September 6, 2007
Memphis Man Facing Lawsuit Alleging He Diverted $370,000 From Mother’s Estate
By Rusty Ebert
The following article is reprinted from the Van Buren County Register August 23, 2007 edition.
A Memphis man is being sued in Van Buren District Court (Keosauqua, IA) after he allegedly diverted more than $370,000 from his mother for the benefit of himself.
Community First Bank, as executor of the estate of Edna Mae Robinson, filed the suit Monday (August 20th) against Steve A. Robinson, who was power of attorney for his mother, Edna Mae, while she was alive.
Steve A. Robinson was named the power of attorney on September 5, 1996 and allegedly began writing checks to himself and family members in 1999, continuing to do so up until two days before Edna Mae Robinson’s death on April 28, 2004. He allegedly diverted a payment on a farm note between his mother and himself and executed a deed of release on the property to himself.
The lawsuit alleges the defendant “unjustly enriched” his portion of the estate at the expense of Edna Mae Robinson’s other two children, Dennis Robinson and Sharon Kay Baker, who are beneficiaries along with Steve A. Robinson.
(The following paragraph was edited from its original form, condensing the Van Buren County Register’s complete list of the charges.)
The article indicated that between June 11, 1999 and April 26, 2004 Steve A. Robinson allegedly wrote checks in excess of $230,000 to himself or his family members and diverted a $135,473 payment on a farm note between himself and his mother before executing a Deed of Release to himself on the property, eliminating all further financial obligations on the note.
The lawsuit claims “upon information and belief, payments to or for the benefit of Defendant’s wife or children were sham payments that, in truth, inured to the benefit of the defendant.”
The suit alleges that the defendant’s acts were abuse of his status as power of attorney. The plaintiff has demanded the return of the funds and has asked the court to require the defendant to repay to the estate that portion of the funds that exceeded his “fair share” under decedent’s estate.