An elderly Ross Township man has been charged with stealing more than $600,000 in funds from his sister's estate that, according to her will, was to have been shared by other relatives.
The Allegheny County District Attorney's office on Wednesday charged Byron B. Chadderdon, 85, of 103 Penbryn Road with five counts of theft and one count each of receiving stolen property and misapplication of entrusted property.
Investigators for District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. assert that, between 2005 and 2012, Chadderdon tapped his sister's estate for $670,756 he was not entitled to spend.
Chadderdon was arraigned before District Judge Richard Opiela of West View, who set bond at $100,000. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 10.
According to a criminal complaint, Chadderdon was the executor and trustee for the estate of his late sister, Ora Jean Davis. Income from the trust was to have been split equally between Chadderdon, his sister's son and his sister's grandson, and the principal was to be distributed after Chadderdon's death, according to the complaint.
After Chadderson became il and required hospital care in June, his sister's son, Robert H. Nelson Jr., found in Chadderdon's home trust statements reflecting a balance of about $80,000, investigtors said in the complaint.
Nelson, who believed the balance should have been about $800,000, questioned Chadderdon about the money, investigators said. Chadderdon told his nephew that he'd given money to two other people as a gift.
According to the complaint, Nelson asked his uncle, "Are we broke?" Chadderdon replied, "Yeah, kinda, sorta," investigators said.
Bank and financial records showed that Chadderdon used money from the account to pay credit card and tax bills and to write checks to other people for expenditures not permitted by the trust, according to the complaint.
Investigators said they also learned that other relatives of Chadderdon had contacted Allegheny County's Area Agency on Aging to report that they believed he was being financially exploited by a number of people. When investigators questioned him, they said he told them that as trustee he could spend the money as he wished.
"When asked what he will do when his money runs out, he (said) he is not concerned because he is sick and if he lives longer than he expects, he will just go to the poorhouse," investigators said in the complaint.
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