Twenty people have claimed in court George Joseph, facing a trial this summer for the slayings of his wife and son, defrauded them of more than $500,000 in total. The claimants stated in court papers they are entitled to the deceased victims’ estates because “upon information and belief, the totality of the Joseph family wealth and remaining assets were funded with money ill-gotten through fraud perpetuated on the claimants …” The documents show a claim against the estates of Joseph’s deceased wife, Mary Joseph, and son, Matthew Joseph, for a total of $523,334.62. Joseph, 48, is accused of killing Mary and Matthew before turning the gun on himself in an apparent suicide attempt in May 2013 at their home on West Cape Rock Drive in Cape Girardeau. The claim, involving 20 individuals represented by Cape Girardeau attorney John D. Ryan, states the money stems “from losses related to the George Joseph Family Investment Club.” The amounts claimed by each individual range from $1,100 to $135,000. One claimant is from Illinois and another is from Tennessee; the rest are from Missouri. Ryan declined to comment for this story. Read more on the history of this story in the SE Missourian.