Veteran Court Conspiracy Exposed
By Jere Beery
Veterans around the country are being victimized by lawyers who prey on them, their families, and the American tax payers. Our military ,families have things bad enough, so much worse when one member is constantly deployed, but this story, this one goes so much further than that. You won’t believe what is going on.
It started in Las Vegas with one lawyer and then another one in North Carolina. Their details are below. We want you to note who they are and everything they have done to American vets and their families. One big issue, of course, is veteran’s disability compensation.
By law, traditionally, this money has been designated as not just untaxable but untouchable. This was Federal Law, this is Federal Law but that law is being rewritten, not officially, but illegally by local courts, not to help families or secure children but to enrich lawyers in illegal schemes that violate every ethical code imagiable.
Why is no one doing anything about this?
A issue VFVC has been working on for over nine years is the lack of enforcement of the federal protection of veterans’ disability compensation in state civil courts as outlined in 38 USC, § 5301. VFVC volunteers have devoted thousands of hours and traveled tens of thousands of miles investigating the improper categorization of veteran’s disability compensation as “income” by civil court judges and family law attorneys in divorce settlements. According to VFVC National Chairman, Gene D. Simes, VFVC is now ready to release its findings to the American public.
VFVC’s nine year investigation has found that a small number of attorneys are directly responsible for the development of a majority of the “illegal” policies and legislation designed to strip retired military and disabled veterans of their retirement pay and disability compensation. In this writing, VFVC is revealing two of the main architects of the scam to steal federal tax dollars while simultaneously stripping our disabled veterans of their earned disability benefits.
The two most egregious offenders in this realm are Marshal Willick of Las Vegas, Nevada (practicing exclusively in domestic relations & family law, both trial and appellate) and Mark E. Sullivan of Raleigh, North Carolina .
Sullivan has limited his trial practice to family law since 1981 and has been certified by the North Carolina State Bar as a Family Law Specialist since 1989.Both Willick and Sullivan have published handbooks on how to “work the system” when it comes to military/veteran divorces, advising other attorneys how to maximize the amount of retirement and veteran benefits they can obtain for their non-veteran clients.
Marshal Willick wrote the first textbook, “Military Retirement Benefits in Divorce: A Lawyer’s Guide to Valuation and Distribution” for the American Bar Association in 1998. Additionally, he has written articles and taught continuing legal education (CLE) seminars on the subject for over 20 years.
Mark Sullivan’s book, “The Military Divorce Handbook”, was published in May 2006 by the American Bar Association. Willick and Sullivan have both testified before Congress on the subject, and are considered by many to be “experts” on the issue of military divorces. Both attorneys’ handbooks are available for sale on their respective web sites.
In 2007, Willick authored another handbook titles; “HITTING THE JACKPOT IN PENSION CASES: SECRETS TO GETTING THE RETIREMENT SHARE YOUR CLIENT DESERVES”.
Apparently, Willick considers going after a veteran’s retirement pay and disability compensation as some sort of gambling game of chance. In this publication Willick divulges what he refers to as “secrets” on how to drain every penny possible from a retired military veteran, including any disability compensation the veteran may be receiving.
In his 28,684 word, 52 page booklet, Willick never once mentions the federal laws specifically written to protect a disabled veteran’s disability compensation from slick attorneys such as himself. It is as though 38 USC, § 5301 never existed. How convenient.
Gene Simes says Willick and Sullivan have made millions of dollars by distorting the facts surrounding veterans’ military retirement pay, disability compensation, and Combat Related Special Compensation (CRSC). They do this by creating the illusion that all of these financial elements are exactly the same and therefore must be treated the same in a divorce. This position is far from the truth. Military retirement pay is administered by the Department of Defense, is taxable income and falls under the jurisdiction of Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA), and is a can of worms all to its self.
However, veteran’s disability compensation is administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs and is tax exempt. By combining and addressing these very different programs as though they were one, Willick and Sullivan intentionally ignore the federal protection of veterans’ disability compensation, clearly codified nearly 200 years ago.
The following excerpt from the TWENTIETH CONGRESS (1828) support this argument.
CHAP. LIII – An Act for the relief of certain surviving officers and soldiers of the army of the revolution. [Approved May 15, 1828]Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That the pay allowed by this act shall, under the direction of the Secretary Treasury, be paid to the officer or soldier entitled thereto, or to their authorized attorney, as such places and days as said secretary may direct; and that no foreign officer shall be entitled to said pay, nor shall any officer or soldier receive the same, until he furnish to said secretary satisfactory evidence that he is entitled to the same conformity to the provisions of this act; and the pay allowed by this act shall not, in any way, be transferable or liable to attachment, levy, or seizure, by any legal process whatever, but shall inure wholly to the personal benefit of the officer or soldier entitled to the same by this act. (Source: U.S. Congressional Record / Library of Congress)
The current federal law, United States Code, Title 38, section 5301 is very clear about the protection of veteran’s disability compensation, and reads as follows;
Payments of benefits due or to become due under any law administered by the Secretary shall not be assignable except to the extent specifically authorized by law, and such payments made to, or on account of a beneficiary shall be exempt from taxation, shall be exempt from the claim of creditors, and shall not be liable to attachment, levy, or seizure by or under any legal or equitable process whatever, either before or after receipt by the beneficiary.
Willick and Sullivan claim that this federal law carries absolutely no relevance in dividing veteran’s disability compensation in state divorce law. They point to a 1987 Supreme Court ruling in the case of Rose v. Rose to support their argument. By the end of this article you will understand why these two attorneys make this claim.
Simes says Willick and Sullivan are taking wording out of context in the Rose v. Rose case to bolster their bogus legal argument that disability compensation is not protected in any way. Simes points out that Rose v. Rose was a contempt of court case, not a veteran’s disability distribution case. The only two governmental entities with legal authority regarding who gets disability compensation, how much they get, and when they get it are the U.S. Congress and the Department of Veterans Affairs; not the Supreme Court.
Gene Simes also points out that Rose v. Rose involved a retired military person who had waived a portion of his retirement pay in order to receive disability compensation as allowed by federal law. To use the same equation to access the disability compensation of a veteran who is not retired is more often financially devastating, since in many cases the severely disabled veteran has nothing to survive on other than their disability compensation.
Attorney Marshal Willick claims that veterans are merely attempting to avoid paying alimony and child support by using an old outdated federal law. Simes says Willick is the one victimizing the veterans, their spouses, and children. Willick hides behind the spouse and child/children while arguing for a large alimony and child support settlement, then takes a large percentage of the award for himself. VFVC/OFFE has acquired a number of documents which illustrate how Willick exploits spouses and children of veterans to line his own pocket.
Among these documents are several contingency agreements signed by Willick which grant him 50% of all moneys awarded to his client in alimony and child support. In other words, half of all moneys awarded to a spouse for alimony and child support go directly into Willick’s pocket. VFVC members feel that such contingency agreements reek of ethics violations and are clearly a conflict of interest.
Willick and Sullivan are also experts in the use of military service against a veteran when awarding alimony, child support, child custody, and even child visitation. Veterans and active military personnel are losing custody, parental rights, and even visitation based on PTSD ratings and overseas deployments.The twisted logic behind these unjust court rulings is: a PTSD diagnosis implies emotional instability and unpredictable behavior; and an extended tour of duty overseas indicates a lack of contact and involvement in the development of one’s child or children. In fact, in some cases where a parent ‘voluntarily’ and ‘willingly’ joined the military after the birth of a child, they are being accused of intentional abandonment.
Unfortunately, all of these factors (& others) are being used against our veterans and military personnel who are going through a divorce and seeking custody of or just visitation with their child or children. Willick and Sullivan swing from one strategy to another depending on the case.
From veterans are dangerous individuals unfit to care for their children, to military service is no more dangerous than working on a construction site. In a recent email exchange between Willick and members of VFVC, Willick minimizes and degrades military service by claiming; “Zoo keepers “put their lives on the line,” as do construction workers, cops, fire-fighters, and a host of others. The sort of entitlement mentality exhibited by the military groups is not (usually) seen from any of those workers, and neither would or should be tolerated if it was tried.”
Belittling and trivializing the dangers associated with military service is a signature tactic used by Willick and attorneys who subscribe to his way of litigating.Willick goes on to claim; “The source of the disability is simply irrelevant to the distribution of benefits and burdens after such a disability. If there is disability income, it is the separate property of the individual receiving it, meant to compensate for future lost wages – but it is income. Sorting out who should get, and pay, what, among the individual facts of individual cases, is what divorce courts are for.”
Gene Simes takes issue with Willick’s ignorance and arrogance. State divorce courts are not authorized to distribute veteran’s disability benefits. The Department of Veterans Affairs, Internal Revenue Service, Social Security Administration, and U.S. Federal Bankruptcy Court do not define tax-exempt veterans’ disability compensation as “Income”. Marshal Willick is simply making this stuff up as he goes.
Another tactic Willick and Sullivan use to get legislators to subscribe to their distorted and perverted attacks on our veterans is political blackmail. Willick, Sullivan and other attorneys threaten to expose state and federal politicians and elected judges as “anti-child support” and “anti-alimony” if they do not agree to support their distorted interpretation of veteran’s benefits.Willick and Sullivan have advised elected officials that such a stance would be political suicide.
To date, this strategy has resulted in the defeat of attempts in several states to pass legislation which enforces the absolute protection of veterans’ disability compensation under any legal process whatsoever as intended by federal law. Apparently, most elected politicians are scared off by these threats and won’t stand up for the rights of our disabled veterans.Willick , Sullivan, and others have found a “cash cow” in military retirement and veterans’ disability benefits and they are milking it dry.Many attorneys refer to disability compensation checks as “Golden”, as they are guaranteed to be there on the first of every month.
In his seminars, Willick also teaches other attorneys the dirty trick of how to attach their client’s legal fees to the veteran’s court order. At some point in the divorce hearing Willick will submit a motion that his legal fees be attached to the divorce settlement court order. When the judge agrees, the disabled veteran is ordered to pay their ex-spouse’s attorney fees as well as their own. After the judge adds court costs to the ruling, the veteran’s disability compensation ends up in their ex-spouse’s pocket, their ex-spouse’s attorney’s pocket, their own attorney’s pocket, and the court’s pocket. Everyone in the courtroom has a vested interest in the veteran’s disability compensation.
Too often, the veteran is left with only a fraction of his/her disability compensation to live on, not even enough to hire another attorney and appeal the ruling. In most cases, not enough to even meet their own living expenses.
Willick and Sullivan have even gone as far as to include wording in divorce settlements covering the possibility that a veteran might become disabled and might receive disability compensation in the future. If that occurs, those funds will then be used to increase their ex-spouse’s alimony award.
In other words, before a veteran even receives a disability rating or compensation, their ex-spouse has already been awarded a significant portion of this money.According to Gene Simes, these two attorneys are coconspirators and both are directly responsible for infecting state family law legislation and state policies nationwide with their own brand of justice and greed.
They both use underhanded techniques and legal deception designed to illegally strip our veterans of their earned retirement, benefits, and entitlements. Simes says, Willick and Sullivan are directly responsible for the increased number of veterans who are homeless, emotionally distraught, and suicidal.
These attorneys have violated not only their Code of Conduct, but have dismissed federal laws which are protected under the U.S. Constitution.Simes says, Willick and Sullivan have made a couple of critical miscalculations in their operations. They assume veteran’s disability compensation funds belong only to the veteran, which is false.
These funds belong to the American tax payer and are designated exclusively for use by the individual wounded or injured in the line of duty. We are convinced that the tax payers of this country will be outraged when they discover self-serving attorneys are diverting federal tax dollars to ineligible, able body, non-military third parties, and into their own pockets.
Another mistake Willick, Sullivan, and other attorneys make is forcing (with the threat of jail) disabled veterans to sign a divorce settlement agreement in which their disability compensation is listed as a funding source for alimony and/or child support.
USC, Title 38, section 5301 reads as follows;
(3) (A)This paragraph is intended to clarify that, in any case where a beneficiary entitled to compensation, pension, or dependency and indemnity compensation enters into an agreement with another person under which agreement such other person acquires for consideration the right to receive such benefit by payment of such compensation, pension, or dependency and indemnity compensation, as the case may be, except as provided in subparagraph(B), and including deposit into a joint account from which such other person may make withdrawals, or otherwise, such agreement shall be deemed to be an assignment and is prohibited.
In other words, it is a Federal crime for a U.S. disabled veteran to enter into a state court divorce settlement agreement in which the veteran’s disability benefits are to be diverted (paid) to a third party.
There are a number of key coconspirators involved in the infestation of state civil courts nationwide, and VFVC plans to expose all of these individuals at the right time. VFVC has acquired a number of documents which reveal the conspiracy to violate the federal protection of veterans’ disability compensation, all of which cannot be displayed in this single article.
Gene Simes says, the battle lines have been drawn and he expects this issue to fester and burst wide open during the upcoming 2012 election year.
VFVC Inc. is considering a number of options to include filing Class Action Suits, filing formal complaints with the Nevada and North Carolina Bar Associations, filing formal complaints with the American Bar Association, and U.S. Department of Justice (RICO Division).
Simes adds that a coalition of veterans organizations is being organized and are preparing to publicly expose and confront everyone involved in this conspiracy to defraud our combat disabled veterans, their spouses, their children, and the American tax payer.
Gene Simes and the members of VFVC Inc. are demanding a full investigation and formal public Congressional hearing concerning the continued exploitation of veteran’s benefits in state civil courts nationwide on behalf of all of our nation’s former military personnel, their families, and the American tax payer.
Veterans For Veteran Connection, Inc. (VFVC) is a grassroots veteran’s advocacy group devoted to the improvement and protection of benefits, entitlements, and services provided to our country’s former military personnel and their families. VFVC is a registered non-profit bipartisan 501 (C)19 veterans service organization headquartered in Walworth, New York.Operation Firing For Effect (OFFE) is the operational arm of VFVC, Inc. designated to conduct lobbying efforts in Washington DC, as well as rallies and demonstrations promoting legislative and policy changes to ensure and protect veteran’s rights nationwide.
Some of the issues VFVC/OFFE have championed over the past 10 years are; mandatory full funding for veterans’ healthcare, preferential job placement for veterans, and several program concepts to address the nation’s increasing number of homeless veterans. VFVC Inc./OFFE also contributed to the development of the Department of Veterans Affairs national suicide hot line headquartered in Canandaigua, New York.
For more information, contact Gene Simes at; (315)986-7322
source: " http://www.veteranstoday.com/2011/12/17/veteran-court-conspiracy-exposed/ "