Katherine - posted on 02/15/2011 ( 18 moms have responded )
New York City locals may have heard about 26-year-old Valley Cottage resident Tenisha Eurie, who has been accused of stealing thousands of dollars from her son's trust fund set up when he was 21-months-old. According to the New City Patch, Eurie allegedly transferred the money from the trust into her own personal bank account.
Rockland County District Attorney Thomas P. Zugibe said a trust fund was set up for the boy after he suffered critical injuries in a car accident in 2007. The child was riding his scooter when a car crashed into him, and the collision led to a civil settlement for $31,395. A court ordered that the money be kept in a trust fund that could not be touched until Eurie's son reached the age of 18.
Attorney Zugibe said Tenisha Eurie spent over half of the money that was reserved for her son by the time the bank realized the transaction to move the money from her son’s trust into her account was a mistake. She now faces charges for one count of third degree grand larceny and is expected to appear before the Town of Ramapo Town Court in March.
In a case like this, a parent or guardian is often chosen as the trustee of a minor’s trust fund. As the person designated to handle the financial matters involved in a trust, the parent or other person appointed is required to fulfill the duties of being a trustee, which can include:
* Managing the money for beneficiaries;
* Collecting assets;
* Filing periodic accountings; and
* Investing money.
A knowledgeable New York estate planning lawyer can further explain personal and legal consequences involved in failing to abide by one’s duties as a trustee and make sure the interests of the beneficiary are protected. For more general information on trusts, visit the Related Resources links below.
* Call A New York Estate Planning Lawyer (FindLaw)
* Estate Planning: Trustees (FindLaw)
* Trusts: An Overview (FindLaw)
* Things To Keep In Mind When Choosing A Trustee (FindLaw’s New York Estate Planning News Blog)
Tenisha Eurie's son was struck and seriously injured by a car as a toddler while riding a scooter and he received a settlement for $31,000. Now, four years later, his mother has been charged with stealing from it. But is it really stealing when you are using the money on your toddler?
The Wall Street Journal story was short and details were sparse, but let's assume, for argument's sake, that Eurie used the money for food or school clothing or even rent. How is that stealing? According to the WSJ:
Prosecutors say Tenisha Eurie's son was seriously injured in the 2007 accident, when he was 21 months old. A $31,000 settlement from the accident was put into a trust fund, and a court ordered Eurie not to touch it until the boy reached 18.
Maybe she needed the money for him before then. It's possible, right?
Look, toddlers and young kids don't exactly earn their keep and they are expensive. If daddy lost his job and there was $31,000 sitting in an account that was marginally accessible, I could see using it and then paying it back.
This isn't to suggest that this is exactly what she did. Maybe she took the money and went out boozing and dancing and partying, but maybe she didn't. There are many possibilities for how she used that money, and I suppose if I were prosecuting the case, I would first want to know how she used it.
Also, it's confusing to me that the money was so easily accessible. Why was the mother even able to take money out if it belonged to the boy? There are many unanswered questions and certainly a short story with few details isn't going to answer them.
There are circumstances in which I could understand if she had taken the money, especially if she planned to return it. I am not sure it's "stealing" unless I know what she spent the money on.
So you think this was "stealing"?