Writer Patricia Cornwell Wins $50.9 Million Verdict Against Financial Management Firm Anchin Block & Anchin

Feb 19, 2013, 15:10 ET from Cornwell Entertainment, Inc.

BOSTON, Feb. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A Federal Court jury in Boston unanimously found today, Tuesday, that accounting and business management firm Anchin, Block & Anchin LLP acted negligently and in breach of its fiduciary duties in managing the financial affairs of best-selling crime writer Patricia Cornwell and her partner, McLean Hospital neuroscientist Dr. Staci Gruber.

"We are deeply gratified by this victory," Ms. Cornwell said. "This case was about a lot more than financial mismanagement.  It is our belief that Anchin, Block & Anchin not only took advantage of us, they also tried to damage our reputations and put us in legal jeopardy."

The lawsuit accused Ms. Cornwell's financial management firm of excessive and unauthorized billing, failing to put the clients' interests ahead of its own, and gross mismanagement of Ms. Cornwell's and Dr. Gruber's money over four and a half years, which resulted in the loss of millions of dollars.

In addition, Cornwell charged that Anchin, Block & Anchin LLP engaged in high-risk investment strategies without her approval. 

The trial was "extremely painful and expensive" to go through, Ms. Cornwell said, adding that "it would have been far easier to settle or walk away, but we felt we owed it to ourselves and to others who have been victimized by financial advisors to have our day in court."

The seven-week trial was held before Federal District Court Judge George A. O'Toole, Jr. at the John Joseph Moakley U.S. Courthouse in Boston.

"We thank the jury for their diligent and thoughtful service," Ms. Cornwell said. "A portion of the monetary verdict we receive will go to McLean Hospital for psychiatric research."

Under Massachusetts law, Judge O'Toole may also award Ms. Cornwell and Dr. Gruber payment of their legal fees and multiple damages in a subsequent proceeding.

SOURCE Cornwell Entertainment, Inc.