ShareThis Page
N.Y. firm asks court to take over Moonda assets |

N.Y. firm asks court to take over Moonda assets

| Saturday, February 17, 2007 12:00 a.m

A New York investment firm has asked federal court to take control of more than $2 million invested by a Mercer County physician shot and killed along the Ohio Turnpike.

Dr. Gulam Moonda, 69, of Hermitage, had one account owned jointly with his wife, Donna, and four individual retirement accounts that named no beneficiary, according to a plea for relief filed in Pittsburgh this week by Merrill Lynch, based in New York City.

Donna Moonda, 47, is scheduled to stand trial in June in a federal court in Akron in her husband’s death. She is accused of hiring her lover, Damian Ray Bradford, 25, of Beaver County, to kill the doctor so they could split her share of his estate.

She faces the death penalty if convicted. Bradford has pleaded guilty and is cooperating with prosecutors in exchange for a prison sentence that would be completed by the time he is 40.

The two co-executors of Dr. Moonda’s will, Dr. Ravindra K. Sachdeva and Dr. Iftikhar A. Chata, as well as Donna Moonda, each have claimed an interest in the accounts, according to court papers filed by Merrill Lynch.

However, if Donna Moonda is convicted, she would be unable to collect any of her husband’s estate under Pennsylvania’s “Slayer’s Act,” which forbids anyone from benefiting by causing the death of another.

Merrill Lynch is making no claim to any of the funds in the five accounts, except to satisfy any fees or commissions that are due.

The firm said it needs direction from the court to determine who is entitled to the proceeds.

Merrill Lynch said it is willing to place the accounts with the federal clerk of courts or to keep them under court control.

The investment firm wants the court to issue an injunction barring anyone from commencing civil action against Merrill Lynch because of the accounts.

Earlier this month, Sachdeva and Chata agreed with a request by Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. to allow the court to take control of $683,482 in life insurance benefits. Donna Moonda was named the beneficiary of those accounts.

Categories: News
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.