Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Where There's Kane They Shouldn't Be Able

Prior to his death labor leader Anthony Kane left a million dollar estate with the United Way as the primary beneficiary. According to this article in the Times Leader by Terri-Morgan Besecker it appears the primary beneficiary(ies) were anyone but the United Way.

In court papers filed Friday, attorney Michael Shucosky said Joel and Gloria Riegel engaged in “self-dealing, rampant conflict of interest (and) breach of loyalty” in handling the estate. Their actions were so egregious that Shucosky is asking a Luzerne County judge to order the couple to repay all money that was lost, as well as any commissions they earned and attorneys’ fees.

Shucosky’s petition says the Riegels began dissipating funds in the estate immediately after it was created. The activity included more than 30 loans, questionable fees and payments of commissions. The loans contained no documentation and were “imprudent investments with little likelihood of timely repayment,” the petition says.

Shucosky also found that at least 42 checks totaling $383,700 were paid to Kathryn Cubillo, a friend and business partner of Gloria Riegel. The checks were deposited into a bank account in which Riegel had an ownership interest and check writing ability. Cubillo says she received none of that money other than one $42,000 loan.

Shucosky said the Riegels maintained the loans were legitimate and supported by a note and mortgage totaling $675,000. But Cubillo denies that she signed the mortgage, calling it a “fraud.”

The mortgage was signed and notarized in Pennsylvania on Oct. 7, 2002. Cubillo said she was working in California at that time, making it impossible for her to sign the document in Pennsylvania, according to Shucosky.

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