According to New York court documents, a business partner of a man who died leaving an $86 million estate allegedly embezzled $4 million from the estate while serving as a co-executor. The man is contesting that he embezzled the money and instead said he was rightfully owed the amount due to his reportedly having a 20 percent interest in a building in Manhattan.
The lawsuit was filed by the heirs of the 86-year-old decedent, who was a WWII veteran and a successful entrepreneur. The decedent built his fortune by designing such things as the egg-shaped container used by L'Eggs pantyhose as well as the cases used by Timex watches.
Reportedly, the accused made 31 withdrawals from the estate and transferred the money to his own company. Before making any withdrawals from the estate's accounts, he first reportedly transferred an apartment on Park Avenue into his wife's name, an action the plaintiffs are asking to have the court reverse. The plaintiffs claim he did so to prevent the family members from seeking interest in the property in the event the alleged embezzlement was discovered. The court has not ruled on whether or not the transfers were improper yet, although it did remove the man as co-executor of the estate.
People who have been accused of embezzlement can face significant criminal penalties if they are convicted, including fines, restitution and several years in prison. Those who are in this position may find it advisable to meet as soon as possible with a criminal defense attorney in order to develop a strategy to use before or at trial, including the lack of specific intent that is a necessary component.
Source: NY Daily News, "Business partner of late WWII veteran, pantyhose pioneer embezzled nearly $4 million from his estate: Lawsuit," Barbara Ross, Jan. 21, 2016