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Following the Eclipse Herd

Would you have either of these guys draft your will? I ran into Chuck Meyer (Santen and Hughes) during the eclipse at the Banks.

 

They Might Still Get Away With It

A Mason family – Mitch, Patricia, and Candace Stevenson – was indicted by a federal grand jury in June for money laundering associated with the receipt of life insurance proceeds. Allegedly, Patricia and Candace were the beneficiaries of two policies totaling nearly $3 million on the life of Mitch’s sister, Tina.

The 2009 application for life insurance stated that Tina had never been diagnosed with diabetes nor had taken medication within the previous 12 months. A physical exam was performed on a woman in Texas weighing 170 pounds. Tina actually weighed 380 pounds when she was in an emergency room three weeks prior to the application. Tina died in early 2012. Patricia and Candace received the death benefits and used them to purchase a Bentley convertible, make a $280K down payment on a former Homearama house, and other purchases. Unrelated, or perhaps not, Mitch and his son, Steven, have also allegedly been involved in a scrap metal scan.

Whew. Several points.

1. In Ohio, life insurance policies become incontestable two years after the application even if there is fraud. Companies have to pay the death benefit.

2. The Stevensons are likely being charged with money laundering because they cannot be charged with insurance fraud.

3. Money laundering is the crime of hiding the source of proceeds from a crime. I am not sure that using funds from a life insurance policy to purchase lots of bling amounts to money laundering.

4. In the bizarre coincidence category, the house purchased by the Stevensons was the subject of bank fraud 10 years ago that caused the builder to spend time in prison.

5. The Stevenson parents remain unindicted for naming their son Steven Stevenson.

Photo Credit:  Keith Biery Golick (KBG) for the Cincinnati Enquirer

License:  Fair Use/Education

Of Memorabilia and Men

Willie DeLuca was the manager of famed Cincinnati restaurant, Sorrentos Pizzeria. He was famous for having a heart of gold, appearing on David Letterman to balance stuff on his nose, and collecting sports and entertainment memorabilia (including hair from JFK and Paul McCartney) that he valued at $1 million. DeLuca died in 2006 and left his entire estate in a testamentary trust to his only child, Enrico. The trust funds and memorabilia were distributed to Enrico when he turned 21 several years ago. Enrico is now suing his uncle, Art DeLuca, for allegedly taking some of the memorabilia that was left to him by his father. The uncle had posted some of the items for sale on Facebook recently.

Several small points:

1. I never prepare testamentary trusts for my clients because they are a public record. A living trust is private and more flexible.

2. I also never advise my clients to have a trust distribute all of its assets when the child turns 21 – that age is too young for most children to manage the inheritance responsibly.

3. Enrico might have a statute of limitations problem with proving his claim because Willie died 10+ years ago and Enrico is only now filing suit.

4. Posting items for sale on Facebook which are a public record as belonging to Willie’s estate and trust is not advisable.

5. Hair snippets from JFK and Paul McCartney? How does one acquire those? Regardless, I would not give a nickel for them.

Photo Credit:   Cincinnati Enquirer/File Photo

License:  Fair Use/Education 

Back From Europe

Just returned from 10 days in Central Europe with Janice, Blair, and Jack. Visited Prague, Bratislava, Vienna, and Munich. Adjacent pic is my favorite from the trip. Post to follow later.

Prayers For Otto

Otto Warmbier is the Cincinnatian who was held captive by North Korea for 17 months for allegedly trying to steal a propaganda sign on a college visit. While starting to serve a 15 year sentence of hard labor, he was beaten so severely that he suffered a brain injury and returned home Tuesday night in a coma. Doctors at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center have described his condition as “unresponsive wakefulness.”

One small legal point:

1. Once a child turns 18, I encourage parents to have their child sign a health care power of attorney, living will, and HIPAA Release so the parents can access their child’s medical records and make medical decisions for them. Without those documents, the parents might be stymied in making decisions in the best interest of their child.

2. This story breaks my heart. No snark here out of respect for Otto and his parents. Tell your child you love him/her tonight.

Photo Credit:  Christopher Oquendo for dailymail.com

License:  Fair Use/Education

Contact Me

All Posts By Jay Brinker

I am an attorney located in Cincinnati, Ohio who practices in the areas of estate planning, probate, asset protection, and small business advice. I make a difficult and bewildering process as simple as possible. Most importantly, I provide "more for less" for my clients.