November 29, 2020

Crime Writer Cornwell awarded $51 Million in Federal Lawsuit

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cornwell-photoEliane Chavagnon, Reporter Family Wealth Report

Crime writer Patricia Cornwell and her spouse won nearly $51 million in a lawsuit against their former accounting and business management firm, according to Thomson Reuters.

New York-based Anchin, Block & Anchin had reportedly been in charge of Cornwell’s business affairs and investments for over four years when she discovered in July 2009 that her net worth was less than $10 million. This was despite having earned an amount “in the high eight figures” during that period, the report said, citing court records.

Cornwell and her spouse, Staci Gruber, filed the suit in 2009, condemning the firm of “negligence in performing professional services, breach of fiduciary duty and other fiscal shenanigans,” the report said.

Following the verdict,  Frank Schettino, managing partner at Anchin, Block & Anchin, said in an emailed statement: “We are disappointed with the outcome of this case. In the days ahead we will be exploring our legal options including appeal of today’s verdict.

“For more than 90 years, the professionals at Anchin have built a reputation for honesty and integrity. The firm will endure despite today’s outcome. We are eager to return to our business and continue providing the highest level of professional services our loyal clients have come to expect,” he added.

According to media reports citing court documents, Cornwell and her spouse had discovered that the firm had borrowed “several million dollars” on their behalf in the form of mortgages for property, as well as a loan for the purchase of a helicopter.

The jury trial started early last month in US District Court in Boston, MA. The firm’s attorneys argued that the couple’s losses were a result of “extravagant spending” and the effects of the economic downturn, Thomson Reuters added.

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