Sunday, March 20, 2016

Attorney, caregiver convicted of stealing $900K from estate of Orchard Park siblings

A former estate planning attorney and a local caregiver has been convicted of stealing more than $900,000 from the estates of siblings from Orchard Park.

Stephen Newman, 71, a former Nixon Peabody attorney, pleaded guilty Thursday to second degree grand larceny in New York County Supreme Court and self-described geriatric companion Joan Morgante, 76, of Cheektowaga, pleaded guilty to second degree attempted grand larceny in Erie County Supreme Court.

They’re accused of stealing from the estates of wealthy brother and sister June and Worth Farrington, who lived their entire lives in Orchard Park.

According to the complaint, between 2007-09, Newman, the estate attorney of the Farringtons, made a series of restatements to their living trusts, which changed the outright gifts, originally set to go to charities, into annuities and he made himself the sole trustee of the accounts.

It further stated that for three years, beginning in 2008, Newman diverted to himself more than $900,000 in monies from the Farringtons’ trust accounts, and also diverted more than $400,000 to Morgante, which included the purchase of a $325,000 townhouse.

According to the Attorney General’s office, in 2006, Newman introduced Morgante to Bank of America and recommended her to be the caretaker for June and Worth Farrington, who were both unmarried and without any children. According to an affidavit filed in Surrogate’s Court, Morgante is a high school drop-out without health care certifications or training. Morgante met Newman while caring for one of his clients.

The original 1999 living trusts prepared by Newman provided that the sole trustee of each trust was Bank of America and gave June and Worth Farrington a life interest in the assets in the trust. When they died, the assets were to be given outright to designated charities, including the Salvation Army, City Mission, Nature Conservancy and Women and Children’s Hospital Foundation.

In 2008, the Farringtons had combined assets of more $20 million. June Farrington died in 2008 at the age of 84 and her brother Worth Farrington died in 2014 at 87.  (Continue Reading)

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Attorney, caregiver convicted of stealing $900K from estate of Orchard Park siblings

1 comment:

StandUp said...

My God, another thieving attorney?