Monday, June 08, 2015

S. Florida Woman Bagged For Allegedly Stealing $100k+ By Forging Documents Altering Stepdad's Will, Using Quit Claim Deed To Put His Home In Her Name, Screwing Siblings Out Of Their Share Of Inheritance; Grand Theft, Fraud, Forgery Charges Pending

In Tamarac, Florida, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports:
  • A Tamarac woman is accused of altering her stepfather's will to steal more than $100,000 in inheritance from two sibling beneficiaries.

    Brigitte Lee Gursky, 46, forged documents and lied about it, according to the arrest warrant.

    Gursky allegedly filed court documents shortly after Troy Barger Sr. died in July 2013, falsifying the value of his estate and forging her siblings' signatures, the warrant stated.

    Advising Gursky not to speak in court, defense attorney Louis Pironti said the full story has not been told. "Nothing's been proven beyond a reasonable doubt and certainly everybody's presumed innocent," he said. "There's a lot more to the case than meets the eye, that's for sure."

    Barger Sr. was a career Navy navigator. The 33-year veteran lost both his legs during his years of service. He died in 2013 at the age of 74, said Gursky's sister Gina Lanzo after Gursky's bond court appearance.

    "Basically, she forged my name stating that I was waiving my rights to my [step]father's estate, a blatant forgery," Lanzo said.

    Lanzo said her stepfather owned a specially modified recreational vehicle worth over $100,000, but Gursky traded it in for an Audi for herself and another car for her adult son.

    Gursky also has lived in her stepfather's Tamarac home since filing a quit claim deed putting the property in her name, Lanzo said. Broward public records show a quit claim deed that was executed in June 2012 and recorded in October 2013.

    Their mother, Antonietta Barger, died at age 74 in 2012 in her native Italy. She did not leave a will, but Lanzo and Gursky are entangled in Italian probate court over their mother's estate, Lanzo said.

    Broward Sheriff's Detective Scott Stone told Broward Judge John Hurley that Gursky had expressed a need to go to Italy to handle those legal matters, but the judge set bond at $100,000 and ordered Gursky to surrender her U.S. and Italian passports. She also was ordered to wear a GPS monitor and to stay away from airports and seaports.

    Arrested Wednesday, Gursky is facing grand theft, fraud and forgery charges, jail records showed.

    Calling her stepfather "stoic and fair," Lanzo said he would want this family skirmish ended. "I know what my father would want," Lanzo said. "Justice."

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