Patricia Cornwell Suing Financial Advisors Over $40 Million Loss

Posted on October 20, 2009

Bestselling author Patricia Cornwell is suing her financial advisors and accountants for negligence. She has lost $40 million during the time her financial affairs were handled by the New York financial management firm, Anchin, Block & Anchin LLP which also represents such celebrities as Robert DeNiro. Patricia made the fatal error of allowing someone else access to her checkbook.

Lloyd Grove reports for The Daily Beast and calls the financial loss Cornwell's latest mystery:

"Ms. Cornwell is a bestselling crime novelist whose ability to write is dependent upon the ability to avoid distractions," the lawsuit contends. "A quiet, uninterrupted environment, free of the distractions of managing her business and her assets, was essential to her ability to write and to meet her deadlines. Further, Ms. Cornwell 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."

Cornwell's lawyer told me she ruefully recalls a conversation she had several years ago with Oprah Winfrey, when both found themselves sitting together on a dais. "They were chatting about various things, and Patricia was inquiring about Oprah's business practices. And Oprah said to Patricia, 'I have one guiding principle: Always sign your own checks.' Patricia says she wished she had lived by that advice. She will from now on."

Lloyd says that Anchin is accused of mishandling rental properties, making poor investments and taking actions without her permission. Anchin reportedly even wrote a check from Patricia to his own daughter (who Patricia has never met) for $5,000 as a bat mitzvah gift.

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