I started this blog on a very personal note, sharing the news of my wife and I expecting a child. Since then, on and off, I’ve mostly made very short comment on news stories of interest to me, and spent a little bit of time fighting the good fight for civil rights against racial separatists in Hawaii. But this entry is much different, and something difficult to share – but for the sake of my uncle Anthony Krischel, I feel that this story must be told.
This is the story of William Solomon, once William Joseph Krischel, my biological father who disappeared from me and my brother’s life when we were children. This sad man has spent the last six years of his life destroying his marriage, avoiding his children and grandchildren, frittering away his mother’s fortune, and since his mother passed away he has been stealing from his elder disabled brother Anthony Alonso Krischel, who was born with cerebral palsy and is legally blind. Allowed to continue unabated, my uncle will become yet another grim statistic of elder abuse, left homeless and lost.
A few facts – in April of 2003, my grandmother had over $150,000 dollars in People’s Bank in my uncle’s name. In April of 2004, my brother Jon Kauhane returned from a tour in Iraq, and checking in on our family found that $50,000 of it had gone missing, taken by William Solomon. In March 2006, my brother was tricked by William Solomon into putting his name on the account, in hopes of protecting the last $15,000 left there. After our grandmother’s death on March 19th, 2006, William Solomon, abusing his power of attorney, overdrew the account, and my brother was held liable for $1400.
My grandmother bought and paid for two houses in Connecticut, one which she rented, and the other which she lived in with my uncle for the past four decades. In 2003, she allowed William Solomon to sell the rental unit, which gave him $180,000. William spent this on his divorce, a $20,000 Rolex watch, expensive jewelry, guns, tattoos, an RV, a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, a timeshare in Palm Springs, and today, there is nothing left.
Last month, William Solomon’s house in Minnesota burnt to the ground. Days afterward, he traveled to the Philippines. According to family he has a return ticket for May 17, 2007. The house had at one time been completely bought and paid for by my grandmother, but over the past years William Solomon had re-mortgaged it several times. It sits now, a burnt out husk, and thanks to William Solomon’s failure to keep his insurance current, it is a total loss. William Solomon’s plan now is to sell the house my uncle lives in, leaving him homeless, and to take the money for himself to handle the debts he has outstanding and pay for his own comfort.
And how did this series of unfortunate events come to pass? Its genesis is in the misguided love of a mother for her son, and the hope that if given responsibility, one may rise to the occasion. William Solomon has utterly failed in that respect, and unfortunately still retains the tools of destruction in his power.
Juana Alonso Krischel loved her sons dearly. She cared for and supported her first-born son Anthony, ravaged by cerebral palsy, for over 50 years. When her second son, William Solomon was drafted, she lobbied her congressional representatives and had him pulled out of the army before setting foot in Vietnam. When William Solomon got married to my mother, she bought them a house. When William Solomon got divorced for the first time, it was my grandmother who sent every single child-support check for my brother and I. When William Solomon started a small business and went bankrupt in Minnesota, she bailed him out. When William Solomon remarried in Minnesota, she bought him another house. And despite years of repeated failure by her son William Solomon to be a responsible and upstanding citizen, at the end of her life, in a vain hope that he would become a better man, she trusted him with power of attorney over her finances and named him the executor of her will.
From this final act of hope has come endless pain. With the power of attorney, William Solomon has had unchecked and unfettered access to embezzle every last cent my grandmother ever saved. As executor of the will, William Solomon has placed himself in a position where he is now able to steal the last bit of his brother’s security. To this day, William Solomon has proceeded without any sort of reckoning.
My brother, Jon Kauhane, has spent the past year looking for help for my uncle Anthony. He has sent letters, talked to lawyers, begged social service agencies – but there is no sign of any consequence for William Solomon yet. In many cases my brother has been advised to retain an attorney, but neither he nor I have the resources to fight this battle on our uncle’s behalf. Others have indicated that they could help, if only our uncle was 60 years old (he’s only 59 now).
If someone, anyone, could initiate an investigation of this case of elder abuse, perhaps William Solomon could be prevented from stealing the last shreds of security from my uncle’s life. He has already stolen his entire inheritance, continues to steal his social security money, and now plans to steal his house from underneath him. If it is possible to remedy this injustice, I beg anyone out there to please help.
My brother and I will be submitting this letter to our congressional representatives, Minnesota and Connecticut newspapers, any Attorney Generals who might be appropriate, and to any law firms who might take on this case pro bono. I’ll keep this post updated as events unfold.
UPDATE 1, 5-30-2007: Got an interesting document regarding some specifics about how William Solomon embezzled his mother’s money from 7/25/2005 – 1/24/2006.
GRAND TOTAL – $5,584
TATOOS – Total $740
BEST BUY/ELECTRONICS – Total $706
PUBLIC/SATELLITE RADIO – Total $467
BLOCKBUSTER VIDEO – Total $360
TOBACCO WAREHOUSE – Total $158
J & S GUN SHOP – Total $1,187
ON-STAR – Total $130
CASH – Total $1,404
MUSIC STORE (FYE) – Total $220
REI (Sporting Goods) – Total $212