Sneiderman funds to remain frozen at least for now

A Fulton County judge on Friday ruled that Andrea Sneiderman will have to wait at least 90 days before she can claim her late husband’s estate totaling more than $2 million.

Sneiderman’s in-laws sought to block her from claiming the $2.25 million that was frozen 14 months ago when she was charged with conspiring with her former boss, Hemy Neuman, to kill her husband. Rusty Sneiderman was shot multiple times by Neuman in November 2010 in the parking lot of a Dunwoody day care. Neuman was convicted in March 2012 and sentenced to life.

Murder charges against Andrea Sneiderman were dropped three days before her August trial. She was convicted, however, on nine of 13 counts against her, including perjury and hindering the apprehension of a criminal, and sentenced to five years in prison.

Fulton Superior Court Judge Doris Downs granted a 90-day injunction and will appoint a conservator to act on behalf of Sneiderman’s two minor children.

“As hotly contested as this whole issue is, you all have got to bring the clear, cool heads to the table,” Downs said. “Otherwise, we can spend all of the money litigating.”

Downs said that if the two sides can’t reach a deal, the conservator will be empowered to determine who should control the funds. Downs is overseeing the case because the money is in an account with a bank branch in Fulton.

Esther Panitch, who represents Rusty Sneiderman’s brother and parents, said her clients want to see the money put in a trust for the two children.

“(Andrea Sneiderman) does not appear to be suffering or in great need of those funds,” Panitch said. “She has literally sacrificed others to obtain Rusty Sneiderman’s property.”

Opposing counsel Mark Trigg said there was “no legal basis” for the money to remain frozen.

“Representatives from (the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office) swore under oath that Andrea Sneiderman was guilty of murder,” Trigg said. “When it came time to put up or shut up and prove the allegations before a jury, they shut up.”

Sneiderman is serving her sentence at the Arrendale State Prison in Habersham County. Defense attorney Brian Steel, hired to work on her appeal, has filed a motion for a new trial, contending that the verdict against her was “contrary to the evidence and without evidence to support it.”

A bond hearing is scheduled for Dec. 23.

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