4:28pm PT by Ashley Cullins
Former Letterman Producer and His Business Manager Sued for Fraud
A Los Angeles restaurateur is launching a legal battle against her former Late Night With David Letterman producer husband and their business manager, claiming they bilked her out of millions.
Blue Plate Restaurant Group owner Jennifer Rush is suing her soon-to-be ex-husband Robert Morton and CPA Michael Shedler on more than a dozen claims, ranging from fraud to negligence to conspiracy to breach fiduciary duty, citing illegal and unethical management of their assets.
"There is no greater wrong than when those you trust and entrust betray you," states the complaint filed Thursday by Rush’s attorney Bryan Freedman. "There are hundreds of transfers between the community and each of Morton's separate accounts with no rhyme or reason."
Rush and Morton began divorce proceedings last year and, through discovery, she learned Shedler "allowed for an extreme imbalance in the amount of separate assets and income funds expended" to maintain their community lifestyle — amounting to more than $4 million in separate contributions from her and $415,000 from him, according to the complaint.
Now that they're splitting, Rush's lawsuit claims Morton "has the audacity to demand among other things, over $10,000 a month in ongoing spousal support from Plaintiff, while simultaneously advertising himself as a successful real estate agent.”
According to the complaint, for about 14 years Shedler deposited Rush’s separate assets into community accounts “while depositing a majority of Morton’s compensation into accounts which were opened in his name only and for which [Rush] had absolutely no idea existed and had no access."
Rush claims 96 percent of her earnings went into the joint account, while only 38 percent of Morton’s did. Not only did 62 percent of Morton’s revenue go into his secret account, but so did the remaining 4 percent of hers.
She says her separate assets were used to pay family expenses, including mortgage, renovation and upkeep on two real estate properties of which she was told they equally shared ownership. Now, she says, Morton is claiming a greater ownership stake because the down payments for the properties were made through his separate account without her knowledge.
Rush is seeking a general and punitive damages of no less than $4 million.
Morton and Shedler have not yet responded to requests for comment.