Elderly parents defrauded out of real estate property.

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I have a cousin that convinced my parents that there was an IRS Levy against property they owned that she wanted to get her hands on. There was an IRS Lien NOT a Levy against their property as a result of declining business at their local restaurant that they owned and operated for 17 years. If the stress of owing money to the IRS wasn't enough, they became even more vulnerable after this business was destroyed by a fire caused by 100+ year old electrical wiring. She definitely used their vulnerable frame of minds to her advantage. This cousin of mine was my dad's niece, they never had any reason to not trust that she was telling them the truth. She convinced them to sell her property located on Bois Blanc Island that my parents had owned for years for about 1/3 of its value. The fact is that they would have NEVER sold this property to anyone as it holds tremendous sentimental value to my parents children and only grandchild. She convinced them that if they didn't sell the property to her by a specific date (which I have in writing from the deceitful cousin) that the IRS would seize the property and sell it to the highest bidder. She persuaded them into selling it to her by telling them that this was the best thing for our family, as it would keep it at least within the family, and she also told them that their children and granddaughter would be able to use it whenever they wanted to. Feeling this was better than losing the property to strangers, they agreed to sell the property to her.

They have since contacted the cousin on numerous occasions requesting the documentation she claimed to have in her possesion stating that unless a substantial payment was received by the IRS the property would be seized and sold. These requests have gone unanswered, which leads us all to believe that she did in fact fabricate the entire story.

We feel that she defrauded them out of the property she wanted by pressuring them with losing the property with information that was not true, as there is a very big difference between an IRS Lien vs IRS Levy. Do we stand a chance of getting this sacred piece of "heaven on earth" back?


Yes you can get this property back based on fraud, theft by deception, and exploitation of the elderly. I would also look into the possibility of this greedy cousin being involved someway in the fire. You need to contact a criminal law attorney who is also knowledgeable of elder issues. I would start out by reporting this to your office on aging in your area and filing a police report. Just horrible. May she rot in h***!
Thank you so much for your quick reply "norestforweary"! After researching "fraud against the elderly", I too, feel quite confident that we can regain possession of the family property that was stolen. However, I also learned after meeting with two attorneys that legal vultures won't touch the case for less than $50,000, I wasn't surprised! So we did file a police report and the officer took our case directly to the Prosecuting Attorney. The prosecutor showed interest and wants us to put the facts in writing and submit them to his office. I am in the process of writing this book (as there are sooooo many gut-wrenching details that prove the guilt of my cousin) and intend to get a copy to Adult Protective Services, as well.

My daughter and brother are so disturbed by what this so-called relative stole from us that I felt I needed to reach out to someone that could help to put their minds at ease. I feel that the actions of this cousin actually killed my Dad, for less than 6 weeks after the papers were signed and all of the family turmoil started regarding her actions, he passed away. I haven't dismissed the idea of bringing a wrongful death suit against her.

Your emotional support is greatly appreciated!!!! We too, hope she rots in hell!!!
When found guilty, she probably will be required to pay attorney fees.
From what I've read about defrauding the elderly, it seems to me that she could actually spend a little time behind bars, as well!
Yes, that is correct..... try not to give too much info on a public forum of the case of what you will be doing. I am pretty sure your parent's can request the info from IRS, letters regarding the lien if you don't have them. She is not immediate family, so her relationship will carry less weight in court.
She will have a criminal record for life for sure!
No question in my mind that this is fraud, financial exploitation of the elderly, punishable by reversal of transaction, fines ,time in jail, felony charges that will keep cousin out of work as well. Except for maybe making license plates. I would think the DA would be very interested as would APS.
Thank you for your input "gladimhere"...is the District Attorney (DA) different than the Prosecuting Attorney? I feel 99.9 percent positive, from all I've read and learned, that the Prosecuting Attorney and Adult Protective Services will be willing to get to the bottom of this, however, I'm having a very difficult time convincing my daughter and brother of this. The emotional ties to what we lost run deeper than mere words can express - sadly, the cousin knew this and it just didn't matter to her even though she knew that we would all be shattered, as she attempted to get my parents to sell it to her a few years back and at that time she was told that the property would NEVER BE SOLD! Even gave all of us her word that she would never attempt to purchase it again. My cousin's parents (my Dad's brother) have a family home on Bois Blanc Island right next to my parents that she will end up with someday...if we purchased her parents place behind her back she would be as devastated as we all are...she evidently didn't put the shoe on the other foot to see how it felt before she walked off in those shoes...if she did, she wouldn't have been able to do this to us. Still have a hard time believing that she could do this to us behind our backs while being so loving the entire time she was plotting her premeditated scheme! It does cut like a knife...

To my knowledge, there is a two year statute of limitations regarding taking action against such matters...can anyone confirm for me that this is true?

You know, for years leading up to her succeeding at getting her hands on this property, her and her husband were up my parents butts - mowing their grass, plowing their driveway, re-roofing their home, cutting wood for their woodstove to last the entire winter - once the papers were signed my parents literally never heard from them again! They didn't even attend my Dad's funeral!!!

So many more twisted details that haunt my family every day...it's emotionally exhausting. Thank you all for letting me vent!! All words of encouragement and/or legal advice are appreciated more than you know!
I think you should let the IRS continue to make her life miserable, and buy it back when the IRS puts it up for sale. It makes no sense to try and get it back when the IRS is about to seize it.
Often the statute of limitations begins when the effected parties realize there is a problem, depending on the law. I would suggest the website AVVO to ask attorneys in your area questions, receive responses at no charge. You may find one willing to take this on contingency.

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