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Lawsuit claims partner stole millions from other pantyhose heir

Differences between business partners can be a fairly common occurrence. These differences can even continue after one of the partners dies and the other partner and the testator’s family members both inherit the estate. This is apparently true for the heirs to the estate of the creator of the L’eggs pantyhose container. One of the heirs now claims that the other has reneged on his fiduciary duty to the estate for his own financial gain.

Fred Howard, who created the famous plastic egg case for L’eggs pantyhose, died in 2008 and left his estate to his business partner Michael M. Wahl and Howard’s girlfriend Bonnie Kaye. Now Kaye has filed a lawsuit against Wahl claiming that he stole nearly $4 million dollars from the estate that Howard had earmarked for a charity. Specifically, Kaye and her attorney claim that Wahl stole the money over a three-year period and transferred it to his own company.

According to Kaye, the nearly $4 million deficit was discovered only a few months ago while an estate lawyer was taking a final accounting of the estate’s assets. Wahl has claimed that Howard owed him the money. According to Wahl, the money was an advance on almost $9 million that the estate owed him for a 20 percent stake in a midtown building that Wahl and Howard jointly owned. Wahl has already been removed as an executor of the estate.

Careful estate planning is one way to avoid costly lawsuits such as this. However, any Florida resident who is developing an estate plan may want to speak to an estate planning attorney in order to determine how the estate’s assets should be divided.

Source: nydailynews.com, “Business partner of later WWII veteran, pantyhose pioneer embezzled nearly $4million from his estate: lawsuit“, Jan. 21, 2016

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