Proof: confirmation of fact by evidence that a lawyer can prove beyond a reasonable doubt in criminal prosecutions. The main burden of proof of which a defendant, someone on trial must prove mitigating circumstances in a civil or criminal court. This book will focus on many aspects of the law as on young lawyer named Caroline Auden will go head to head with a huge company named Greenleaf that claims to create projects to help the citizens of the city where they are housed and even helping those most vulnerable the elderly in a scam so huge, so widespread that Caroline won’t see what is about to happen to her coming. Her grandmother is in a nursing facility called The Pastures and her estate when meeting with the attorney handling the estate learn that she had about 97 thousand dollars in the bank and her personal property and an heirloom watch were not left to her but to a charity called Oasis Care. This alone set off red flags for Caroline but dealing with the lawyer she began to realize that something about this was wrong. Meeting the CNA that cared for her grandmother she felt a red flag going up as she went through her things but for some reason the one thing she wanted the watch was gone and the CNA claimed to not no anything. Learning that the watch might have been in need of repair she tracks down the repairman who claims no knowledge of it. Why was Patricia her aide doing errands for her and why give her the watch? This was just one situation that Caroline had to address but the life of a little boy named Mateo would hang in the balance if she did not find proof that his uncle Rogelio Gonzales was an unfit guardian for him. She needed to convince a judge to allow him to remain in foster care with the family that accept him as their own. He would be reunited with his father when he’s released from prison but he environment that the uncle would place him in would be conducive to teaching him to become a money launderer and drug dealer when older. Mateo was being used as a drug mule or look out to tell his uncle when the police were near. This young child realized by himself the difference between right and wrong in his own young way. Caroline would fit to the end for this young child as the story switches gears many times but never loses sight of both cases.
With the author’s extensive knowledge of the law we learn about money laundering, cheating clients, fake clients and how someone manages to get money for his projects by resorting to identity take over of the most heinous kind.
Caroline left her job at a prestigious law firm and created her own practice. With the death of her grandmother and the estate left to Oasis Care a chain of events will begin that will place her, her assistant Amy in grave danger as they enter the world of Simon Reed to find out just what this supposed philanthropist is really doing with the huge amounts of money he’s getting from the estates of the dying elderly people leaving their money to Oasis. On the surface this looks like a great charity helping the homeless, bringing jobs into the community and creating projects that will enhance real estate but underneath as she pushes away the layers of lies, deceits and murders, Caroline will uncover truths that will place her and anyone close to her in death’s way. ADA Boyd is a friend of Caroline and she asks him to investigate the logs of the company and relies on Gordon Fowler the man who does the books for Oasis. When the investigation is shut down Caroline things that something odd is going down and she refuses to give up. Meanwhile in the other case with the help of Shaina Parker over in gangs, she received the files from the docket for Fernando Gonzalez’s case as well as some other materials from her files that might help save Mateo. This man owns a lingerie company but just how much does he sell and where exactly is the money going?
Caroline and her assistant Amy who is great at hacking into any system helps her to find out who the person in charge of the CNA’s training and who is running the show. Conrad Vizzi is the man and the phone call that Amy makes pretending to need their services and hire some of their Certified Nurses Assistants for a facility that she made up starts another chain of events as they ask how they handle payroll, taxes, contracts and everything for their employees. Of course there are steps that are left out and the employee tax fee that has to be paid back once they start working and the consequences of fate to those that don’t adhere to their master plan and rules.
Duncan Reed started Oasis to help the elderly and at that point learning more from Vizzi she decided to sue Oasis because as you learn more about them and their underhanded dealings you will leant that the entity or Oasis encourages the elderly people to leave their money to this suspicious organization and regardless of where Boyd or his boss decide help her out she was going to find out how often these bequests were made and how the money or checks were cut and how often.
Patricia Amos took care of her grandmother who why and how did she disappear and when she was told about another aide with the same name, which one was the real Patricia Amos? Nevada is the home state of where Oasis originates and they are not required to list their shareholders or board members in their articles of incorporation. But, the trial that ensues and the judge presiding will give you chills as you hear her rulings, her disregard for the law as Caroline presents a well prepared and well documented case but in the end she loses. When the lawyer for Oasis whispers to her “Sometimes it’s not what you know but whom you know,” which tells her the judge was paid off.
A simple discrepancy in the invoice that Mateo’s uncle presented for what he shipped would alert Charlie that something was wrong and that although one said six and another 12 what was in the other twelve? Twelve pallets not six did six have drugs and what about the Border Patrol didn’t they catch the mistake in the shipping manifest? Caroline’s fiasco in court with the judge and then realized this case would have to go to a higher court. Needing help she did the one thing she did not want to do which is contact her father hopefully getting the bank records, the banks and the names of the people who died and left their estate to Oasis in order to learn how many checks were cut to them and how often. When Amy is finally able to divulge the name of her attacker something else happens causing Charlie to have to go on the run when the killer is at her front door. Escaping with just the clothes she was wearing, no ID, no shoes, phone or anything else she runs for her life hoping to find her Uncle Hitch an ex-detective living in the homeless section of town. With the help of her uncle, Jake a homeless man, a lawyer named Albert Khaing who is really amazing but creates his own restrictions and rules for her to keep her save and another homeless woman named Lani, Charlie hopes to not only save Mateo but also bring down Oasis. Can she find the clues and the answers needed? Just how much will she uncover before the killers come after her again? Can she remain off the streets of Los Angeles or will she find herself hunting in plain sight hoping not to be noticed? Enter the world of Goliath nonprofit and learn the meaning of money laundering, corruption, fraud, murder, deceit, greed and power as Simon Reed and his minions hawk the people in this home, fleece the many investors that invest in his projects and hopes that no one will read the fine print to find out what he is really doing.
Charlie creates using the information she gets a Spreadsheet of Death and the list of BanCorp customers who were conned into leaving Oasis their money. Dates for the transactions were provided but something about these transactions and the deaths of each person will shock the reader. A pattern is created related to the affidavit transactions and the order of when they were issued. With the information at hand and her will to take them down the courtroom scene will show just how smart, cunning and astute Charlie is. From the man named Gregory Parsons who handled the affidavit withdrawals to the fact that he was charged with civil fraud to Simon Reed who tried to worm his way out of the truth you won’t believe the unprecedented ending that Oasis faces. When the real aide to her grandmother is found and the truth behind the watch and how Oasis trains their CNA’s comes out you won’t believe what is uncovered and you the reader will think more than twice before placing someone you love in the hands of people like this.
Truths, lies, betrayals, attempted murder; fear, blackmail, deceits and an organization that claims to want to help the elderly but how? Simon read thinks he’s like Teflon John and untouchable until well you decide at the end when all of the hidden truths and lies are revealed whether the court will side in Charlie’s favor or in Reed’s. Who will win? Who will lose? Who has the real and only PROOF?
Charlie is a strong character and her relationship with the lawyer might be something author C.E. Tobisman might want to explore. But, either way I do hope she brings her and the whole cast of characters from the homeless section back again. A first rate five star novel with credible and real life situations only a well-seasoned lawyer like our author can deliver.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine