The family of late billionaire Tony Hsieh has accused his assistant Jennifer “Mimi” Pham of swindling the Zappos founder out of millions of dollars.
A grieving family’s response: Pham, who sued Tony’s estate for $93 million in February, is now facing a counterclaim from Tony’s father Richard and brother Andy that detailed how she allegedly looted the entrepreneur’s fortune through “manipulative” contracts, reported Daily Mail.
- Filed in August, the family’s counterclaim accused Pham and her lawyer boyfriend Roberto Grande of exploiting Tony while he was suffering from drug addiction.
- According to court documents obtained by Daily Mail, the pair engaged in an “abuse of fiduciary relationship” aimed at manipulating and squeezing the entrepreneur out of millions of dollars.
- Pham allegedly used her Nevada company, Baby Monster LLC, to create a series of outrageous contracts that would earn her and her boyfriend millions of dollars.
- Pham, who was previously paid a flat rate of $9,000 per month plus travel expenses, suddenly received a pay raise of up to $30,000 and a 10% commission on any funds she spent or invested for Tony.
- The documents alleged that Pham’s commission was for “virtually anything and everything imaginable, with no oversight whatsoever – which increased her income, in a single year, by millions of dollars.”
- The family pointed out that “this drastic increase in Pham’s compensation coincided with Tony’s debilitating addiction to Ketamine.”
Sticky note contracts: Pham also created an unusual contract that would grant her $30,000 payment each day Tony’s associate Suzie Baleson visited Tony’s property. This contract reportedly stemmed from a “jealous feud” Pham developed with Baleson.
- From mid-September up until his death in November last year, Pham invoiced Tony for $1,830,000 through her company.
- Pham purportedly received “at least $420,000,” which the complaint noted as “a testament to the toxic influence Pham exerted over Tony.”
- The documents also accused Pham of monitoring Hsieh “against his wishes” using a camera set up in his bedroom in Park City, Utah, while she stayed in Las Vegas.
- Pham also allegedly wrote a $10 million contract on a sticky note to fund documentary company XTR’s film projects and other joint ventures through Hsieh’s firm Pickled Entertainment. As part of the deal, Grande was to receive $1 million and a further 10% “management fee” Pham charged for documenting the attorney’s fees.
- According to documents, Grande and Pham were set to divert all the profits to an entity called Mr. Taken LLC, from which they would take 55%.
- Pham has since filed a response denying all the allegations of wrongdoing.
Hsieh, who had earned a reputation for generosity toward friends and colleagues, passed away at age 46 after inhaling excess smoke in a house fire on Nov. 27, 2020, NextShark previously reported. In the last weeks leading up to his death, he reportedly abused drugs to self-medicate his social anxiety.
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