Archive for the ‘Conneticut’ Category

CT: Probate Fight Over Southington Farm Continues

December 12, 2012

In a nearly empty courtroom in Hartford on Monday, a half-dozen lawyers continued to fight over the dying wishes of a Southington woman who wanted to give her farm to the man who helped her care for the place for decades.

Incredibly, Sam Manzo, the caretaker, is still the loser in the Smoron Farm controversy. He lives in an unheated trailer on a farm he was supposed to inherit three years ago.

Instead of the probate court system making sure Manzo inherited the farm – what Josephine Smoron explicitly stated in her 2004 will – the controversy drags on, bouncing about dreary courtrooms, waiting for a judge to take charge and right a monumental wrong.

“My client is in desperate need to have this go forward,” Eliot Gersten, one of Manzo’s lawyers, told Superior Court Judge William H. Bright on Monday morning, complaining that bills aren’t getting paid. “This delay is hurting my client. He is living without heat.”

The case has landed in Judge Bright’s courtroom because the man appointed as conservator for Smoron, Southington lawyer John Nugent, has refused to step aside and admit his error. Nugent still controls two trusts that he set up in 2009 — unbeknownst to the dying Smoron or Manzo — that contain the estate’s assets.

The plan might have gone unchallenged if Manzo hadn’t complained to court authorities, who eventually ruled that Nugent abused his position as conservator. The Southington probate judge who appointed him, Bryan Meccariello, was censured by the Council on Probate Judicial Conduct for allowing Nugent to set up the trusts, which circumvent Smoron’s will. Meccariello did not run for re-election in 2010.

The trusts remain, and efforts to restore Manzo’s inheritance have stalled.

Full Article and Source:
Probate Fight Over Southington Farm Continues

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Rick Green: Probate Court Mess Continues

Former Conservator Could Get 5 Years

December 19, 2009

A Torrington woman embezzled thousands of dollars when she worked as a health aid and a conservator could be sentenced up to five years in prison for her crimes.

Audrey Curtis, 45, pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree larceny, one count of second-degree larceny and possession of marijuana in Litchfield Superior Court on Tuesday. Curtis held back tears as Judge James P. Ginocchio discussed the plea agreement, in which Curtis faces between 18 months and five years in prison with five years probation. She is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 26. and the judge said based on his review of the file, Curtis could “very well” get the five-year sentence.

Curtis reportedly admitted to police that while she served as a conservator for a 73-year-old Goshen woman, she liberally used the woman’s bank accounts to pay her own bills and fund a lifestyle that included drugs, gambling and tattoo parties.

It’s the second time Curtis has been arrested for stealing from an estate. She also stole from the estate of her deceased ex-boyfriend forging his name and taking $35,650 his estate. “None of that money is going to be returned,” Gallo said.Curtis also stole several items amounting to $5,562.58 from a bar she leased in Torrington which she admitted doing later, Gallo told the court.

Full Article and Source:
Embezzler Pleads Guilty, Could Get Five Years in Jail

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