Thursday, October 25, 2012

Bitcher & Prickman: "Why you miserable, ungrateful, silly little wretch of a daughter how does $3 million sound?"

Beatrice Bitcher
Richard Prickman

Manhattan attorney says daughter maligned his reputation in $3 million libel suit

Richard Fischbein slams daughter Beth Fishchbein-Bodner, who accused him of mishandling her trust fund

By Barbara Ross and Bill Hutchinson
Thursday, October 25, 2012

A big-shot Manhattan attorney slammed his daughter with a $3 million libel suit Tuesday, charging she maligned his “excellent reputation” by accusing him of mishandling her trust fund.

Richard Fischbein, 70 — whose clients included Donald Trump, the Black Panthers and the estate of slain rapper Tupac Shakur — blasted his daughter, Beth Fischbein-Bodner, calling an ungrateful child making “silly” accusations.
Richard Fischbein suing daughter Beth Fischbein-Bodner for lible (Corey Sipkin/New York Daily News)

The legal salvo was prompted by his 43-year-old daughter’s July petition to the state Surrogate’s Court requesting an audit of her trust fund, claiming it was hijacked by her father.

The trust was set up in 1980 for when she turned 21, in 1990. Fischbein-Bodner claims her father and her stepmother, Mimi, asked to extend the terms of her trust twice. Then they swapped the two pricey East Hampton properties in her trust — including one with a sprawling mansion and pool — for two cheaper, vacant parcels.

Fischbein-Bodner, who is also an attorney,says the couple then used the properties to partially leverage $6.5 million worth of mortgages.

Ultimately, Fischbein-Bodner claims, she only got $114,000.

The father shot back that his daughter levied charges “maliciously and in bad faith.” In his libel lawsuit, he’s asking for $3 million in punitive damage, plus compensatory damages for “substantial loss and damage in his profession and business.”

Fischbein — a partner in the lawfirm Olshan, Frome & Wolosky — says he paid for his daughter to attend elite private schools, summer camp, Union College and Brooklyn Law School, bought her luxury cars and covered her living expenses, and hired her at his law firm upon graduation.

Fischbein-Bodner, who now works for her husband’s Manhattan law firm, refused to comment.

Fischbein, who lives in a luxury Park Avenue pad, called his daughter’s petition “silly” and added, “I wish it didn’t happen.”

Fischbein’s spokesman released a statement, saying, “The accounting will find that, after it is completely done, he will be vindicated and she will find that she owes him money.

“However, he will not asked for it to be reimbursed.”

Fischbein is also the founding of partner in the lawfirm Fishbein, Badillo, Wagner and Harding — which was dissolved after partner Ray Harding, former leader of the state Liberal Party, pleaded guilty in a pay-to-play scandal involving former state Controller Alan Hevesi. Harding died in August.

Court records show Fischbein has been the plaintiff in at least 21 lawsuits since 1977. In one, he sued the Manhattan steakhouse Angelo and Maxie for $7 million, claiming he was detained and humiliated for not leaving a $353 tip

With Edgar Sandoval
bross@nydailynews.com

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