CLEARWATER, FL — More than a year after professional guardian Traci Hudson was arrested on charges she exploited an elderly man, her alleged victim’s family can’t close out his estate because they say Hudson failed to turn over financial documents, specifically a signed final accounting of his estate.
On November 14th, 2019, professional guardian Traci Hudson was booked into the Pinellas County Jail, accused of exploiting 93-year-old Maurice Myers, for whom she served as power of attorney.
Investigators say Hudson paid herself $1,600 a day from Myer’s bank account, spending more than half-a-million dollars of his money on things like jewelry, Tampa Bay Bucs tickets, and a 4,000 square foot Riverview home.
“There’s no documentation as to how any of the monies were spent or not spent,” attorney Charles Tillman, Jr. said during a Wednesday court hearing.
Tillman represents the personal representative for the Myers estate, alleging in a civil lawsuit that Hudson “breached her fiduciary duty” to Myers.
He asked Pinellas County Probate Judge Pam Campbell during a hearing in the estate case to require Hudson to produce documents that would allow him to close-out Myers’ estate.
“The final accounting filed is not verified. It’s not signed by Traci and the statute says we’re entitled to that,” Tillman said.
Hudson asserts her 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination
“She was charged in criminal court related to prior dealings with Mr. Myers, so it certainly wouldn’t be appropriate for her to have documentation about Mr. Myers, and she certainly does not,” said Hudson’s criminal attorney Richard McKyton, who now also represents Hudson in the civil lawsuit and in her guardianship and estate cases.
The prior attorneys in those probated cases resigned after Hudson’s arrest.
Myers’ estate received an accounting from September 2019 prior to Hudson’s arrest, but his heirs’ attorney says there is a gap between that accounting and when Hudson’s previous attorney turned over financial records in January 2020.
McKyton wrote in a court pleadings Hudson would not turn over certain requested documents because she is asserting her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.
He says the Deeb Law Firm, which prepared the power of attorney agreement Hudson used to gain control of Myers’ assets, has Myers’ financial information.
“We need something verified”
“None of us have those records. We invited them to come today and they declined,” said Tillman.
“We need something verified and Mrs. Hudson and Deeb Elder Law need to figure that all out,” said Judge Campbell.
McKyton said the Deeb Law Firm previously turned over financial documents and the money remaining in Myers’ bank account.
“She can’t swear to what they did on either occasion. She would be committing perjury,” McKyton said.
“Mrs. Hudson can get with her lawyer who was Deeb Elder Law at the time,” Judge Campbell said. “They were her lawyer at the time. She’s certainly able to talk to them to confirm what she did or didn’t do with Deeb Elder Law.”
Judge Campbell ordered Hudson and her former attorneys to produce a signed final accounting within 10 days.
Family seeks more than $1.8 million
In the meantime, Myers’ family has requested Hudson’s $35,000 bond from her insurance company and is suing Hudson for treble damages, or $1.8 million dollars.
Court records show prosecutors are continuing to gather evidence in Hudson’s criminal case, which has been delayed several times.
A hearing in that case is set for next month.
If you have a story you’d like the I-Team to investigate, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org