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Attorney General's News Release

July 13, 2011

Attorney General Koster reaches agreement requiring defendants to return money and house taken from bequest to charity

Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster said today he has reached an agreement requiring family members of the late Mary Geldmacher to pay $60,400 and return a house worth about $400,000 to Mrs. Geldmacher’s estate.

Koster said Mrs. Geldmacher’s will gave a large bequest to benefit lung disease and pulmonary fibrosis research and to the Open Door Animal Sanctuary. He said that a few weeks before Mrs. Geldmacher’s death, Susan Herbert, John Herbert, and Jackie Turley conspired to take a house worth about $400,000 in Sunset Hills, Missouri; $30,000 from her retirement account; and a Lexus worth $23,000 by abusing the powers granted to them by a Power of Attorney instrument Mrs. Geldmacher had signed. Following litigation by Attorney General Koster in St. Louis County, the defendants have agreed to pay $60,400 and return the house.

“The Attorney General’s Office represents charitable interests in trusts,” Koster said. “When someone harms those interests, we will defend them. Mrs. Geldmacher was extremely generous and gave a large amount of money to worthy causes in her will, and when we discovered the defendants had improperly taken money and property, we took action to have that money and property returned. We are also appreciative of the immense support we received in our action from Mrs. Geldmacher’s personal representatives, Betty Pfeiffer and Toba Agrawal.”

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