The Michigan Attorney General's Office stepped in to stop what it called a case of "financial exploitation" in St. Clair County Probate Court.
"The Office of Michigan Attorney General filed objections in a St. Clair County probate case after Lisa Tramski, a nursing home leasing agent who became a guardian, convinced an 85-year-old woman to make her the sole beneficiary of the woman’s estate," according to a press release.
"Pauline Runyon, who had no living heirs, was a resident at a nursing home where Tramski befriended her. Within five months,Tramski was able to obtain large monetary gifts from Runyon for herself and her son."
The Attorney General's Office said following an accident that caused Runyon to lose most of her memory, Tramski became her guardian. Two months following the accident and only days before Runyon's death, Tramski had a friend provide a will to the woman, making Tramski the sole beneficiary of her estate, according to the Attorney General's Office.
"St. Clair County Probate Court Judge John D. Tomlinson agreed with the Attorney General’s Office that Runyon lacked the capacity to sign the will and that Tramski exerted excessive influence on Runyon in her role as the guardian," the Attorney General's Office said.
As a result of this ruling, a new representative was appointed and a prior will from 2009 that leaves a portion of Runyon's estate to the Leader Dogs for the Blind and a local domestic violence shelter will be used to distribute her remaining assets and fulfill her wishes.
“What this guardian did is exactly the kind of financial exploitation of seniors that everyone worries about,” said Attorney General Dana Nessel. “Ms. Runyon did not have any living relatives to watch out for her, so my office stepped in to protect her interests from this unscrupulous nursing agent who befriended her for the sole purpose of lining her pockets.”
Tramski did not immediately respond to messages sent to her on Facebook and left on a number listed for her on Thursday.
When asked if there were any further investigations into the matter, Dan Olsen, the attorney general's spokesman, said, "We do not comment on who we are and are not investigating."
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AG: 'Unscrupulous' nursing home agent convinced elderly woman to leave her entire estate