Beverley Schottenstein

Illustration of difference between public, private shown in case of 93-year-old

freemont news messenger

Damschroder: Ohio STRS provides THE perfect example

John Damschroder Columnist – Mar. 24, 2021

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Damschroder

John Damschroder

There’s no better illustration of the difference between public and private financial misconduct than the story of 93-year-old Beverley Schottenstein. The widow of a former Schottenstein Company president and member of the family with their name on Ohio State’s basketball arena, recently won a $19 million settlement from JP Morgan Chase and her grandsons, over allegations that the bank and brokers had profited by churning her account with high cost, inappropriate transactions.

Mrs. Schottenstein didn’t lose money, she just didn’t earn the returns she should have with investments appropriate for the investment interests of a late-in-life retiree. Family members and America’s largest bank managed the account to maximize their own profits. It’s the shorthand version of what AFT claims is happening with public money in private equity.

In Ohio, where losing 100 percent of a $525 million investment becomes a platform to brag and method to boost bonuses, lifting the curtain on private equity won’t matter unless voters pull down the lever against the politicians who let it happen.

About Cathy Schottenstein

My Grandma is a 94-Year-Old #MeToo Warrior

Beverley SchottensteinWhen activist Tarana Burke started the “Me Too” movement in 2006, her goal was to raise awareness of the full extent of sexual abuse, assault, and harassment in society. She wanted to tell survivors, “You are heard. You are understood. You are not alone.”

In 2017 after The New York Times published its exposé detailing sexual abuse allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein, many high-profile celebrities including Gwyneth Paltrow, Ashley Judd, Jennifer Lawrence, and Uma Thurman came forward with their own harrowing tales of sexual harassment. Their courage—and the resulting widespread media coverage—helped make the “Me Too” movement a topic of conversation across America. The phrase #MeToo went viral and became synonymous with female empowerment. Over time, #MeToo developed into an even broader movement. While sexual abuse and harassment are the most prevalent grievous acts associated with the movement, at its heart, #MeToo is about women standing in solidarity, telling their truths, and refusing to be victimized. Read more

About Cathy Schottenstein

Institutional Malfeasance: Another Ugly Form of Elder Abuse

Institutional Malfeasance J.P. Morgan

My cousins Evan and Avi Schottenstein are not the Menendez brothers. They did not kill our nonagenarian grandmother. Yet, in misappropriating her fortune for years as they worked as her “financial advisors” at J.P. Morgan, and in using her advanced age against her in a shameful attempt to influence people into thinking she had dementia, they did kill something inside her: they killed her trust.

Not every case of elder abuse is financial—but far too many are, and the abuse rarely occurs in a vacuum. For my grandmother, her situation was a combination of psychological and financial abuse perpetrated by family members who were aided and abetted by the biggest bank in the world, J.P. Morgan. Read more

About Cathy Schottenstein

Making the Painful Decision to Testify Against My Cousins

Cathy and Beverley Schottenstein PattapPeople may believe, since I am writing a book about my grandma’s ordeal and her experience with elder abuse, that I jumped at the opportunity to support her during the actual trial. The truth is this: I wavered for weeks about getting involved in the process. Ultimately, reality and morality won over my personal reticence, and I agreed to take the stand on my grandma’s behalf and testified against the perpetrators, my two first cousins Evan and Avi. They had done our grandmother a terrible wrong. They had to be brought to justice, they had to make restitution, and they had to stop their intolerable harassment.

Although we had never been close, I am closely related to Evan and Avi. They are sons of my Uncle Bobby, my father’s younger brother. At best I have neutral memories of Evan and Avi growing up, but at many of the momentous occasions of my life—my Bat Mitzvah, my wedding, my first-born son’s bris—they were there. We share a lineage and a history, and no one wants to aid in ruining another person’s life. But they had crossed a dangerous line with heedless disregard to the consequences. Now they would have to face the music. Read more

About Cathy Schottenstein

A ‘Dawning’ Instinct Sheds Light in a Dark Place

Beverley Schottenstein walks alongside her caretaker Dawn Henry in the kitchen of her condominium in Bal Harbour, Florida, U.S., on Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020. Photographer: Scott McIntyre/BloombergFive years ago, my grandmother whom I call Nanny, Beverley Schottenstein, had no idea that anything nefarious was going on within her account. Though she did ask her grandsons Evan and Avi why she wasn’t receiving monthly statements, they assured her that J.P. Morgan no longer sent paper statements to their clients, and since Nanny didn’t have a computer, they said they were diligently reviewing her holdings and overall account performance on their own. They swore they were doing an incredible job, that her account was appreciating considerably, and that she was outperforming major market indexes on a regular basis. Actually, none of that was true. Both grandsons were living high on the hog with her money—she just didn’t know it yet.

In 2016 Nanny broke her hip and began looking for daily care. She asked around, and several acquaintances highly recommended a woman named Dawn Henry. Dawn was a highly experienced caretaker with several licenses and a long history of caring for the elderly. Dawn, born in Jamaica, West Indies, now lived in a lovely home in Hollywood, Florida, a thirty-minute drive from Nanny’s home, with her husband, Lance Henry, a general contractor, and her college-age son Zach. When Dawn and Nanny first met, there was an instant connection. “I fell in love with this lovely little woman immediately,” Dawn said. “I knew she was a real mensch.” Read more

About Cathy Schottenstein

Elder Abuse Impacts the Famous and Non-Famous Alike

Mickey Rooney

Actor, Mickey Rooney

Many seniors are fortunate. They are being well cared for, whether in assisted-living facilities or in their own homes, even though some may be mentally or physically compromised in their advancing years. By contrast, other vulnerable elders are being neglected, abused, isolated, and financially exploited. The sinners committing these crimes may be care facility workers, home health aides, financial advisors—or yes, sadly, even family members.

Elder abuse, which is on the rise during the COVID-19 pandemic, is an ongoing, often hidden social, cultural, and ethical problem. It affects as many as five million people each year, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse. Another non-profit watchdog organization, The National Council on Aging, lists seven aspects of elder abuse, which are often commingled: physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, confinement, passive neglect, willful deprivation, and financial exploitation.

Being rich and famous is no protection from predators. In 2011 the Los Angeles Superior Court issued restraining orders against Chris and Christina Aber, the stepchildren of Mickey Rooney. Rooney’s lawyers claimed they emotionally abused and financially exploited the beloved actor. Rooney’s stepchildren were even accused of denying Rooney basic food and medicine. The legendary star died a few years later in 2014. Read more

About Cathy Schottenstein

My 94-Year-Old Grandmother Wants to Wake Us All Up to the Tragedy of Elder Abuse

beverley schottenstein watching the trialOver the last few months, the media has been covering my grandmother’s court case against her two grandsons, Evan and Avi Schottenstein, for massive financial fraud. After over two years since the initial discovery, they, along with J.P. Morgan, were found liable for misappropriating tens of millions of dollars of her money. Together, they were ordered to restore over $19 million to my grandmother. But something else happened in that courtroom that is far more important than any amount of money. The three presiding arbitrators described her experience as a clear case of “elder abuse.”

In a cruel attempt to excuse their criminal activities, Evan and Avi tried to paint my lovely, always meticulously groomed, sharp-as-a-whip grandmother as a liar who suffers from dementia. I was with her throughout this entire journey, and I felt her anguish, sleepless nights, stress that resulted in hair loss, loss of appetite, and other side effects including the anguish that came from having to weather the slanderous lies her grandsons fabricated. These were the heartbreaking results following Nanny’s refusal to let Evan and Avi “off the hook” for the sake of the family name and reputation, as some urged her to do.

Though none of Evan and Avi’s accusations about Nanny were true, the irony is, if they had simply come clean, she would have forgiven them. They did not need to lie or cheat or steal. They just needed to level with her and treat her with the dignity she deserved. She trusted them, and they took advantage of her. No senior deserves this treatment—especially not from one’s own flesh and blood. Read more

About Cathy Schottenstein

Beverley Schottenstein, her granddaughter Cathy, and caregiver-companion Dawn Henry.

About Cathy Schottenstein

My 94-Year-Old Nanny Was Defrauded of Millions. Family: We Did Nothing Wrong!

Beverley Schottenstein Trial-2As my grandmother, Beverley Schottenstein, and I watched the trial that would decide the fate of her rightful fortune on Zoom in Florida, she couldn’t stop the tears—angry tears. For her, this ordeal was not solely about the undeniable fact that two of her own grandsons robbed her of millions. It was also about the hideous lies that the two grandsons told about her on the stand.  And adding insult to injury, the boys’ father Bobby, her own son and my uncle, along with their mother Caroline distorted the narrative to justify their own reprehensible actions.

My 94-year-old grandmother, whom I call Nanny, also testified on Zoom from the sanctity of her home—a residence directly one floor above Bobby and Caroline’s own condo. When the arbitrators handed down the verdict, it became a breaking news sensation in countless media outlets on and offline. The full story became the subject of a major feature in Bloomberg breaking this week. Nanny won her restitution, but the most satisfying aspect of the verdict was that it determined that the grandsons were guilty of elder abuse. The decision was evidence that elder abuse can happen at any time to anyone, even to those seemingly insulated by wealth and prestige. Read more