OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A fight over money between a grandson of the founder of Sonic and BancFirst has spilled over into lawsuits and police reports. He claims the bankers controlling his trust are not doing their jobs, and are stealing money from him and his family.
Sonic founder Troy Smith set up a trust with BancFirst decades ago to take care of his family for generations to come.
Now, the trust has been divided equally among Smith’s grandchildren, the oldest surviving heirs.
But over the past few years, grandson Ronnie Baugh said the bank would not release funds for a needed heart surgery, or for his child’s college education.
Fed up, Baugh tried to set up a new trust at a different bank but said BancFirst refused to transfer the money.
“They’re literally stealing from me in plain sight. It’s, ‘no, we’re not moving your trust,’” Baugh said, “and every single month they’re coming in and taking their fees.”
He said the bank won’t disclose how much those fees are costing him, but he assumes they total into the thousands each time.
What’s more, he said that after his mother passed away, he and his siblings found some white gold krugerrands, which are South African coins, as well as some silver pieces. Baugh said he handed the valuables to bank leaders to deposit with the rest of her estate.
But when he was returned his portion of the estate, those valuables were not there.
“Jon Bowers basically just said, sorry, yes they are,” Baugh said.
Baugh filed a lawsuit against the bank over the trust, and on Thursday, he filed a police report for the missing valuables.
According to court documents, BancFirst attorneys argue Baugh “has no right to unilaterally remove and replace BancFirst and that he “thinks his siblings are being treated more favorably.”
A spokesperson for the bank sent News 4 a statement saying,
“Many benefactors trust us to handle their estates according to their wishes. Sometimes their heir doesn’t like what those documents say. We have enjoyed a great relationship with Mr. Baugh’s family members for decades, and since there is litigation with him personally now, we shouldn’t comment, and he probably shouldn’t have commented as well.”
Baugh argued that even if the bank had done the job adequately, he is still within his contractual rights to change the location of his trust.
“My grandpa many years ago created this trust,” Baugh said, “and in the trust put in the language that says any of the beneficiaries can move it at any time as long as it is to a qualified new trustee.”
The parties in this litigation will meet in court in early June.