The lavish spending of crime writer Patricia Cornwell revealed: $100M lawsuit lays bare personal helicopter, $5M for private jets, $11M on estate and a lease at Trump Tower
Patricia Cornwell, 56, is suing Anchin, Block & Anchin LLP and money manager Evan Snapper, claiming she lost untold millions. Cornwell had only $13M left in her account after four years - despite earning over $10M a year in book sales. Money managers say she and her wife, a Harvard University neuroscientist spent it on all on their upscale lifestyle
Renowned crime novelist has found an uncomfortable new subject for her latest drama - herself. Patricia Cornwell is suing her former financial management firm in a Boston court, claiming the stewards of her money fleeced her out of millions of dollars and lost millions more by making risky investments without her consent. She is seeking damages that could total more than $100million.But the trial has cast a harsh spotlight on the 56-year-old, who is intensely private.
Evan Snapper, a former principal at New York wealth management firm Anchin, Block & Anchin LLP, agrees Cornwell's money is gone - but only because she spent it all on a lavish lifestyle. His attorneys have described expenses including $40,000 a month for an apartment at Trump Tower in New York City, $200,000 in taxes alone for her customized, personal helicopter, $5million for private jets to ferry her across the country and $11 million for private estates in Concord, Massachusetts - where she lives with her wife of 7 years, Harvard University neuroscientist Staci Gruber.'Where did the money go? Ms Cornwell and Dr Gruber spent the money,' James Campbell, the attorney for the financial company, said. 'You have to consider the large lifestyles involved, the spending habits, impulsive buying.'
Cornwell's crime novels, most of which follow Virginia forensic examiner Kay Scarpetta, have made Cornwell a nationally-recognized name. Her books - which lean heavily on the use of forensic science - are credited as a major influence for the TV show 'CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.'Her novels have sold more than 100 million copies worldwide.
This is not the first time Cornwell has begrudgingly found herself in the spotlight. In the early 1990s, Cornwell had an affair with Margo Bennett, a married FBI agent, which came out years later after Bennett's estranged husband was arrested and convicted for the attempted murder of his wife and the abduction of her pastor.Cornwell has also publicly revealed that she struggles with bipolar disorder. Her lawyer argues that she hired Snapper and his firm to insulate herself from her money and that Snapper knew this and took advantage of her over her four-and-a-half-year relationship with the company.
'This case is, at its core, about trust,' her lawyer, Joan Lukey, told the jury. 'There is no amount of money that is enough to properly compensate her for what Anchin, Block and Anchin did.'Cornwell fired the firm after discovering in July 2009 that the net worth of her and her company, despite having earning above $10million in earnings per year during the previous 4 years, was a little under $13 million, the equivalent of only one year's net income. She also claims in the lawsuit that Anchin had borrowed several million dollars, including mortgages for property and a loan for the purchase of a helicopter, and had lost millions by moving her from a conservative investment strategy to high-risk without her permission.She said she also found checks written for expenses she never authorized, including a $5,000 check for a bat mitzvah gift to Snapper's daughter from Cornwell, she alleges.
According to the Boston Globe, she claims money for 46 rare books she purchased was also mishandled. And, she says, Snapper steered investments into a development backed by one of his associates - Bobby DeNiro, the son of actor Robert DeNiro.