MOONACHIE, N.J. – A Moonachie woman entrusted with her her late mother’s estate cheated two siblings out of part of the money, authorities charged.
Lydia Ratchinsky, a 48-year-old airport construction security escort who was a fiduciary and executrix of her mother’s will, “failed to maintain and provide the stipulated death benefits left to two of the heirs,” Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir S. Grewal said Tuesday.
Specifically, he said, she pocketed $75,000 from one of the remaining shares in the will before it was distributed last year, he said.
Ratchinsky was entrusted with the more than $400,000 estate, the proceeds from which were to be equally distributed to several heirs – including the two who were to receive theirs once they turned 21, the prosecutor said.
“When one of the remaining shares of the will was to be distributed, it was determined that there were insufficient funds in the account which held the trust,” Grewal said.
"An audit of the trust account revealed that in excess of $75,000 had been removed and utilized by [Ratchinsky] in violation of her duties as a fiduciary,” he said.
Detectives from the prosecutor’s Financial Crimes Unit arrested Ratchinsky on Monday on charges of misapplication of entrusted property. A Feb. 22 initial appearance was scheduled in Central Judicial Processing Court.