In a shocking turn of events, Orange County probate attorney Sandra DeMeo stands accused of writing unauthorized checks to herself after her removal as a trustee, leaving the Flint family in financial limbo. In addition to the embezzlement allegations against her, DeMeo is also a suspected member of the OC “Probate Mafia.”
In March 2023, investigative reporter Michael Volpe uncovered evidence suggesting that DeMeo wrote two checks to herself, each amounting to $20,000, from the Flint Trust. Astonishingly, these transactions occurred after DeMeo had been officially removed as the trustee on February 24, 2023. Despite repeated attempts to seek comment, DeMeo has remained silent on the matter and refuses to return the misappropriated funds.
Despite widespread agreement on the allegations, two prominent financial institutions implicated in the matter, Edward Jones and BNY Mellon, are deflecting blame, prompting concerns about accountability. The financial institutions involved remain tight-lipped on the issue. During the administration of the trust by Edward Jones, it was revealed that the checks were drawn from a BNY Mellon account associated with the trust. However, both institutions have failed to provide a statement or take responsibility for rectifying the situation.
Guillermo Saade, the financial advisor who took over trust administration from Edward Jones in April, discovered the irregularities and attempted to seek a resolution. Despite the supposed fraud protections on the checks, it remains unclear which entity should take decisive action to rectify the situation.
DeMeo, who is at the center of the controversy, adamantly refuses to return the $40,000 she allegedly embezzled, adding to the distress of the Flint family. Amid this financial turmoil, DeMeo audaciously appeared in an Orange County court, seeking additional funds from the trust.
Edward Jones manages an impressive $1.6 trillion in assets, while BNY Mellon boasts even more remarkable financials. Despite BNY Mellon branding itself as “Relentlessly Client-Focused” and Edward Jones promising that clients “will build personal connections with their financial advisor throughout the partnership,” the stark reality is that both institutions, each managing over $1 trillion, seem more inclined to let their clients bear the brunt of a $40,000 discrepancy – an amount that, in the grand scope of their operations, is akin to a mere rounding error. Instead of shouldering responsibility, they appear reluctant to address and resolve the pressing issue at hand.
The Flint family has initiated legal proceedings against DeMeo, and the case is identified by court case number 24STCV00317.