MAN GETS 7 YEARS FOR DEFRAUDING WIDOW
Personal representatives (executors) and estate administrators can sometimes be tempted to use their powers for their own financial benefit. They would be wise to resist that temptation.
People entrusted to administer an estate are given broad powers to complete their tasks. While they often work under the supervision of the court, it is not always easy for courts to exercise that supervision.
This is especially true when it comes to any self-dealing by a personal representative or other estate administrator. Such conduct can be difficult to catch in a timely fashion, but it is generally caught.
For example, when Victor M. Dandridge III's best friend passed away in 2005, he offered to take care of the estate for the widow, Lynne Kinder. Dandridge promised her that he would invest her late husband’s assets conservatively for her.
Instead, he took millions of dollars out of the accounts and used them to invest in his own failing businesses. Dandridge claims he always meant to pay her back when his businesses got better and he had the money.
A judge sentenced Dandridge to seven years in prison, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch in "Charlottesville businessman gets 7 years for defrauding best friend's widow out of $32 million."
The broad powers and often limited oversight estate administrators are given makes it possible for them to take estate assets for their own use.
Since courts cannot micromanage everything, the beneficiaries of estates need to be diligent. If they suspect something improper is happening, they should seek the assistance of independent counsel immediately.
Estate administrators should also be warned. If they give in to temptation, prison could be the ultimate result.
Reference: Richmond Times-Dispatch (Nov. 9, 2017) "Charlottesville businessman gets 7 years for defrauding best friend's widow out of $32 million."