When Heinz Sommerfeld died in June 2017 at age 77 in a GTA nursing home, the lifelong bachelor — he had no children — left no instructions on how to distribute his wealth.
After working his entire adult life for Ontario’s Department of Highways, Sommerfeld left behind an estate valued at $800,000.
But rather than that money going to his rightful heir, a younger half-brother, it ended up in a bank account belonging to a Toronto police officer who had allegedly submitted a fake will claiming he was the beneficiary. According to investigators, that officer — veteran Const. Robert Konashewych, 38 — was aided by a senior client representative at the province’s Office of the Public Trustee and Guardian.
The office is responsible for tracking down rightful heirs and determines who inherits property or money when a person dies without a will.
Konashewych is charged with defrauding the estate belonging to Sommerfeld, along with defrauding his brother, Peter Stelter, now 75. The 52 Division officer remains on paid suspension as required under the Police Services Act. Also charged is the government employee, Adellene Balgobin, 34. At the time of their arrest, police said the pair were “known to each other prior to the alleged offences taking place.”
According to Toronto police professional standards office, Konashewych “swore and filed a false affidavit with the courts, supporting his claim that he was the beneficiary of the will.” In 2018, the officer received payments in excess of $800,000, police said last year.