Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Help Me Howard: Jacqueline Banke Trumbore
Her name is unusual, very distinctive. So when a woman with the same first and last name got arrested in a big case, a lot of people assumed the honest woman was the accused woman, and it has devastated her. A little confusing. Lets bring in Help me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
WSVN -- If you have ever been in a Broward Courtroom, you might have seen Jacqueline Trumbore.
Jacqueline B. Trumbore, Attorney: "The one who basically want to try help the children, elderly vulnerable and disabled adults and thats what I have been doing since day one of my practice."
But over the past year, Jacqueline's unusual name has been attached to another case.
Jacqueline B. Trumbore: "Jacqueline Trumbore assisted other attorneys and other people in committing mortgage fraud and I said well thats not me I was very very upset."
Last summer the U.S. Attorneys Office sent out this an announcement that they had indicted 13 people, including Jacqueline Trumbore, in a 16 million dollar mortgage scheme.
Jacqueline B. Trumbore: "And it was very ambiguous because instead of using Jacqueline E Trumbore they just used Jacqueline Trumbore and her name is Jacqueline Eliquor Trumbore and mine is Jacqueline B Trumbore."
In the same announcement, the middle initial was used for the U.S. Attorney and some of the agents involved in the case, but not for other agents involved. The middle initial was not used for any of the accused and so many people thought this jacqueline trumbore was accused of a crime.
Jacqueline B. Trumbore: "So its an embarrassment to me."
Embarressing and devastating to her law practice. Since she is often a court appointed attorney helping children and the elderly, judges hold her to the highest standard and...
Jacqueline B. Trumbore: "And they were about to take me off of cases.. because you can not have anybody with these allegations above their head."
Jacqueline straightened that out. But then some new clients quit coming in because of Google.
Jacqueline B. Trumbore: "So the problem is that most people will google your name just to see if there is anything out there."
Google the name Jacqueline Trumbore. Up at the top - a link to the indictment. Scroll down - another bad story and another.
Jacqueline B. Trumbore: "So people unfortunately don't really give you the benefit of the doubt especially if they see it in media coverage."
According to documents, Jacqueline E. Trumbore has plead guilty and was sentenced to three years probation. This Jacqueline's situation is much better, but considering she did nothing wrong, it's bad.
Jacqueline B. Trumbore: "Actually I blame the Department of Justice to be honest with you because they just use the first last name they didn't use a middle name so from the getgo their press release was ambiguous."
Well Howard, when law enforcement charges or indicts someone, do they have to use a middle name or initial to avoid confusion?
Howard Finkelstein: "No. Legally law enforcement does not have to use your middle name or initial, just your first and last name, however it wouldnt take much effort to include a middle initial and avoid an innocent person being confused with the accused."
The U.S. Attornies Office did send Jacqueline this letter to show to people to that she was not the Jacqueline Trumbore who was indicted for fraud. A spokesman with the U.S. Attornies Office told me the names used in an indictment vary from case to case. Sometimes there are middle initials, sometimes not and all legally correct.
We spoke to a few police departments who told us they use the name given by the arresting officer on their reports.
Jacqueline's only solution now - go spread the word that she is the honest Jacqueline B Trumbore.
Jacqueline B. Trumbore: "And try to clean up my reputation even though it's not my reputation it's someone else's reputation."
Jacqueline hopes the good word gets out as quickly as the bad word got out. So she can get busy doing what she loved to do, before that other Jacqueline came around.
Jacqueline B. Trumbore: "I'm the good Jacqueline Turmbore."
Patrick Fraser: "Now most of the time this is not a big deal when someone with the same name gets in trouble. For example a Smith or Perez gets arrested every day and no-one confuses them with a similar Smith or Perez. Jacqueline's problem was different because her name is so unusual, not that its any consolation to her."
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