Posts Tagged ‘Winter’

Radio: ‘Granny Snatching’ and NJ ‘Corruption’

October 28, 2010

Melissa Hayes

As the first guest Oct. 28 on my radio show Washington Update, New Jersey journalist Melissa Hayes described the acquittal of a local mayor in a nationally important corruption case that’s part of the reform credentials of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Then Ron Winter, an award-winning journalist and military commentator, provided lessons from his dramatic new consumer book, Granny Snatching, about his fight against relatives to help his 92-year-old widowed mother live at home in dignity. Winter seeks national legislation to prevent similar abuses.

Hear the show nationwide with my co-host Scott Draughon via Live! on the My Technology Lawyer Radio Network by archive.

As background, I recently published, “Politicians, Press Cheat Taxpayers By Ignoring DOJ’s Wasteful Witch-Hunts” about the 46-defendant “Bid Rig III” corruption investigation in New Jersey. The indictments last year helped propel the Republican former New Jersey U.S. attorney Christie to the state’s governorship.

A New Jersey jury acquitted Ridgefield Mayor Anthony Suarez, 43, Oct. 28 of bribery charges involving $10,000 in contributions to a legal defense fund. Hayes covered the trial, and wrote two stories published today: The verdict and defense strategy, “Ridgefield mayor’s victorious defense worked to discredit FBI informant.”

At trial, the defendants attacked the main prosecution witness Solomon Dwek, a brothel owner who also committed a $50 million bank fraud. Dwek obtained leniency from prosecutors because he was willing to use taxpayer funds supplied by authorities to entice mostly Democratic candidates or office-holders into suspicious conversations about what they might do if given campaign “contributions.”

Dwek, now free on bond while he testifies against defendants, has long been earning between $10,000 and $12,000 a month taken from the assets of his fraud victims because bankruptcy authorities say they need him to sort through the paperwork. The office of current New Jersey U.S. attorney Paul Fishman, a Democrat, declined to send a speaker to the show.

Winter, the show’s second guest and my longtime friend from our early days in investigative reporting, described his latest book, Granny Snatching, and its importance for families as our population ages. The book’s introduction says:

What began as an act of kindness just before Christmas, 2008 when author Ron Winter and his family offered to share their home with his aging mother, ended in a rescue mission and a year-long legal battle against out-of-state relatives who were trying to commit her to an Alzheimer’s home and strip her of her assets.

The struggle was especially significant since Ella Winter does not have Alzheimer’s. Winter’s new book, is the gripping account of one family’s battle to confront a growing national phenomenon – Granny Snatching – wherein family members attempt to institutionalize elder relatives and gain control of their assets.

Ron Winter


Granny Snatching exemplifies the need for national legislation that will guarantee uniform rights for elderly citizens regardless of which state they live in or where they may be housed,” says Winter, who regularly writes and speaks on the military and politics.

He previously authored Masters of the Art: A Fighting Marine’s Memoir of Vietnam. “Advocates for the elderly have been pushing for such legislation for several years,” Winter continues. “Reported instances of elder abuse, under which granny snatching is classified, are climbing steadily toward the one-million mark annually in the US alone. This time, the victim was spared.”

About Melissa Hayes and The Jersey Journal
Melissa Hayes joined the Jersey Journal as a staff writer in October 2009 after three years at the Burlington County Times, also in New Jersey. She covers Jersey City and Hudson County, including municipal government and happenings, as well as Hudson County politics. Details.

About Ron Winter
Ronald Winter is an author, public relations executive, college professor and award-winning journalist. He regularly writes and speaks on the military and politics. Winter gave up an academic scholarship at the State University of New York at Albany in 1966 to join the Marines and fight in Vietnam as a helicopter crewman and machine gunner. He flew 300 combat missions and was awarded 15 Air Medals, Combat Aircrew Wings, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. Details on books.

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