Estate looted after man's death
Vernon learned he had an aggressive form of Leukemia so he immediately took steps to put his estate in order to protect his family.
"He made Ken, the attorney, the administrator of the will, because the family had used him for years," said Vernon's partner Erik Varvir.
Three weeks later, Vernon was gone. Varvir and Vernon's step son 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. He never did and that is where it started. He kept giving us excuses," said Varvir.
"I'll be in court next week… I'll talk to the judge in two weeks… it just went on and on and on," said Vernon's stepson.
After months without answers, Postal Inspectors began an investigation and found all the money from Vernon's estate was gone.
"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," said Varvir.
"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 Vernon's stepson.
Vernon's family was not alone. Postal Inspectors say there were multiple victims and more than $800,000 in losses among the cases.
"It was quite substantial loss, because it involved peoples estates everything they had saved all of their lives-- it was just taken from them." said Gil Webb, US Postal Inspector.
"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," said Vernon's stepson.
"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," said Varnir.
Postal Inspectors say Ken Hoesch spent the money he stole on very expensive trips and an art collection. He was sentenced to 6.5 years in prison and was ordered to pay $1 million in restitution.
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