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Howard Ain, Troubleshooter: Attorney Loots Deceased Man's Estate
CINCINNATI (Howard Ain) -- A man loses his battle with cancer and that's not all he lost.
Local 12 TroubleShooter Howard Ain says his loved ones have lost more than they ever imagined as well. As more and more baby boomers are reaching retirement age it's a good idea to estate planning. Such planning can help avoid the problems one family faced.
"Erik Varvir: He had looted the estate."
Erik is referring to the estate of his partner, Vernon. When Vernon learned he had an agressive form of leukemia, he immediately took steps to put his estate in order to protect his family.
Varvir: "He made Ken, the attorney, the administrator of the will, because the family had used him for years."
Three weeks later, Vernon was gone. Erik and Vernon's step son went to attorney, Ken Hoesch, to settle the estate.
Varvir: "He was supposed to bring over copies of the master copies of the trust and all the paperwork. He never did and that is where it started. He kept giving us excuses."
Step Son: "I'll be in court next week... I'll talk to the judge in two weeks... It just went on and on."
After months without answers, postal inspectors began an investigation and found the money from Vernon's estate was gone... all of it.
Varvir: "He did it fairly quickly. We didn't realize it. But he had started to withdraw money from Vernon's trust two weeks after he died in $30-thousand dollar increments."
Step Son: "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."
Vernon's family was not alone. Postal inspectors say there were multiple victims and more than $800-thousand dollars in losses among the cases.
Gil Webb: "It was quite substantial loss, because it involved peoples estates, everything they had saved all of their lives. It was just taken from them."
Step Son: "He was taking advantage of elderly people, people he knew, organizations, people that were due certain things, and he had no right to just take them and do what he wanted with them."
Varnir: "The level of betrayal is indescribable. You know and Vernon wasn't here too... you know... Who speaks for him? It was Vernon's money."
Postal inspectors say Ken Hoesch spent the money he stole on very expensive trips and an art collection. Hoesch was sentenced to six and a half years in prison and was ordered to pay one million dollars in restitution.