“Citibank Cheats Grandmaster Benko out of $70,000, Ruth V. Cardoso, the South American Woman's Chess Champion, was the constant companion of Grandmaster Pal Benko
Benko accordingly applied to the New York Surrogates Court for letters of administration. However, the court has an unusual rule that when a person dies without relatives, any person claiming under a will must prove to the satisfaction of the court that there are no living relatives. However, since it is impossible to prove a negative, the applicant must detail the steps that have been taken to locate any possible relatives of the deceased person. Although Ruth Cardoso had been born in Brazil and was a citizen of Brazil, she had been trapped in Nazi Germany during World War II and grew up there. All of her relatives had died in the war except for her mother who had died two years before Ruth died.
Following confirmation from the German government that she had no living relatives and the publication of the legal notices, the New York Public Administrators Office demanded that the witnesses to the will be produced to testify that Ruth Cardoso was of sound mind and body when she made out her will. However, the attorney assigned the task by the New York Public Administrator was John Reddy, who then delayed seven months and only issued his report after the Benko Family complained to the court that he was not doing his job. As a result of these delays by John Reddy, it took seven months until July 2004, before he issued his report. Benko then went to Citibank at 120 Broadway to collect the $70,000 that Ruth Cardoso had left to him, only to be told that Citibank did not have the money any more. They refused to reveal what had happened to the money.
-SURROGATES COURT: STATE OF NEW YORK COUNTY OF NEW YORK In the Matter of the Estate of Ruth V. Cardoso, Deceased FILE NO. 2546/2002 MOTION FOR REHEARING, http://groups.google.com.vn/group/soc.culture.usa/msg/7966f07bfb1a5355