The Indiana Supreme Court has ordered United Financial Systems Corp. and its officials to pay the court and a special master $16,003 for the costs associated with an Unauthorized Practice of Law action that has been ongoing for more than three years.
But the state’s justices have not issued a final ruling on the case involving contempt or repayment of costs, following the Supreme Court’s April 2010 opinion that found the Indianapolis company engaged in UPL through an estate planning “trust mill” and must return the fees received from that activity.
In a Jan. 13 docket entry in State ex rel. Indiana State Bar Association v. United Financial Systems Corp., No. 94S00-0810 MS-00551, the chief justice ordered that UFSC and company officials Richard Follett, Jane Follett, Richard Follett II and Beau Follett pay the Indiana Supreme Court $16,002.95 for the costs of the proceeding against it. Specifically, the order calculated the costs to include $14,978.45 for the commissioner fees and expenses, and $1,024.50 for court reporter and related court costs.
Former Monroe Circuit Judge Viola Taliaferro has been acting as special commissioner on the case for about a year, by order of the state’s high court. She submitted a report in December to the Supreme Court stating UFSC has failed to fully comply with the court’s previous order on refunds, though some refunds have been issued. Her 61-page report found the company still owed nearly $2.4 million and that the Office of the Indiana Attorney General should be allowed to disburse half of the refunds immediately and the other half when the money is available over the course of several years.