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Friday
Jan112013

Crime Writer Patricia Cornwell Has Her Own Legal Drama

Hemera/Thinkstock(BOSTON) -- Fiction crime writer Patricia Cornwell is used to writing about a heroic medical examiner investigating complex mysteries, but now she is in the middle of a drama of her own, claiming her former financial management firm cost her tens of millions of dollars in lost money over four years.

Cornwell, 56, and her partner, Staci Gruber, a neuroscientist at Harvard University, have lived in the Boston area for the last six years. In October 2009, she filed a lawsuit with the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts against her former accounting firm and business manager, Anchin, Block & Anchin LLP and its former principal, Evan Snapper.

A jury continued to hear the case on Thursday.

Cornwell has been sitting in the front row in the courtroom and is expected to testify, the Boston Globe reports. She may testify after Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Cornwell's publicist said.

She's suing for negligent performance of professional services, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, equitable forfeiture, and other actions.

"This case is, at its core, about trust," her lawyer, Joan Lukey of Ropes and Gray, said in her opening statement Monday, as reported by the Boston Globe.

"There is no amount of money that is enough to properly compensate her for what Anchin, Block & Anchin did," Lukey said in the courtroom.

Cornwell has written 20 books in a series about the fictional Dr. Kay Scarpetta. The first book, Postmortem, was published in 1990, and her most recent, The Bone Bed, was published last year.

Cornwell first used the accounting firm of Yohalem Gillman & Company from the mid-1990s until it merged with Anchin in 2005. She said Anchin eventually became her full-service concierge business manager, with Snapper holding a "power of attorney" for Cornwell by December 2004.

Through her publicist, Cornwell and her attorney declined to comment.

Anchin and its attorneys did not respond to requests for comment.

Cornwell alleges she was charged far more than the $40,000-a-month rate she thought she would be paying the company for management of her money and the assets of her company, Cornwell Entertainment Inc., as first reported by the Globe.

"Ms. Cornwell is a best-selling crime novelist whose ability to write is dependent upon the ability to avoid distractions," her complaint states. "A quiet, uninterrupted environment, free of the distractions of managing her business and her assets, including her investments, is essential to her ability to write and to meet her deadlines."

Her lawsuit also says that she "openly acknowledges her diagnosis with a mood disorder known as bipolar disorder, which, although controlled without medication, has contributed to her belief that it is prudent for her to employ others to manage her business affairs and her investments."

She said she learned the extent of her investment losses in 2009, alleging Anchin selected investments without input from her or her partner.

"Notwithstanding eight figure earnings per year during that period, CEI and Ms. Cornwell learned that their net worth, while substantial, was the equivalent of only approximately one year's net income," the suit says.

She also learned Anchin "had borrowed on their behalf collectively several million dollars, comprised of mortgages for real property and a loan for the purchase of a helicopter," the suit claims.

Snapper admitted to violating campaign finance laws by using her money to buy $50,000 in tickets to an Elton John concert benefiting Hillary Clinton.

He also pled guilty to campaign finance violations and paid a fine.

An attorney for Anchin told the court on Tuesday that Cornwell was aware of what was happening, including the ticket purchase. Anchin also maintains that the $40,000 monthly payment was determined as a retainer, while the company billed by the hour.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct122012

"Rich Dad, Poor Dad" Author Files for Bankruptcy for His Company

Eugene Gologursky/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- Robert Kiyosaki, author of the book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad filed for corporate bankruptcy through one of his companies, Rich Global LLC.

Kiyosaki first published Rich Dad, Poor Dad in the 1990s, eventually becoming a New York Times best-seller despite criticism of his personal finance tips, such as his emphasis on real estate investing.

He went on to write a number of follow-up books such as Retire Young, Retire Rich, and Midas Touch, co-authored with real estate mogul and television personality Donald Trump.

Rich Global LLC filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection on Aug. 20 in a Wyoming bankruptcy court, the New York Post reported this week.

Kiyosaki and his bankruptcy attorney did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The company had been weighed down by a lawsuit filed by Learning Annex, one of Kiyosaki's earliest backers who had helped arrange his public speaking events earlier on, Forbes reported.

Bill Zanker, the founder and president of Learning Annex, sued Kiyosaki after he allegedly failed to pay a percentage of profits from his speaking engagements. A district judge in New York awarded Learning Annex $23.7 million.

"I took Kiyosaki's brand and made it bigger," Zanker told the New York Post. "The deal was I would get a percentage, and he reneged. We had a signed letter of intent. The Learning Annex is the greatest promoter. We put his Rich Dad brand on a stage. We truly prepared him for great fame and riches. But when it was time for him to pay up, he said 'no.' "

However, Kiyosaki isn't taking after his poor dad's title just yet. Though Rich Global LLC has filed for bankruptcy, he reportedly conducts business through a number of corporations, including Rich Dad Co.

Mike Sullivan, CEO of Kiyosaki's Rich Dad Co., told the Post, "The dealings we had with Learning Annex were with a company that hasn't been in business for a number of years...I am not surprised Learning Annex is upset and angry, the money doesn't exist in that company, and we can't bring money out of the group.

"Robert and [wife] Kim are not paying out of personal assets. We have a few million dollars in this company, but not 16 or 20. I can't do anything about a $20 million judgment...We got hit for what we think is a completely outlandish figure," he continued.

Rich Global LLC's liabilities are nearly $26 million with assets of $1.8 million, according to its bankruptcy filing. Its biggest creditor is the Learning Annex due to its $23.7 million legal claim.

The meeting of creditors was held on Sept. 26 and the deadline for creditors to file claims is Jan. 2., according to the Executive Office for U.S. Trustees.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio