John Boyle and David Ryan Took Over my Mother's Property without her Permission
So, Timothy Geiszler went on an all out assault against my mother's mental health yesterday. He used a bunch of quotes from a motion to amend her counterclaim as evidence that she is paranoid. (Legalese translation: she was sued by Steve Loken, but also had claims against him. She was trying to add more claims.) The hilarious part is that she was trying to add civil conspiracy as a counterclaim, and has the evidence to prove it. Let's review what conspiracy is, courtesy of findlaw:
A criminal conspiracy exists when two or more people agree to commit almost any unlawful act, then take some action toward its completion. The action taken need not itself be a crime, but it must indicate that those involved in the conspiracy knew of the plan and intended to break the law. One person may be charged with and convicted of both conspiracy and the underlying crime based on the same circumstances.
For example, Andy, Dan, and Alice plan a bank robbery. They 1) visit the bank first to assess security, 2) pool their money and buy a gun together, and 3) write a demand letter. All three can be charged with conspiracy to commit robbery, regardless of whether the robbery itself is actually attempted or completed.
Clearly this has nothing to do with black helicopters. Mom's language about conspiring made perfect sense in this legal context. Apparently, Mr. Geiszler hoped that quotes ripped out of context would simply read as paranoia. Big, big stretch.
But since our run-ins with the justice system seem to conform to others' big stretches, it seems prudent to flesh out some of the conspiracy of which my mother wrote (and has evidence and would like/would have liked to argue). Here goes.
While I was in Russia in winter of '06 I received a frantic Skype from Mom. Her property was no longer in her control and Steve Loken had filed a lien against it. Before leaving for Russia, all of my boxed belongings had been soaked due to a flood caused by Mr. Loken's negligence. I had been in the dining room listening while Mom met with him and he tried to make excuses for why she had been charged for incomplete work, and why the contractor in charge of her project was such a disaster. I overheard him swear at her and watched him storm out of the kitchen. By this point I knew the man was bad news, but neither of us had any idea of what he was mixed up in or what was in store for us.
So I was feeling pretty helpless a world away as my Mom found her property slipping away. Especially since her lawyer at the time, David Ryan, seemed to have orchestrated it. Here are the boring details:
Mom worked with David Ryan to set up the LLC. On January 30, 2006 she transferred the property to it. She was listed as the contact person.
On March 7, 2006, without Mom's knowledge or consent, Ryan notified John Boyle in writing that Mom had requested that he be named as Registered Agent of the LLC and that he would be the person to accept service of process if a lawsuit was filed against it. Ryan requested that he fill out the paperwork. Mom saw John all the time at March Madness gatherings but he never made any mention of this important request. Ryan did not copy her on the correspondence with Mr. Boyle.
On March 9, 2006, without Mom's knowledge or consent, Mr. Ryan filed the Articles of Organization with the Secretary of state naming John Boyle as the registered agent. This was after John signed on as registered agent without checking with my mother or me to confirm that these were her wishes. This meant that he was in control of the property as the trustee -- the trust now essentially owned the property. Mom has been advised by another attorney that this had horrible tax ramifications. Not only did she have no intention of such a property transfer, but there would have been a huge gift tax. It made no sense on any level. It seems that most accountants would have advised against such a move.
I want to be clear: the property was my mother's main asset and she was retired. The trust was my nest egg.
On March 15 Mom met with Mr. Ryan regarding another matter. He never mentioned having named John Boyle as the registered agent. Mom mentioned in passing that Loken had pulled out of the remodeling job. Though she had misgivings that it would constitute a conflict of interest, Ryan insisted on meeting with Loken to discuss the incomplete remodel. She found his eagerness odd because he had told her that Loken had repeatedly lied to him and that the two did not get along.
On March 20 the Secretary of State wrote to Ryan announcing that the LLC had been created effective 3/13/06. Mom still had no idea.
On March 22nd Ryan met with Steve Loken and his girlfriend/office manager Georgia. Obviously this was completely inappropriate. Ryan had some sort of relationship with Loken, and he should not have been communicating with him directly about this matter. He would later imply to my mother that he learned unsavory things about her in the meeting.
On March 23rd, Ryan finally wrote to Mom to let her know that he had created Articles of Organization with John Boyle as the registered agent and that the Secretary of State had accepted them.
Upon receipt of the letter and discovery that her attorney had for some reason done something so bizarre and underhanded, Mom was in a panic. It was around this time that we spoke across continents. I had no idea what to do. She consulted an attorney who contacted John Boyle to see what was going on. He said that he was tied up with tax season and had not yet looked at the paperwork from the Secretary of State. At that point she had no idea that John had actually signed paperwork without her knowledge -- he behaved as though the whole situation was a surprise to him. Upon the other attorney's questioning, he agreed that the transfer was a huge tax problem. Mom let John know that she was going to become the registered agent effective as soon as possible. That was a Friday.
On Monday, March 27, 2006 Loken filed the lien. When you file a lien, you look up the property with the registrar at the court house. The property had been in the name of the LLC for months, so when Loken looked up the address, he would have encountered the LLC's name. It would have taken further research to discover who the registered agent was, and it would have been John Boyle at that point. Perhaps with foreknowledge that John was no longer going to be the registered agent, he filed it against my mother. She wasn't the registered agent officially until April 6, 2009 so the lien wasn't even valid. But none of her attorneys ever argued that effectively. So here we are.
Fishy, no? Weird? Frightening?
My mom has theories about what all of this maneuvering was about, and felt confident enough that conspiracy would be revealed in court that she added it to the counterclaim. If memory serves, the judge refused to consider adding any of it on a technicality, not because he looked into any of the merits. I don't believe he commented on them.
There is no doubt that what Mr. Ryan did constituted malpractice and that John breached his fiduciary duty to me and my mother as trustee and also perhaps committed malpractice. That Ryan met with Loken, and the lien was filed so quickly after seem like much more than coincidence. Given all of the entrapment and property devaluing that occurred subsequently, conspiracy isn't much of a stretch. At all.
Mom tried to pursue malpractice against Mr. Ryan but her attorney at the time, the legendary Tim McKeon, stalled and essentially refused to pursue it.
All of this seems like evidence of moral deficiency rather than mental deficiency.
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