Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Trial Began For Lawyer Accused of Defrauding Elderly and Dying

Court FightAs I have previously discussed, the United States Attorney General's Office has charged attorney Joseph Caramadre and an employee of his, Raymour Radhakrishnan, with several crimes based on the allegations that he defrauded sick and elderly citizens. The prosecution opened its case-in-chief today, explaining that the accused bragged upon his investment scheme and his discovery of the "death-put bonds" that convey benefits if the owner dies. The prosecution also claimed that Caramadre claimed that the scheme was a legal loophole. The prosecution contended that the loophole could not exist because Caramadre and his employee had to lie to obtain the information that they needed. 

More specifically, Caramadre developed a scheme "in which he would buy variable annuities and later, death-put bonds." While this activity is not illegal, the fact that Caramadre and his employee lied to the victims and the companies about his activities made it illegal. For example, the prosecutor, Lee Viker, stated that the victims "were told [that] accounts would be opened to benefit their families, or to help others with a terminal illness, but that didn't happen." Viker further went on to say that the victims were not aware that the defendants would use the signatures from the victims that they obtained to earn a profit. The prosecution also alleged that Caramdre and Radhakrishnan forged signatures on the application forms and lied to the companies that issued the accounts. Both alleged to the companies that victims had substantial investment experience and wealth. 

See Michelle R. Smith, Trial Opens For Two Accused of Defrauding the Dying, Businessweek, Nov. 13, 2012.

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.


Elder Law, Estate Planning - Generally, Non-Probate Assets, Professional Responsibility | Permalink

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