The dispute has lasted 14 years and the sisters had to spend 21 days in jail
A recent story found here outlines the details of a nasty estate dispute which resulted in two sisters being arrested and spending time in jail.
According to the story, the dispute involves five siblings and has lasted 14 years. Frances Perrenod died in 2006 and named two of her children, sisters Jean Mamakos and Irene Savadian executors of her estate. Jean and Irene are retired nurses in their 70’s. Frances had five children. Jean, Irene and their siblings, Anette Klingman, Yvette Ravina, and Charles Perrenod Jr. are beneficiaries of Frances’ estate. Anette is a lawyer. Charles died in 2020. Frances’ estate is believed to be worth $2.7 million US dollars. She was from Queens, New York. Frances’ husband died in 1988.
The legal issues began in 2008. The dispute placed Jean and Irene against Anette, Yvette, and Charles. One issue was the objection to the payment of legal fees from the estate to administer it. Another issue was the cost to pursue mineral rights owned by Frances. Allegations were also made that Jean and Irene were slow in selling Frances’ home. The family originally moved into the home in 1957 and it was sold in 2014. According to Anette, Jean and Irene mismanaged the estate and took money out that they were not entitled to. Additionally, Anette, Yvette, and Charles appear to have taken issue with $100,000 distributions made to each of the beneficiaries. The three siblings refused to cash these cheques. Jean and Irene were ordered to return their cheques but Irene refused.
Sisters were found in contempt of Court and arrested
According to the story, it appears that Irene’s refusal to return her cheque led to both sisters being jailed. This happened during a lunch break at a Court appearance in 2016. According to the story, Jean and Irene were put in handcuffs. Subsequently, they were brought back to the courtroom and they found out why they had been arrested. The presiding Judge, Peter Kelly, advised them that they were in contempt of Court. Although it appears that only Irene refused to return her cheque, Justice Kelly found that the sisters’ actions were “entwined”. Both were taken to Rikers Island where they spent 21 days in jail.
The sisters allegedly spent $50,000 to get released from jail. Upon their release, they learned that Justice Kelly had replaced them as executors with Yvette. Eventually, a final judgment was entered against Jean and Irene in 2018 for $1.8 million. They were also ordered to return money spent on legal expenses. in October of 2021, Justice Kelly refused to vacate the judgment. The sisters are now trying to appeal this decision.
This story is a great example of how bitter and prolonged some estate disputes can become. The dispute has been ongoing since 2008 and the latest decision is also being appealed.
Although it is unclear why Irene refused to return her $100,000 cheque, this scenario affirms that Court orders must be followed. Even though this is a civil matter, Irene and Jean were still jailed for contempt of Court as a result of Irene’s failure to return her cheque.
More importantly, if the latest appeal fails, Jean and Irene will be facing a judgment in the amount of $1.8 million. This will be an interesting story to follow.
More on this story here.