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Author Patricia Cornwell Suing Her Money Managers

Patricia Cornwell - peoplewhowrite

Patricia Cornwell

UPDATE: Patricia Cornwell has won her lawsuit against her former financial management company Anchin, Block & Anchin LLP and the money manager she worked with Evan Snapper. A federal court jury has awarded the writer $50.9 million. According to The Boston Globe, the jury found that “her former financial company cheated her, her wife, and her company out of tens of millions of dollars.” Now, the Globe reports, “US District Court Judge George A. O’Toole Jr. will decide whether Anchin violated consumer protection laws, which would allow him to perhaps even triple the jury’s verdict.” Cornwell, a bestselling mystery writer called the trial which exposed her struggles with bipolar disorder as well as unflattering correspondences, an “autopsy” of her life. That said, she said the suit and outcome were worth it. Alleging that nearly $89 million of her money was unaccounted for under Anchin’s/Snapper’s management, Cornwell said, “It’s just been harrowing, but we felt we needed to do the right thing, we needed to fight.”

The Guardian reports that Patricia Cornwell, author of the best selling Kay Scarpetta novels has taken her former financial firm Anchin, Block and Anchin LLP to court. In addition to the New York accounting and wealth management firm, Cornwell has named Evan Snapper, a former employee of Anchin, in her complaint. (Snapper has pled guilty to using $50,000 of Cornwell’s money to buy tickets to an Elton John concert benefitting Hillary Clinton.)

Cornwell reportedly sacked the firm in 2009 when she realized her networth was just shy of $13m — a figure equivalent to only one year’s net income for the succesful author who has sold over 100 million books. She also allegedly discovered checks written in her name by the firm, that she did not authorize.

According to The Guardian: “Cornwell, 56, says problems caused by Anchin and Snapper were so distracting that they caused her to miss a book deadline for the first time in her career and cost her $15m in non-recoverable advances and commissions.”

The piece goes on to reveal:

Cornwell said one of Anchin’s primary functions in 2006 was to ensure that locations were arranged where she could write without distraction while her home was undergoing reconstruction. She said Snapper leased a series of expensive apartments, including one at Trump Tower in New York, that she had to leave long before leases expired because of construction, privacy or other issues.

In the lawsuit, Cornwell openly acknowledges her struggles with bipolar disorder, an illness she said had contributed to her belief that she needed other people to manage her business affairs and investments. She said Anchin was aware of her illness.


After Cornwell filed the lawsuit in 2009, Snapper pleaded guilty to violating campaign finance laws by buying $50,000 in tickets to an Elton John concert benefitting Hillary Rodham Clinton, using Cornwell’s money. He paid a fine.

Salacious deets aside, it’s encouraging to know there are writers out there more than making a living from their work!

One response to “Author Patricia Cornwell Suing Her Money Managers

  1. Pingback: Stuff We Know Already: Most Writers Don't Make Money | people who write

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