Author Cornwell Wins Millions from Former Financial Manager

A jury in Boston federal court jury on Tuesday awarded $51 million to author Patricia Cornwell, after finding her former financial management company had squandered vast sums of her money.

As this blog previously noted, the high-profile Cornwell accused Anchin, Block & Anchin LLP of losing millions of dollars through mismanagement and in risky investments. Additionally, although Cornwell agreed to pay the firm $40,000 a month, Anchin, Block & Anchin billed her for more than $3 million over more than four years.

She filed suit, alleging (according to a statement from her company) that Anchin, Block & Anchin had grossly mismanaged her cash; engaged in excessive and unauthorized billing; and had failed to put her interests over its own. Now, after seven weeks of trial, she stands vindicated — at least for now.

“It’s just, we have fought long and hard,” she told the Boston Globe after the verdict. “It’s just been harrowing, but we felt we needed to do the right thing, we needed to fight.”

She claims that with Anchin, Block & Anchin managing her money, she discovered voided checks and unjustified expenses. There was even a $5,000 gift check (backed by her cash) written to the daughter of one of her advisors. “There was a lot of money that went out, and we can find no documentation for it,” Cornwell claimed.

Anchin, Block & Anchin stated it will consider whether or not to appeal. “For more than 90 years, the professionals at Anchin have built a reputation for honesty and integrity,” the company claimed.

Another hearing is expected on Thursday; a judge will consider if Anchin, Block & Anchin violated consumer protection laws. If the judge decides that is the case, he could possibly triple the verdict’s award total, the Globe says.

Financial professionals may encourage clients to invest in risky ventures that devalue their assets, or they act without the client’s knowledge. In some cases, securities fraud or stockbroker fraud victims can recover some or all of their losses. If you believe that you or a loved one were exploited in a securities fraud scam, call Sokolove Law today.

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