CHICAGO (CN) - Seven of 11 children of a late country-club owner claim in court that law firms and accountants conspired with three other siblings to "loot and pillage" $50 million from the estate.
Seven O'Malley siblings sued the McCarthy Duffy law firm and its attorney Frank K. Neidhart and Thomas J. Montgomery; the Law Offices of Kovitz Shifrin & Nesbit and its attorney Michael P. Rhoades; and the CPA firms FGMK and Smart & Associates, and their member/partner CPA Con Murphy, in Cook County Court.
"Seven of the children of Eileen O'Malley bring this action to recover millions of dollars looted from her estate by defendants," the complaint states.
Mrs. O'Malley suffered a stroke in 1997, and had difficulty seeing and hearing, making "her extremely dependent on others, and particularly the defendants, for managing her assets and even reading and/or understanding important transactional documents," the O'Malleys say.
While her physical and mental capabilities were declining, "defendants, many of whom were fiduciaries of Mrs. O'Malley, employed an arsenal of artifices to defraud Mrs. O'Malley, including forged documents, unauthorized checks, improper transfers of real property, and threats to Mrs. O'Malley. In less than 10 years, defendants' actions depleted the Estate by no less than $50 million. Most, if not all of that money went into, or through, the pockets of the defendants," the complaint states.
Three of the children are accused of "acting in concert with" the defendants, but the siblings are not named as defendants.
"Only after the named defendants were cross-examined under oath before a jury in March of 2012, was defendants' scheme fully revealed," the complaint stats. "William O'Malley, Thomas O'Malley and Joan Gross - acting in concert with, inter alia, accountant con Murphy and attorneys Frank Neidhart, Thomas Montgomery, Michael Rhoades and principals of Marquette Bank - conspired over several years until 2009 to literally loot and pillage the estate of the deceased mother of eleven (11) children Mrs. Eileen A. O'Malley."
The seven siblings claim that a jury in March 2012 found their mother's 2009 Will and Trust "invalid based on undue influence. The verdict cast aside the attempt to cover up the defendants' scheme and confirms the validity of the claims set out below."
The children's father died in October 2000, their mother on Feb. 27, 2009.
After their mother died, Bill and Thomas O'Malley and their sister Joan Gross conspired with attorney Neidhart to take "the bulk of" the estate, the seven O'Malley claim.
The complaint states: "Bill has admitted aspects of the scheme in an affidavit, the originals of which he contemptuously destroyed after verifying their authenticity during the March 2012 trial. Bill admits in his affidavit that he acted in concert with Tom, Joan, and Neidhart to 'take the bulk of [Mrs. O'Malley's] estate for ourselves.' Bill also admits that Marquette joined the conspiracy later one-at the urging of Montgomery and Neidhart-by agreeing to be named and act as trustee under Mrs. O'Malley's 2009 Trust." (Citation to affidavit omitted; brackets in complaint.)
The siblings claim that the "ruse to gain unfettered control over Mrs. O'Malley trusts is made evident" by a March 30, 2001 document, a first amendment to their mother's 2000 trust, in which the successor trustees to mother Elaine: Tom, Bill, the Rev. Tim and Joan, was amended to make Bill the "sole successor trustee."