Lehman appeals US court decision
PANAMA. Richard Lehman, the executor of the will of deceased millionaire, Wilson Charles Lucom has appealed the decision of the Palm Be...
PANAMA. Richard Lehman, the executor of the will of deceased millionaire, Wilson Charles Lucom has appealed the decision of the Palm Beach court, that removes him from his role as “albacea”, on the grounds that Circuit Judge John L. Phillips ruled in matters pertinent to Panamanian jurisdiction.
Lehman, who is also a lawyer, wants a rehearing of the case against him and a new trial, as well as an alteration and amendment of Phillips’ judgement.
On March 5, Judge Phillips, declared the appointment of Lehman as executor null and void and ordered him to pay almost $2 million in damages to Lucom’s estate, although the execution of the will and the probate procedure took place in Panama, under Panamanian law.
The lawyer, who feels that he has been persecuted for trying to follow up the wishes of Lucom, who left $50 million to the poor children of Panama, believes that the trial in Florida was another legal manoeuvre, made by the lawyers of Lucom’s widow, Hilda Piza.
According to Lehman, the Florida Judge made several critical mistakes, since he ruled on his expenditure of funds from a Wilson Lucom Estate bank account located in Florida. Even though this account is located in Florida it is a Panamanian asset for purposes of the laws of Panama and was placed by him on the Panama inventory as a Panamanian asset.
Phillips’ findings said that Lehman appropriated over $600,000 from a Florida bank account belonging to the deceased and used it to fight Piza, who is contesting the will, in the Panamanian courts.
However, Lehman said that there is no evidence that he used any money for personal gain and his actions were not in bad faith.
Also the judge failed to notice that the money in the Florida bank account was included in list of assets, over which the Panamanian court has jurisdiction.
Furthermore, Lehman said that any actions for liability regarding how he spent the money as well as any objections about the expenditures should have been heard by a Panama court and not by US one.
Lucom’s executor denies that he left the estate insolvent and he even put over a million dollar of his own money in order to be able to execute the will.
The will, which was challenged by Lucom’s widow, is currently being examined by the Probate Tribunal of the Panama Supreme Court.
Lehman has also taken the Panamanian Estate before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights of the Organization of American States and has accused the immigration department, the courts and the national police of false arrest and persecution.
The lawyer has been improperly arrested on several occasions and was arrested by Interpol in Colombia, without a justifiable reason.