False words are not only evil
in themselves, but they infect
the soul with evil.
[Editor's note: As usual, the information presented here is supported by a wealth of documentation. Unfortunately, this makes for a very long read. Here's the short version:
Over two years ago, the executors of Dolores' estate made a payment of €19k to each of the nine beneficiaries. Saoirse notified Beauchamps that she would call in to Beauchamps to collect hers on 28 November, 2013. Before that could happen, solicitor/executor Joe Bowe issued a strange letter suggesting that no, he won't let her have it, even though it was paid and put into a separate account for her over 26 months ago. ]
This Thursday, 28 November, on the third anniversary of my mother's death, I will be in Dublin. During that time, I will collect the funds in the client account opened on my behalf on October 12th or 13th, 2011. Please ensure this is ready for me to pick up on Thursday morning at the front desk.
An auto–reply was received shortly afterward from John Cunningham's email box. It seems as though he no longer works at Beauchamps:
Sent: Monday, 25 November, 2013 9:41:50 AM
Subject: Automatic reply: The Late Dolores Maxwell
Thank you for your email. I no longer work in Beauchamps.
Please forward your query to Elaine Redacted on Redacted
Being somewhat alarmed at the sudden change in John Cunningham's position, Saoirse sought clarification in an email the same day sent to all 24 Beauchamps' partners:
Dear Beauchamps' Partners:
Further to an automated message from John Cunningham's email address a short time ago, please advise what steps are in place for me as a beneficiary in my late mother's estate, given that W. John Cunningham is no longer employed with Beauchamps Solicitors. Mr. Cunningham is one of three executors in my late mother's estate. Joseph Bowe and Onan Maxwell AKA Eoghan O'Meiscill and other aliases are the other two.
I'm sure my siblings, the other beneficiaries in this estate will also be seeking an update.
I would ask you to please kindly give this your urgent attention.
Predictably, no reply from any of the partners was forthcoming, so Saoirse gave them one more opportunity in a further email:
Given that we are now down to two executors, one of whom does not respond to the beneficiaries. The second who is being considered for a Garda investigation into a variety of crimes. Both of whom may be facing charges in the fraud, theft and other matters in my mom's estate, can you please advise me what steps Beauchamps is taking in the administration of my late mother's estate?
I am also seeking an immediate update on the status of the administration in this estate, as I'm sure the other beneficiaries will also be.
My mom will be dead three years on Thursday. I expect the professional courtesy of a response to my request.
Beauchamps stayed true to form—as of the date of the publication of this page (over two weeks since Saoirse's emails) there has been ought but silence from them concerning the state of Dolores' estate, or any information about executor John Cunningham and how it may impact the administration of Dolores' estate.
[Editor's note: It's not the subject of this page, but it is curious that just the previous Friday, Cunningham's email box was accepting emails; we don't know if he was reading or answering them. Some days after this, the auto–reply was changed to “Thanks for your e mail. Whilst I am still a consultant to the firm I do not check my e mails on a day to day basis. Please direct your e mail to Elaine Redacted at Redacted who can contact me or will direct you to the solicitor now handling your file. Best regards, John”
So now it seems John is back working for Beauchamps, but some or all of his files have been handed off to other solicitors. Curious, that. After more than thirty years at Beauchamps, maybe John retired, or was retired, or possibly moved to some sort of limbo within the firm. We have entertained the thought that maybe John is doing a runner. We just don't know. And we have no idea where this leaves the beneficiaries of Dolores' estate; John Cunningham can't stop being an executor without leave of the High Court. ]
John White did not respond to Saoirse's email, but he must have given the task to Joe Bowe, who responded to Saoirse's initial email the next day, on Tuesday, 26 November:
To our knowledge, Saoirse did not respond to Bowe.
However, we have been given leave to respond here and so we shall, although we do so with a heavy sigh and shaking our heads, “Joe, Joe, there you go again…”
It's becoming surreal. Now might be a good time to grab some popcorn.
Bowe's recounting of the history of Beauchamps' payment to Saoirse in October 2011 is certainly true. It was paid to her and she returned it. We've reported on this elsewhere, but briefly:
- On 07 February 2011, Joe Bowe informed Dolores' beneficiaries that he would be asking for their PPS numbers (equivalent to SSN in the US); he did so on 21 February 2011.
- Some of the beneficiaries were concerned that Ethan would have sight of the PPS numbers, and at that time were not willing to expose themselves and their families to the havoc that could ensue, given Ethan's past history and his attempts at extortion and threatening various siblings in their places of employment through direct contact with their employers.
- This was not paranoia, and even Ethan's solicitor Joe Bowe, admitted as much when he stated “I completely understand your reluctance to provide a PPS number. I imagine that some of your siblings would feel the same.”
- Saoirse contacted both Revenue and the Probate Office; they provided alternate ways to fulfil the requirements and she provided Bowe with the information and contact numbers. Why this was left to her and not to the solicitor/executors with over 55 years of probate experience between them has not been understood. Anyway, it seemed the problem was solved.
- Then Bowe went after the PPS numbers again on 20 September 2011:
For those of you who have not yet given me your PPS numbers, could you do so now. Where the taxable value of the total benefit due to a beneficiary exceeds €20,000, it is a requirement of the Probate Office and the Revenue Commissioners that we supply a PPS number for the beneficiary. Since some of the beneficiaries declined to furnish their numbers, we had to give an undertaking to the Probate Office and the Revenue Commissioners not to distribute the assets to any beneficiary who did not first supply them with his/her PPS number. Without the undertaking, the Grant of Probate would not have issued.
- Based on Bowe's letter, Saoirse expected that if she did not provide her PPSN (which she did not) that no payment would be forthcoming to her. After all, Bowe said he gave that undertaking to Revenue and the Probate Office. The Law Society's Code of Conduct is clear on the responsibilities of a solicitor giving an undertaking.:
“6.5.2 A solicitor will be required to honour the terms of a professional undertaking as a matter of conduct.”
- Bowe pushed for Saoirse's PPS number again on 23 September:
I refer to the e.mail I sent out to the residuary beneficiaries on 20th September 2011. I did not hear from you subsequently. If you are not going to supply me with your PPS number, would you communicate it directly to the Revenue Commissioners and the Probate Office and furnish evidence to me that you have done so.
The absence of your PPS number is causing difficulties for me in making the payment on account I had suggested.
- Saoirse did not supply her PPS number so was extremely surprised when she received a cheque for €19k on 10 October. Either Bowe violated his undertaking, or lied about giving it, or through some device was no longer bound to it.
- Being alarmed at this push, Saoirse voided the check and sent it back to Beauchamps. Her reasons were clearcut:
- She was concerned that the executors were trying to push through the administration of the estate without addressing the very serious issues that had been raised
- She was preparing a complaint to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal after the realisation that Bowe had been lying to and misleading her for months.
- There had been no accounting of the assets and liabilities of her Mom's estate, other than the flawed and perjurious CA–24 Inland Revenue Affidavit filed by the three executors. This remains true today over three years after Dolores' death.
- Believing Dolores to have been murdered, Saoirse had to consider whether accepting this payment and the apparent push to wrap up Dolores' estate might make it more difficult to obtain justice for her Mom.
Bowe acknowledged the return of the cheque in this letter:
Now, over two years have passed since that sole payment was made to the beneficiaries and the landscape is considerably different. Saoirse's concern that Dolores' estate would be pushed through to completion proved unfounded. In fact, the opposite is true. This “insignificant” estate, as Bowe described it under oath, has now been under administration for over 2 1/2 years.
Things are now in motion that may well bring justice to Dolores.
As far as the testamentary accounts and the full disclosure of Dolores' estate that Bowe promised Saoirse in February 2011—nearly three years have passed since Bowe's statement, and Saoirse has received exactly zero information from Beauchamps regarding the assets and liabilities of Dolores' estate since that meeting, despite numerous requests.
Mindful of the above, and of Bowe's previous statements that his client and co–executor Ethan Maxwell has no incentive to keep costs down in the estate, and that his client would be happy if there were 30 or 50 thousand spent, and having learned of Ethan's intention to delay the administration of her Mom's estate as long as he could, Saoirse decided it would be prudent to accept her payment at the present time, and notified John White and solicitor/executor John Cunningham that she would be in later in the week to collect it.
It sounds pretty straight–forward to us. And yet…instead…she gets this from Bowe:
Concerning the letters Bowe references, they are published here in their entirety:
Bowe now refuses to “release the funds” that were paid to Saoirse and put into a separate account for her over two years ago? How very curious.
Bowe references Saoirse's statement of 18 July, 2011 as justification for this nonsense, and leaves out much more that Saoirse wrote to him in that letter. We think Bowe is lying yet again when he says he assumed that the funds paid to Saoirse would be “utilised as above.” Certainly his subsequent actions would indicate he resisted seeking Dolores' financial accounts in any form despite numerous requests from various beneficiaries, and refused to answer repeated queries from concerned beneficiaries about financial irregularities. Of course to do so would have been bad news for his client, Onan Maxwell; a classic conflict of interest.
Why did Bowe never respond to anything in Saoirse's 18 July letter? Ever.
If Bowe assumed these things, why did he make the payment to Saoirse in October 2011 and never refer to his assumption? Why did Bowe say “I have transferred the €19,000 that was due to you, by way of a payment on account, to a separate account which we have opened here for you.”? How could it be due to Saoirse if Bowe was assuming that the money would be “utilised as above”? Is that merely another lie?
Why has Bowe, in over two and a half years, never referenced that letter until Saoirse sought to collect funds already paid to her?
If Bowe “assumed” the above, why did he write to the beneficiaries in August 2013 stating: “Having taken Counsel’s advice, it has been decided that an investigation should be undertaken with a view to gathering such information and documentation with regard to the matters raised as can reasonably and without unreasonable expense be gathered.” Why be concerned with the cost if he “assumed” Saoirse was footing the bill?
Why would Bowe write once again to one of the beneficiaries in September 2013 regarding obtaining Dolores' financial records: “I will be contacting you and your siblings once again when I have gathered in such information and documentation with regard to the matters raised as can reasonably and without unreasonable expense be gathered.” if he assumed Saoirse's €19k was going to pay for it?
No, we consider Bowe's letter to be like so much of what he writes and says: Deceitful nonsense that only reinforces our view that there is no point in having any dealings with him whatsoever. And once again we are compelled to call “bullshit!” on Bowe's statements. Why Beauchamps allows their employee to send out such drivel is beyond us. Surely it is apparent that anyone who reads Bowe's refusal to hand over funds that were already paid out into a separate account over two years ago would be wise to think long and hard before risking any of their assets with Beauchamps.
Ah, what it could have been if Bowe had simply been a man of his word:
- He would have avoided the horrible conflict of interest inherent in acting for Dolores and Ethan at the same time: “I will be your mother's solicitor”
- He would have solely acted for Dolores and not continue to represent Ethan
He would have acted in Dolores' interests and exposed his client Ethan Maxwell's assaults on Dolores' purse and person, and have been able to truthfully make the statement:
“I don't have a conflict of interest.”
- He would have willingly and openly addressed the issues raised by Dolores' children concerning their mother and his client Onan Maxwell's involvement in her affairs
- Bowe would have sought Dolores' financial records years ago
- He would have investigated the financial irregularities and charges to Dolores' estate
- Bowe would have given Saoirse the ability to seek Dolores' financial records herself. “I will facilitate you 100%,” indeed. Tedious.
- He would have addressed the many concerns that the beneficiaries have raised instead of ingnoring them and the issues, or worse, denying he ever had knowledge of them..
- Bowe would have provided the beneficiaries with authority to obtain Dolores' phone records.
Then again, if wishes were horses, beggars could ride. Enough. We could go on. And on. The recounting of even this fraction of Bowe's lies leaves us feeling polluted and with an urge to cleanse ourselves.
If Bowe's “concern” about the expense of obtaining Dolores' financial records is the thing preventing him from seeking them, why didn't he let the beneficiaries have at it? He certainly said he would do that. It would have cost the estate precisely nothing.
Here's a thought: Issue those letters of authority now. What's the harm?Or, at the very least why didn't he attempt to act on Saoirse's information given in July 2011?
Here, we'll let AIB (the bank that saw thousands of Euros disappear from Dolores' account as she lay in an unresponsive and/or non–lucid condition in Wexford General) chime in:
And now this, this, um, face is denying Saoirse access to funds paid to her over two years ago from Dolores' estate? Poor form, Joe. Very poor form. ]
We will look at what happens next when we publish more of this incredible story. Check here and on the Updates page.
As always, we seek and encourage anyone with knowledge of Dolores' life and/or the events presented here to contribute to this site. Memories, anecdotes, photos and documents are more than welcome. Clarification, correction and alternative views are encouraged and welcomed. Submissions ]