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SOURCE Novick & Associates, P.C., Attorneys for Mercer Sons
Six years after Norman Mercer's death, estate assets stored by bank are missing
HUNTINGTON, N.Y., Feb. 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- In the most bizarre turn of events yet in the ongoing estate battle between the sons of Norman Mercer and BNY Mellon, lawyers for BNY claimed in a January 31st letter that estate assets entrusted to the bank "cannot be located." This is surprising because according to the August 2012 testimony of Debra Hess, former Vice President of BNY's Tri-state estate settlement group; the assets the bank's lawyers now claim are missing were being stored in the bank's "White Plains office locked in a room". Hess, who was in charge of the Mercer estate, went on to testify that BNY was storing the assets on its premises "because we wanted to get them out of the East Hampton home (of Mercer's fourth wife Carol) and into an auctioneer's hands, if possible". Neither the bank nor its lawyers have offered any explanation of what they believe could have happened to the missing property.
In taking control of the now missing assets, BNY was acting at the insistence of Norman Mercer's sons, retired West coast businessmen Howard and David Mercer, who had claimed the bank had acted improperly when it failed to carry out the terms of their father's Will by turning over estate owned property to Carol Mercer.
This is the latest chapter in the six-year battle by Howard and David Mercer to hold BNY Mellon accountable for its alleged mismanagement of their father's estate. Last month the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York upheld a ruling by Suffolk County Surrogate Judge John M. Czygier Jr. against BNY Mellon and its co-fiduciaries. In his decision Judge Czygier ruled against BNY's efforts to remove the guardian appointed by the Court to represent the interests of the underage and unborn heirs of Norman Mercer's estate.
In a lawsuit currently pending in federal district court in New York, the Mercer brothers accuse Martin D. Newman and BNY, under the direction of Joseph Samulski, the Chief Fiduciary Officer of BNY Mellon Wealth Management, of initiating, approving and aiding Carol Mercer's alleged illegal invasion of the corpus of trusts established by Norman Mercer in a scheme to loot the trusts' assets.
Donald Novick, Novick & Associates, P.C.
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