Man Trying To Have His Sister Jailed Fighting Over $122 Million Father's Will
Sister a Jekyll and Hyde character, brother Says.
A British man wants his sister put in jail after she allegedly lied in court during a family battle over their father's $122 million estate. The UK Times reports that Bill Reeves won a dispute a year ago against Louise Reeves, a multimillionaire businesswoman, over their father's holdings. Kevin Reeves changed his will in 2014, cutting the brother out of a share worth $27 million.
The will was thrown out after a judge ruled that Bill's "ruthless" sister had "engineered" it and persuaded her father to sign a document he didn't understand. Bill and his son, Ryan McKinnon, are now trying to have her imprisoned for allegedly lying. Read on to find out what went down.
Bill and Louise's father was a Rolls Royce-driving property baron who managed to attain a substantial personal fortune despite being an orphan who dropped out of school at age 12. He had four children, but his final will left 80% of the estate to Louise. Bill and his son claimed she had bullied the 71-year-old into changing his will before he died in 2019.
In court, the brother described his sister as a Jekyll and Hyde character who "likes money" and was drawn to "flash things," the Times reported. Last January, a judge ruled that she hadn't bullied her father but said she "pulled the wool over his eyes" to obscure the actual terms of the will.
"I believe that Louise is a risk taker and she can be manipulative. She knows what she wants and she knows how to get it," the judge said. "I believe that she was prepared to take the risk, because the prize was so great, of being found out by the deceased in relation to the 2014 will and she would have taken the consequences."
The judge also ruled that because Louise and her father's lawyer told the court they hadn't met until after the 2014 will was drawn up, they "deliberately sought to conceal the full extent of their interactions in relation to the preparation of the 2014 will." He said emails "indicated communications between them in relation to the 2014 will and that they had met on 11 December 2013 when Mr. Curnock attended the deceased's offices for a meeting."
Louise now faces jail time if she's found guilty of contempt of court, as her brother and his son have alleged. In a contempt of court application, lawyers for the father and son said Louise Reeves and her father's lawyer, Daniel Curnock, "deliberately concealed" how well they knew each other before the 2014 will was produced.
Louise Reeves and Curnock deny they were dishonest and told the judge they would contest any contempt of court proceedings. Reeves said she would apply to the European Court of Human Rights to claim that her right to a fair trial has been violated.
At the most recent hearing, Louise's lawyer said she denied being dishonest. The lawyer also claimed that the court assumed Louise "defrauded" her father, although that was never alleged during the original trial. The attorney asked for the contempt case to be paused.
But a judge rejected the request to delay the trial, ruling that the contempt-of-court case should be heard as soon as possible. "The contempt application goes to . . . questions as to whether the statements made were made dishonestly and knowingly," the judge said, adding there were "potentially important questions as to the consequences of dishonest statements about the drawing up of wills." The case will return to court later this month.