Seidlin sued in estate looting case

Larry Seidlin, former Anna Nicole Smith judge, sued in estate looting case
Lou Ann Anderson
July 11, 2009
www.EstateofDenial.com
Though states with high retiree populations like Florida and Texas may be more attractive to financial predators, these acts are occurring nationwide.  The idea that estate looting actions happen quietly and receive minimal media attention even when exposed is well illustrated by a lawsuit recently filed against former Judge Larry Seidlin.

Seidlin, now retired, came into the national spotlight as Judge Larry “Sideshow” Seidlin, the Florida judge who presided over the Anna Nicole Smith body custody hearing and demonstrated on national television how courtrooms can be centers of judicial ego gratification and self-promotion rather than venues in which taxpayers and other legal consumers can be assured of a respectable experience with today’s judiciary.

The former judge, along with his wife and in-laws, is being sued by Barbara Kasler, 83, who claims “Seidlin, 59, exploited her for personal gain, and that he, his wife and in-laws feigned friendship to steal her money and jewelry and change her will for their benefit.”  Reports indicate that in addition to jewelry and other personal items, hundreds of thousands of dollars of cash were diverted from Kasler’s estate for the purchase of property, school tuition and miscellaneous items and services that benefitted Seidlin and/or his immediate family.  A condo owned by Kasler was sold to Barbara and Oren Ray, Seidlin’s in-laws, for $300,000 – half the current market value.

Seidlin denies all charges and his attorney points to two state investigations that allegedly cleared the former judge of any exploitative activities with regard to Kasler.  The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office more accurately declined to charge Seidlin with any crimes saying instead that it was a case involving ethics.

According to great reporting by Bob Norman of the Broward-Palm Beach New Times, Judge Seidlin appears to have experience with befriending women for potential financial gain.  The relationship between Judge Seidlin and Barbara Kasler came under scrutiny by relatives and caregivers who feared Seidlin’s actions were motivated by he and his family’s ongoing and anticipated future financial gain from Mrs. Kasler’s estate.

Bob Norman points out:  “Seidlin happened to run the probate and family divisions at the courthouse before his resignation, so he should know better than to chisel money out of an old woman.”

Lou Ann Anderson is an advocate working to create awareness regarding the Texas probate system and its surrounding culture.  She is the Online Producer at www.EstateofDenial.com and a Policy Advisor with Americans for Prosperity – Texas.  Lou Ann may be contacted at info@EstateofDenial.com.

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