SEVEN aunts and uncles of PNM Toco/Sangre Grande MP-elect Roger Monroe have filed legal proceedings in the High Court alleging theft and embezzlement as they seek to have their father’s will and several deeds for properties, which are in their nephew’s name, revoked.
A voluminous claim was filed in the High Court on August 3 by Darren Thomas, Shurland Thomas, Dawn Thomas, Daisha Thomas, Ray Dexter Thomas, Dixon Thomas Peters, and Karen Thomas – all children of Percy Thomas.
Darren and Shurland Thomas live in Sangre Grande while the other five live in various parts of the United States.
In the revocation of grant/probate/will/land, filed by attorneys Dipnarine Rampersad and Prem Maharaj, it claims Thomas was induced to execute his will by undue influence, was taken advantage of because of his old age and “diseased state of mind and body, infirmity and weakened condition of his mind.
It also alleges that Thomas did not sign his will on his own volition and did not know what he was bequeathing and to whom.
They also claim that the signature on the purported will was not his nor was it signed by him.
Thomas died on February 7, 2015, at Caura Hospital. He had stage 4 cancer.
Thomas’ seven of his 11 children claim, in a 128-page statement of the case, alleges that their father was robbed.
Monroe is Thomas’ grandson and purported sole executor of Thomas’ will which was dated December 3, 2014.
He was sued in his personal capacity as well as his representative as the legal personal representative under Thomas’ estate.
The claim said Thomas had seven children arising out of different relationships as well as three others and another he raised as his daughter.
It added that with his business acumen he was able to accumulate considerable assets, including several properties in the Sangre Grande area, some of which are rented out to Government institutions and departments
He was also a licensed moneylender. The court action described him as a task-master who would involve most of his children in the various aspects of his business. It also said he interacted with them, notwithstanding his different unions that fathered children, he loved and cared for all his children and assisted them in their endeavours.
The claim also said Thomas raised his daughter’s three children, which included Monroe, as his own and groomed the later to assist him in the money lending business.
The claim added that Thomas was manipulated, particularly over the last year of his life when he began to suffer the effects of cancer.
It added that two power of attorneys were prepared, one on October 30, 2014, and the other on December 30, 2014, used to control Thomas
Months before his death, Thomas was hospitalised for two weeks in November 2014, and it was when it is alleged a will was prepared to name Monroe the sole executor and giving him the major assets and majority of his bounty.
Thomas’s children allege that Thomas was unduly influenced and did not have the full knowledge, understanding of what he was doing nor could he give his approval.
The claim said unknown to them, while Thomas was in a diseased state of mind and body and two weeks after he came out of the hospital, he was taken to an attorney, on December 4, 2014, to execute his last will and testament.
Eight days before he died, Thomas was taken to another attorney where he was purported to have affixed his thumbprint on several deeds of gifts as it related to substantial and valuable property.
The claim also says the value placed on Thomas’ estate, which was $335,046.560, was not in comparison to his known assets which his children have alleged was siphoned and embezzled.
They intend to seek tracing orders and ask for investigations into their father’s accounts as they seek to have his will set aside, including the June 8, 2018, grant of probate obtained. They also said they intended to file another action to set aside purported deeds of gifts.
Monroe has said his hands were clean. He also accepted that a mistake was made when a spent power of attorney was used to withdraw money from Thomas’s account. He said the issue was settled when he repaid the money.