Settlements sought in $300,000 estate theft

Staff report


At least one party in a probate case resulting from the alleged theft of more than $300,000 in assets from the estate of a deceased woman wants to settle a claim.

Suspended Mahoning County Judge Diane Vettori-Caraballo, accused of stealing from her deceased client Dolores Falgiani to pay down credit-card debt, and her husband, Ismael Caraballo, and associates Cynthia Henry and Theodore Stalnacker appeared with their attorneys Tuesday before visiting probate court Judge Thomas Swift.

In late January, Douglas Neuman, attorney for Falgiani’s estate, filed a motion to settle the claim involving Cynthia Henry, whom Falgiani had named executor of her will at Vettori-Caraballo’s recommendation. In Neuman’s initial complaint, he alleged Vettori-Caraballo and Henry “worked in concert to gain control over” Falgiani’s assets, including hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, much of which was not recorded through the probate court.

Before accepting Henry’s settlement, however, Judge Swift said he expects Henry to testify on her involvement as executor in further trial proceedings set for Feb. 27.

Other attorneys involved in the case have objected to motions to dismiss Henry from the case, along with Stalnacker, who allegedly helped Vettori-Caraballo remove the cash from Falgiani’s home and resell the woman’s unneeded vehicles at a profit.

Ismael Caraballo’s attorney, Robert Duffrin of Youngstown, motioned for a directed verdict – which requests the court rule a party is not liable, based on evidence – and was denied.

Vettori-Caraballo and her husband still face federal charges stemming from the estate theft. A jury trial in that case is set for March 4.