The Seidlin File
So the Department of Children and Families closed its investigation of former Judge Larry Seidlin, based on allegations that he exploited elderly widow Barbara Kasler, without filing any charges. What did you expect? The judge is way too slick for DCF; they go forward on big obvious cases of abuse, which this isn't. And they aren't about to tackle an exploitation case that's already been cleared by the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office, even if the investigation was pathetic.
The anti-Seidlin forces are still fighting for what they believe is justice -- and the truth is they've already gotten a lot of it. Seidlin and his family members are now out of Kasler's life and out of her will. But details keep rolling in, including credit card charges on top of the roughly $500,000 already known that Seidlin; his wife, Belinda Ray; and her parents managed to obtain from their elderly neighbor's fortune.
What follows is a report from within the anti-Seidlin camp, written by Lyn Evans, an activist who has been at the forefront of the unofficial investigation, along with Kasler's caregivers and niece, Corine Kasler. I called Dr. Claire P. Katz, whose office assistant, a woman named Andrea, told me that Evans' allegations are "bogus" and that the doctor did nothing wrong in this case. As for the psychological evaluation in question, Andrea said all patients get it and Kasler was no different. She also told me that Katz wouldn't be made available for an interview.
I have also contacted Steve Fuller for comment and will update as soon as I hear from him. The report jumps.
FROM: LYN EVANS
RE: THE SEIDLIN EXPLOITATION OF BARBARA KASLER (AN UPDATE)
Date: May 15, 2009
If the Seidlins and Rays have any regrets regarding their activities with Barbara Kasler, I'd say it's that they finally get their hands on her considerable fortune. The Seidlins did their best to get caregiver Monica Izquierdo-Vial fired before she had an opportunity to publicly expose , his family and their nefarious scheme to separate an elderly widow from her money. In that effort, they failed.
They weren't unsuccessful at much else, however. While Kasler is making great strides in getting her health back, she will never have the quality of life that someone her age with her family's strong genes should have enjoyed. To see the progress she's made in just two months - from almost complete incapacitation to sitting up and feeding herself unassisted - is inspirational.
Now the toughest part of her day is coming to the realization and trying to understand why these people masquerading as friends who she thought truly cared about her, were just showing up to take her money and
jewelry. There are American Express bills in the six figures that show purchases (large purchases) of merchandise that she's never seen. There are airline tickets, five-star hotels, meals. And I don't even want to go into what they did with 300,000+ American Express points; just know that Barbara Kasler didn't benefit from them and there's nothing left in the point bank.
In 2002, Barbara Kasler had a ring specially designed and created which included a diamond from each of her deceased sons. It was one of her most treasured possessions. While rummaging through old records and files the other day, I found the ring that several relatives had told me about. Where I discovered it was in an old photograph from 2003 (Larry Seidlin was wearing it). As I think I told you, prior to Larry's investigation on these same charges the first time around, Larry and Belinda came down to Mrs. Kasler's apartment and prominently displayed over 40 photos around the rooms, in frames with statements like "we love you, grandma." The Seidlins deceitfully planted the photos as props for the big show (which was Mrs. Kasler's interview with the Miami-Dade state attorney assigned by the Governor to investigate Seidlin in 2007). Who paid for the photos, you're probably wondering? Well, her American Express bill shows a 111,000 point redemption for a digital camera; after all, nothing but the best for the Seidlins as long as Barbara was paying. But even an expensive camera cannot make Larry and Belinda Seidlin look attractive in the eyes of honest and decent people.
The Seidlin clan's airline tickets were business/first class, hotels were 5-Star such as the Ritz Carlton. Dinner at Ft. Lauderdale's Chima Restaurant wasn't out of the budget; but, even McDonalds fries and $4 highway tolls deserved to be rung up on Barbara's American Express Card. Nothing was left behind, no matter how insignificant. While Monica Izquierdo was paying for all of Mrs. Kasler's household goods and food, the Seidlins and Rays were stocking their apartments with paper towels, food and daily needs from Walmart, Target, Costco, big monthly sundry charges. Of course, there were two households to resupply each month. Apartments 1208 and 1701. By the look of Mrs. Kasler's credit card charges, the Seidlins and the Rays were paying nothing out of their own pockets for groceries or living expenses. There are even double charges on her card for two vehicles being gassed up, even though Barbara wasn't driving a car at this time.
There's so much more to talk about, and that will come to light as we reveal other dimensions of this egregious abuse. For now, Barbara Kasler is doing quite well. Her previous CPA, Steve Fuller of Fuller Witcher & Company, has been removed from his trustee duties, but not before he had a chance to write a few more checks, hiring a lawyer name John George on a $5,000 retainer taken from Barbara's bank account (he says to defend himself. I say "Huh?" And Corine Kasler says "Give It Back!"). Robert Judd of Gunster Yoakley received a going-away present of over $7,500 from Mr. Fuller and, of course, it was written on Barbara's checking account. (Again...our comments are "Huh?" and "Give It Back!"). But the really big story is Steve Fuller's fee and the checks he's written for himself so far this year. As far as I can see, it's over $21,000. Another Seidlin associate, A Miami attorney named Bruce Lehr, who already charged Barbara $7,500 to represent her in Larry's last go-round on this abuse case (like SHE had to pay someone because Larry was alleged to have abused HER) just got another $2,500 from Steve Fuller; and yes, of course, out of Barbara Kasler's checking account. But then you have to ask yourself what you'd do if given carte blanche control over a unlimited supply of someone else's money? Hopefully, it wouldn't be what these folks did. One last person to throw under the bus on this case would be Dr. Claire Katz, Larry and Belinda's good friend who ended up getting Barbara Kasler as a patient at her VIPMD business, thanks to the Seidlin's decision to move her care. We'd have more to write about her, but when I popped in to visit with her last Thursday, armed with my power of attorney and HIPA release forms, she did what I never expected of a physician and professional: While her office assistant was coming up with lies about why the doctor couldn't talk to me (with a patient, etc.), Katz ran out the back door, jumped in her car and called me on my cell to say she couldn't remember who told her to administer a specific test on Mrs. Kasler, a psychological evaluation that the family didn't request. We're going to see if we can't refresh her memory, somehow.
One last story, in the summer of 2008, the Seidlins took Barbara Kasler to Belinda's Pennsylvania cottage for an extended stay (a cottage Mrs. Kasler said she paid for part of). Upon arrival, Barbara had her buy her own mattress so she'd have a place to sleep and wile away, while they took her credit card and had nice long trip to New York City (but not before someone - and not Mrs. Kasler - made a $1,037 visit to Lowe's home improvement store for cottage "needs"). I caught up with some of the people who remembered The Seidlins' New York soiree July 31-August 5th. They stayed at the Sutton Place, stopped for a few nights at The Algonquin, enjoyed wonderful meals, shopped at only the best stores like Sephora, Swatch. There was a $295 purchase of Jimmy Choo sunglasses, and they treated little Dax [Seidlin's young daughter] to a broadway play. Mrs. Kasler's American Express Card shows three $120 orchestra seats for the July 31st performance of Mary Poppins! How fun is that!
Enough for now. Someone already bought the "Larry Seidlin.com" domain name, and the "Judge Larry Seidlin.com " name, but we'd still like to buy a domain name where people can leave stories and comments. How about challenging your readers to come up with a name for the site. The winning selection will receive a $25 gift card to Larry Seidlin's favorite restaurant...the Cheesecake Factory.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss New Times Broward-Palm Beach's biggest stories.
- Dan Marino Appeared in a Hilarious Super Bowl Ad Last Night
- Six Ways Fort Lauderdale Has Changed for the Worse
- Deposition Shows Mismanagement, Lax Oversight Led to BSO Crime Lab Failure