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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 41220
Experience:  Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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My brother has sent letters to various state agencies that

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My brother has sent letters to various state agencies that I committed bank fraud. These agencies include the US Attorney's Office in Houston, TX, the Consumer Financialrotection Bureau, USAA Federal Savings Bank, The Nebraska State a Department of Banking and Finance and now the Council for Discipline in the Supreme Court of Nebrasak where he states that my attorney has been coaching me to engage in bank fraud. He has used the phrase "engaged in bank fraud" in court documents. I have never been charged nor convicted of bank fraud. He has filed in court to ave me removed as the personal representative of our mothers's estate and is now saying I am stealing money from a trust account. What recourse do I have?
Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

My apologies on this potentially insensitive question, but is there any merit in his claim? I am asking not to find guilt or liability, merely to fine-tune what options you may have in dealing with this situation directly. Thank you!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Immediately after my dad's death I wrote checks on an account I believed to have a signature card. Turned out that he closed the original account when he moved and when he returned, he did not have me on that account even though I assisted him with his affairs. The bank never filed a claim against me, it was an honest mistake and even in court the judge said that I had not committed any fraudulent actions. There is a bit of money in the estates of both my parents and the trust.

Thank you for your follow-up, BJ.

I see, thank you for your explanation. So technically the other person who is writing the letters is not defaming your name. Writing (even mistakenly) bad checks with intent to cash the checks is technically bank fraud even if the courts or the judge declined to charge and convict. The underlying action did not require an intent to defraud, merely the intent to write the check. Because at least on that ground there is enough grey area to potentially claim that what he is stating is accurate, I do not quite see a good defamation claim against him. It does not mean that you cannot file one, just please be aware that your best claim would be the fact that you were never charged or convicted, which would make his comments untrue and potentially defamatory. As a potential plaintiff it would be your burden to prove that the comments were damaging and defamatory against you.

As for the claims of theft, the best suggestion there is to appear in court with a formal accounting of the bank accounts and prove that if there was anything withdrawn, it was for the benefit of the estate solely. You may also want to consider retaining counsel for which the estate can pay for and then counter-claiming against the other party for your legal fees and loss in reputation.

Good luck.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The checks were written at the request of my father before his death. He wanted his grandchildren and children to receive money to compensate them for the time they spent with him rather than at work and pay for flights to attend his funeral. I was designated as his personal representative in his willand the account was in the family trust. My mother was unable to assit in the estate due to Alzheimer's. One of the checks written out to me, was used to pay for funeral expenses and I have the receipts to prove those costs. Would that make a difference?

Thank you for your follow-up, BJ.

If you can prove that with outside documentation or letters then it absolutely can make a difference. Paying out from the estate to cover the funeral expenses is a very legitimate use of the estate funds.

Good luck.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your help. It does aid me in the gray area of the law. My brother is a former law clerk in the NJ Supreme Court Ethics Department, so his view may be very black and white. He began threatening to endanger my employment and my liberty as well as question my mental health right after dads death and when he found he was not the pr. Your suggestion that I file counter claims for legal fees and loss of reputation is what I came up with in my own research, especially if it results in my loss if being able to have insurance with USAA. I do have documentation as well as the ability to provide testimony as to my dads wishes for his grandchildren. I have counsel and thank you for your verification - it helps to have a second view.

Thank you for your follow-up, BJ.

You are most welcome, truly. Sometimes too much education and training makes individuals jump to specific conclusions while forgetting that even the law is not black and white, it is at times tough to decipher. I am happy that I was able to provide you with additional thoughts and I must admit that your situation is a bit unique since there are valid and legitimate concerns on both sides, depending on which spectrum the information is evaluated through.

Good luck and if you found my information to be useful, kindly do not forget to positively rate my answers to you at this time. Thank you!

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