Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Attorney and Accountant for Huguette Clark Accused of Tax Fraud

Unknown-1I previously blogged about the estate of heiress Huguette Clark. Now a New York public administrator alleges tax fraud that could cost up to $50 million against the attorney and accountant for Clark. The public administrator, Ethel J. Griffin, was appointed by the court to monitor the actions of Clark’s attorney and accountant. Griffin is requesting that the court remove the attorney Wallace Bock and the accountant Irving Kamsler as executors of Clark’s estate.

Griffin alleges that Bock and Kamsler failed to file federal gift tax returns from 1997-2003, charged her for tax returns that they did not file, failed to pay penalties for not filing, and filed false returns, among other similar failings. Additionally, the pair lied to Griffin when they said that they were searching for the gift returns that did not in fact exist. By 2011, Clark owed the IRS over $82 million, including past due gift and GST taxes, and numerous penalties for late returns and interest on unpaid returns. Bock and Kamsler never notified Clark of this tax liability.

Kamsler resigned from his position prior to Griffin filing the suit. These allegations may also give Clark’s relatives more reason to intervene in the case of Clark’s two conflicting wills. Both wills at issue were signed six weeks apart in 2005. The first left most of her estate to her family, but the second cut out the family and gave $500,000 to Bock and Kamsler and also benefitted them as Trustees of a charitable foundation. A hearing is scheduled on Friday in Surrogate’s Court to determine these allegations and whether the family should be allowed to intervene in the case of Clark’s wills.

See Bill Dedman, Tax Fraud Alleged In Estate Of Heiress Huguette Clark; Accountant Resigns, MSNBC.com, Dec. 21, 2011.

Special thanks to David S. Luber (Attorney at law, Florida Probate Attorney Wills and Estates Law Firm) for bringing this to my attention.


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