McDonough County Sheriff's candidate Justin Lundgren is the executor of his mother's estate, but a judge has ordered him to temporarily stop spending estate assets.
His mother passed away in June, 2016. According to her will, the $600,000 estate is to be divided between her four children: Justin, Jamie, Jon and Jan Nell and one grandchild, Kenneth, with Justin serving as the executor.
As TSPR previously reported, Justin’s brother Jon petitioned the court last year to have Justin removed as executor stating that Justin had “wrongfully authorized and executed multiple online banking transfers from the estate bank account into his own bank account to the detriment of the estate and its beneficiaries.”
The next court hearing is scheduled for March 26, 2018. Until then, a judge has ordered a temporary injunction prohibiting Justin from transferring, dissipating, or spending any estate assets without prior approval from the court.
Jon Lundgren asked for the temporary injunction after receiving a recent bank statement for the estate’s account. It showed that during the first six weeks of 2018, Justin made 21 online transfers out of the estate account and into his personal account, totaling $11,653.
That, combined with the online banking transfers recorded in 2017, comes to more than $70,000 moved from the estate bank account to his personal bank account.
In his request to the court, Jon wrote that he fears his brother Justin will continue spending assets without detailed explanation of the expenses.
Justin Lundgren previously told Tri States Public Radio the money was spent to take care of his mother's animals. In a letter to the court last fall, Justin’s lawyer, Sharbel Rantisi, stated that Justin has been taking care of 4 cats that his mother left him and is reimbursing himself for the expenses associated with their care.
His lawyer wrote that Justin is prepared to testify that the costs were responsible and necessary.
Lundgren is one of three candidates running for the Republican Party nomination to replace McDonough County Sheriff Rick VanBrooker, who is retiring. No Democrats have filed for the seat.
Tri States Public Radio is following this court case because -- if elected -- Justin would manage a more than $2.5 million budget for the Sheriff’s Department.