For thirty years, our client, Al, was a partner with the Defendants in an engineering firm and commercial real estate business. When he was 75 years old, Parkinson’s disease and dementia forced Al to stop working. As a result, Defendants took over complete control of the operations of the partnerships, including all of the books and records. At that point, Al’s only information about the businesses came from statements made by his partners (in conversations, emails and letters) and annual written financial reports Defendants prepared and sent to Al.
Once Al was unable to work, Defendants engaged in a 10 year pattern of fraud and embezzlement, taking over $500,000 in monies belonging to Al. When Al’s daughter discovered in 2014 that Defendants had been defrauding and embezzling from her dad, she hired us to get justice.
The case was litigated for years, with Defendants fighting fiercely at every stage. This case presented many hurdles, but the most daunting was that our client, Al, could not testify at trial because of his dementia. That meant the Defendants could and did fabricate the most convincing story they could create, knowing that Al was not able to rebut their testimony. Our only chance of success was to prove through tough cross-examination that the Defendants were testifying falsely.
And, we did that very well. After a two-week trial, the jury unanimously found the Defendants liable for fraud, embezzlement and financial elder abuse, awarding full damages to Al — plus $400,000 in punitive damages. On top of that, the court awarded Al attorneys’ fees he spent proving his case — for a total judgment of $1.2 million.