by Brian Mahany
A 41 year old Florida man was arrested after being accused of stealing his daughter’s $58,000 inheritance. Published reports and court records reveal that Willie Lockridge was the father of the victim. Apparently the victim’s mother died in 2011 and left almost $59,000 to her daughter. The girl’s uncle was court appointed as her guardian, not her biological father. Contrary to the court’s order, however, the father convinced his brother to access the monies.
The inheritance check was only to be deposited into a restricted account at Comerica bank. Instead, the father and uncle convinced a TD Bank employee to allow them to open an account there. That was in May of 2012. One month later, the account was overdrawn.
Was the money used to help support the girl? Unfortunately no. Cops say dad used the money to buy a Jaguar, plasma TV and plane tickets for his girlfriend. In a few short weeks, the money was gone.
Normally, this is not the type inheritance fraud we report. There is a silver lining to this tragic story. While Lockridge went to jail, TD Bank agreed to pay the money improperly deposited in their bank.
If the fraudster or thief no longer has the money, finding a responsible deep pocket becomes critical. In many inheritance fraud cases the monies can be frozen until the facts are sorted out. In this case, Dad is accused of squandering the inheritance money in just a few days. Luckily, because the check was restricted and should have been deposited into a special account, TD Bank was persuaded to refund the money. Dad maybe a thief, but TD Bank allowed him to open an account with funds that were clearly marked as restricted.
Inheritance frauds are difficult cases. Often family members are forced to choose sides and some families never recover from these situations. Choosing the right lawyer to handle a will contest or probate fraud is crucial. If you believe that you were improperly excluded from a will or trust because of fraud or if someone steals your inheritance, give us a call. Our asset recovery lawyers have been very successful in recovering money for victims.
Mahany & Ertl – America’s Fraud Lawyers. Offices in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Detroit, Michigan; Portland, Maine; Minneapolis, Minnesota and coming soon San Francisco, California. Fraud recovery available in many jurisdictions.
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