First, a family had to deal with the loss of a loved one after his battle with cancer. Then they discovered the man's trusted attorney robbed his estate.
“He had looted the estate,” says Erik Varvir, a fraud victim.
Erik is referring to the estate of his partner, Vernon. When Vernon learned he had an aggressive form of leukemia, he immediately took steps to put his estate in order to protect his family.
“He made Ken, the attorney, the administrator of the will, because the family had used him for years,” says Varvir.
Three weeks later, Vernon was gone. Erik and Vernon`s step son went to attorney, Ken Hoesch, to settle the estate.
“He was supposed to bring over copies of the master copies of the trust and all the paperwork. He never did and that is where it started. He kept giving us excuses,” says Varvir.
After months without answers, postal inspectors began an investigation and found the money from Vernon`s estate was all gone.
“He did it fairly quickly. We didn`t realize it, but he had started to withdraw money from Vernon`s trust two weeks after he died in $30,000 increments,” says Varvir.
Vernon`s family was not alone. Postal inspectors say there were multiple victims and more than $800,000 in losses among the cases.
“It was quite a substantial loss because it involved people’s estates, everything they had saved all of their lives, it was just taken from them,” says a U.S. Postal Inspector.
“He was taking advantage of elderly people, people he knew, organizations, people that were due certain things, and he had no right to just take them and do what he wanted with them."
Postal inspectors say Ken Hoesch spent the money he stole on very expensive trips and an art collection. Hoesch was sentenced to 6.5 years in prison and was ordered to pay $1 million dollars in restitution.