WINFIELD – A Putnam County woman says the son of a man who named her beneficiary of his retirement account took the funds without legal authority.

Vanessa Barnes filed a lawsuit April 25 in Putnam Circuit Court against Suntrust Bank and Richard E. Campbell Jr.

According to the complaint, before his death in December 2014, Richard Campbell established two rollover IRA accounts with Wells Fargo Bank, naming Barnes, whom he lived with, as the beneficiary. He had requested a check for the rollover funds from Fidelity Workplace Services, the administrator of his Pepsico retirement account, the suit says. This check was allegedly made payable to Wells Fargo and was to be used exclusively to fund the Wells Fargo IRA, according to the claim.

After Campbell’s death, his son and administrator of his estate, Richard Campbell Jr., deposited the check from Wells Fargo in an account with Suntrust Bank, according to the suit, which claims the defendant did not have the authority to cash the check, and further states that Suntrust  was in error when they accepted a check not made out to the defendant.

Barnes seeks recovery of the full amount of the check, $189,970, plus litigation expenses and interest. She is represented by attorney J. Nicholas Barth of Barth & Thompson in Charleston.

Putnam Circuit Court Case number 16-C-98

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