Estate plans are only as good as the attorney tasked with executing them
6:00 AM, Jul 23, 2013
3:18 PM, Jul 12, 2013
One man lost his battle with cancer, and while his loved ones grieved, their trusted attorney robbed his estate.
When Erik Varvir's partner, Vernon, learned he had an aggressive form of leukemia, he immediately took steps to put his estate in order and protect his family.
"He made Ken, the attorney, the administrator of the will, because the family had used him for years," said Varvir.
Three weeks later, Vernon was gone. Varvir and Vernon's stepson went to attorney Ken Hoesch to settle the estate.
"He was supposed to bring over copies of the master copies of the trust and all the paperwork," said Varvir. "He never did, and that is where it started. He kept giving us excuses."
After months without answers, postal inspectors began an investigation and found the money from Vernon's estate was gone.
"It's devastating, especially to find out it's a professional is the one that did that. They are supposed to be watching out for you, not taking advantage of you," said their stepson, who asked his name not be used.
Vernon's family wasn't alone. Postal inspectors say there were multiple victims and more than $800,000 in losses among the cases.
"The level of betrayal is indescribable. You know, and Vernon wasn't here, too," said Varvir. "Who speaks for him? It was Vernon's money."