At the end of a marriage, each spouse has a legal obligation to make honest disclosure of the assets in their name, possession or control. A colourful British Columbia judge called the absence of accurate disclosure the “cancer of matrimonial litigation”, and he was right.
Spouses who initiate the costly game of “hide and seek” have characteristics in common, and that is arrogance and greed.
Whether they accumulate assets off-shore, stash them in trusts and corporations, or transfer them to family members and friends, the result is the same for the non-owning spouses who must spend tens of thousands of dollars to track the concealed assets, often with limited success.
The latest player in this high-stakes game is John Sculley, the former CEO of Apple, whose business and entrepreneurial skills are legendary. Most notably he took Apple from an $800 million company to one worth $8 billion, firing Apple’s visionary founder Steve Jobs along the way.
John Sculley and his wife Carol Lee Sculley were married for 32 years when Ms. Sculley learned of her husband’s romantic liaison with an Apple employee, kept under wraps for almost ten years.
The Sculley’s settled their divorce in 2011,a process that allegedly belied John Sculley’s true net worth. He disclosed $4.8 million dollars worth of assets, and according to Ms. Sculley’s court documents, hid over $25 million in assets through a variety of corporations and the transfer of assets to his brothers Arthur and David, his co-founders in their investment firm Sculley Brothers.
Now Ms. Sculley is suing her ex-husband in Palm Beach Florida for breach of contract and fraudulent misrepresentation, seeking damages and her share of the hidden assets, a shopping list of twenty or more corporate entities. She alleges that Mr. Sculley began his asset scam ten years before the parties separated, a date that coincides with his extra-marital relationship.
At the time of their divorce and property settlement in 2011 their respective lawyers were quoted in Forbes saying:
“We’re trying to get through this as privately as possible,” said Martin Haines, Sculley’s attorney.
Said her lawyer, Josh Ferraro: “I think this will be amicable.”
Lawdiva aka Georgialee Lang