Massachusetts Man Accused of Posing as Heir to $1 Million in Unclaimed Money

For many, unclaimed money has proven to be more than a mere hundred dollars. A Massachusetts man has been accused of acting as an imposer and claiming to be an heir to $1 million of unclaimed money. The Suffolk County Grand Jury yesterday returned an eight-count indictment charging a Millbury man with posing unsuccessfully as the rightful heir to over $1 million in unclaimed assets held by the State Treasurer’s Abandoned Property Division, District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.

The indictments charge KEVIN L. UPSHAW (D.O.B. 10/6/68) with three counts of forgery, three counts of uttering, and single counts of attempted larceny over $250 and giving a false statement under the penalties of perjury. The charges stem from Upshaw’s alleged attempts to pose as the rightful recipient of more than $1 million dollars in property held in the name of a deceased Winthrop doctor.

On March 15, Upshaw approached the Abandoned Property Division and provided documents purporting to be Dr. Rose Jannini’s will and trust agreement. Jannini died on April 16, 1986. Upshaw stated that he was aware of the unclaimed property in Jannini’s name held by the Abandoned Property Division and was present to claim it.

In addition, Mr. Upshaw also presented a death certificate of Ruth Greer, in order to depose as the “successor representative” of Jannini’s estate should Greer be unable to perform her duties. The documents were notarized by a notary public in Connecticut, rather than Massachusetts, and did not bear the notary’s commission expiration date. They also noted that the signatures of Jannini and her two witnesses appeared very similar.

Suffolk County Probate Court records contain a genuine version of Rose Jannini’s will, which was created about two weeks before her 1986 death. It supersedes any earlier wills and does not name Greer or Upshaw. Jannini’s signature on her 1986 will is markedly different from the one on the purported 1984 will Upshaw presented.

Upshaw was arraigned in the Boston Municipal Court on Oct. 29. He is currently held on $5,000 cash bail. The indictments move his case to Suffolk Superior Court, where an arraignment is expected to be scheduled next week with his attorney, Michael Roitman. Efforts to identify and locate the rightful trustees of Jannini’s unclaimed assets are ongoing.

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