Abe Hirschfeld heiress claims public administrator aided brother’s swindling of magnate’s fortune (NY)

The daughter of late parking lot magnate Abe Hirschfeld is accusing the Manhattan public administrator’s office of turning a blind eye to her brother’s shenanigans with his estate.

In paper’s filed in Manhattan Surrogate’s Court, Rachel Hirschfeld, 67, says her little brother Elie helped himself to their father’s real estate empire with “the tacit approval” of the public administrator’s office.

The office was appointed to handle the estate seven years ago because of questions about the authenticity of Abe’s will, but only did an “incomplete accounting” of the oddball’s assets, the daughter’s filing says.

Rachel, who’s seeking to be named administrator of her dad’s estate in the public advocate’s place, wants a judge to let her see what work the office actually did and let her take over the probe.

She contends her brother swindled their dad out of $300 million worth of property by taking advantage of his ailing health and mental state in the years before his death in 2005, forcing him to sign over the properties.

The public administrator valued Hirschfeld’s estate at $7 million when he died — while just a few years earlier, his net worth was estimated to be $1 billion.

Abe, who made a fortune pioneering open-air parking lots, ran seven failed political campaigns using the nickname “Honest Abe.”

He famously took over the New York Post for two weeks in 1993, inciting a staff rebellion. During the last years of his life, he spent 22 months behind bars for plotting to kill his business partner, with whom he had a “survivor take all” clause.

The PA’s accounting acknowledged it was missing information about several of Abe’s assets — but it never acted to track them down, the sister’s filing said.

The PA also sat on the sidelines in ongoing court fights between Elie and his father’s old business partners — even though the estate could reap tens of millions of dollars if the litigation goes its way, the filing says.

It also notes that Elie — who’s repeatedly denied any wrongdoing in the case — last month withdrew the 2004 will he’d offered up for probate in his father’s estate.

Her filing said there’s now no need for him to push forward with the will, because he’s already “appropriated” almost the entirety of his father’s holdings.

The filing also says the IRS just completed its long-awaited audit of the estate, but it’s not yet known what the agency turned up.

It’s been estimated that the estate owes $20 million to the IRS and $20 million to New York State.

The lawyer representing the PA — the city office that typically handles estates where there are no wills — declined comment on the case.

Lawyers for the Hirschfeld siblings and the public administrator are due in court Wednesday.

Attribution:

Abe Hirschfeld heiress claims public administrator aided brother’s swindling of magnate’s fortune
Rachel Hirschfeld, 67, filed suit in Manhattan Surrogate Court claiming the public administrator did ‘incomplete accounting’ of Hirschfeld’s assets and gave ‘tacit approval’ to Elie Hirschfeld’s claims on assets.
Dareh Gregorian
July 10, 2013
New York Daily News
http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/abe-hirschfeld-heiress-claims-administrator-aided-swindling-brother-article-1.1394380#ixzz2YhoVLiqb

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