SE Texas Record

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Ohio Judge Set to Rule on Forlorn Husband's Racketeering Lawsuit

By David Yates | Aug 6, 2019


OHIO - Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Civil Judge Sherrie Miday is scheduled to decide this week whether to dismiss a retired  surgeon’s complaint against a construction company, 8 lawyers, his estranged daughter and a CPA regarding the guardianization of his 85  year old wife of sixty years.

Dr.  Mehdi Saghafi, 88, filed the complaint in the Cuyahoga County Court of  Common Pleas under the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970 after he was  forced to divorce Fourough Bakhtiar Saghafi by a court appointed  guardian, according to a press release.

“Given  their advanced ages and Mrs. Saghafi’s advanced, progressive dementia,  filing an action for divorce was not in the best interests of either  party, and there existed no reasonable, rationale or good faith basis  for filing the Divorce Action,”wrote Dr. Saghafi’s attorney Charles  Longo in the opening pleading.

Defendants  include the Plaintiff's guardian daughter Jaleh Saghafi Presutto,  Custom Contractor C. Francis Builders and Accountant Stephen Sartchev.

Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Spokesman Darren Toms declined to comment on the litigation.

As recently as 2013, Dr. and Mrs. Saghafi amassed marital assets in excess of $8,000,000, according to court records.

The  forlorn, aging husband and two of his adult sons are licensed medical  doctors but they were not appointed guardian of their family’s  matriarch. Instead, the court assigned guardian is Jaleh Saghafi  Presutto and court records allege the estranged daughter is “a convicted  felon having plead guilty on or about May 16, 2018 to various crimes  involving forgery and dishonesty.”

Once  appointed by a Judge, a guardian of a senior citizen, such as Fourough  Bakhtiar Saghafi, is empowered to liquidate their assets, sedate the  individual with physician-prescribed psychotropic drugs, to deny choice  of food, marital status, health insurance, medical care  and even ban  visits with friends and loved ones.

“The  Defendants had, and continue to have, the common purpose of profiting  from and receiving payments from and through the Guardianship," Mr.  Longo stated.

 Defendants  claim, however, that the Plaintiff father failed to allege facts that  could support a collateral attack on prior judgments.

“Every  single alleged act of fraud, theft, conversion or other wrongful  conduct or act — including the underlying and predicate wrongful acts  required to support the conspiracy and RICO claims — requires the  judgments and orders of the Lorain County Probate Court and Cuyahoga  County Domestic Relations Court to be void,” wrote Defendant’s Attorney  Harry Cornett of the Tucker Ellis law firm in the Defendants’ Aug. 2  Motion to Dismiss. “Otherwise, the transfers of funds from Plaintiffs to  support [Fourough] Bakhtiar were legal transfers.”

The  Plaintiff's lawsuit claims spending on the part of the guardian have  been frivolous and unnecessary and that prior court judgments were  obtained without jurisdiction, having been unlawfully issued in alleged  sham proceedings.

Lorain County Probate Judge James Walther, who presided over some of the underlying proceedings, declined to comment.

Dr.  Saghafi’s complaint comes at a time that the Senate Judiciary Committee  in Washington, D.C. under the direction of Republican Senator Lindsey  Graham of South Carolina is considering a proposed law called the  Guardianship Accountability Act that would overhaul guardianship  proceedings involving the elderly and people with disabilities across  the country.

Pennsylvania  Senator Bob Casey, ranking member of the Senate Committee on Aging, and  Maine Senator Susan Collins, chairman of the Senate Committee on Aging,  introduced the bipartisan bill last year. “Without  proper oversight, unscrupulous guardians can abuse these legal  relationships and exploit the individuals they are supposed to protect,”  wrote Collins and Casey in a joint statement online. According  to the National Center for State Courts, some 1.3 million adults are  guesstimated to be under the care of a family or professional guardian  who control roughly $50 billion of their assets. 

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