She replaced them in . She testified that she saw the cash bags in the box but did not examine their contents or remove any money. She testified that she did not remove any more money, change the bands on the money, or open the box at any other time. She claimed to not know what happened to the rest of the money.
Toni Compton testified that some of the purchases her son described were old purchases and that the money for other recent home improvements came from her occasional employment, their income tax refund, her husband’s bonus pay, and their savings. She testified that the cement mixer cost around $100 and that the water filtration system was only partly paid for. She testified that the furniture was several years old as were some other purchases. Toni Compton also testified that her father had given her $2000 to complete a project to weather-proof the house and to prevent rats from getting underneath the house.
Johnny Compton testified that he did not participate in the critical events. He sat at the table during the discussion about the disposition of the house sale proceeds and said at trial that he recommended investment, but Mary Sesso rejected the idea in favor of keeping the cash available. He testified that he had no involvement with the safe deposit box and did not participate in prepurchase discussions about the Suburban. He claimed that he drove the Suburban occasionally, but only in his wife’s company. He flatly denied telling anyone that he was making a payment on the Suburban, much less stating the amount. He testified that the redwood deck was about five years old and was paid for with income tax money. He said that the wooden floor was paid for by an income tax refund and his bonus. Johnny Compton testified that, in addition to working for Verizon as a manager of outside plant construction, he raised and sold goats. He estimated that they netted about $3500 from the goats in 2002 and that the funds were put in a separate ranch bank account to be used for more goat-related expenses.
She said they paid about $5500 for the metal barn/workshop from her husband’s bonus
Johnny Compton testified that they had three bank accounts: the ranch account, a checking account, and a savings account. He and his wife shared the accounts, putting their income into the joint checking account and paying for household expenses from that account. He could not explain where money for deposits in the joint accounts during the early months of 2003 came from when his wife was not working, but speculated that it could have come from goat sales. He said that both he and his wife balance the checkbook.
Johnny Compton testified that Mary Sesso told him that his wife had a key to the safe deposit box for emergencies. He also knew that Toni Compton opened the box to get the cash for the vehicle and to retrieve and replace jewelry, but could not remember the exact dates.
The trial court found that Toni Compton had a fiduciary relationship with her mother and breached her responsibilities, committing fraud and constructive fraud, by taking cash from the safe deposit box
The court found that Johnny Compton knew or should have known about that fraud but accepted the benefits of it. The court assessed actual damages of $72, against Toni Compton for the amount missing from the box, plus pre- and post-judgment interest. The court assessed exemplary damages against Toni Compton. The court placed a constructive trust on the Suburban, which was undisputedly purchased with funds from the box. The court also found Johnny Compton partly culpable for knowledge or participation in the fraud, and held him jointly and severally liable for the price paid for the Suburban, $26,. On appeal, the Comptons challenge the damage awards against them, while ages award against Johnny Compton.