Following The Carlina White Money Trail

Kidnapped woman seeks cash, but trust was liquidated

Carlina White

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FEBRUARY 11--The feel-good story of kidnap victim Carlina White lasted all of a couple of weeks before financial recriminations drove a wedge between the 23-year-old woman and her birth parents.

After last month’s family reunion, White--who was snatched from a Harlem hospital three weeks after her July 1987 birth--began pressing her parents, Joy White and Carl Tyson, for money the couple received to settle a lawsuit brought against New York City’s Health & Hospitals Corporation (HHC).

In a Today Show interview, Joy White said, “I’m disappointed. It really hurts me that it’s all about money.” Carlina White has also reportedly returned to using the name Njedra Nance, which was given to her by Ann Pettway, the woman who raised her--and who is now jailed on a federal kidnapping charge.

Records show that White’s parents settled their lawsuit against HHC in late-1992 for $750,000. More than a third of that figure went to the couple’s lawyer, with the remaining balance--$487,929.84--divided into three equal shares, according to a U.S. District Court order.

Joy White and Tyson received $162,643.28 apiece, while the third share was placed into a trust for their missing daughter. A February 1993 agreement stipulated that the funds would remain in the trust until July 15, 2008, the day Carlina turned 21. If she had not been found by that date, the trust would terminate and Joy White and Tyson would receive “the principal of the trust estate and any income earned.”

According to court documents, White’s parents sought to cash out their missing child’s trust five years before it was scheduled to expire.

In late-2003, the pair petitioned a federal judge for an order terminating the trust and “accelerating” payment of its assets to them. At the time, the Carlina White trust was worth more than $195,000, according to UBS Paine Webber investment statements.

Joy White and Tyson argued that they had diligently searched for their daughter and were seeking to move on with their lives. In an affidavit, White stated that she wanted to “finalize and seek closure to all aspects of this litigation.” As a single mother of two children, she also cited a “tight financial budget that leaves me with no disposable income.” White reported that she earned less than $45,000 annually and, after expenses, “I do not have money to spend on luxuries, nor even own a car.”

White and Tyson also argued that the trust’s low-risk investment strategy (which involved New York State bonds and U.S. treasury bills) was too conservative and yielded “nominal returns.” They wanted the “opportunity of reinvesting the funds in investments for growth as well as income.”

The pair’s motion to liquidate the trust was strongly opposed by HHC and a guardian appointed by the court to represent Carlina White’s interests. While sympathetic to White and Tyson, the guardian, Emily Ruben, argued that it was “clearly foreseen that Carlina might not be found before her 21st birthday. That is why the trust was set up to last until that date.”

The request to cash out the trust early was denied by Judge Leonard Sand in January 2004.

The trust was eventually liquidated, on schedule, in mid-2008. Based on prior investment returns, the Carlina White trust was likely worth about $225,000 when it was split between her birth parents. As for the whereabouts of those funds, Joy White (pictured above) said this week, “It’s gone, we don’t have the money.”

Apparently she and Tyson opted not to reinvest the money “for growth as well as income” as they once claimed they wanted to do when seeking the early liquidation of their missing daughter’s trust.

While Carlina White tracked down her parents 30 months too late to benefit from the trust in her name, the settlement agreement with HHC does contain a pair of benefits for which she still appears eligible. No matter when she was found, the city agency agreed to pay the “reasonable costs of her education through college” as well as costs related to medical or psychological treatment required as the result of her abduction. (14 pages)

Comments (16)

Cassandra is just as guity as Ann Pettway in the kadnapping of Carlina. She is helping Carlina because she is guilty of the part she played in the Kidnapping. She could have reported this a long time ago. Ann Pettway is taking the blame. Mr. Rabun, how do you know they are affectionate toward each other? How do you know who was on the phone when Carlina called you? Did the person tell you who they were? It could have been anyone. Mr. Rabun,you are the only one Cassandra talked too. She wouldn't talk to the media. When she told you she met Carlina at the train station in 1987, the day Ann Pettway brought the baby to Connecticut Did you ask Cassandra how did she know Ann was going to be at the train station. Did she come to the station with baby clothes? She knew that they couldn't walk the street with a baby wrapped in a sheet. You said Cassandra has retained a lawyer, why? Is she guilty? Mr. Rabun, why are you telling us what name Carlina is using? You said, "For a few days, she entertained the name Carlina. If I was speaking to her I would called her "Netty". You call the name you get a response too." That is slap in the face for parents who named her Carlina. Carlina's fake name came from her fake father, who is a drug dealer and a convicted rapist of a 12 year old child. His name is Robert "Paycheck" Nance. She should be glad to bury that name forever. Maybe she will realize that both of her fake parents are criminals and do away with the name for good. Mr. Rabun, who ask for your opinion? It seems as if you are taking sizes. You are part of the Agency. You should remain neutral. Are you trying to drive a wedge between Carlina and her biological parent. How would you feel if someone stole your child and kept the child for 23 years. Would you like to hear me praise the family who stole your child? Since you know so much about Cassandra and she is talking to you, maybe you can get her to answer these questions and fill in the blanks.
lol, bills.
The majority of these comments are horrible! How do you know if they are ghetto or trash or whatever else you simple minded people have called them? What did they "waste" the money on?? BILLS perhaps? How do you know they were not looking for their daughter? I cannot even imagine what I would do in this situation and neither could anyone else, I have four healthy daughters and I thank God they are with me and not with someone like that "adoptive" mother. I'm not perfect and neither are any of you so stop the judgement. Put what you want in response to this, I won't read it anyway and I'm sure you all assume I am African American but I am proudly white, but I am "country" and assuming does nothing but....well you all know the saying!
they spent nearly a quarter million dollars in less than three years? on what? I've never made $45,000 in my life. and she was taking that home a year two two dependent kids,meaning she got back quite a bit in taxes as well? its called living beyond your means using your dead childs money. they could have stocked that away for college for their two other kids...instead its just gone?!
What more can you expect from people like this.
That is a shame, the poor daughter gets the shaft once again on black crime sure can get complicated. It's a shame that the crack head woman raised the kidnapped daughter to be just like her, wanting something that wasn't LEGALLY hers. It wasn't enough for the daughter to find her long lost parents? Seems that since Obama was elected, blacks have become greedy wanting the 'justice' they think they have coming to them, no matter what that may be. But, it's interesting that they not only seek it from the white race, but they're also going after each other to get it. Back-fired on you, didn't it, Obama?
I have to totally agree with you there...I don't think it was legally her money and how in the world did she find out about it anyway?
Oprah ain't going to save her -- Oprah would tell her to use her scholarship and counseling so she can stop being a lazy ghetto-Ho like her money grubbin' parents!
What? You're surprised that all the money's gone? No matter who raises them they're still ghetto trash, I can't wait for Oprah to coming riding in to save the day, her ghetto ass is always looking for the next best "black thing" to brag about.
The Carlina White kidnapping was a very good story of of mother and daughter.I was so touched of this kidnapped baby for long years.White have been separated from his mother until she was totally grown up to 23 years old lady.White’s kidnapping investigation had gone cold years ago because authorities weren’t able to collect enough proof to charge any suspects.Maybe they could hired for an investigator using any pay day loan for searching the true suspect.
And I'm sure the biological parents were looking for their long lost daughter like O.J.'s looking for the real killer!
"That crack don't smoke itself!"
They had funds to invest for the future, bonds, stocks, options or cd's, yet they chose to waste all of the available funds.... and now once again, they are crying poor, "got no money." This is the story of two unwise individuals and their long lost daughter who was hoping to find kind, honest, humble, smart, prudent and wise parents.
Of course it's gone, they're ghetto trash and it's been 30 months. It was probably gone in 1 month or less.