Patricia Cornwell won a judgment of $50.9 million against her former financial managers in federal court in Boston on Tuesday. Cornwell is the author of the bestselling Kay Scarpetta mystery novels.
Cornwell accused her former money management firm Anchin, Block & Anchin LLP and its former principal, Evan H. Snapper, for negligence in the handling of her finances. According to Cornwell, not only had the firm improperly invested $89 million of her money, it had also made illegal campaign contributions that drew the attention of the FBI, undermined her work and even traumatized her dog.
The money management firm was paid about $40,000 per month to handle Cornwell's finances, which included the renovation of her Massachusetts estate and leasing a lavish apartment for her. The managers claimed that it was Cornwell's own extravagance, including leasing expensive private jets, that was to blame.
The $50.9-million judgment in Cornwell's favor was, in the words of jury foreman John Martus, a "fair decision."
Cornwell's official Twitter account jumped into action as soon as the judgment was announced, tweeting "Justice!" She then tweeted, "Thank you and God bless tweety friends! Your support has helped more than you know. xx," followed by, "I wish I could hug the jury!"
Cornwell is the author of 20 mystery novels featuring tough medical examiner Kay Scarpetta. Angelina Jolie, a fan, signed on to portray Scarpetta in a film adaptation of "Red Mist." Earlier this month, the author announced the title of her next Scarpetta book -- it will be called "Dust."
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