How Voice Mail Helped Holland & Knight Attorneys Foil Alleged $14M 'Sweetheart' Scam
A voicemail message recorded after the callers thought they'd hung up.
Attorneys Eduardo Ramos and Daniel Hanlon used a voicemail message to help prove their client's elderly father was being manipulated by his live-in caregiver-turned wife.
The father, a wealthy real estate investor, passed away and his new spouse allegedly tried to squeeze his heirs out of his estate and amend his trust in her favor, in addition to influencing him to make large purchases for her and add her to his bank accounts so she could transfer money to her own personal accounts. In a recovered voicemail that was recorded after the callers apparently thought they'd hung up, the woman can be heard pressuring her husband to have his attorney change documents to be more favorable for her. This helped move the case in favor of the son.
“After the most arduous and exhausting settlement negotiations I have ever been a part of, the case settled … with a complete victory for our client,” Mr. Ramos said.
Under the settlement that Holland & Knight attorneys negotiated, the son recovered all of his father's assets, family heirlooms, homestead, and the right to have him buried in the family plot. The woman kept about $1.2 million that was given to her, but is required to legally change her name to drop the husband's surname, disclaim any rights to post-death marital benefits and relinquish any and all rights to any benefit from the estate or trust.
“Needless to say, our client was ecstatic with the result,” Mr. Ramos stated.
Mr. Ramos and Mr. Hanlon's work was also supported by Nichole Scott, Eric Bracy, Ilene Pabian, Rudy Sorondo, Annelise Del Rivero and Greg Baldwin.
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