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When life imitates art in family business disputes

On Behalf of | Jul 13, 2017 | Business Litigation

We have all heard about family squabbles that spill over into the business world, however they often are reflected in soap operas. If you are a fan of “The Young and The Restless” or “Dallas” you can empathize with the struggles over “Brash & Sassy cosmetics” and “Ewing Oil.” But we rarely hear about these types of disputes playing out in real life.

This is arguably why the power struggle over Twin City Fan Companies is so compelling. The company is a global supplier of air-moving equipment and employs 1500 people in five states, and is embroiled in a dispute over whether the patriarch of the company should continue with the company. 

The clash emanates from the divorce between the patriarch and his ex-wife, which was exacerbated by his recent marriage to the woman with whom he had a decade long affair with. Indeed, property division regarding company assets is a heated issue, but now accusations about unauthorized use corporate funds to foster the extramarital affair have now complicated things to the point where the patriarch’s children no longer want him to be a part of the company.

Among the many expenses documented in court records, the patriarch reportedly bought the woman a $2.8 million lakefront home, four luxury SUVs, paid college tuition for the woman’s children and funded a failed retail venture, all allegedly with corporate funds.

The patriarch believes that he is being extorted, given that his son reportedly knew about the affair and “sat” on the information until he could use it for personal gain, and that this information is only relevant as pressure to get his father to resign.

The story exemplifies the need for experienced attorneys to quell family business squabbles.