Friday, May 26, 2017

Michigan: Probate Public Administrator for Macomb County Resigns After 7 Action News Investigation

The 7 Investigators are getting results yet again with our investigation into the probate courts, with a high-profile resignation.

7 Investigator Heather Catallo has been showing you how several local families have been losing large parts of their inheritance to certain public officials and real estate brokers.

Here’s what’s been happening: Real Estate Broker Ralph Roberts has teamed up with some Attorney General-appointed lawyers called Public Administrators. The Public Administrators and Roberts’ company, Probate Asset Recovery, bill the estates for thousands of dollars, plus Roberts gets real estate commissions when they sell the homes that are at stake in the estates after someone dies. The Public Administrators then take legal fees from the estate.

Roberts told us last fall that he’s brought more than $4.5 million into estates since 2013. The heirs get some of that, but Roberts often takes 1/3 of the estate.

“I find properties. I believe there’s a benefit, so I then tell a public administrator, here’s the benefit there,” said Roberts in November 2016.

“So you’re getting the real estate fees, and you’re getting the Probate Asset Recovery fees,” asked Catallo.

“If we’re successful, yes,” said Roberts.

In the wake of our investigation, Attorney General Bill Schuette suspended Macomb County Public Administrator Cecil St. Pierre on May 1, 2017.

On Thursday, St. Pierre officially resigned as a Public Administrator.

St. Pierre told the Attorney General that because of a “barrage of false allegations” he decided to step down.

The resignation came within hours of a Judge issuing an order for St. Pierre to explain why he shouldn’t be held in contempt of court for failing to show up for a Macomb County probate hearing this morning.

Full Article, Video, and Source:
Probate Public Administrator for Macomb County Resigns After 7 Action News Investigation


StandUp said...

I saw the earlier interview with St. Pierre so arrogant and I knew it was just a matter of time!

Finny said...

I wonder how many states this same nasty practice is happening in...

Danny Tate said...

I believe most probate courts have these types of agreements, business as usual, but it's still crooked and has to be stopped. Probate practitioners are constantly looking for ways to work the law in their best interests or just ignoring the law because the court allows them to.