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Beware bank accounts set up for victims

Our EndNotes column Tuesday warned people against donating to accounts set up for people in the community who have hit on hard times or have experienced great tragedy. Turns out, the person who opens it has all the control, and financial institutions don't monitor those accounts nor can they reveal the identity of the person who opened the account.

“Financial institutions can’t go around asking for documentation of where the money went. That’s just not our role,” said Dan Hansen, senior communications officer for Spokane Teachers Credit Union. “And if you came in and said I want to give to that memorial fund, but I want to know who opened up the account, that’s information we can’t release.”

Today, the Associated Press is reporting that the aunt of the children involved a the horrific tragedy seven years ago — (the Groene kids, kidnapped by Joseph Duncan — is being sued by the children's father, Steve Groene. He claims she didn't use the $48,000 to help his kids. (His son was murdered by Duncan.)

Sad, sad. Let the givers beware.

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Writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., addresses issues facing aging baby boomers and seniors as well as issues of serious illness, death and dying, grief and loss.

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