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Volunteer Attorney Retrieves Sailor’s Life Savings After Stepfather Improperly Liquidated the Funds

June 7, 2022

A Navy servicemember opened a bank account when she was a minor to start saving money as she grew older. Because she was a minor at the time, the sailor’s stepfather helped her open a multi-party account. Over the years, she saved thousands of dollars to this account. She continued to use this account after she turned 18, joined the Navy, and got married. Her parents did not approve of her marriage due to her husband’s race, so her stepfather liquidated thousands of dollars from her account without her permission, saying that he would only give the money back after her honorable discharge from the military. The sailor was devastated by the betrayal and visited her local legal assistance office for help.

The sailor’s legal assistance attorney referred her case to the ABA Military Pro Bono Project, which then placed her case with a local pro bono attorney. The attorney negotiated with the sailor’s parents on her behalf, and successful reached a settlement with the stepfather, in which he agreed to return the entirety of the sailor’s life savings that he had improperly liquidated. 

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