Mystery novelist Patricia Cornwell was awarded nearly $51 million today in a lawsuit against her old financial management team, so one of the world's bestselling writers should be able to buy back the personal helicopter she used for book "research" now that she's recouped her losses.
The Kay Scarpetta scribe (and discount novel bin regular) was awarded the hefty settlement by a Boston judge on Tuesday in her lawsuit against her former financial management team at Anchin, Block & Anchin LLP and its principal, Evan H. Snapper. Cornwell contends Snapper and Anchin "personally benefited from their dealings with Cornwell and cost her and her company tens of millions of dollars in losses or unaccounted revenue over four years," the Boston Globe reports. Cornwell testified that Snapper and Anchin changed her investing strategy without telling her, according to the Associated Press. As a result, Cornwell fired the company in 2009 when she noticed that her net worth had dwindled to all of, you know, $13 million. She was used to making around $15 million in a productive year. In total, Cornwell contended the firm mishandled $89 million of her hard-earned dollars.
Of course, Cornwell did live pretty lavishly while employing Anchin. As the New York Daily News pointed out, Cornwell owned her own helicopter. She would occasionally take reporters for rides in her helicopter, as Gawker's Mallory Ortberg pointed out, because Cornwell found it "useful for doing research." When she was sticking closer to the ground, Cornwell owned a Bentley Continental and a Ferrari to zip around in. She was forced to sell those vehicles as she lost money, though. On the days she didn't ride dirty in those cars, she employed a $1,000-a-day car service. She also kept a $40,000-a-month apartment in New York City and had a $1.2 million condo in Florida, separate from her home in Boston. You know, for visits.
Cornwell should be able to restore some of her old lifestyle with her new settlement money. Also, she should be able to cross Snapper and Anchin off her enemies list now that this is settled. (So long as they don't appeal, of course.)
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.