Savings account drained, complaint states

Ann Knef Apr. 10, 2006, 5:41am

A man accused of draining more than $94,000 from his 66-year-old acquaintance's bank account is being sued in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

Patricia Massey, guardian of Richard J. Schneider, is seeking to recover $94,950 from Raymond J. Sorden whom she claims took advantage of her ailing uncle over a 16-month period.

According to the suit filed April 7, Sorden convinced Schneider to open a joint savings with Sorden's name included as a joint tenant in December 2002.

"That at the time of opening said account, Schneider suffered from declining mental capacity, and Schneider trusted Defendant's advice and encouragement to allow Defendant to assist him with his financial resources," the complaint states.

An initial deposit of $15,576.89 was made on Dec. 23, 2002. Additional deposits from the sale of Schneider's out of state home, social security and military retirement pay totaling more than $96,900 were made into the account through March 14, 2004.

Massey, represented by Alvin C. Paulson of Becker, Paulson, Hoerner & Thompson, also is seeking punitive damages from Sorden.

Unless Sorden is restrained by a courter order, Massey alleges he will "transfer, spend, encumber, conceal, destroy or damage said monetary sums of Schneider."

"Plaintiff is informed and believes, unless Defendant is restrained by order of this Court, he will enter into, or attempt to enter into, some contract or agreement for disposition of said monetary sums of Schneider."

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