Lawsuit filed against Fulton business owner

by Carol Thompson

A former member of the Fulton Common Council has been accused of stealing more than $300,000 from the revocable trust of a woman who entrusted him to oversee her finances.

A lawsuit was recently filed in Oswego County Supreme Court against Harley Thompson, owner of Empire Advisors, Inc.

The plaintiffs, Lisa Taylor-Guy and the Vivian Walts Revocable Trust, are suing both Thompson and his company.

The lawsuit alleges that Thompson became the trustee of the Walts estate June 6, 2007. Court documents further allege that Thompson mismanaged the estate and misappropriated more than $300,000 to himself and his company.

When Walts passed away Oct. 18, 2008, Thompson did not distribute the trust assets as directed, the lawsuit alleges. Thompson notified Taylor-Guy in January 2011 that the trust had no more assets. Thompson never provided an accounting of the trust.

“As I set out in my original affirmation, I learned two days ago- when we received the copies of the checks from the Vivian R. Walts Revocable Trust — that Harley Thompson stole more than $300,000 from that trust,” states the lawsuit filed by Bond, Schoeneck and King. “He abused his position as both trustee and broker to write checks directly to himself and his company.”

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