Aug. 20–A Moosic man suspected by family members of bilking his late grandmother and her estate of about $300,000 agreed to remove himself as executor of the estate.
Jason Muskey was scheduled to appear at a hearing Wednesday in Lackawanna County Court to answer a petition seeking to remove him as executor of Lois Cusick’s estate. Before the hearings, he agreed to step down and allow Ms. Cusick’s daughter, Sharon Pappas, to take over as administrator, said attorney Christopher Jones of Scranton, Ms. Pappas’ attorney.
Mr. Muskey, former owner of Muskey Financial Services, is awaiting sentencing in federal court for his guilty plea to charges related to the theft of nearly $2 million from 26 clients. Federal prosecutors said he forged signatures on documents and converted investment products he sold to clients for his personal use.
Ms. Pappas, of Clarks Summit, filed a petition on July 30 seeking to remove Mr. Muskey as executor of Ms. Cusick’s estate after discovering he had used Ms. Cusick’s home as collateral for a $112,500 loan he allegedly used for his own purposes, Mr. Jones said. Further investigation revealed that over the past 10 to 15 years, Mr. Muskey had cashed in several other assets owned by Ms. Cusick, who died in 2013, including retirement accounts and life insurance policies, Mr. Jones said.
Mr. Muskey has not been charged with any crime relating to Ms. Cusick’s estate. Attorney Jason Mattioli of Scranton, who represents Mr. Muskey in the federal case, said Mr. Jones’ allegations are “absolutely ridiculous and patently absurd.”
“There is not one shred of evidence that my client took anywhere near that amount, or any amount, for that matter,” Mr. Mattioli said.
Mr. Jones said Ms. Pappas began looking into her mother’s affairs in June, after she learned Mr. Muskey filed an inheritance tax return showing her estate had a deficit. He said Ms. Pappas could not understand how that was possible as her mother had income from two pensions, Social Security and savings.
Mr. Jones said no one has contacted law enforcement over the issue yet as he is continuing to investigate the finances to determine where the money went. If he finds evidence of criminal wrongdoing, the case may be referred to police, depending on the family’s wishes, he said.
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