Tag Archives: Gail R Proctor

Crying “Wolf”, and the Documents That Called Her Bluff

 

Initially, it seemed like a cut-and-dry case of a woman veteran experiencing an unthinkable act of hatred by the hands of a horrible patron. The story of Dayna Morales, a gay former Marine and New Jersey restaurant worker, quickly spread on social media and in the news as people were simultaneously appalled and quick to believe her story. As the STORY goes, a customer allegedly refused to give her a money tip but gave her a tip about the reason why. Morales put a picture of the receipt, with the written “tip”, up on the internet. As sympathetic people rallied around her with their words and money, she raised the stakes a notch by claiming she was going to give a portion of the money she was receiving to the Wounded Warriors Project.

But wait! Days later, the family came forward to NBC4 to produce their copy of the receipt that showed that a money tip had been left for Morales. Although the story UPDATE reports that the family said it “…shows they paid a tip and didn’t write any such note”, their receipt wouldn’t show the note part since it is not a carbon copy of the merchant copy. The family showed their credit card statement which showed the total charge, which included a tip. When called to the carpet by the news station, the restaurant manager and owner wouldn’t produce the receipt that would have shown what got written.

But wait! More days went by, and an investigation ensued. That’s when things got really interesting. A source in the Pentagon confirmed that she had been dishonorably discharged from the Marines. A previous co-worker of Morales was contacted, and reported that she had suddenly quit her job at some point after having told co-workers that she had brain cancer. Apparently, the chic thing to do these days is to use a real or imagined medical ailment in order to gain sympathy and monetary benefit. No one thought that this sort of thing was only going on in the DMV area, but the similarities between this story and the Proctor/Jareaux story in Maryland are striking.

Documents tell stories, and the ones that are proven to be false and fabricated tell an even bigger story. People tell lies for reasons. Some are better at the game than others. Great job to the family that called this woman out on her lies. Morales is now being quiet. With all eyes on her now, her silence is telling a story also.

MjAxMy05OTI2YTVjZTkwZjdjNDU5Card can be found at the following location:

 

 

 

 

We Would All Hide Assets And Ride Off Into the Sunset of Retirement

That’s what the U.S. Attorney said to the jury for the trial in Federal court of a woman charged with committing Social Security and Bankruptcy fraud. What follows is a writeup of a woman who was caught doing the very things that I’ve seen happen in a bankruptcy case that I am involved in. I have been wondering what the possible penalties are for people who actually get caught and charged, and the story of Sheryl Bruner provides some guidance.

Poor Bruner. An upstanding woman who was receiving disability pay and trying to be a good citizen, but whom was overwhelmed with her bills and debts. She filed for bankruptcy protection to try to get that “Fresh Start” that all Americans are entitled to seek. Only, Bruner wasn’t the poor soul that she painted herself to be in her bankruptcy petition.

I’ll let you read the linked story found on Fraud of the Day’s website, found HERE, to read Larry’s take on the story. She was running companies, lying on her Social Security recertification statements about her activities, and concealing assets such as a TD Ameritrade account; a stash of money in her house; bank accounts not on schedules, assets not disclosed, etc. Ah, so people DO get charged with bankruptcy fraud for doing those things! When I read about her car, paid for in cash, I almost thought I was experiencing dejavu! When I read that she thought she didn’t have to disclose things about her assets and activities that were involved with her LLC, I knew it was dejavu.

Gotta love when someone tries to throw their attorney under the bus by saying that they did something or filed something that they weren’t aware of (which is malpractice). Gotta love even more the prosecuting attorney who plays an audio tape of the debtor’s statement in their meeting of creditors that confirms what all debtors are asked: did you see, read and sign your petition? YES, she did. And no Sheryl, it doesn’t work to try to allege that your lawyers were shady if you didn’t complain to what is known here in Maryland as the Attorney Grievance Commission. Her lawyer, who tried to “defend” his client by essentially defaming her bankruptcy counsel, said that he was doing so because of his obligation to his client. The U.S. District Judge that heard the case was not convinced, reporting that she was going to investigate the matter and hold the defense attorney accountable for his actions.

Apparently, Ms. Bruner thought she could try to hide behind the fabricated actions of someone else in order to try to cast doubt regarding what were HER fraudulent actions. Pay attention: it is the debtor’s responsibility to ensure that the information contained on the bankruptcy petition is correct prior to the attorney uploading it to the Federal docket. The attorney only knows what their client tells them, which is why they are supposed to get the statements from the client that shows the truth. If a client decides to withhold info from their lawyer, then it is the CLIENT who is committing fraud. Doesn’t matter if you amend your schedules later to add things because you found out that questions were being asked. That’s called Trying to Feign Compliance After Your Crime. The jury didn’t buy it, and it took about two hours for them to convict her. You can read HERE for another perspective about this story.

The U.S. Attorney said that the woman “never misses an opportunity to game the system”. Unfortunate that she had to put her retirement and freedom at risk by being so greedy. More unfortunate that she, like others, think they can continue to use that same system to try to get them out of the trouble resulting from that gaming/fraud. Larry wrote “Compulsive lying got this fraudster into a heap of trouble that will most certainly give her plenty of time behind bars to work on breaking her bad habit.” In my experience with someone with similar tendencies, some habits can’t be broken. Especially if the person has no remorse, and believes that they only thing “wrong” is that they got caught.

For those that asked for information regarding the fraud charges Bruner faced, here is the indictment:

Download (PDF, 298KB)

And here is more about her seized money, and what she tried to do with it:

Download (PDF, 223KB)

 

You can find more about her various filings in her defense of the charges by doing an internet search. You will see them all.

It is STILL the case that…

We can all help one another stop bankruptcy fraud

Where There Is Smoke There Is Fire

The military depends on the honesty and integrity of its’ servicemembers, and as it has been written on this site, it is expected.  “I tried to correct my fraud, so I’m innocent of it.” This was essentially the claim of William Morronne, Jr. thanks to his attorneys, and what follows is a troubling story for several reasons.  Apparently, the guy was originally in the Army over 20 years ago as HIMSELF, but got kicked out dishonorably.  Deciding that he should be in the Army regardless of being dishonorably discharged, he took the birth certificate and credentials of his brother and used them in order to enlist in the Army under his brother’s name.  And there he stayed, for 25 years, jumping out of airplanes, getting paid, getting married, buying cars, getting hurt, etc.  I can’t tell from the story what it was that ended up getting this guy caught.  Was it the IRS letters sent to the brother’s name asking him why he didn’t declare the income on his taxes, or was it triggered by him perhaps filing for disability pay for the bad back and PTSD he claims he got as a result of serving (that would be made payable to, who, his brother)?  One has to wonder if the PTSD is real, since so much else wasn’t?

This is a wild story, for sure.  I mean, I don’t think I’d take kindly to learning that someone took my identity and decided to profit financially from it by getting money from the Federal government that technically didn’t belong to either of us.  The REAL Gerald (that is William’s fake identity of his real brother) had his name and social security number used by his brother in order to get what he felt was being withheld from him from the service, I guess. William apparently did this (false statements and fraud) because he couldn’t get back into the Army by any other means.  I’m not sure where this comes from, that gross sense of entitlement that seems to be making it to the headlines more and more (check out yesterday’s Washington Post front pager on the epidemic of “military brass, behaving badly”  and generally thinking that they are above the rules and laws.  I guess some people need to be burned before they realize that hot stoves shouldn’t be touched.

William’s attorneys are an interesting bunch.  They asserted that their client was not guilty, because he TRIED to correct the situation but that the Army wouldn’t let him.  Wait!  Did they really try to use a defense of “I told the Army that I joined fraudulently using my brother’s name, and asked them to correct my fraud, but since they didn’t do it like I asked them, I shouldn’t be held accountable?”  Huh?  That was MY sentence written, not a quote from any story, but here is one that was written: ” Morrone’s lawyers contended that he tried several times through his career to get his identification corrected, but the Army never followed through.”  Never followed through?  THAT is the problem.  That an attorney would try to deflect the blame for the actions of their client onto another party, is appaling.  William valiantly tried to have the Army change his credentials over to his real ones to somehow make it right?  William, you were kicked out for what you did prior, which were YOUR actions.  There wasn’t supposed to be any “going back”.  Maybe the legal system would make things seem more like actual justice if they encouraged the same thing as written on the back of many parking tickets: you can “admit”, “deny”, or “admit with explanation”.  When people just flat out lie about things that are easily proveable, it clogs the system, fattens the pockets of unscrupulous attorneys (of which many judges used to be), and adds to the distrust that citizens have of it.

He also got caught committing BAH fraud for failing to disclose that his wife no longer lived with him (they divorced).  As soon as you no longer have the person residing with you, regardless of whether or not you ever divorce, you are supposed to notify command in writing of the change with the appropriate form. More HERE.  He is paying that back, according to the story.

Another writeup of the story can be found by clicking HERE.

admit no evil

Throwing Stones From Glass Houses

It’s all over the news: Virginia’s ex-Governor, Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen have been indicted by the US Attorney’s office on multiple counts including failing to disclose gifts and loans as required by law.  This man, who was once thought to have a squeaky clean enough image that made him a name thrown around as a possible candidate for the 2016 Presidential election, is now having to come up with a defense for having made false statements and flat-out disobeying clear government rules.

As it often happens, people underestimate others.  As it also often happens, people don’t push the fast-forward button down long enough to do an assessment of what can possibly happen if they go down the path in which they have decided to travel.  So caught up in their immediate goal are they, that they often times don’t think of how the decisions they are making today can come right back and bite them in the rear tomorrow.  

I don’t think that Bob McDonnell thought that he had anything to worry about with his old chef, Mr. Schneider.  Apparently, Mr. Schneider, who was hired to be the chef at the Governor’s mansion, had his eyes and ears so open that he could have qualified as an NSA data collection source.  He wasn’t the stupid chef in the kitchen that people may have thought he was.  In fact, he was so observant of how people in the mansion were treating others, that he must have understood the concept that what you see someone doing, shows you what they are capable of doing.  You can read the recent story written about him HERE.  He took photos of things he saw and experienced, likely thinking that he may need them in case anyone started throwing stones at him.  A quote from the linked article has him saying, “If they ever come after me, I’m going to sing like a canary.”

He didn’t have to wait long for those stones, and oh what a melody he is singing.

Not music to the McDonnell’s ears, I can well imagine, but a nice tune for the US Attorney.  McDonnell wasn’t exactly being discreet about his illegal activities either.  A picture on Facebook of him holding a bottle of a supplement that his donor/friend (Star Scientific ex-exec Jonnie Williams, Sr) wanted him to help launch via the easy road to riches. (Note to self Bob, when your “friend” is trying to drag you along an unsavory path, you might want to reconsider the use of the word).  Then there’s the Rolex watch that his donor-buddy bought that Bob failed to report. (Another note Bob: if the chef is right and you really are happy with Prego, tell your wife to get you a Timex that you wouldn’t have had to disclose at all).  Finally, but not really since there is plenty more for you to read in the linked stories, is the daughter’s wedding food.  McDonnell, when asked, insisted that his daughter had handled everything about that now-famous wedding spread.  In fact, Daddy Warbucks (aka Jonnie Williams) forked over $15k for that wedding dinner.  The backpeddling began when a contract for the catering surfaced bearing the Governor’s signature and handwritten notes along the border.  Oh, and then there was the deposit check also signed by the Governor.  (Beep beep! That’s the sound of the bus that Bob tried to throw his daughter under.)

Bomp Bomp!  And that is the sound of the tractor trailer that the chef was driving.  People will ultimately think what they will about the folks on either side of this fiasco.  I suspect that neither party thought it would go as far as it has.  People who know MY story, know why this particular story resonates with me as it does.  There are, after all, many similarities.  How cute! Their real estate company was called MoBo (combination of their names). The moral I see in the story of the Governor and the chef is this: One should not throw stones when they live in glass houses.  You definitely shouldn’t throw them if you live in the Governor’s mansion and have a lot to lose.  Some have previously commented that my business partner had a great deal to lose by putting herself and her business and dealings “out there” in the way that she has in all sorts of public legal and government forums.  Glass house.  And she certainly threw a lot of stones from it.

I like the chef’s perspective.  I like how he protected himself, and I like how he (like me) has saved a little sumthin-sumthin in case he needs it for the future.  He said, “He plans on keeping it private—unless Virginia comes after him again.”  With a book in the future plans, perhaps he will get a Rolex of his own when all is said and done.  For now, it sounds like he is doing okay.  Bob and Maureen are another matter, as well as Ken Cuccinelli, the attorney who was willing to put himself in the middle of the mess that ultimately cast a disparaging light on who HE was.  The Virginia voters didn’t like it.  And by the way, Mo, not cool about the false statements to investigators about making payments on a loan or that you signed paperwork for one.  You didn’t know they can access your emails from years ago?  You win points for dressing your husband, and for that Rolex.  As the saying goes, he looks “casket sharp”. 

For you lawyers, the indictment can be found HERE

stones

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2014/01/23/bob-mcdonnell-indicted-corruption-campaign-finance-editorials-debates/4806865/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/bob-mcdonnell-was-a-man-in-denial-about-legal-risks-of-taking-gifts/2014/01/22/9261eb3a-83aa-11e3-8099-9181471f7aaf_story.html

 http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-07/chef-skewers-virginia-governor-and-attorney-general.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/donor-bought-rolex-watch-for-virginia-gov-mcdonnell-people-familiar-with-gift-say/2013/06/25/72ddffa2-ddd2-11e2-b197-f248b21f94c4_story.html

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/112876/bob-mcdonnells-wedding-scandal-deeps-and-2016-hopes-vanish#