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Saturday, December 9, 2023
Courthouse News Service
Saturday, December 9, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Brothers Told to Amend Suit Over Parents’ Estate

WASHINGTON (CN)- A federal judge dismissed the claims of Ukranian nationals who have been trying, for 20 years, to collect the inheritance their father left them from SunTrust Bank.

In a complaint filed in D.C. Federal Court, brothers Evgenyi, Ruslan, and Yevgen Scherban claimed their father, Yevgenyi Alexandrovich Scherban, was one of the leading entrepreneurs in the Ukraine in the early 1990s.

They further claimed that their father and his third wife Nadedja Nikitina Scherban, who was Yevgen's mother, opened several SunTrust accounts at a bank near their vacation home in Boca Raton, Fla.

"Scherban was ... one of the richest businessmen there in the early 1990s. and his control over a natural-gas distribution network led to scuffles with criminal groups and ultimately to the 1996 assassination of him and his wife," court documents say.

But while U.S. District Judge James Boasberg expressed some sympathy for the brothers, he said he no choice but to dismiss their claims at this time.

According to the Feb. 26 decision, the brothers' suit had two procedural defects. The first was that it improperly named the estates of their parents as plaintiffs without naming a registered representative of the estates. The second defect was they failed to properly serve SunTrust with the complaint.

"While these procedural requirements are not insurmountable, the Court agrees that they temporarily stop Plaintiffs in their tracks," Boasberg said.

Instead of simply dismissing the suit, however, the judge instructed the brothers to amend it so "they may remove the estates as parties and establish which named [p]laintiffs are the proper representatives."

The plaintiffs will also have to file "documents manifesting the appropriate appointment of a personal representative as well as authenticated copies of decedents' wills," Boasberg said.

Additionally, the plaintiffs served a suit to a branch manager at a SunTrust in Washington, D.C., but the court wrote that "to save all parties time and expense at this point, SunTrust's counsel will simply agree to accept service of the Amended Complaint."

The brothers have until March 31, 2016 to file their amended complaint.

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