State Supreme Court Rules 5-0 for RRH client
Assets frozen in case alleging pair bilked elderly of millions
Published Saturday, December 17, 2005
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC (AP) – The state Supreme Court has ordered that assets controlled by an elderly couple’s caregivers be frozen until a trial can determine whether they illegally took cash and real estate.
Eleanor and Bernard Breedlove, both in their mid-90s in an assisted-living community on Hilton Head Island, are suing Nathan and Lisa Cramer, claiming the couple, their Sweetgrass Land Co. and Lisa Cramer’s parents bilked them of more than $5.5 million in property and cash.
The Cramers are accused of using undue influence over the couple to gain access to their accounts. Lisa Cramer took care of the Breedloves for at least 10 years.
Their attorney, Lionel Lofton, acknowledges money was transferred from the Breedloves’ accounts into the Cramers’ accounts, but he said the money, plus millions in property and cars, were gifts from Eleanor Breedlove.
The state Supreme Court’s unanimous decision issued late Thursday froze the Cramers’ accounts and any other accounts, assets or personal property paid for with the Breedloves’ money. The decision overturned lower court rulings which denied requests to freeze the assets. Beaufort County Judge Curtis Coltrane twice ruled, in July and August, that action was too drastic a remedy.
The Breedloves’ attorney, Richard Rosen, argued the Cramers’ assets are disappearing, and he does not know where because they aren’t cooperating. The state Supreme Court decided the money must be preserved until the lawsuit it settled.
Lofton said he plans to appeal.
Lisa Cramer, a part-time Bluffton police officer now on suspension, also faces a criminal charge of financially exploiting a vulnerable adult. Nathan Cramer is charged with conspiracy.