Mr. Liebowitz, founder of DC Comics, who has brough to life via comics, iconic characters like Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, died in 2000. Nearly blind and crippled by lung cancer, his wife died in 2013 at the age of 96. The company is currently owned by Warner Entertainment.
Both the lawyer and business manager of Shirley Liebowitz are accused of convincing her to leave them large sums of cash from her $50 million estate. The son of the late Mrs. Liebowitz, states her lawyer Dennis Drebsky and her business manager Ronald Krause forced themselves into his mom’s will and intentionally isolated her from the rest of the family.
According to the son’s lawyer:
“The story that is unfolding is clearly one of elder abuse, fraud and undue influences, it appears that Drebsky and Krause targeted [Liebowitz] for their own advantage so that they could reap the benefits of her wealth upon death.”
Krause declared that he started working for Liebowitz shortly after the death of her husband Jacob, in an affidavit filed on November 17th.
“At the inception of our relationship, [Liebowitz] unequivocally stated that she had no need for and did not seek my advice or counsel,” he wrote in his affidavit. “She frequently stated that she was the only person upon whom she could ultimately rely to protect her interests.”
Krause described Liebowitz as an imperious employer who only allowed him to handle “mundane matters” like the “selection of telephones, humidifiers, air fresheners and other household items.”
“She occasionally asked me about the alleged deficiencies of her household staff with whom she had a tumultuous relationship”.
According to the family of Mr. Liebowitz, he had set up a $7.5 million trust fund for his widow and said that any money left in it could go to his daughters from his first marriage or to their children, as shown in physical documents.
However, in recent years, Krause has withdrawn hundreds of thousands of dollars from that fund, the filings say. The grandchildren’s lawyers claim DC Comics’ founder had not authorized him to do that.
Krause states he never stopped her from contacting her family, contrary to statements made by her son. He also said he never interfered with Liebowitz’s will or finances, noting that her decision’s about inheritances changed with her ”mood swings”.
Liebowitz “used her money in general, and her will in particular, as both a punishment and a reward,” Krause wrote. “If the wind blew the wrong direction on a given day, she would reduce your bequest. Conversely, if you jumped through hoops to satisfy her demands, she would reward you.”
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