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Alex Esquire
Alex Esquire, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 16264
Experience:  Handled many probate matters
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Is there a statute of limitations regarding theft by a

Customer Question

Is there a statute of limitations regarding theft by a beneficiary from my mom's bank account?
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Alex Esquire replied 3 months ago.

Hello. My name is Alex.
Thank you for your question.
I will be happy to provide you with information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

Can you please provide me with the details as to how theft took place and by whom?

Thank you.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Absolutely. Here goes. These are the basics. Important, this took place in NY (Queens)Sadly, my mom passed away on July 22, 2015 after entering the hospital on July 20, 2015. The executor my cousin took eight to nine months to even be appointed legal executor, after finally consulting and paying for an attorney which I had been pushing him to do all along. Following that, with my prodding, he hired an accountant to review my mother's accounts. This accountant is actually the accountant of the 'perpetrator,' my brother. What was discovered in May of 2016 by this accountant following some cursory review, was that my brother who had decided to 'manage' my mom's finances beginning September of 2014 removed/stole 175,000.00 3 separate checks from her bank account, which the bank has recorded as occurring on July 22, 2015, the date of her death and it was noted as 'gifts'. My brother states 'I deserved this, mom told me I could have it for myself,' which is absolutely ridiculous, per who my mom was and what everyone knew about her opinions and feelings and her state of mind, she was 89 years old. The checks were written and signed by my brother. He did not disclose this, of course, and it was discovered. Per the executor, my brother absolutely refuses to restore the funds so that my younger brother and myself will receive our share. Upsetting in and of itself, more so because I have stage IV metastatic breast cancer. I know my brother is also upset because he was not 'favored' in my mother's Will. My brother did not have a joint checking account with my mother, nor did he have POA. Now, the executor wants to resign, stating he cannot handle any of this. Very incomplete accounting has been done, the executor does not have front/back of 3 checks totalling 175,000, paper bank statements, etc., there are other charges to my mom's account my brother transferred money from her accounts to his from September 2014 through the date of my mom's passing that are questionable, such as staying at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills with his wife, buying office furniture, etc. My younger brother is 'successor' executor, yet he is declining taking over. I have gotten NO written documentation from the current executor, and the accountant who discovered the checks that my brother 'gifted' himself with says that the executor did not ask him to review financial and banking statements/receipts, etc., thoroughly, nor did the executor or my brother provide complete accountings. For instance, my brother 'transferred funds' from my mother's checking accounts to his, ostensibly to reimburse himself for checks written or credit card charges made on 'her behalf,' and there are no notations/receipts as to what the transfers were for. I know I may have to petition the Court to be appointed Executor...again, I have gotten nothing except the executor's ramblings and upset regarding what my brother did and how he can do nothing about it. I would like to know if I can 'sue' my brother without being the executor and also file a complaint with the Bar he is a NY real estate attorney, even though I was not a client. I would like to know if there is a statute of limitations in NY regarding filing a suit from the date the incident took place in July of 2015, or from the date the act was 'discovered,' in May of 2016. I was told verbally that the statute is 3 years.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
just want to make sure you're reviewing this right now
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
PLEASE let me know that you are reviewing this....I want to make sure.
Expert:  Alex Esquire replied 3 months ago.

I am working on your question.

Please be patient and I will post my response.


Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I'm on the phone filing a complaint.
Why didn't you get back to me...why did "Pearl" respond, a legal assistant?
Expert:  Alex Esquire replied 3 months ago.

Thank you for your patience.

While I cannot comment on your specific case, generally, the statute of limitations is 6 years from the time of the incident for fraud and 3 years for theft within which a civil lawsuit can be brought.

Also, criminal statute of limitations for major theft and fraud is 5 years from the time the alleged crime took place.

Also, any person can file a complaint with the state Bar against a licensed attorney, if the complainant has knowledge upon which any dishonest and/or criminal wrongdoing was done by the member of the Bar (licensed attorney) and the Bar will review and investigate such complaint and will take appropriate action based upon findings of their investigation.

I wish you the best of luck!

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