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Home News Latest Former insurance agent sentenced in elder theft case; appeal planned

Former insurance agent sentenced in elder theft case; appeal planned

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LAKEPORT, Calif. – A former insurance agent convicted by a jury last October of felony theft from an elder was sentenced on Wednesday to probation and three months in the Lake County Jail, a sentence he said he will appeal.

Judge Richard Martin denied the motion for a new trial filed by 52-year-old Glenn Neasham, and also refused to reduce the charge from a felony to a misdemeanor before sentencing Neasham to probation and 300 days in jail, according to Deputy District Attorney Rachel Abelson.

Martin stayed all but 90 days of the jail sentence, Abelson said. Neasham is due to turn himself in on April 18.

Neasham said Wednesday that it’s his understanding that he actually will only have to serve 60 days in jail and could be eligible to serve it under home monitoring.

He said he plans to appeal his conviction and sentencing. “The appeal process has already started,” said Neasham.

He said he’s seeking a public defender since he can no longer afford to pay Mitchell Hauptman, the Lakeport defense attorney who represented him at trial.

Neasham said he’s lost his insurance license, his business and his home, and his family has suffered significantly through the process.

“I’ve been serving this community for 23 years,” he said, noting that he had no issues before this case.

In February 2008 Neasham sold an $175,000 annuity that was set to mature in 15 years to then-83-year-old Fran Schuber of Lucerne, whose boyfriend was a Neasham client, according to court documents.

The prosecution alleged that Neasham sold the annuity to Schuber, and provided witnesses who said Neasham was aware that Schuber had dementia.

But Neasham denied that, saying had he known there were any issues with Schuber’s mental competence he never would have sold her the annuity.

He alleged that the day before closing arguments in his trial the prosecution produced a taped interview from April 2008 with Schuber and a District Attorney’s Office investigator. He said Schuber stated she was happy with the product, she moved her money for tax purposes and there was no elder abuse.

Abelson told Lake County News in a previous interview that the tape wasn’t used at trial because the sound quality was very poor and it was difficult to hear.

Neasham said Schuber hasn’t lost anything, and has made $44,000 on her investment in the $175,000 annuity.

Schuber did not testify during Neasham’s trial, as she was placed into a conservatorship due to advanced dementia, Abelson said previously.

In his new trial motion heard Wednesday, Neasham also alleged juror misconduct, and presented juror Robert O’Briant, who told the court that two jurors had made comments about making up their minds based on reading newspaper articles prior to the trial.

Neasham also presented six character witnesses on Wednesday, including clients Roy Parmentier, a Lakeport City Council member, and local author Carolyn Greenlee.

Neasham believes he will be granted an appeal. “I didn’t do anything wrong,” he said.

The appeal motion Neasham is filing is expected to be heard later this month, he said.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at [email protected] . Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews, on Tumblr at www.lakeconews.tumblr.com, on Google+, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf and on YouTube at www.youtube.com/user/LakeCoNews .

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Crabpot
BEWARE OF CARPETBAGGERS
written by Crabpot, March 02, 2012
They usually do little time, if any at all and they are aware of this. I don't know about Neasham, but I WANT MY $ BACK, LAKE COUNTY. You failed an old time local family. Civil AND criminal court are a joke in LC. Watch the elderly because this place will bleed you of your $ and YOU WONT GET IT BACK. Hang em High.
Phil Smoley
The Chilling Effect of the Neasham Case
written by a guest, March 01, 2012
The nature of the Neasham case presents a problem. There are laws that prohibit any form of discrimination due to race, color, religion.... and age. So unless someone is determined by law to not be competent, vendors are forced to do business with everyone, regardless of age. The reality is that many older people have lost some or much of their faculties, but can still legally make decisions for themselves due to insufficient family intervention or other factors. So in some cases it can be "damned of you do, damned if you don't." If Neasham said, "no, you are old and seem to my untrained eye to not be able to make a sound decision" he could have been held to violating a myriad of anti-discrimination laws. If a vendor does business with the elderly, and they choose a product that others may deem inappropriate, then the vendor may be accused of taking advantage of the elderly, or abusing them, as what happened with Neasham.

The Neasham verdict, if it stands, will send a chill out to all businesses who cater to the elderly: Sell to the elderly, go to jail. Don't sell to the elderly, go to jail. How is your typical business person, untrained in the science of mental degeneration, going to be able to make the right call in every case regarding a persons mental state? It puts an impossible burden on the vendor to determine whether the elderly client is of sound mind or not, and if they make the wrong call either way, they face losing everything, including their liberty. With so much risk related to having elderly clients, who in their right mind will still want to work with them? Could this effort to protect the elderly actually do more harm than good?

I was not at the trial, and I got most of my information from the local news, so I am in no position to say if the verdict was right or not. But the papers reported on some disconcerting elements, including possible jury misconduct, the report that her investment made her over $40,000, and the prosecutions withholding of a video of the alleged victim taken soon after the incident until nearly the end of the trial. These reports made me wonder if there was overzealous prosecution. There has to be more clear-cut examples of elder abuse out there that should be dealt with, and the possibility that Neasham was railroaded should be considered by all fair minded people. Perhaps he is guilty and he is getting what he deserves. But from my limited perspective, this looks more like a travesty of justice and a warning to everyone who treasures a fair and just due process.
warlock
Her s.o. is the real criminal
written by a guest, March 01, 2012
This guy was framed.
Crabpot
That includes
written by Crabpot, March 01, 2012
Secretary's, stockbrokers, and dirty( sex offender) lawyers watching kitty porn accross the street from the court house.
Finn
Of course he's going to appeal.
written by a guest, March 01, 2012
It won't cost him a penny. As for not being able to afford Hauptman (who is an excellent attorney, imho), if the scuttlebutt around the courthouse is true, Hauptman's been grousing pretty freely because Neasham has never paid him, yet he's been sending out begging letters to his mailing list trying to get contributions to his legal defense fund.
Crabpot
Finanacial Elder Abuse
written by Crabpot, March 01, 2012
I was on a jury a few years ago and Rachel impressed me. We convicted the guy. She dropped the ball on my family with a civil matter though, and it cost us hundreds of thousands of dollars. The lawyer who tampered with my family's trust walked. Later to be charged and convicted of sex crimes. If you steal from the elderly, you should be lynched.

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