Weber Mackey • Private Fiduciary
Wayne Legg • Attorney
25 Cases, 1.2 million in losses
Civil Recovery on bonds of at least 80% by the Public Fiduciary
News Articles revealed weakness in Court monitoring
Wayne Legg convicted of criminal offense after second trial
Resulting reform: Legislation in 1994 to register private fiduciaries
Personal lobby by Probate Judge for new legislation
Initial draft of regulations exempted Public Fiduciaries
No exemption for trust departments
Problem: No funding for legislation
Legg and Mackey had access to Delores Reichwein’s money because in the late 1980s, the Reichweins had joined the 500,000 elderly Americans who are “wards” of a court. Because of advanced age or other incapacity, wards are compelled to turn their financial affairs over to a guardian-conservator, usually a family member or a court-appointed private fiduciary. Wards are among society’s most vulnerable citizens.
AS HELPLESS AS CHILDREN – A PROMINENT MESA LAWYER AND HIS FLUNKY WERE SUPPOSED TO PROTECT THE ELDERLY IN THEIR CARE. INSTEAD, THEY PLUNDERED THE OLD PEOPLE’S ASSETS
Abuses by attorneys and private fiduciaries such as Wayne Legg, Webber Mackey and others have led to proposed changes in how the Maricopa County Probate Court operates.
THE FORGOTTEN COURT
A New Times investigation of Legg and Mackey, published in September (As Helpless As Children”), uncovered a pattern of fiscal abuses that cost Cinthia Gannett’s deceased grandmother, Grace Gannett, and more than two dozen East Valley senior citizens and their heirs untold dollars and grief.
HEIR OF OPTIMISM – RELATIVES OF SENIORS WHOSE ESTATES WERE PLUNDERED HOPE FOR JUSTICE
The multicount felony arrests of Legg and Mackey marked a high point in the AG’s oft-trumpeted war against elder abuse. But endless pretrial delays in the criminal case left family and friends of the victims frustrated and confused. And that was before the death last week of the 79-year-old defendant Mackey, universally considered to be Legg’s subordinate in the lucrative scheme.
Death of a Defendant – 21 months after being charged with looting the estates of elderly Arizonans, one defendant dies. The other awaits trial
Bonding companies are expected to cut checks totaling about $800,000 to the heirs of 14 estates that were plundered by Mesa attorney Wayne Elmer Legg and his sidekick, Webber Mackey. The pair ran those estates and others into the ground while siphoning off enormous fees for themselves over a period of several years.
PROBAYE’S REPROBATES – SOME PLUNDERED ESTATES WIN COMPENSATION, BUT CRIMINAL CASE FACES DELAYS
Prosecutors from the Arizona Attorney General’s Office portrayed Legg as a vulture who stole more than $1 million from senior citizens in a scheme hatched with the late Webber Mackey, a private fiduciary who died in 1995 before facing his own criminal trial.
Barrister Behind Bars – Former “King of Probate” faces long prison term for ripping off elderly
“Wayne Legg was after my friend’s $5 million just as he was after those other people’s money,” said Lindberg, who neither sought nor received any of Davis’ estate. “Right at the end, Ellen knew that Legg was not to be trusted, and she thought she’d done something wrong by dealing with him. It was pathetic. He was like an animal, just dying to suck her bank account dry. I wanted to be in the courtroom to watch for my friend.”
A Lawyer on Trial – Wayne Legg, a prominent attorney charged with stealing from elderly clients, faces his accusers