Businessman’s daughter appeals judge’s decision in multi-million-dollar estate dispute

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Following a High Court decision to probate a Will allegedly made by horse racing enthusiast Yusuf Mongroo bequeathing his multi-million-dollar estate to a cashier employed at his enterprise and his housekeeper, the late businessman’s daughter had moved to the Court of Appeal in a desperate attempt to recover her father’s properties.

The owner of popular horse racing service, Horseshoe Racing Services, died on

Sherene Mongroo
Sherene Mongroo

August 15, 2010, while a patient at the St Joseph Mercy Hospital. At the time, both of his daughters were in the United States and he was being cared for by his housekeeper, Indranie Mulchand.

Upon receiving the news of his death, his youngest daughter Sherene Mongroo flew to Guyana and became concerned when she saw the state her father’s body was in. This led to her asking for an autopsy which was conducted by Government Pathologist, Dr Nehaul Singh at the Georgetown Public Hospital. That autopsy revealed that Mongroo was suffering from cerebral edema (fluids in and swelling of the brain).

This revelation caused the woman to do some investigations regarding her father’s life before his death. It was during this time that she stumbled upon a Will which stated that 55 per cent of her father’s multi-million-dollar estate was bequeathed to a cashier of Guyana racing services, Sasedai Persaud, while the remaining 45 per cent was reportedly left in the name of his housekeeper Mulchand, who later claimed to be his reputed wife.

The man’s residence in New Garden Street was also left to the housekeeper. This discovery promoted Sherene Mongroo to take legal action and so Persaud was ordered to present monthly statements of the company’s finances to the man’s daughter; however, this only happened for a few months and then not at all.

After a few months, Mongroo filed a lawsuit challenging the Will since it was made 72 hours before his death and at the time, he could not have been compos mentis (of sound mind) or with testamentary capacity to have a Will and testament made.

The Will carried two signatories as “witnesses” – one of whom was Dr Rohan Jabour of St Joseph Mercy Hospital – who testified during the proceedings that although he signed the document as a “witness”, he was not actually present when the businessman reportedly signed the Will.

Moreover, during the proceedings, Trinidadian Forensic Document Examiner, Glenn Tarmassar, was called in to examine the Will and testified that it was a laser copy. The T&T handwriting expert had to go to the defence Attorney’s office (Cameron and Shepherd) to examine the document since the defendants did not want to release the document.

After several years of proceedings, trial Judge, Justice Roxanne George-Wiltshire on December 16, 2016, handed down a ruling in favour of the two defendants that the Will presented to the court be probated in solemn form.

The Judge also ordered that Sherene Mongroo pay the two defendants court costs amounted to a total of $175,000.

However, the businessman’s daughter refuses to accept the court’s decision. According to Mongroo, she nor her Attorney were informed about the ruling three weeks ago. She explained that having residence overseas, she would usually fly to Guyana for the hearings during the trial and had intended to do the same for the ruling, which occurred some two years after the parties had completed their respective submissions.

The woman related that she arrived in Guyana on December 15, 2016 and checked with her lawyer and still no dates were given. However, the decision was handed down the following day in her and her Attorney’s absence.

Mongroo has since moved to challenge the High Court’s decision and has filed an appeal. The appeal named Sasedai Persaud and Indranie Mulchand as respondents. (Guyana Times)

 

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