Poor kids await court decision
The Foundation for the Support of Poor Children of Panama is formed by the Children Villages Association SOS Panama, the Children Pro-Nu...
The Foundation for the Support of Poor Children of Panama is formed by the Children Villages Association SOS Panama, the Children Pro-Nutrition Association (Nutri-Hogar), the Mercedary Religious Association, Pro-Darien Children Association, the Orphanage San Jose de Malambo and the Child City Patronage.
Lucom left $50 million in his will in favor of Panama’s poor children, but since the time of his death, on June 2, 2006, the testament has been contested by his widow, who believes the money should go to her.
Since Lucom died in Panama the testament has been examined by the Panamanian courts.
In May 4, 2007, the First Superior Justice Tribunal appointed Richard Sam Lehman, Christopher Rudy and Hilda Piza. as executors of the estate.
The whole process has been marred by allegations of corruption, and apparently one the executors, Richard Lehman was persecuted by the Panamanian authorities.
The legal representatives of Lucom’s widow, Infante & Perez Almillano sued Lehman and his assistant Victor Crosby for trying to steal the estate in 2007.
As a result the Panamanian prosecutor, Tania Sterling issued warrants for the arrest of Lehman and Crosbie, although she did not have any evidence against them.
Lehman was detained by Colombian authorities in January last year during a business trip after his name was put on the Interpol list and a fax requesting his arrest was apparently sent from Sterling's office.
Later on it was discovered that the document was sent from Infante & Perez Altamillano office.
Crosbie was told that he should not go back to Panama because there was a warrant for his arrest.
Eventually. in November 2008, the arrest warrants were declared illegal by the Superior Second Tribunal.
But Lehman was recently detained again at the Tocumen International Airport for almost 15 hours.
He believes that the arrest had to to do with the Lucom case.
The will of the businessman is currently in the Supreme Court awaiting a decision on its validity.
In his will Lucom appointed as beneficiaries the poor children of Panama through a trust called Wilson C. Lucom Trust Foundation.
If the courts decides in favor of the poor children, it is expected that the estate will go to the newly establish foundation for administration.
Charitable groups have been pressuring the courts to make a decision as soon as possible.
But the lawsuit against Lucom’s executors has complicated the case even further.
The courts have not given a specific date on which they are going to announce a verdict, causing anxiety for the widow and the charitable foundations on behalf of poor children.