Justice For Lillie: Civil Rights Fund

Update posted by Teresa Kennedy On Jan 21, 2021


Today, I was looking for a certain picture of my aunt and found this - my dear mentor, historical icon and yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch, advocating for Aunt Lillie in 2017. My mother and I are Tao's biographers.

Tao was a lifelong activist who had marched with both Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I knew her twelve years. We spent a decade traveling together doing 66 events spanning 10 countries, including events at the United Nations, Pentagon and World Government Summit in Dubai. She passed away in 2020 but it looks like she's still advocating for elder rights from the beyond!

As a very active senior, Tao was so upset about the guardianship abuse that was happening to my aunt and other elders. She couldn't believe that, in America, seniors could be abducted, isolated and exploited for money and that the courts were facilitating it. A French Resistance fighter in WWII, Tao likened the exploitation to Nazi Germany.

I had forgotten about this picture and it was like Tao led me to it. COVID-19 is making this crime easier to commit. Help us seek justice for Aunt Lillie and elevate this issue so that it doesn't happen to other seniors and families. There are two ways to help:

1. Donate to the Justice For Lillie: Civil Rights Fund.

2. Take a picture of yourself with a sign like this and share to your network via email and social media. Below is a sample sign. Be sure to include #JusticeForLillie and www.elderdignity.org. Our intention is to increase public awareness, attract national media attention and drive support for the Civil Rights Fund.

Criminal like to hide in the dark and as such the predatory guardians and attorneys operate behind the cloak of closed hearings, sealed records and no judicial oversight. Let's shine a very bright light on their actions and this vile injustice.

This was not the first time Tao advocated in this way. Four years earlier, we joined the #BringBackOurGirls campaign to help free the girls kidnapped in Nigeria. Thank you Tao for inspiring social change!


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Update posted by Teresa Kennedy On Jan 15, 2021

I want to thank those who have helped to jumpstart this campaign and share comments. It's so important to share the stories so the general public can see that this is happening across the country and around the world.

There is a general belief that if a senior needs help, the court would appoint the chosen family member as guardian. That's often not the case. There is a predatory movement of attorneys and other legal agents seeking to exploit seniors. It is an easy crime because there is no oversight and the court may even facilitate the exploitation.

The guardianship laws are also being used to target seniors who don't even need any help to simply take over their estates - like in my aunt's case. In 2012, when this started, the first judge said there was no need for guardianship. The estranged granddaughter's law firm viciously came after Aunt Lillie to strip her of all rights. The laws are not intended to be weaonized in this way and we need to put a stop to it.

Please continue to share your stories here so we can spark a citizen movement.

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Update posted by Teresa Kennedy On Jan 14, 2021

PRESS RELEASE

DR. LILLIE SYKES WHITE DIES UNDER GUARDIANSHIP WITHOUT LOVED ONES KNOWING AFTER FOUR YEARS IN LOCKDOWN

Florida case reveals the cruelty of unchecked power to isolate and exploit seniors in secrecy and under the guise of "protecting" them

January 14, 2021 - DeLand, FL - After eight years of being attacked under a fraudulent guardianship and four years locked away from her loved ones, Dr. Lillie Sykes White died alone on December 31, 2020 at the age of 92. Her 85-year-old sister and upwards of fifty nieces and nephews were not told of her death at the time.

“Apparently, the estranged granddaughter and attorneys knew my sister was dying and did not have the decency to let me speak with her even though I had been emailing them," said White's only living sibling Janie Sykes-Kennedy of New York. She added, "we don't know how Lillie died or what happened to her body.”

Former Supervisor of Instruction for the public schools in Maryland's Montgomery County, White had been a resident of Palm Coast, Florida before being abducted and isolated by guardian Sara Caldwell, Esq. and Attorney ad Litem Tance Roberts, Esq. They ignored an Injunction Motion on the Judge's desk. There were two police reports indicating Lillie was safe in her home and her Trust stated her wish to "age-in-place." She still retained the right to choose with whom to socialize. There was no justification for her removal and isolation.

White was hidden from her sister, nieces and nephews for two years before they found her through private investigators. She was in a locked down Brookdale facility an hour away from her home (which was sold without her knowledge) and they were blocked from all communication with her via a "passcode."

"I was there at the doctor's office where they kidnapped Aunt Lillie," said White's niece Sheila Bryant. "She was very vocal and they took her to silence her," she added.

The family is still waiting for the Office of Public and Professional Guardians (OPPG) to finalize their second investigation into Caldwell who resigned suddenly as White's guardian on November 2, 2018. The Flagler County Court apparently named the estranged granddaughter, Lisa Marie Rene of Maryland, Guardian and Trustee behind closed doors without anyone else in the family knowing. Rene had already been removed as Trustee by the Orange County Court and White had testified that she was the person victimizing her, but the Flagler County Court disregarded those facts.

"Isolation facilitates undue influence and constructive fraud, and the secrecy of closed hearings and sealed records allow the perpetrators to get away with it," said White's niece Teresa Kennedy. "The published agenda of the Florida Bar to seal guardianship records must be stopped because it will make it easier to commit this crime," she added.

January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, and Kennedy has put forth that adult guardianship is a form of human trafficking. Named a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader for her cause work, she has been advocating to reform guardianship laws at the state and federal levels to increase transparency, accountability and humanity.

"The state of Florida failed Aunt Lillie," said Kennedy. "I called officials at all levels of government over the past four years and, instead of saving my aunt, they have been protecting the guardian and predatory attorneys while providing no oversight," she added.

It is estimated that Rene and the attorneys have spent at least $2 million of White's more than $4 million estate, not including her sizable monthly pension, and they are pushing hard right now to distribute the rest to themselves through the Trust they control. Keeping White in lockdown allowed them to do or say anything--even void her estate plan to benefit the granddaughter and themselves. They failed to provide notice to the legitimate beneficiaries.

On December 16, 2020, two weeks before White died, Rene filed a Caveat with the court to make a claim to White's estate. The family suspects there could have been foul play to get rid of White to close out the case before the end of the year. Rene is represented by Stephanie Cook, Esq., Heidi Isenhart, Esq. and Alexander Douglas, Esq. of Shuffield Lowman Wilson with primary offices in Orlando.

"As it currently stands, Florida is not safe for seniors particularly if you are a woman or Black," stated Bryant. "Court agents can kidnap, isolate and exploit you with no recourse, while they viciously badger and sanction those trying to defend the elder," she added.

On video, White herself told her niece to "fight just as hard." The family is requesting a meeting with Governor Ron DeSantis and is asking the Florida Attorney General and the Statewide Prosecutor to open a thorough investigation into the case, including breach of fiduciary duty by White's court-appointed attorney Roberts. The family is also raising a Civil Rights Fund to seek justice for White at: https://gogetfunding.com/justice-for-lillie-civil-rights-fund/

Sykes-Kennedy has not made memorial plans yet since she does not know where her sister's body or ashes are located. To watch Sykes-Kennedy's statement about her sister's tragic death and Dr. White in her own words, go to http://elderdignity.org/

For more information, contact Teresa Kennedy at 212-901-6913 or email elderdignity(at)hotmail.com.

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Update posted by Teresa Kennedy On Jan 14, 2021

Here is a video statement from my mother:



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For love of Lillie and all those harmed in the guardianship world farce. Expose all those involved in this wicked world of self serving, greedy, manipulators of law and process. They are out to help them selves and not to serve and help the most vulnerable. Shameful!

Anonymous

Backed with $100.00 On Feb 25, 2021

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anisa keith

Backed with $100.00 On Feb 23, 2021

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Elizabeth Heller

Backed with $15.00 On Feb 13, 2021

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It is a heart breaking story that is being repeated all over America. Elderly are being kidnapped, imprisoned, robbed, and left to die alone. Let's come together to shine some light into this darkness. Lillie and your family are in my prayers and meditations. God Bless.

John Coleman

Backed with $200.00 On Feb 09, 2021

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Alvin Ely

Backed with $100.00 On Jan 26, 2021

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Thank you for being a fierce advocate to protect vulnerable populations. I witnessed first hand manipulation and thievery done to my parents because they didn't speak English and had difficulty comprehending. They were not idiots or stupid or intellectual delayed as some people remarked. As a small child (5yrs old) I was brought to interrupt transactions at the bank, stores, insurance plans and I purposely would not tell my parents how insulting some people were. This type of treatment continued throughout my parents Italian-American life. Theresa you are a beautiful soul. Stay strong! We need people like you! I met you at Kripalu a few years back when I attended Tao's training. Your authenticity is powerful. Keep being GREAT!!!

Anonymous

Backed with $25.00 On Jan 23, 2021

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sending peace & love

DS Bailey

Backed with $25.00 On Jan 18, 2021

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Our condolences to the family on Lillie’s passing. Thankfully she is finally at peace. Now that she is safe the Sykes family can aggressively seek justice for her exploitation by this insidious and dysfunctional system.

Anonymous

Backed with $200.00 On Jan 17, 2021

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Mark Pearl

Backed with $100.00 On Jan 15, 2021

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I'm sorry but this is very confusing to me. I thought the courts had to find blood relatives before giving guardianship to a stranger.

Tamara Thomas

Backed with $100.00 On Jan 15, 2021

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