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PSA: Woman drains exs retirement account
Old 12-18-2012, 09:12 AM   #1
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PSA: Woman drains exs retirement account

Title is self-explanatory, but here's the punch line if you don't want to read the (short) article linked.
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The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals concurred with a district court's ruling that the plan was not at fault because it doesn't have to insure against wrongful actions by third parties, according to PlanSponsor.com. The court found that the plan isn't under any obligation to pay the benefits twice "because of William Foster's failure to comply with his obligations to ensure the plan had his correct address," according to the report.

Foster neglected to notify his former employer, where he hadn't worked for the previous six years, of his change of address. And now he's out 42 grand.
Woman drains ex’s retirement account Bankrate, Inc.
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:31 AM   #2
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Wow, very sad for the guy. Can his ex be held liable for mail fraud or identity theft perhaps?
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:38 AM   #3
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Wow.... I think it was a bad decision on the court's part...

Let's say someone stole the letter and did the same thing.... would they have decided it differently


I think the wife should be prosecuted for stealing and fraud.... and the husband should sue, but she probably does not have any money....
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:13 AM   #4
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Poor guy. Yes, he should go after her.
Maybe he had also forgotten to update his account re beneficiaries or joint ownership as well as changing his address; maybe the divorce gave her joint custody of the account which swayed the judge's decision to not hold the account management liable.
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:18 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
Title is self-explanatory, but here's the punch line if you don't want to read the (short) article linked.

Woman drains exs retirement account Bankrate, Inc.
A cautionary tale, and I have revised the final sentence of the article to give a more generally useful result: Anyone is capable of this type of oversight. Let's learn from this poor guy's mistake, and stay single and guard our financial identifiers.

Ha
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:32 AM   #6
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Don't understand how people that do these things can live with themselves. She is a thief and should be treated as one. She should go to jail and be made to pay him back, no matter how long it takes.
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:47 AM   #7
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There is probably more to this story than what we have seen. It's not clear if they were still married when the funds were withdrawn. The ETFA limits financial institutions responsibility for unauthorized withdrawals to 60 days and this was apparently not identified for a much longer period of time.
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:48 AM   #8
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The Court said is that the financial firm isn't responsible. After all, the letter went to the address the guy put on it. It would seem the same would apply to funds siphoned away by a burglar who stole the letter from a coffee table, although I doubt the same result would have obtained in that case.

One thing the article didn't address is whether the woman got away with it. It still sounds like theft and the guy should have some ability to press charges as well as to pursue civil remedies.
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:08 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Dreamer View Post
Don't understand how people that do these things can live with themselves. She is a thief and should be treated as one. She should go to jail and be made to pay him back, no matter how long it takes.
Happens all the time in the military when couples break up and the servicemember doesn't update their mailing address... or their beneficiaries.
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:14 AM   #10
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Another reason to set up online account transactions automatic downloading with software such as Quicken.

And by the way, while looking at the transactions such as dividend payouts, might as well see how your investments have been doing.

Looky, looky... It does not mean one has to trade.
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:28 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Bestwifeever View Post
Poor guy. Yes, he should go after her.
Maybe he had also forgotten to update his account re beneficiaries or joint ownership as well as changing his address; maybe the divorce gave her joint custody of the account which swayed the judge's decision to not hold the account management liable.

From what I know (and of course it can be wrong), the court can not give joint 'custody' of the account... they can order the account split into two accounts with each owning one of the two.... but not joint...
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:38 AM   #12
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From what I know (and of course it can be wrong), the court can not give joint 'custody' of the account... they can order the account split into two accounts with each owning one of the two.... but not joint...
It was a little joke, like re kids--just meant the divorce settlement might have given her some right to some of it that he had not yet filed the paperwork for. She is a slimeball no matter what, though.

I know someone now thrice divorced with 1/4 "custody" of his 401k. Slow learner--he needed to take the haha class in never getting married again.
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:40 AM   #13
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From what I know (and of course it can be wrong), the court can not give joint 'custody' of the account... they can order the account split into two accounts with each owning one of the two.... but not joint...
+1

As this is a retirement account, it is not possible for the ex-wife to take money out, unless she impersonated the poor guy, and that was a highly unlawful act. He of course could and should have sued her, but you cannot squeeze blood off a turnip. She most likely has spent it all. So, he sued the account custodian, in hope of recovering something.
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:47 AM   #14
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What is wrong here is that the checks would have been made out to him, so the ex-wife should not have been able to cash them or deposit them to an account that did not have his name on it. Similarly, if it was done via electronic transfer, the employer/plan should not allow any transfers to an account that doesn't have his name on it.

He should pressure the DA for criminal charges against her and sue her for damages as well in civil court as well.
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:59 AM   #15
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It's pretty common to forget to update the beneficiary info when you divorce.
My brother forgot. And when he died, his ex got 100% of his 401k.
(And she still tried to come after the rest of the "estate" which was left to his church. She's a lovely human.... NOT.)
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Old 12-18-2012, 12:14 PM   #16
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It's pretty common to forget to update the beneficiary info when you divorce.
My brother forgot. And when he died, his ex got 100% of his 401k.
(And she still tried to come after the rest of the "estate" which was left to his church. She's a lovely human.... NOT.)
When one of my brothers was dying, he remembered that his now hated ex-girlfriend was his 401k beneficiary. He asked our other brother to get him the paperwork to be faxed to change it. Since bro#2 was going to be the new beneficiary, he complied with alacrity.

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Old 12-18-2012, 12:37 PM   #17
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My best friend's money grubbing gold-digger ex remarried after they divorced. Her new husband had been previously divorced and had forgot to update the beneficiary of his life insurance. His ex got the life insurance and the gold-digger got nada. I would have loved to see when she found out about that. Ah... sweet justice.
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Old 12-18-2012, 12:38 PM   #18
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Yeah - my sister and I didn't realize.
He got everything else in order (set up living trust and had assets transfered in, etc.) but my sister (executor) missed the 401k. She did get the life insurance policy switched.

Ironically - when we were cleaning out his house - we found the divorce documents. Ex wife had gotten a bigger settlement to account for the 401k money not going to her. And she'd been bought out of their jointly purchased house.
Didn't stop her from making a play for the house when he died. Even tried to get back family heirloom jewelry. We had to block her emails and phone calls - she was quite aggressive.
Even when he was alive (but terminal) she was calling him to try to extort money from him. No well wishes and hopes for recovery... just demands of money.
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Old 12-18-2012, 12:52 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
Another reason to set up online account transactions automatic downloading with software such as Quicken.

And by the way, while looking at the transactions such as dividend payouts, might as well see how your investments have been doing.

Looky, looky... It does not mean one has to trade.
I give up, how about a clue as to what this has to do with this thread, or maybe I'm just completely missing something here.
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Old 12-18-2012, 01:01 PM   #20
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I did not read the article, but from the comments, believed that this guy did not take care of his account's info until several months after it was emptied. Being more "in touch" with his money perhaps would have reminded him to take care of address and beneficiary changes, etc...

Some people think that one should just put his money in a safe place like a renowned MF (pssst...) and walk away. I beg to differ.
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