Minnesota lawyer Linda Ann Brost, 61, is under arrest this week after being suspended from practice and charged with theft by swindle, two counts of identity theft, and aggravated forgery after allegedly posing online and in letter as a deceased client to bilk his estate. A friend and beneficiary of the deceased raised the first alarm over Brost’s conduct.
Arthur Fischbach was 91 when he died and Brost reportedly swindled the estate for $46,769. He asked for money to be given to two friends and the rest donated to a Catholic Church and a Shriner’s Hospital. Brost went to his funeral and told one of the friends that he would inherit $10,000.
Brost allegedly set up a phony email account and a checking account in Fishbach’s name and had his mail redirected to a house that she owned. She is also accused of learned altering the date on her dead husband’s expired notary stamp and forging his signature to fraudulently notarize her own signature on a certificate of trust prepared for Fischbach.
She first allegedly tried to get the money in his bank. She is accused of presenting a fraudulently notarized document to BankCherokee which held $140,000 of Fischbach’s money. That effort failed but she was successful in getting more than $46,000 from Jackson National Life Insurance Company.
It is a pretty disgraceful list of charges. However, I am concerned about the appearance of double charging for the same underlying conduct. With the proliferation of criminal codes, it is common for the same conduct to be charged in different forms in order to force a plea or secure a longer sentence.
What is clear is that the state Supreme Court found the evidence sufficient to indefinitely suspended Brost who is looking at a daunting challenge at trial.
Source: Star Tribune