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Two Hemet attorneys arrested and charged in scheme involving theft of deceased elderly client's funds

RIVERSIDE – Two Hemet attorneys have been arrested and charged with multiple felonies including identity theft, forgery, and perjury.

 

Trent Wayne Thompson, DOB: 11-7-76; and Quinton Ray Swanson, DOB: 8-26-71, were arrested in Hemet on the morning of May 5, 2021, by investigators with the DA’s Bureau of Investigation.

 

A day earlier, the DA’s Office charged Thompson with five felonies: grand theft, money laundering, identity theft, forgery, and perjury; and Swanson with four felonies: identity theft, forgery, perjury, and accessory to grand theft committed by Thompson. Both men also have a white-collar crime sentencing enhancement included in the criminal complaint.

 

Following their arrests, they were booked at the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside, Thompson in lieu of $321,000 bail and Swanson in lieu of $10,000 bail. Thompson is scheduled to be arraigned at 10 a.m. today, May 7, 2021, at the Hall of Justice in Riverside. Swanson was released after being booked and has an arraignment date of Sept. 2, 2021.

 

An investigation by DA’s investigators determined the following:

 

In May 2019, Thompson authored a living trust for a 95-year-old woman. He included language in that trust designating himself as the “trust protector”. The role of a “trust protector” is to appoint and manage a successor trustee in the event of the client’s incapacitation or death. The woman’s trust also included language that Thompson had no beneficiary interest in the trust.

 

Per the woman’s request, the trust designated 100 percent of her estate was to go to a children’s hospital following her death. She died in November 2019. The following month, Thompson appointed himself as the trustee of her trust and that action was notarized by Thompson’s business partner, Swanson. As is required by probate law, Thompson notified the woman’s disinherited relatives of the terms of the trust, but he failed to notify the children’s hospital regarding its interest as the beneficiary of the woman’s trust.

 

That same month, Thompson withdrew and/or transferred $320,500 from the trust account. After reviewing bank records, investigators determined that Thompson spent the woman’s trust funds on a Ford Fusion and airline tickets, and that he also transferred funds into his personal savings account.

 

The children’s hospital learned of the trust discrepancy from one of the woman’s relatives and they sued in Probate Court. As part of that suit, Thompson submitted to the court a document he said was an “amended trust” giving the hospital a 50 percent interest. The amended trust was notarized by Swanson. Thompson also filed an affidavit signed by Swanson stating that he had visited the woman in a care facility eight days before her death and she signed the amended trust. The care facility has no record of her receiving visitors that day and investigators determined the signature on the amended trust document was not consistent with that of the woman.

 

The case, RIF2101755, is being prosecuted by Deputy DA David Allen of the DA’s Financial Crimes Unit.

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Author: John Hall
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