“You can’t hang a man for killin’ a woman whose trying to steal your horse.” Those are some of our favorite words written by Texas’ own Willie Nelson. And a newly convicted Austin outlaw named Terry Erwin Stork best be pleased that the “Red Headed Stranger” code of justice isn’t in effect as a horse would likely be considered part of an estate, something from which Mr. Stork’s been convicted of stealing – and not even once, but three times! See EoD link.
Terry Erwin Stork. He betrayed his clients’ trust. He stole from their heirs and other designated beneficiaries. He discredited his profession and provided fresh ammunition for people who believe that “all lawyers are crooks.” And we hope he serves as an example for those in his profession and other current or wannabe estate looters that bad consequences can occur when you steal from the dead and/or the disabled and their families.
Estate of Denial is familiar with Stork. Background articles are available at:
We are pleased that the Travis County (Texas) District Attorney’s office took on this case. It may have happened in response to Tony Plohetski and the Austin American Statesman’s coverage of the ease with which Involuntary Redistribution of Assets (IRA) cases are occurring — but we appreciate progress however or from wherever it comes.
And while realizing that prosecution of these cases occurs in an environment with limited resources and competes with many violent or heinous crimes also requiring attention, the families to which this happens are generally law abiding, taxpaying citizens who deserve (and have paid for) better treatment than they have previously received from taxpayer-funded entities such as elected officials, law enforcement, civil and criminal courts.
It is understood that county district attorneys and courts would rather relegate these cases to civil actions as they don’t want their resources tied up and these cases can be good income generators for court personnel and attorneys on the civil side of things. This attitude however, we believe, perpetuates more IRA cases as civil trials are cost prohibitive, time consuming and emotionally exhausting to a point that many people – though completely deserving of justice – can’t pursue such an action and continue with any type productive life. All involved – the public officials, lawyers and those of us experienced in being an IRA target – are aware of this reality as also are the looters and the poachers who, because of our “pay to play” legal system, become even further emboldened to commit these dishonest actions with minimal concern for future accountability or liability.
And to the defensive bureaucratic response of “would you rather us not pursue criminals who are raping and murdering people and instead focus on those who are stealing from estates?” we would simply point out that IRA cases are often actions of opportunity made attractive due to an unlikeliness of negative consequences. Should IRA perpetrators (lawyers and otherwise) start understanding that looting assets from estates can lead to serious, even criminal consequences, the appeal of such actions will diminish as likely will the numbers of these cases.
We generally try to avoid overtly angry tones in our postings, but the nature and close physical proximity of this case makes this posting an especially difficult task. Terry Erwin Stork is not the first grave robber. He is not the last – especially not in Travis County. “Shining light on the dark side of estate management” is critical. Thank you to Tony Plohetski and the Austin American Statesman for their efforts.
Meanwhile, we hope that Mr. Stork receives the full measure of sentencing that can be imposed. His age is of no consequence. In fact, it’s unfortunate that he is not younger only so that he could have longer to endure the consequences of his criminality. Having talked with many Involuntary Redistrubution of Assets (IRA) targets, it’s obvious that the negative impact of these actions will stay with them for the rest of their lives. An upcoming EoD column will adress this topic because easy as these cases are to dismiss with just “being about the money,” it’s a far greater violation than most people bother trying to understand. Nevertheless, Mr. Stork will hopefully have the same scarring experience as other IRA victims throughout his remaining years – and preferably from behind bars.