The FBI is investigating how $17.3 million has vanished from the trust funds of dozens of people who relied on a Silicon Valley money manager to oversee their life savings.
A love betrayed and an alleged embezzlement scheme are emerging as the storylines behind this latest chapter exposing he vulnerability of trust funds and estates.
Santa Clara County probate court records show the case centers on the office of Christine Backhouse, who administers more than $104 million in assets -- and lacked sufficient insurance to make up for the theft.
While she is responsible for the money, Backhouse claims she was the victim of an unscrupulous boyfriend who, court records allege, secretly wired millions of dollars out of the trusts.
The scandal is unfolding shortly after this newspaper published "Loss of Trust," an investigation that revealed how some of Santa Clara County's estate and care managers charge exorbitant fees to handle the money and affairs of dependent adults under the probate court's watch.
The vast majority of Backhouse's cases were private arrangements with no judicial oversight of either her fees for service, or the process by which the Campbell money manager accounted for and invested her clients' funds.
But taken together, both examples underscore the vulnerability of elderly and often incapacitated people who rely on private business people to oversee their assets.
Full Article and Source:
FBI Probes $17 Million Missing From Santa Clara County Trusts