• 25 Investigates: 91-year-old waits for justice a year after court fight over family home

    By: Eric Rasmussen

    Updated:

    BOSTON - A 91-year-old woman from South Boston is still waiting for justice more than a year after taking her former tenant to family court, 25 Investigates has learned. Lawyers for Frances Lespsevich say the elderly woman was duped into handing over everything she owned, including a house that had been in her family for 60 years.

    In a civil lawsuit, Lepsevich said her former tenant and friend, Tracey Goodman, tricked her into signing away for home on M Street for just $100 and also drained bank accounts which held about $47,000.

    Goodman and her attorneys say she’s done nothing wrong.

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    Both sides argued the case during a trial that ended in August 2017, but a year later, Judge Megan Christopher has yet to make a ruling.

    "I just want you do know, we're working assiduously on your decision," said Judge Christopher in court on Tuesday. "I'm reviewing 100 pages of findings that have been produced by the law clerk."

    Attorneys for Lepsevich came back to court to ask the judge to appoint a trustee who would have the power to sell the house on M Street, which they say is now worth about $1.5 million.

    "She doesn't want to be a wealthy woman," said Lepsevich's attorney, Richard Davies. "What she wants is to not owe people money."

    While waiting for a resolution to her case, court filings say Lepsevich has racked up large amounts of debt, including $110,000 owed to her nursing home in Quincy. 

    Goodman and her attorneys declined to comment to 25 Investigates, but in court, they filed written opposition to the Lepsevich motion to appoint a trustee who could sell the house at the center of the legal fight.

    In a cross-motion asking for a mistrial, Goodman's attorneys said the other side made false statements about previous efforts to settle the case.

    The judge rejected the motion to appoint a trustee on technical grounds but later encouraged both sides to try to work out an agreement that included selling the house in question.

    "It might turn out to be to everybody's benefit, right?" asked Judge Christopher. "It's not getting any better."

    In April 2017, District Attorney Dan Conley said his office was considering criminal charges against Goodman, but last month, the DA's office told 25 Investigates the "evidence does not support criminal charges at this point."

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