Wednesday, April 11, 2012
The Unseen Consquences of Scams on the Elderly
The house belong to some people in my Neighborhood The mother ,father and 2 older sons lived there at one time . The father was a Retired steel worker and WWI veteran and both sons served in WWII .
Both sons worked for the government one a mailman Lenny was a mailman but also a very ingenious inventor of items who had several successful patents besides ones he got ripped off on. He made it big time with a toilet stopper which helped stop toilet leaks . But the money he made would all be lost in a Nigerian Scam. It all started shortly after his brother Melvin died of a heart attack and father Ruby died shortly after His son then his mother had a severe stroke. Besides the money he made on patents he also had the money from 2 Life Insurance policy's some where around $700,000.00 we estimate.
But Lenny with all his smarts was not smart about his money. He lost it several different ways.
He invested in the Pequia Silver Mine in Eastern Pa. and lost money . He gave $50,000.00 to a man who was going to open a nursing home and take care of his mom and took the money and ran with it. He invested in an old school in Homestead Pa. they where going to turn into a trade school and it went in the shiter as well. He paid $10,000 for new concrete side walks and steps and they took out the concrete and never came back.
Then one day thru the mail in early 80's he receives a letter from Nigeria from a government official who is trying to get millions in dollars money out of Nigeria and Lenny would become rich by helping get the money out of the country. He fell for it hook line and sinker.By this time he had become a hoarder and recluse after his mother died and the home fell into disrepair .He would come and get diner off my parents occasionally but he stunk so badly from not washing he slowly wore out the invite from my parents and everyone else who knew him. All the while talking about this scheme to get all this money. Finally one day while stopping to visit my parents I see 2 guys standing on Lenny's porch a few doors up the street and around corner from my parents. I stop and ask who they are as Lenny was usually not coming to the door any more . It ends up there detectives from Pittsburgh Police Dept. neighbors where worried about Lenny and that he was being scammed. The police come and talk to Lenny several times but he keeps sending the schemers money who insist the police are wrong and trying to rip him off. He insists he got a personnel call from president of Nigeria. and he was going to get his pay day all the while the house filing with junk and falling apart . Then one day his friend Bob comes over and gets my dad . Lenny had fallen and broke his hip Bob needed help convincing Lenny to go to the hospital after trying for several days. My dad calls 911 and medics arrive it takes them 20 minutes to find and rescue Lenny in his house full of junk to get him to VA Hospital. It is finally after he is on his death bed he realizes he has been ripped off after a local TV reporter talks to him and shows him all the people who had been ripped off by these same scammers.
Lenny would never come home he died of heart failure at the Va. There were 4 different mortgages taken out on the home to pay these scammers off . No single bank wanted to take charge the home sat several years finally a contractor took on the task of cleaning the home and it took 9 -30 yard dumpsters to clean everything out. There was rumors of treasure in the house because
all the collector plates and coins and everything else his parents and brother had collected and since they had been thru the depression that they may have hidden money in the house. But it had been sold and sent to the scammers as well. All the contractors found was rubbish and receipts for items sold. Finally the home was demolished it had fallen into such disrepair and had become a fire hazard . The home is gone as are all the memory's and its now a city lot.There where some distant cousins but they could not get thru to Lenny either
so they lost contact with him as well.
An entire family and its legacy destroyed over greed and stupidity. The scammers laughing all the way to the bank.
Lenny is just one of the many who fall prey to these criminals who are so convincing they ensnare and poison everything they touch. Even Lenny's friend a real estate agent got ensnared by them as well.
There is no convincing people they have been scammed until they loose everything these criminals are so god. That's why criminal codes and efforts are needed to be strengthened to stop this most personnel of crimes.
Posted by Nick Markowitz Jr. at 9:25 PM