Lawsuit Accuses Lawrence F. DeGeorge of Unlawfully Disbursing Millions from the DeGeorge Marital Trust for His Personal Gain and for His Failed Company
PALM BEACH, Fla., March 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Lawrence F. DeGeorge has misappropriated and unlawfully disbursed more than $12 million in cash and other assets from the DeGeorge Marital Trust to a failed and worthless public company he owns and controls, according to a cross-complaint filed in Probate Court today by his brother, Peter R. DeGeorge.
The complaint asks the Court to remove Lawrence F. DeGeorge as trustee of the Trust, which was established by their father, Lawrence J. DeGeorge, who died in April 2009, for failing to protect the interests of the Trust and breaching his fiduciary duties to the Trust beneficiaries.
"By a series of unauthorized and improper transactions contrary to the interests of both DeGeorge Holdings III, LP and the Trust, Lawrence has caused assets of the partnership entity, and hence, the Trust, to be used for his own personal gain and to the detriment of the Trust," the complaint states.
Cash and other assets were funneled into Advanced Display Technologies, Inc. (ADTI) whose stock is 79% owned by Lawrence DeGeorge, the complaint states. It states that the Trust has no ownership or other interest in ADTI, which it describes as having a $31 million deficit, being "on the verge of collapse" and "having little, if any, value."
Peter DeGeorge and Lawrence F. DeGeorge of Jupiter, FL, are currently the sole trustees of the Trust. The late Lawrence J. DeGeorge, a former CEO of Times Wire and Cable and later CEO and owner of Amphenol Corp, which he sold for a reported $1.5 billion, established the trust for the benefit of his wife, Florence A. DeGeorge and their sons.
The complaint states that Lawrence DeGeorge has unilaterally and improperly tried to seize control of the Trust by instructing the staff of the Trust office that Peter was no longer allowed in the office and denying Peter access to the Trust's accounting records.
"The Court has the power to compel that Peter be provided full and complete access to all of the books and records of the Trust, to which he is entitled as a trustee," said Peter DeGeorge's attorney, Larry Stumpf of the Miami firm of Black, Srebnick, Kornspan and Stumpf.
The complaint asks the Court to order a forensic accounting of Trust assets and to order Lawrence to make restitution in full to the Trust.
The cross-complaint also answers a complaint filed in Probate Court last December by Lawrence that asked the Court to rule that he (Lawrence) has the sole decision-making authority for the Trust.
"Plaintiff's Complaint is wholly insubstantial, frivolous, and not advanced in good faith," states Peter DeGeorge's Answer. It argues that Lawrence's Complaint fails to state a legally viable claim against Peter, and it adds that regardless Lawrence is barred from receiving any relief from the Court "by virtue of his misappropriation and unlawful disbursement of Trust monies to himself and/or entities solely owned and controlled by him."
SOURCE Black, Srebnick, Kornspan and Stumpf, P.A.