Help My Mother, The Falsely Accused

Help My Mother, The Falsely Accused

From Kevin Lugo

My mother was falsely accused of stealing money from an elderly lady she has been assisting for over 4 years. Please help me raise money to pay for a lawyer!

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Recent Updates

Update #8

almost 4 years ago

It's finally over. The deal is final: probation and reparations. Read more here: http://tineis.wordpress.com/2014/06/18/lawsuit-update-answer-at-last/

More Info

Update (2/11/14): Preliminary Hearing Results

- 3 charges of Identity Theft dismissed

-  3 charges of Access Device Fraud dismissed

- Remaining 9 charges stand, referred to Court of Common Pleas. Next arraingment to be held March 12 and next hearing 4-6 weeks after arraignment.

Update (1/22/14): The official charges are:

- 3 counts Forgery

- 3 counts Identity Theft

- 3 counts Access Device Fraud

- 3 counts Receiving Stolen Property

- 3 counts Theft by Deception

Help Me Help My Mother

My mom needs our help. In high school I found a few odd jobs helping people in my community, and when I left for college my mother continued helping one elderly woman. For over 4 years now she has been doing the individual's laundry, cleaning her house, and performing other household chores and errands. Now my mom stands falsely accused of stealing money from this individual. After all she has done for her, my mother's reward is a charge of identity theft which, if she cannot defend herself, could land her in jail for years.

My mother is an honest and hard-working woman. She raised me as a single mother and we fought through the tough times together. This false accusation comes on the heels of more tragedy  - a year ago on her birthday our house was robbed and the year before that our apartment was flooded. This all to the woman who always places my needs above her own, no matter what the cost to herself. For years she supported me and cared for my now deceased grandfather. My mother is my hero. And she needs my help. Please, help me help my mother by donating to support her defense.

Your donation will go directly to my mother's attorney fees. She already emptied her savings to pay a $2,000 retainer fee (legal down payment, of sorts). Now she needs another $3,500 for her attorney to represent her in court. If you would rather donate through cash or check, please use the "Contact Kevin" button below and leave me a message with your email address.

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Kevin Lugo posted a new update:
almost 4 years ago

Final Update: Answer at Last

It's finally over. The deal is final: probation and reparations. Read more here: http://tineis.wordpress.com/2014/06/18/lawsuit-update-answer-at-last/

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Kevin Lugo posted a new update:
about 4 years ago

Strides for Justice Week 2: 31 of 60 Miles

Running for my mother - on target for 60 miles in February! http://wp.me/p2aiEi-Tp

Help me reach my campaign goal on #Fundly! You can donate as much or little as you want. Check it out: http://fundly.com/help-my-mother-the-falsely-accused

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Kevin Lugo posted a new update:
about 4 years ago

Update: Hearing is Good & Bad

My mom’s hearing was today and, while not the full dismissal we were hoping for, there were some good points. I do not have all the information, transcripts, etc. but only what my mother reported from her perspective. A number of people have already asked for updates so here is what I know:

The good: The judge dismissed all three counts of identity theft – with my mom’s name on the checks there was no evidence of intent to steal the woman’s identity. The judge also dismissed all three counts of “Access device fraud” because my mother never had access to any credit or debit cards and the plaintiff confirmed this.

The bad: The final 9 charges (Forgery x3, Receipt of Stolen Property x3, and Theft by deception x3) stand and must now move to the Court of Common Pleas. The next arraignment date is set for March 12, 2014. According to her lawyer, my mother does not need to appear at this since it will be a simple presentation of charges and plea of guilty/not guilty. Another hearing date will then be set, probably 4-6 weeks later. Thus this lawsuit has extended at least into April, maybe longer, and the $$$ required to continue the defense is sure to increase.

My thoughts: Well, you have to look on the bright side here and at least 6/15 charges were dropped. We are talking felonies here, so that is good news. Also, the plaintiff apparently contradicted herself on several occasions and it seemed from my mother’s perspective that the charges should have been dropped.

I am no legal expert and this is entirely my opinion but it seems plausible to me that the judge may not have dismissed all charges because of the at-risk nature of the plaintiff. Senior abuse is not unheard of and elderly persons are not always able to defend themselves well. So even though there is no clear evidence and the plaintiff’s contradictions question the validity of the charges, letting the case pass to another court is a safe bet.

Unfortunately for my mother that means paying more attorney fees and missing more work. Not to mention the mental and emotional stress that is being dragged out for another two months or more…

Thank you everyone for all your support. I will post any new information as it becomes available. While we do not yet know what costs will be associated with this continued defense, I can assure you the financial burden and uncertainty is no small cause of my mother’s stress. As always, you can continue to help by donating on Fundly (or sending cash/check). And your moral support goes a long way too!

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Kevin Lugo posted a new update:
about 4 years ago

Strides for Justice Week 1: 15 of 60 miles

Running for my mother - on target for 60 miles in February! http://wp.me/p2aiEi-SU

Help me reach my campaign goal on #Fundly! You can donate as much or little as you want. Check it out: http://fundly.com/help-my-mother-the-falsely-accused

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Kevin Lugo posted a new update:
about 4 years ago

Update: Strides for Justice

Thank you everyone for donating to my campaign. So far I have raised $900, over a quarter of my $3,500 goal. This month I am continuing to fight for my mother by pushing my physical training further - I will run 60 miles and two 10Ks in February. I met my January running goal and I will work even harder because this time it is about more than me. Support me by donating a quarter a mile! See more here:

http://tineis.wordpress.com/2014/01/26/lawsuit-update-strides-for-justice-a-quarter-mile-at-a-time/

Help me reach my campaign goal on #Fundly! You can donate as much or little as you want. Check it out: http://fundly.com/help-my-mother-the-falsely-accused

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Kevin Lugo posted a new update:
about 4 years ago

Lawsuit Update: Hearing Date Set

Help me support my mother’s defense by donating today.

Last Thursday my mother went for her preliminary arraignment and received the official charges set against her. To summarize, 3 charges of each:

Forgery
Identity Theft
Use of “Access Device” without Authorization
Receiving Stolen Property
Theft by Deception/False Impersonation
Now that my mother has officially been read the charges against her she will need to appear in court on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 10:00AM EST. An ”unsecured” bail has been set to $5,000

For the full update, see my post on TINEIS, my personal blog.

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Kevin Lugo posted a new update:
over 4 years ago

Update: Charges will be Given Thursday Jan. 16

Finally we have something concrete: a hard deadline. My mother is to present herself to court at noon (EST) on Thursday, January 16th where she will hear the official accusations brought against her. The judge will determine whether or not the accusations deserve a full trial and, if she decides that they do, the judge will set a bail amount (if any). It is nice to finally have some information although, with the delay, we were starting to hope the accusations would be withdrawn. I will post another update as soon as I know what comes of Thursday's ordeal.

Thank you for your continued support and remember that telling people about this campaign is a powerful way to build support even if you have already donated or are unable to spare the money. Community support and small donations go a long way.

http://fundly.com/help-my-mother-the-falsely-accused

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Kevin Lugo posted a new update:
over 4 years ago

Campaign Update:

Thank you to everyone who has already donated to my campaign to raise money to defend my mother against false accusations. Together we have raised almost $450!

I have been waiting to update the campaign until more information was available but, unfortunately, we still do not know very much. The lawyer says the police have the official accusations but have not yet sent it to court. Until that happens it is just a waiting game and we do not know the official charges laid against my mother. Perhaps it is just the holidays.

No matter the cause, it is more of a pain. We were hoping to have this resolved, or at least moved towards a definitive next step, before my mom goes back to work Monday from vacation. Looks like that won't be happening - which means she will probably need to take off work, get points, and lose pay to show in court when the time comes.

Please, continue to support my campaign by donating and asking your friends and colleagues to donate as well. You can donate as much or little as you want. Check it out: http://fundly.com/help-my-mother-the-falsely-accused

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