Crooks are always on the lookout for victims, sometimes the people you'd least expect.
When Vernon learned he had an aggressive for of leukemia, he immediately put his estate in trust to protect his family.
According to Vernon's partner Erik Varvir, he used an attorney named Ken, a longtime associate of Vernon's family.
"He made Ken, the attorney, the administrator of the will, because the family had used him for years."
Three weeks later, Vernon passed away.
Erik went with Vernon's stepson to the attorney to settle the estate. But all they got were excuses.
"He was supposed to bring over copies of the master copies of the trust and all the paperwork. He never did and that is where is started. He kept making excuses."
Vern's stepson says the story kept changing. "I'll be in court next week...I'll talk to the judge in two weeks. It just went on and on."
After months without answers, investigators found the money from Vernon's estate was gone - all of it."
"He did it fairly quickly, we didn't realize it. He had started to withdraw money from Vernon's trust two weeks after he died in $30,000 increments."
"It's devastating." said Vernon's stepson. "Especially to find out it's a professional. They are supposed to be watching out for you."
Vernon's family is not alone. U.S. Postal Inspectors say there were multiple victims and more than $800,000 in losses. "It was quite substantial loss, because it involved people's estates- everything they had saved all of their lives-- it was just taken from them."
"The level of betrayal is indescribable." says Erik. "You know and Vernon wasn't here too... You know... Who speaks for him? It was Vernon's money."
Postal Inspectors say attorney Ken Hoesch spent the money he stole on very expensive trips and an art collection. He was sentenced to 6.5 years in prison and ordered to pay $1 million in restitution.
Saturday, December 7 2013 12:07 AM EST2013-12-07 05:07:29 GMT
Maumee Police are responding to an injury accident on the Anthony Wayne Trail.Dispatchers tell 13abc three cars are involved and one of them flipped over.The eastbound lanes of the Trail are closed betweenMore >>
Maumee Police responding to a three car crash on the Anthony Wayne Trail.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 6:30 PM EST2013-12-06 23:30:08 GMT
13abc's third annual "Hope for the Holidays" toy drive begins Monday, November 18 and continues through December 20. The drive resulted in the donation of more than 18,000 new toys last year which wereMore >>
Thousands of toys pour in to 13abc's third annual "Hope for the Holidays" toy drive. You can help by donating a new toy to area children to be distributed at Christmas by the Salvation Army.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 9:39 PM EST2013-12-07 02:39:19 GMT
Tonight's snow is starting to slow down across Ohio. We will be dry tomorrow with more sunshine, but the concern is for Sunday night. We will not have much precipitation at all, only a few hundredths ofMore >>
Highs will struggle to hit freezing for the next week.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 6:41 PM EST2013-12-06 23:41:56 GMT
Toledo Public School students helped spread holiday cheer at the third annual hope for the holidays drive. Bowsher and Scott High School students delivered truckloads of toys. Scott Principal Treva JeffriesMore >>
Toledo Public School students helped spread holiday cheer at the third annual hope for the holidays drive. Bowsher and Scott High School students delivered truckloads of toys.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 5:30 PM EST2013-12-06 22:30:54 GMT
Captain Kevin Zanders of the Salvation Army summed up the need for donations during the holiday season by saying, "The need is always there, There's always people who find themselves with a little lessMore >>
Captain Kevin Zanders of the Salvation Army summed up the need for donations during the holiday season by saying, "The need is always there."More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 5:30 PM EST2013-12-06 22:30:00 GMT
We double dog dare you to read this story about celebrating 30 years of holiday movie magic here in Ohio. 13abc's Christine Long took a tour of the special house in Cleveland that tells "A Christmas Story." IfMore >>
We double dog dare you to read this story about celebrating 30 years of holiday movie magic here in Ohio.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 5:28 PM EST2013-12-06 22:28:12 GMT
Educators at bowling green state university packed a board meeting this afternoon to protest the termination of 40 teachers. The professors contracts will not be renewed. The university blames budget problemsMore >>
BGSU faculty attended a board of trustees meeting Friday to protest the termination of 40 educators.