Elton John and 8 Other Celebrities Who Sued Their Financial Advisors
The legendary singer accused his business manager, Andrew Haydon, and accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers of mismanaging his tour funds causing him to lose $29 million. The court denied John’s request for restitution, saying there wasn’t enough evidence to prove that he had been scammed. To add insult to injury, the singer was out another $10 million in legal fees on the case.
Cage sued Samuel J. Levin, his former business manager, in 2010 for allegedly giving him bad investment advice and mismanaging his money over the time frame from 2001 to 2008 when Levin collected millions of dollars in fees. Levin countersued for fees supposedly owed by Cage. Later that year it was reported that all claims were dismissed.
Sting’s financial advisor, Keith Moore, was found guilty of stealing $9.8 million from the singer by setting up a variety of accounts for the singer which he pilfered from. Moore was sentenced to spend 6 years in jail.
Pop celebrity Rihanna sued Berdon LLP for mismanaging her funds as well as improper filing of taxes and retaining an unfair percentage of profits. In addition, she blamed Berdon for not telling her that her “Last girl on Earth” tour in 2010 was a money loser. Berdon claimed that the singer’s penchant for wild spending was the real culprit behind the tour’s losses but eventually offered her over $10 million to settle the dispute.
The singer launched a $90 million lawsuit against his former manager, who was also his former brother-in-law, in 1989 alleging fraud. The lawsuit led to further lawsuits against Joel’s lawyer and accounting firm. Eventually, Joel walked away with $8 million for his troubles.
Comedian Ben Stiller found it was no laughing matter after his financial advisor, Dana Giacchetto, made off with $250,000 of his funds. Stiller got the funds back, however, Giacchetto was alleged to have also scammed other stars including actor Tobey Maguire and actress Cameron Diaz. Giacchetto ended up serving a three year prison sentence.
Crime author Patricia Cornwell filed suit against New York accounting firm Anchin, Block & Anchin LLP alleging financial negligence costing the author and her partner millions of dollars. She was victorious in the case in February of 2013, receiving $50.9 million.
The actress found her financial advisor, Kenneth Starr, had taken $1 million from her to help his exotic-dancer girlfriend live in style. When Thurman demanded her money back Starr complied, but only by taking money from the accounts of other clients, it was alleged. Starr was arrested by the FBI in 2010.
Celebrities can make big paydays but lack of financial experience, as well as their high profiles, can make them vulnerable to scam artists and bad financial advisors. Taking the time to do the due diligence necessary to find a reputable financial advisor who will put your best interests first is well worth it – for celebrities or any other investors alike!
One of the most important keys to finding a good financial advisor is to find a fiduciary financial advisor, one who is legally bound to place your interest ahead of his own (and his firms). My practice has been built on that very same standard of care for all of my clients. Whether you are a celebrity or a well-known businessman, it has always been my focus to place your financial well-being ahead of all else by being transparent, speaking to you in clear terms, and always delivering on promises.
Incidents happend when celebrities trusted their managers and financial advisors blind-folded. It's time to educate yourself more about financial planning, retirement planning, and estate planning to make and manage money wisely.
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