Do Not Trust Anyone in the Trust Department of Amarillo National Bank,(the largest family owned National Bank in the Nation). Do Not Trust any of the owners, The Ware Family. Richard Ware, Tol Ware, Bill Ware. For More Details go to (link removed by ripoffreport.com). You think if you have a Trust fund at this Bank that your assets are safe, but they are not.
If you discover their wrongdoing, they will have their attorney send you a threatening letter saying that they will deplete the Trust of all it's assets to fight any charges you may bring against them.
They allowed the property manager and co-trustee to collect and pocket rents from Trust properties for over thirty years at a possible cost to the Trust of over $250,000.00.
They filed suit against the beneficiaries seeking to dissolve the Trust, distribute the assets, and be relieved of all financial liability for past actions.
They used our lawyers to sue some other beneficiaries of another Trust and never informed us that they were creating this conflict of interest.
Their first cousin, Judge Hal Miner, then tried to hear the case.
Their accounting procedures are such that when you request records there will be many multiples of the same documents and the records will be very poorly organized and hard to decipher.
They will also charge the Trust to have a set of copies made for themselves. Of course they will also charge for your copies.
I could go on and on about their unbelievable lack of any integrity and skill, and I do, on the website amarillonationalbanksucks.com
Some details of my experience follow:
My Mother passed away when I was seven years old (I am now 43)leaving me and my three younger siblings as the beneficiaries of my Grandmother's Trust.
The terms of the will are such that unequal distributions are allowed, however during the term of the Trust it was the stated practice to equalize all distributions and there are many bank documents stating this was the policy for this Trust.
Virtually every check I received said "to keep distributions equal to Bill Clifford".
The accounting was presented in such a way that rent and royalties were stated in a combined total. The Trust has several pages of royalty assets meaning that one would have to audit their statements to discover that in fact no rent was being earned.
The property management account through which my Uncle was able to collect rents was never listed as an asset of the Trust.
In 1997 , Amarillo National Bank, filed a supposedly "friendly" suit against us, the beneficiaries, seeking to dissolve the Trust, distribute the assets, and be relieved of all financial liability for past actions.
Their cited reason was that they could not get along with my Uncle, the co-trustee. They also stated that the purposes of the Trust had been fulfilled. The Trust is set to terrminate upon the death of my Uncle.
Initially we saw no problem with this, hired a prominent attorney here, Robert Forrester, and the Judge ordered us to a mediation.
At that mediation my Uncle Bill, began claiming that he actually owned some of the property himself.
We had been told nothing of this claim even though the banks lawyers Bart Pruitt and Jim Campbell (now an apellate court Judge) stated they had known of this claim for years but didn't tell us.
The attorneys then scheduled a deposition of my Uncle to ask him about his claim to the property.
In the meantime (September 2000) I made a surprise visit here to Amarillo from Hawaii and found that a Trust property had tenants who had been paying rent directly to my Uncle for over 1 year.
My quarterly accounting statements showed no income from this property.
When I called the Bank's Real Estate Trust officer, Bill Snyder, he said that the income was used in expenses on the property.
I asked to see the accounting for the property and was told to get that from another Trust Officer, Chip Garrison. Chip said he did not know of any rent my Uncle had collected and had no accounting.
I then called our attorney Robert Forrester who assured me it was probably not a problem as "Amarillo National Bank is such an honest bank". I stayed in Amarillo to deal with this and began doing research.
I eventually discovered that for over thirty years the Bank had allowed my uncle to collect rent and use it for his personal use. My Uncle freely admitted this "conversion in his deposition saying that he felt he had a right to it.
In the deposition in March 2001 our Attorneys asked no questions about what the Bank knew about his conversion of funds. They then proceeded to file charges against my Uncle but not the Bank even though they were co-trustees.
It was later revealed that in fact our attorneys Robert Forrester, David LeBas and others at the now defunct Law Firm of Gibson Oschner & Atkins, represented Amarillo National Bank's Trust Department in another case filed against other beneficiaries of anotgher Trust.
The attorneys had never told us this and we received no conflict statement. The Trust Department at the Bank was well aware of this conflict.
We hired the attorneys in March of 1998 and in April of 1998 they filed suit on behalf of the Amarillo National Bank, against beneficiaries of the Veigle Trust.
This is all a matter of public record at the Potter County Clerks office. At the point at which we discovered this conflict we had paid well over Thirty Thousand to Robert Forrester's firm "Gibson Oschner and Atkins" (now defunct)
My uncle had presented a claim for the property he thought was his in 1996. This was found in the bank records with a "post it note" saying we will see what happens with this. There were also notes from the Bank's Attorney Jim Campbell working for the Trust saying he knew of this claim. Jim Campbell was the Attorney who filed the initial 1997 suit against us. He made no mention of Bill's claim . He is now an appellate court Judge here.
Additionally the owners of the bank , the Ware family, have a first cousin, Hal Miner, who became the District Judge of the court handling this case. He began signing papers to hear this case.
Our new attorney Ronnie Agnew did not object to this.
I became pro -se and objected to the Judge and asked him to recuse himself and asked that the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court assign a Judge. Hal Miner was allowed to choose his replacement and I had to object to him as well.
The Bank then changed Attorneys to Jim Besselman (T. Boone Picken's attorney) and he began taking money out of the Trust to pay himself his $300.00 per hour fee. He ran up $37,000.00 in fees in a matter of weeks.
He has written letters stating that he intends to deplete the Trust of all funds and encumber the properties to pay for his fees so that even if we win we will have nothing left.
I recently informed everyone that I would be filming the depositions and that I intended to make a documentary exposing this scandalous behavior. And I shall, so check the website amarillonationalbanksucks.com for updates on what is going on in the case. We are scheduled for a final hearing, a jury trial, on June 20, 2005.
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