I'm in OHIO,and to make a long story short,my older brother cheated me out of a minimum of 2 million from my fathers estate.Unfortunately,I did not take action as soon as I should of,as my father died on March 31,1992.
There was a will which stated everything to be split half&half. Well.. the lawyer who drew up the will for my parents is my brothers best friend.Between this lawyer& my brother&maybe his tax guy;they definately conspired to defraud me of my share.
Further more,the day after my father died my brother raided my fathers safe deposit box,by signing (fathers) name,and telling me there was nothing in the box. However,Before my mother passed 6 years before my father,she told me that if anything ever happened to them(parents),then we(brother or I) should go to safety deposit box,and DO NOT tell the bank that they were deceased.-In fact,she had a note stating this wrapped around the box key. I suspect there was a good amount of negotiable securities there.(So,his signing my fathers name consitutes Fraud,and I believe there is no statue of limitations on fraud.
I also have to mention HOW my brother got my fathers POA.My father was an extreme alcoholic,and it finally caught up with him when he collapsed,and he ended up in the psych ward for 3 weeks.-He was strapped down ,hallucinating,and my brother badgered him enough to sign the POA,and he unstrapped his one hand so he could sign.
I should mention that my brother took control of all my fathers assets well within 2 years of his being in the hospital,and his death.So,I'm saying all this took place in less than 2 years.
My brother has been telling me stories about how he made 2 million a year for 2 years selling belts for a co. called Swnak-(Yeah-right!!)-and he built a mansion on 5 acres in Galena,Ohio(suburb of Columbus) for only 200,00-because he built it himself.
This case is wrought with Fraud,on his lawyers part,and of course my brother.
He never showed me any paperwork from my fathers estate.-It's obvious I was a victim of a massive fraud.
I don't know WHY i let this happen to me-I'm currently discussing it with my Shrink.
I had an accident 10 years ago,which prevented me from returning to my job.I'm presently on SS disability,along with a small union pension.It only amounts to $2000. a month,and that is impossible to live on.-I'm 54 y/o I know I could never afford a lawyer for advice,and What if anything I could do at this late date.
I don't have the will,he grabbed that too,but it should not matter if they say there was no will,because even without the will,everything should be half&half.
He cheated me out of ALOT of $$$(Millions!) and the trusting Dumb Ass I am,let it all happen.At first he only wanted to give me $2500.,when I threatened to get a lawyer,he immediately sent me $70,000,of which I paid $30,000 income tax on.
Maybe I should start with the IRS?,and if they get a judgement,or negative ruling against him,legal action would be easier.
I'm Broke,I'm in pain,and miserable for letting myself get run over like this.
He could not include my fathers house in his estate,because I lived there as a caregivers to both of my parents,and lived there for 9 years.-That info came from HIS tax guy.
I know he severely undervalued the estate value to avoid probate taxes,or to avoid probate all together. My parents had alot of CD's,-I have copies of the ones he listed and it's obver $600,000
After he gave me the $70,000,he told me he still owed me another $50,000-Well,I never got that money that he claimed was in a CD.
I suspect that he rolled over all the CD's to his name as they expired,but I have no proof of that.
Is it to late to fight,and where should I start?-What kind of legwork should I do on my own,to build a case?
As soon as he had my fathers POA(under very questionable circumstances)-he transfered alot of the money,and at the same time signed the house over to me.-Out of room,
I hope someone can help me with this-Thanks
You failed in your attempt to keep a long story short. This is 16 years old so some of your causes of action will run up against the statute of limitations (SOL). The IRS will not care that he received money you should have, unless he failed to declare income or pay taxes. Many of the records you need, such as signing at a bank, might not be available. At the end you write "signed the house over to me". Maybe that is your 1/2?
You want to do leg work. Okay, start with what crime or tort you think he committed in what state and then check the SOL. I think you will find that you are SOL (with a different meaning).
You didn't say whether a probate was commenced. That would be a starting point. Generally, the petitioner would have to file an inventory with the court that would include a list of all the assets. If you petition the court and are appointed, you would then have the authority to contact companies to gather information about the assets but the fact that it is so old, the companies probably don't have the records anymore.
If the investments were POD (payable on death) accounts or named your brother as a beneficiary, then they are not probate assets and belong to your brother unless you could prove fraud, something that would be almost impossible to do 17 years later, but not impossible.
Unless you can provide sufficient proof of fraud, I doubt that any attorney would take this on a contingency basis.
Get free answers from experienced attorneys.
29,618 answers this week
3,108 attorneys answering
Get answers from top-rated lawyers.
29,618 answers this week
3,108 attorneys answering
Don't speak legalese? We define thousands of terms in plain English.Browse our legal dictionary