Groups say bank mismanagement trust funds

By Annie Cosby | Apr 16, 2014

WHEELING -- Two West Virginia organizations are suing over claims a bank has mismanaged a charitable trust.

Sandscrest Foundation Inc. and the trustees of the Episcopal Diocese of West Virginia filed a lawsuit March 25 in Ohio Circuit Court against J.P. Morgan Chase Bank NA, trustee of the Harry S. Sands Testamentary Trust and the Helen T. Sands Testamentary Trust, citing breach of the duty of loyalty, breach of the duty of prudence and breach of the duty to provide information to the beneficiaries.

According to the complaint, after the last wills and testaments of Harry S. and Helen T. Sands in 1952, some 260 acres in Ohio County were transferred to Sandscrest Foundation Inc. in 1954.

Sanscrest Foundation says Security Trust Company, which became J.P. Morgan Chase, has used the net income, as outlined in the Sands will, for various charitable organizations, but has failed to provide sufficient funding to Sandscrest Foundation to maintain the original property.

The will also stated that, should a perpetual trust fail, any remaining income was to be devoted to the trustees of the Episcopal Diocese of West Virginia, and that should the original Security Trust Company merge with any other, the offices must remain in Ohio County.

The plaintiffs say the Sands Trust has been operated from Milwaukee, Wisc., for several years.

Sandscrest Foundation Inc. and the trustees of the Episcopal Diocese of West Virginia are seeking sufficient funds owed to the upkeep of Sandscrest as well as the removal of J.P. Morgan as trustee.

They are being represented in the case by attorneys Charles J. Kaiser Jr., Richard N. Beaver and Jeffery D. Kaiser of Phillips, Gardill, Kaiser & Altmeyer PLLC. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Martin J. Gaughn.

Ohio Circuit Court Case No. 14-C-82

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