Wife had purchased the family's home in North Fitzroy. In 1974, a second house was purchased in Preston. In 1984, Dominico Natale returned to Italy -- by himself. In 1990, Dominico Natale returned to Australia, and moved back in with his Wife. INTERESTINGLY, shortly thereafter, his Wife developed a brain tumor. After her surgery, Wife was in a coma for months. After coming out of the coma, Wife was bedridden and eventually lost her ability to speak. Dominico Natale refused to do anything to care for his invalid Wife -- leaving those duties to the four adult children. In November 2003, Dominico Natale had unknown type surgery, and immediately thereafter went to live with a niece named Maria Antoinetta Ferraro, and her daughter, who lived in Hillside (fellow JWs as well as relatives???), and whom Dominico Natale's four children alleged were unduly influencing Dominico Natale's financial decisions.

DOMINICO NATALE v. FOUR CHILDREN. In December 2004, Dominico Natale began to demand that the divorced Maria Stallone move out of the Preston property, where she had been living since 1990. In May 2005, Wife-Mother died intestate, and litigation over her estate ensued between Dominico Natale and his four estranged children. In July 2006, that litigation was settled by consent with Dominico Natale receiving the Preston property entirely, and the four children jointly receiving half interest in the North Fitzroy property, along with their Father's half interest. (Media reports valued both properties combined as worth $800,000.00 AUD in 2006.)

The Preston property was scheduled to be sold in September 2006 by Dominico Natale in order to have money to pay the outstanding balance on Maria Stallone and her ex-husband's farm property which had been foreclosed and sold, and on which Dominico Natale (surprisingly and generously) had given the Preston property as collateral. The North Fitzroy property was also scheduled to be sold in October 2006 in order to settle up the partnership between Dominico Natale and his estranged children.

The MURDER-FOR-HIRE plot was hatched supposedly to stop the sale of the family home in North Fitzroy, and supposedly to stop Dominico Natale from giving or devising the remaining proceeds from the sale of the Preston property, and his other assets, to either Maria Antoinetta Ferraro, or to Ferraro's daughter, or to the WATCHTOWER SOCIETY OF AUSTRALIA.

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SALAS v. MAFNAS was an extremely interesting 2007-2010 Supreme Court of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands case for which many questions remain unanswered -- thus the direct link for those readers who wish to research this case. First, this lawsuit resulted from an extremely QUICKand extremely LARGE insurance settlement, which itself resulted from a "hotel swimming pool accident", where typically, the actual "liability" of the Hotel is often highly questionable.

On NOVEMBER 10, 2001Joaquin C. Mafnas suffered a severe spinal cord injury in the swimming pool of the Mariana Resort Hotel, which left Joaquin Mafnas a quadraplegic, and resulted in his death in February 2003. TWO DAYS after the accident, Joaquin Mafnas somehow executed a "general power of attorney", which authorized his brother Ramon C. Mafnas, an influential Island businessman and politician (but NOT an attorney), to act as Joaquin�s "attorney-in-fact". By only JANUARY 28, 2002, the Mafnas family and the local Hotel and its Insurance Companies had signed a settlement agreement totaling $4,442,443.00.

This lawsuit was brought by the Guardian ad Litem of Joaquin Mafnas's two surviving minor sons, and it contested a $650,000.00 "gift" made to Ramon Mafnas by Joaquin Mafnas out of the settlement proceeds, as well as approximately $150,000.00 in multiple gifts also made by Ramon Mafnas out of settlement proceeds. The very first of those "gifts" was a $30,000.00 donation to "Jehovah's Witness Congregation". Both the trial and appellate courts ruled in Ramon Mafnas's favor, and the Administrator of the Supreme Court of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands even issued a Press Release regarding the decision, which I find to have less than an impartial tone. Can someone please let us know which parties, or other actors, as well as which "witnesses", in this lawsuit are affiliated with the JWs?

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ABOROUGH OF REDBRIDGE v. JEHOVAH'S WITNESS ELDER CARE PROVIDERS was a series of 2014 legal proceedings brought by a local municipality in Great Britain's Court of Protection in order to protect the welfare of a 94 year-old frail and very sickly African-British retired NHS midwife ("G") whose home and personal care had been taken over by a Jehovah's Witness Couple who had moved into her home, and who had isolated "G" from everyone and everything from her past. "G" had had no children, never married, and had no other family in Great Britain.
 
Jehovah's Witness Female, who was some kind of "nurse" who had illegally overstayed a visitor's visa in 2003, moved into "G's" home in November 2011 to provide 24-hour care for "G" in exchange for free room and board. JW Female was also of African-Caribbean descent as was "G". JW Male, who did not speak English, showed up a few weeks later to marry JW Female. Soon thereafter, JW Couple began imposing their will onto "G". All during 2013, various persons, including "G's" social worker, friends, neighbors, a doctor, and even an attorney, began to express their concerns for "G's" welfare to various local government agencies.
 
Amongst a plethora of concerns, including instances of physical abuse and repeated verbal abuse, were concerns regarding "G's" religious life which were expressed by "G's" pastor and fellow church members. "G" was a life-long Seventh Day Adventist, and she had regularly attended her local SDA Church up until her incontinence made such impractical due to the inaccessible location of the restroom in that SDA church. Unfortunately, JW Female had been recommended to "G" as a fulltime care provider by one of "G's" Seventh Day Adventists congregants who herself, along with other SDA members, had been providing supplementary care for "G". However, once JW Couple moved in, JW Couple started taking "G" to meetings at a local Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses every Tuesday evening and on Sunday. JW Couple became adversarial with "G's" visiting SDA friends, with whom they apparently argued over religious doctrine. JW Couple apparently told "G's" fellow SDA Church members that they were no longer welcome to visit "G" unless they agreed not to criticize JW Couple or their religious beliefs and practices.
 
In September 2013, a local attorney reported to Social Services that JW Couple had arranged for him to meet with them and "G" at "G's" home, in July and August. There, Attorney had been requested to draw up a new WILL for "G" to replace her existing WILL, which devised most of her estate to her SDA Church. JW Couple claimed to Attorney that "G" had been ostracized by her former church and its members. JW Couple even had given "G" a pre-prepared handwritten note for "G" to give to the Attorney which instructed him to draw the new WILL such that all of "G's" estate was devised to JW Couple. Attorney was also instructed to draw up a POWER OF ATTORNEY naming JW Female as such for "G". Attorney immediately saw through the SCAM, and did not complete a new WILL.
 
It took the British legal system forever to bring legal relief to "G". First, in February 2014, "G" was declared to NOT have the legal capacity to make decisions concerning (i) litigation, (ii) financial matters, (iii) contact with others and (iv) her residence and the people who reside with her.
 
On March 13, 2014, JW Couple took "G" to the Ilford Town Hall, where "G" was coerced to assist JW Couple in a public protest intended to force a halt to these legal proceedings. On March 18 and 19, JW Couple took "G" to the Houses of Parliament where the Select Committee was receiving evidence on the function of the Court of Protection. While at Parliament, "G" spoke with one or more MPs, plus signed a petition, asking the Government to intervene in these ongoing legal proceedings. Thereafter, in May 2014, "G" was further declared by the Court of Protection to NOT have the legal capacity to make decisions in relation to her contact with the news media. 
Notwithstanding the decision of the court to restrict publicity and the agreement between [JW Female] and [JW Male] and the local authority, [JW Female] arranged a protest or demonstration outside Ilford Town Hall on March 2014 to which she took G. This action was so obviously contrary to G's well-being that members of the public became concerned for her physical welfare, particularly that she was cold and that her general health would be compromised by being outside for so long. It is a matter of fact that she was being made a spectacle of; as she was the focus of [JW Female's] very public complaint. [JW Female] had placed a scarf over her own face and over G's [face] in what seems to have been an attempt to circumvent the reporting restrictions I had put in place to protect G's privacy as an old, vulnerable lady. A passer by, by chance a police-officer, felt it necessary to intervene. The court has now had the opportunity to hear his evidence. An ambulance was called to assist G.
Finally, in July 2014, JW Couple were court-ordered to move out of "G's" home. The POWER OF ATTORNEY, which had been filed, was revoked. The court further ordered JW Couple to have no further contact with "G".

GUESS WHICH PARTIES THE LIBERAL BRITISH MEDIA "CHAMPIONED" AND WHICH PARTIES THE LIBERAL BRITISH MEDIA VILIFED WHILE ALL THIS MESS WAS ONGOING!!! Readers are invited to read the multiple articles published by the Daily Mail and other British rags during the months of court proceedings in which officials from the Borough of Redbridge are portrayed as villains and the Jehovah's Witness Illegal Immigrants are portrayed as heros. The same bunch of British rags are currently (Fall 2014) doing the exact same thing with another British JW Couple in the news.

 
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