A White Bear Lake man unwilling to share his deceased father’s assets with his brothers was charged Monday with theft by swindle.
While acting as the executor of his father’s estate, Gregory John Carlson, 56, reportedly liquidated the estate and kept the proceeds for himself rather than equally disbursing the money to his two brothers.
Out of the more than $200,000 that Carlson took from his father’s estate, more than $143,000 should have been distributed to his brothers.
According to a criminal complaint file in Ramsey County District Court:
Carlson’s father died in October 2009 while living with him and his wife. According to his father’s will, his assets were supposed to be divided equally among his three sons.
Carlson attempted to informally probate the will in December 2009. To do so, Carlson included both a copy of the will and a statement saying he believed the August 21, 2007, will to be valid.
He also got his brothers to sign documents nominating him as the estate’s personal representative, which they signed thinking that he would act in accordance with their father’s will.
Bank records showed that, in several instances, Carlson took thousands of dollars from his father’s estate and then spent money on custom work on a car; some checks were gambling-related.
The brothers petitioned in July 2011 to formally probate the will, remove Carlson as the estate’s representative and order an accounting of the assets.
The accounting claimed that the estate had $121,514 in cash after covering the estate’s liabilities.
A judge ordered Carlson to deposit the money with the court or file a verification of funds on deposit from a bank by September 2011, but he has yet to do so.