BELLEVILLE – A Belleville man is pursuing legal action against his wife, alleging she defrauded him out of approximately $200,000 despite a prenuptial agreement.
Frederick Peet filed a 10-page lawsuit against Rita Peet, of St. Louis, on June 13 in St. Clair County Circuit Court, alleging fraud, conversion, civil conspiracy, and breach of written contract for allegedly making false statements in order to access the funds in question.
The Peets, who were married April 22, 2005, reportedly “executed a prenuptial agreement specifically excluding their distinct premarital assets from being converted to marital property in anticipation of their wedding.” According to the original petition, three years into the marriage, Rita Peet divulged to the plaintiff that their joint marital account “was insufficient to cover the expenses for [time shares and other real estate].”
“In reliance upon those representations to plaintiff Frederick Peet, he converted his premarital investment accounts to liquidate funds, and deposited those funds into the joint marital account,” the suit states. “He did so with the expectation that those funds would be utilized for, and applied to, joint marital purposes. He further relied on the representation that the marital funds were insufficient to cover the joint marital debts.”
Between 2008 and 2011, Rita Peet “steadily siphoned” up to $200,088.77, the plaintiff alleges.
The suit states she purportedly deposited the money in a sub-account made for her by a friend named Tina M. Simonin at Catholic and Community Credit Union in Belleville. Two years later it held just $140,499.37, which Simonin eventually released to Rita Peet in the form of a cashier’s check.
Court documents further noted that Marlene Horn, Rita Peet’s late mother, deposited the remaining funds into an account she opened. Horn and her daughter had the account made “to remove any trace of ownership of the funds to Defendant Rita Peet,” according to the suit.
A dispute over the money supposedly ensued between Rita Peet and her biological brother, Rodney Rednour, after the death of their mother in a car crash. Their mother's will allegedly splits everything in her name evenly between the two siblings, which Rednour claims includes the account Horn opened with the plaintiff's funds. Rita Peet “is desperate to avoid litigation,” court papers stated.
Joining Rita Peet as co-defendants are her mother’s estate and Simonin.
Frederick Peet seeks a judgment of $200,008.77, plus all other just and proper relief. He is represented by Larry A. Bagsby of The Bagsby Law Firm in St. Charles, Mo.
St. Clair County Circuit Court Case number 19-L-441