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Colorado attorney stands up to bank in trust fund dispute

An attorney from Aspen has filed a lawsuit against Swiss bank UBS for using unethical tactics while attempting to undermine contact between him and a client. The client happens to be a beneficiary with a trust fund worth millions of dollars. The attorney is claiming that UBS knew his client was dissatisfied with how the bank was handling the trust fund, and that UBS tried to sever ties between the attorney and the client in order to continue profiting from the management of the trust.

The client is a 26-year-old heir to an agribusiness fortune that has a trust estimated to be worth at least $180 million. The suit states that the client is mentally ill, however, and he is not considered to be a party in the case. In fact, the client is currently in a Florida mental institution, and a judge has awarded guardianships to two of the man's family members.

The lawsuit states that the client's wife, one of the man's guardians, got a hold of confidential emails between the client and the attorney. The emails discussed ending the client's relationship with UBS. The wife allegedly forwarded the emails to the Swiss bank. The lawsuit also claims that the wife conversed with her husband using a fake email account made to look like the attorney's in order to track her husband's intentions.

The attorney is also claiming that UBS and one of the client's guardian's tried to spread damaging rumors about him in order to discredit him. He claims that the guardians are trying to stop the removal of the trust from UBS because they may stop receiving money from the trust if the split occurs.

On the other hand, the attorney is accused of having undue influence over the man, and UBS has called the attorney's claims "meritless." The courts will ultimately have to decide if UBS and the mentally ill man's guardians were taking advantage of him or acting in his best interests.

Source:, "Lawsuit alleges scheme to benefit from trust fund" Dan Elliott, Dec. 12, 2013

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