Jun 102013
 

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis on corrupt government as a lawbreaker in Olmstead v. U.S. case

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis, in the public domain. (Photo credit: Harris & Ewing Collection at the Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, circa 1916)

Family of elder abuse defendant Silvia Cata alleges misconduct, strong-arm tactics during raid by Calif. Dept. of Justice agents

The daughter of a Sacramento elder caregiver charged this year with felony elder abuse and manslaughter has revealed in an exclusive statement to Elder Abuse Exposed.com disturbing allegations of police misconduct and strong-arm tactics during a raid of the defendant’s elder care home by agents from California Attorney General Kamala Harris’ Department of Justice.

Sacramento resident Ionela Lup, who is the daughter of defendant Silvia Cata, details the Nov. 15, 2012 search of Cata’s residential care facility for the elderly, Super Care Home, and the Feb. 12, 2013 arrest of Cata by Special Agent Tina Khang and agents from DOJ’s Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse in Sacramento. Ionela Lup also alleges mistreatment by some licensing program analysts (LPAs) from the California Department of Social Services’ (DSS) Community Care Licensing Division (CCLD) in Sacramento.

Calif. Dept. of Justice Special Agent Tina Khang says Silvia Cata arrest justified

In support of the arrest warrant for Cata, Special Agent Khang alleged in her Feb. 11, 2013 31-page declaration that an 88-year-old resident, Georgia Holzmeister, who had lived at Cata’s elder care home since 2007, suffered great bodily injury and died on June 23, 2012 from severely infected, neglected bed sores on the victim’s buttocks. DOJ also alleged that Holzmeister, who suffered from dementia, died only as a result of her Cata’s “deliberate and complete reckless disregard for performing the essential duties.”

AG Kamala Harris and chief elder abuse prosecutor, Mark Zahner, selectively enforce against vulnerable small fry, not wealthy nursing homes

But Elder Abuse Exposed.com has said that Attorney General Kamala Harris and her BMFEA’s chief of prosecutions in Sacramento, Mark Zahner, have appalling records as prosecutors of nursing home elder abuse. Elder Abuse Exposed.com has also said that Harris and Zahner have a history of rarely filing criminal elder abuse charges. When they do file, they typically file against lower-level employees, but not against wealthy, politically connected nursing home operators who create the neglectful conditions that make institutional elder abuse inevitable. These rare prosecutions often follow closely on the heels of embarrassing media coverage exposing the attorney general’s failure to prosecute. Elder Abuse Exposed.com has referred to Kamala Harris’ and Mark Zahner’s biased, selective enforcement of elder abuse laws as prosecuting vulnerable, small-fry defendants, such as Silvia Cata, and sparing corporate-owned nursing homes.

You can read more about AG Kamala Harris’ bogus elder abuse “crackdown” and biased enforcement against “low hanging fruit,” like Silvia Cata

For more on Kamala Harris’ sham elder abuse “crackdown” on non-wealthy, vulnerable, small-fry defendants, including Silvia Cata, see:

Summary of Cata family’s disturbing allegations of misconduct, strong-arm tactics during Calif. Dept. of Justice raid and arrest

In Ionela Lup’s exclusive personal account of the Nov. 15, 2012 raid of Silvia Cata’s elder care home, at 341 Bowman Ave. in Sacramento, Calif., and the Feb. 12, 2013 arrest of Cata by agents from DOJ’s BMFEA, Ms. Lup made the following allegations (all quoted allegations are Ionela Lup’s):

  • Some LPAs [licensing program analysts] from the DSS’ Community Care Licensing Division in Sacramento “look down on” and “downgrade people who are bilingual and do not have the sufficient English skills that the state would prefer.”
  • Some CCLD LPAs “downgrade others and abuse their jobs and titles they ha[ve] so that they c[an] treat people like garbage.”
  • “[Ionela Lup has] seen firsthand how RCFE administrators or licensees get mistreated by state officials because of the power, names, and positions they have.”
  • During the early stage of the “strong-arm” raid by Attorney General Kamala Harris’ DOJ, some of the DOJ agents acted “rudely” and said, for example, “Sit down and don’t move!”
  • During the raid, a DOJ agent detained the elderly residents and Ionela Lup “on the couch for four hours without moving from the area” and “continued to watch us so that we did not move.”
  • “[Ionela Lup] watched for four hours as the DOJ agents turned the house upside down while [she] was sitting on the couch and being treated like a criminal!”
  • “[Ionela Lup] did not understand why, while [she] did not have rights, the residents did not have rights either.”
  • When “[Ionela Lup] got so upset that [she] told the agent that it was not right what the DOJ agents were doing to [them] and that it was against [their] civil rights to be treated like that,” the DOJ agent said, “You need to be quiet.”
  • DOJ Special Agent Tina Khang did not allow Ionela Lup to accompany her mother, Silvia Cata, during Ms. Khang’s long interrogation of Ms. Cata.
  • DOJ Special Agent Tina Khang “took [Ionela Lup’s] mom in the backroom and interrogated her for three hours.”
  • When [Ionela Lup] asked the DOJ agent if [her] mom could make the residents breakfast, he said, “No, no one move.”
  • “One of the residents who was sitting at the table looked so confused and scared and kept asking [Ionela Lup’s] mom, ‘What happened? What happened? Why did we have to sit down for so long? Why did they treat us like this?’”
  • “[Ionela Lup’s] dad was so angry that the DOJ agents had taken his pocket knife and completely broken down one of the doors upstairs that was locked so that they could enter and search.”
  • “When [Ionela Lup’s] dad asked the DOJ agents why they had just broken down the door when there was a key next to the door, they responded, ‘Make a complaint!’”
  • Ionela Lup’s dad said that the DOJ agents “looked through all the bushes” and “the entire house, including every room, closet, dresser, and even the attic.”
  • “[Ionela Lup’s] dad said that the DOJ agents even made him take the cover off the pool.”
  • Ionela Lup’s dad said that “after going inside the house, the agents asked…why he had video cameras up and told him to wait outside while they looked through the entire house.”
  • “[Ionela Lup] learned that the DOJ agents had deleted the video recordings from the video cameras that were inside and outside of the house.”
  • Ionela Lup wondered if “the DOJ agents delete[d] the video recordings so that [Ionela Lup’s] mom and dad would not have video evidence of the DOJ agents’ strong-arm tactics and misconduct during their search of the property.”
  • “Ionela Lup also wondered how the DOJ agents’ conduct in [Silvia Cata’s] home could happen in America and what right a person has in his own home.”
  • After the DOJ raid, “[Ionela Lup’s] dad looked so humiliated and horrified” and “began to cry.”
  • When DOJ agents arrested Silvia Cata and put her in the back of a police car on Feb. 12, 2013, “[Ionela Lup] could not understand how agents from the California DOJ’s Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse could leave three elderly residents and two small children alone without supervision and without meeting their needs.”
  • “DOJ Special Agent Tina Khang had been dishonest” during a telephone call with Silvia Cata on Feb. 11, 2013, and “the only reason she called [Ionela Lup’s] mother [about a supposed meeting with a CCLD LPA scheduled for the following day] was to make sure [Ionela Lup’s] mom was home so that Ms. Khang could arrest her.”

Ionela Lup’s full victim story, which she wanted published on Elder Abuse Exposed.com, is available on the victim stories page dedicated to California law enforcement agencies and prosecutors.


Note: Please see Elder Abuse Exposed.com’s disclaimer and federal immunity from liability for posting and distributing third-party content on this website.


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  11 Responses to “Elder Abuse Defendant Silvia Cata’s Family on CA DOJ Strong-Arm Raid”

  1.  

    My sister, Diane Lucinda Marko, was subjected to this search and reported identical happenings as those of Silvia’s daughter. She was terrified and in complete disbelief! My sister has been in care with Silvia since 2007 and has received superb care. She arrived there in extremely ill health and recovered under Silvia’s care. She was well enough to undergo 2 complete knee replacements and many other medical procedures requiring extensive post-op care. This care was expertly delivered.

    During the last days of Georgia’s life, Silvia repeatedly contacted the family and her Dr. for instructions, telling them Georgia was beyond the scope of Silvia’s licensing. She told them the situation was extreme and needed immediate action. The Dr. never responded. When he finally did, he sent a hospice nurse instead of hospitalizing Georgia. Georgia’s rapid decline was due to the delay in treatment by the family and her Dr.

    This incident made me ashamed of our judicial system and our country!

    •  

      Thanks a lot Nancy for your comments!

      We’d like to hear more about your sister’s experience during the California Department of Justice’s raid on Silvia Cata’s home. Can you give some details on this page for our readers?

      Have you you or anyone else in the family filed a formal complaint with Attorney General Kamala Harris’ office? Have you filed a complaint with federal law enforcement, such as the FBI or U.S. Attorney’s Office?

      Also, do you know if anyone can send us solid evidence that Georgia’s health rapidly declined due to delays in treatment by a doctor or family members?

      If others are responsible for Georgia’s death, then why is Kamala Harris prosecuting Silvia Cata? If a doctor is responsible for the death, why is the DOJ not prosecuting the doctor? Is it due to the possibility that the doctor may have political connections, affluence, and a team of defense attorneys to protect him or her?

  2.  

    What has this country come to?! I was born and raised in America, the land of the free. But to see how the government has stripped that freedom and more from the Cata family is outrageous! Seems like the government holds all the freedom in the palm of their hands. They choose to give it and take it from who they want.

    I have known the Catas for 21 years now. And they are hardworking people who came to this country almost 30 years ago to make a better life for themselves and their family. They had never crossed the law or disrespected it in any way.

    Yet the “STATE” still felt it was their right to invade their home and treat them like criminals while holding them and their residents hostage! And to cover up the mess, they deleted the evidence! You see if they had not done anything wrong and abused their “power,” then why did they delete the video evidence?

    They obviously didn’t care about the residents well-being when they kept them sitting for hours without being able to change and have some kind of food or coffee, for crying out loud! What about when they left the residence and two small children alone without any supervision after the arrest of Silvia?

    It’s obvious the “STATE” has no interest in anyone’s well-being but their own.

    Silvia Cata is an innocent woman whom the “STATE” humiliated and abused their power with. But Silvia also has the support of hundreds of people, including the families of previous residents! One of the families wrote above and confirmed all that was written as true! We will stand by the Cata’s side, and, most importantly, stand for the truth and what is right until the end of this mess!

    Ionela Cata wrote FACTS in this article. The government better do something about it. This is what their “POWER” is intended for!

  3.  

    It is unfortunate what happened to this family. What happened to innocent until proven guilty?

    Come on! Really, the elderly lady went to the hospital last year, and you arrest someone and humiliate someone like that on what grounds this year in February? I truly think it is jealousy! You see foreign people being successful, and you punish them!

    Elderly care business is a 24-hour responsibility. These owners are dedicating their lives to make our elders more comfortable and be treated like human beings, not being forgotten in a nursing home!

    There has to be more accountability for government agencies. This sounds a lot like in communist governments where they do what they want and no one ask questions. What is happening to our country? More and more we are losing our freedom!

  4.  

    All I want people to know is that an RCFE has the right to have any resident with a stage 2 ulcer. This lady in Silvia’s care was found with a stage 3 at the ER, after how many hours? Does anyone know how long the emergency room kept that woman without changing her? This is important for the family to ask questions!

    I don’t know what the truth is, but when I read about the story in The Sacramento Bee, I was shocked. I live in the Sacramento area and was angry about the fact that our neighborhood was downgraded by someone who works for The Sacramento Bee. I’m very interested in an apology from The Sacramento Bee on behalf of the Sacramento neighborhood. I’ve lived here all my life and find it to be an awesome neighborhood. I’m sorry that someone had to use Silvia’s story to downgrade her and where she lives.

    Did this lady who wrote the story ever go into the Cata home? On what grounds can you write a story and not know the facts?

    I believe the Cata story is all political, and it’s so sad that they had to use a small facility and a family for publicity. I believe the family should protest and let all of America hear their story!

  5.  

    My mother lived at Super Care Home under Silvia’s care in 2003. Silvia took expert care of Mom, and we were delighted with the loving, conscientious care my mom received. My mother was able to stay there for many months enjoying a peaceful, caring, and safe environment.

    When Mom suffered a stroke, Silvia contacted us right away and Mom was taken to a hospital. Silvia visited my mother, even after she was placed in convalescent care. She is a very kind, compassionate, and attentive woman, and it is absolutely horrendous how she has been treated through this charade.

    I do not understand what the basis is, as I understand that the family has dropped the charges, and still court dates are set and postponed time and time again, dragging out this nightmare for Silvia and her family. How can this be justified when she has not been proven guilty or even given her day in court, and yet she has lost her ability to work, or even to visit the elderly?

    From the beginning, the treatment of Silvia and her case makes me so sad to realize that this is happening in America. What does this DA have against her and other home caregivers who are providing much needed support for families when their loved ones need special care?

  6.  

    Can someone please tell me who inside the CA AG office prosecutes elder abuse? There must be an assistant, deputy, or something? I’m trying to ask questions about the recent amendments to undue influence laws. But trying to get a name and number is proving difficult.

    •  

      Deputy Attorney General Mark Zahner is the chief of prosecutions for the Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse (BMFEA) in Sacramento in California Attorney General Kamala Harris’ Department of Justice. So, Mark Zahner has a legal duty as California’s chief elder abuse prosecutor to prosecute these cases.

      But Elder Abuse Exposed.com and other critics of Mark Zahner have explained that Mr. Zahner and Kamala Harris have a history of selectively prosecuting a very limited number of lower-level employees, i.e., the vulnerable small fry, but not wealthy, politically connected nursing home owners. And Mr. Zahner and Kamala Harris prosecute after media coverage of their initial failure to prosecute embarrasses the attorney general.

      In other words, Mark Zahner and Kamala Harris have a history of avoiding the prosecution of the principal malefactors of elder abuse, the profit-obsessed nursing home owners who are directly responsible for understaffing and the widespread practice of patient records falsification, which predictably lead to systemic and chronic nursing home abuse.

      You can contact Mark Zahner via email at mark.zahner@doj.ca.gov.

      •  

        DOJ’s BMFEA (California Department of Justice’s Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse) is responsible for prosecuting elder abuse crimes that occur in the residential care facilities for the elderly (RCFE). However, the California Dept. of Social Services’ Community Care Licensing (CCL) is obligated to submit their substantiated investigation reports to them for prosecution, but they are not doing this. CCL is dealing with elder abuse crimes internally and administratively in-house, so there is no criminal prosecution by DOJ’s BMFEA.

        If you go and review the DOJ’s BMFEA website, you will be able to read about their Facilities Enforcement Team, which is supposed to be investigating and prosecuting elder abuse crimes in these RCFEs, but they are not doing it. Big-fry nursing homes and small-fry RCFEs are both getting away with ongoing and rampant elder abuse crimes within their facilities, and nothing is being done to prevent it or stop it.

        What is someone supposed to do when they find out that the owners of the RCFEs themselves have committed rape and lewd conduct on the elderly in their care homes and the Dept. of Social Services knows all about it because they substantiated the crimes, yet allow these criminals to stay licensed and continue operating? This is OUTRAGEOUS, and this kind of information needs to be exposed so that people wake up and realize what’s going on here. Who is getting paid off?

        DOJ’s BMFEA fails to prosecute elder abuse and neglect crimes, not just in nursing homes, but in RCFEs too. It’s occurring in both medical and non-medical facilities. The Dept. of Social Services’ Community Care Licensing is responsible for the oversight of RCFEs, and the California Department of Public Health is responsible for the nursing homes. Citations do absolutely nothing except collect statistics. They don’t stop the owners from committing these crimes. That’s why they continue because the owners know the state isn’t going to do anything. So they keep doing it.

        I’ve been asking the police departments, the district attorney’s offices, and DOJ’s BMFEA, which is responsible for prosecuting elder abuse in these facilities, and not one person can or will answer my question. I’ve sent letters to Kamala Harris and to Mark Zahner, and nobody ever responded. The D.A.’s office said it’s a civil matter.

        DOJ’s BMFEA sent a special agent to meet with me last year after I pleaded and begged them to help with regard to the rape and lewd conduct crimes that were committed on an elderly woman in an RCFE by the owner’s husband. After spending three days here, the special agent told us that he didn’t even know what a residential care facility for the elderly was. He never even looked at my documents! He told me that he couldn’t help with this and that I should go to the news with my story because that would be the best way to expose the hidden elder abuse crimes. He said BMFEA deals mostly with Medicare fraud.

        Well, I went to the news. The day before the KCOY news story was supposed to be aired, they received calls from the RCFE’s attorney, threatening to sue the news station if they televised my story. So one has to wonder WHO really is getting paid off?

        DOJ’s BMFEA didn’t do anything, and the sickest part of it all is that this elderly woman is still living in this RCFE. I’d say our state has a serious problem.

        Email me if you have any more questions, and take a look at the promo video the news put out prior to the cancelled story. :-(

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpCmIXlz2zA

        RCFEelderabuse@yahoo.com

  7.  

    Very interesting. Thank you for the response and names. I think it’s the same here in NY. The DA and AG just do not want to hear about those seniors imprisoned in their 5-star nursing homes, as it is just too embarrassing to admit there’s a problem with homes that are being held up as shining national examples of how to care for the elderly. And yes, the political connections are also too precious. They just won’t touch these places or the banks, big financial houses, or lawyers/judges. They pick on simple to prove cases such as familial abuse. Even the Astor case is pretty simple and didn’t take Einstein to work out what was going on. But to prosecute nepotistic, systemic abuse by the guardianship court system or judges or huge state banks takes real work, so they just stick their fingers in their ears.

  8.  

    I was actually looking for opinions on the recent amendments to the undue influence law AB937 and AB140 (financial abuse…I think). Any thoughts on those?

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