Chavis appeared two days later. Stoever ordered her to file the accountings by May and attend another hearing in June.
Chavis missed the May deadline.
She was busy, but not with her clients' finances. She transferred to her daughter, DeLisa Easter, the Denver Avenue home she had secretly bought from Helen Smith back in 1994. A month later, Easter sold the house for $260,000, three times what Chavis had paid.
Chavis did not show up for the June hearing. Again, Stoever issued a warrant for her arrest.
Five weeks later, she appeared unexpectedly in Department 11 with a letter for the judge. He refused to accept it and ordered his bailiff to arrest her.
She spent the day in a cell at the sheriff's Inmate Reception Center before posting $10,000 bail.
At a hearing on Sept. 28, 2004, Stoever asked her to explain her behavior.
"I had a stroke and another stroke. A lot of stuff was going on with me as far as my diabetes," Chavis said in a barely audible voice.
"I just got overwhelmed."
Stoever ended her career as a conservator that day. He called case after case and ordered her removed in each one. It took more than an hour.
Under order to repay more than $1 million, Chavis has filed reports accounting for some of the VA benefits and other income she collected on her clients' behalf. But nearly $750,000 remains unaccounted for.
Bonding companies that insured her clients' money have paid less than $90,000, settling cases for a fraction of the missing money.
To recover some of their losses, the companies are searching for Chavis' bank accounts and other assets. Gary Wayne Burger, a lawyer for two of the firms, said the insurers had determined that they could not lay claim to the real estate she transferred out of her name.
Carolyn Osterhout is among the former wards still scarred by their experience with Chavis.
With help from a friend, she managed to get free of Chavis' control after seven years under conservatorship. But her lawyer's review of financial records found that $31,706 of Osterhout's money was missing.
In 2003, a judge ruled that Chavis had "misappropriated" the money and ordered her to repay it. She has yet to pay a penny.
Times researcher Maloy Moore contributed to this report.