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Theft by Public Trustee

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Public Trustee lawyer steals from estate of dead man.

Public Trustee Ned Ephraim Frohlich, 59, of Edmonton was disbarred by the Law Society of Alberta November 2014.

In March 2013, Frohlich pleaded guilty to a fraud scheme and was sentenced to 16 months in jail. He will no longer be able to practice law.
When employed by the Office of the Public Trustee, he stole nearly $125,000 from a dead man’s estate. />

Frohlich began working at the provincial Office of the Public Trustee in 1986. In November 1995, he began administering the estate of William Vincent Thompson, who died without a will. Frohlich lied about being in contact with Thompson’s supposed nephew, creating a story that the sole beneficiary lived in the United Arab Emirates.

Frohlich created documents to show the apparent settlement of the estate, including a false social insurance number, birth certificate and Government of Alberta identification card. Over a one-year period, Frohlich deposited a pair of cheques worth $122,744 into an account he had opened under the false nephew’s name.

The government estimated the loss to be $295,000.

Facial recognition software flagged the fake Alberta identification card in 2010. As a senior trust officer, Frohlich was subsequently fired.

It is reported, an audit of the Office of the Public Trustee took two years and cost $2.4 million, nearly two-thirds of which came from an examination of Frohlich’s 550 files.

Adapted Edmonton Journal 03/12/14