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Stepfather emptied daughter college fund

Stepfather emptied daughter college fund


Old 08-12-10, 07:12 AM
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Stepfather emptied daughter college fund

I'm not sure if this is the correct category but here goes. I have an 18 year old daughter from a previous marriage. She has lived with me for the last 2 years. When she was young her grandparents (mothers parents) gave her $3000 for college as well as monies for her 2 step brothers. Her mother and step father (now going through a divorce) put the money into a 529 College Fund for her and 2 other account for her step brothers with his (step father) ssn on the account listed as the custodial account holder; as he took care of all finances and investments. She in now in college and has attempted to access the funds only to find out that her step father emptied the account the day before her 18th birthday for over $5400 which included major penalties with the withdrawal since it was not used for further education. The other 2 account (his sons) have not been touched. Her mother and step father had been separated for approximately 3 years when the account was emptied. To top it off he is a police detective, and is of the mind set that he is untouchable, and should have known how unethical this was. Not sure what recourse my daughter has if any. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-12-10, 07:27 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: WI/MN
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Not sure there's any recourse, he was on the account

Time to talk to a lawyer
Old 08-12-10, 07:33 AM
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Unfortunately I'm guessing mitch is right; if his name was on the account it was his money. I'd have to ban myself if I expressed my opinion of what kind of guy would do something like that.

I'm assuming nobody will have any further contact with him?
Old 08-12-10, 08:21 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 3,487
529 Plans have an account owner and a beneficiary. The account owner has complete control over the money and can cash the account in at any time subject to penalties and tax consequences. I don't think the beneficiary has any recourse, as the money is not legally theirs. I think Mitch is correct as well.

Wow, a tile guy giving legal advice. Scarry stuff.
Old 08-12-10, 08:31 AM
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You might be able to sue in civil court although I agree it's unlikely any laws were broken. It wouldn't hurt to consult a lawyer - many of them do the intial consultation for free.
Old 08-14-10, 06:03 AM
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Man, de ja vu. Over the summer we had a niece visit for a month until she started summer session of college. She had just graduated high school. Same thing happened. Her mom had built a fund for her college tuition. Of course being a minor, her father was on the account. Her mom died several years ago. Dad was into illicit things which required money. Her account of many thousands of dollars evaporated. Dad even charged her rent for staying with him and his girlfriend. While she was staying with us, dad lost his house and moved. Wouldn't even give her the address of the new place. Real loser.
She is in a private college and doing what she has to to make it happen. So far, so good. Why do people do that to their kin?

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