CAMERON PARK, Calif. (CN) – While she was ill, an aging mother says, her son emptied out her bank account and safe, stole her jewelry, coin and stamp collections, along with $50,000 in gold, $30,000 in cash, 18 guns, bonds and valuable documents – more than $625,000 in all – and used it to pay off his own debt and that of his business. But he tells her it’s all safe and he’ll give it back when she feels better, she says – a statement she calls “nonsense.”
Hannelore Anderson, who is disabled and over 65, sued her son, Alan Patton Summers, and his business, Consolidated 4, in El Dorado County Court. She seeks punitive damages for elder abuse, fraud, conversion and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Anderson says her son cleaned her out while she “was suffering from temporary illness and relied on her son, defendant Summers, to help conduct her business affairs and protect her property.”
Around December 2008, Anderson suffered “an abrupt onset of severe encephalopathy, which is defined as a syndrome of global brain dysfunction.” The neurologist made her son aware of her diminished mental capacity, and that set off his rampage of looting, according to the complaint.
She says that about three weeks after her neurological exam, which was done at her son’s request, her son had her “withdraw $225,000 from her bank account and deposit it with First Republic Bank, adding his name to the account …”
Then he put the money into another account, in his name only, according to the complaint.
She adds, “despite plaintiff’s diminished mental capacity at that time, defendant Summers had plaintiff sign a power of attorney giving him authority to control and manage her financial affairs.”
In the next 2 months, she says, her son picked her down to the bone. According to the complaint, he lifted another $400,000 worth of her stuff, including a “significant” coin collection and a stamp collection, both begun in 1964; 12 “Hammerli pistols, each with a value of $2,000, a John Wayne collectible pistol and five collectible rifles;” more than $21,000 in jewelry, including “a black-faced Rolex watch, a gold charm bracelet, pearls and other valuable items;” more than $50,000 in gold “including a gold nugget;” $40,000 in bonds; her birth certificate and U.S. naturalization papers, “military papers, bank checks and other items, and approximately $30,000 or more in cash.”
She asked for all the stuff back in September and October 2009, but he refused, Anderson says.
She believes he took it “and sold, used, converted and commingled said property into defendant Consolidate 4 Inc., to pay off corporate debt and personal debt of defendant Alan Summers.”
She adds that his acts were willful, wanton, malicious, oppressive, and outrageous, justify the awarding of exemplary and punitive damages.
Though not named as a defendant, she says First Republic Bank “recklessly or knowingly partnered with defendant Summers, and is unlawfully keeping plaintiff’s property although demand has been made for its return.”
She adds that since he began picking her clean, “Defendants and each of them have engaged in fraudulent tactics to maintain possession of plaintiff’s money, including but not limited to misrepresentations of material fact, deceit and false statements intended to induce reliance that plaintiff’s money is safe and will be returned when her health is better. Such attempts to appease plaintiff are nonsense.”
Ms. Anderson is represented by Timothy Hamilton of Cameron Park.