A Nevada lobbyist, accused of embezzling from his former partners, has filed a $180 million business lawsuit countersuit.
In 2004, F. Harvey Whittemore, a Nevada lobbyist, and an entity his family owed, sold 50% of their ownership in various companies to several entities owned by Thomas Seeno, a California developer. In 2005, Whittemore and Seeno transferred all their interests in these entities to two new entities - Wingfield Nevada Group Holding Company LLC and The Foothills at Wingfield, LLCs. In 2007, Seeno's son, Albert D. Seeno, Jr., bought a part of Whittemore's interest in Wingfield. The three men then executed an agreement appointing each of them as co-managers of Wingfield. The agreement also required any transactions over $5 thousand to be approved by all three owners.
In the fall of 2010, the Seenos noticed discrepancies in Whittemore's financial records. After they confronted him, Whittemore admitted and signed a written "confession" regarding his malfeasance. The "confession" stated, among other malfeasances, that
Whittemore had misappropriated Wingfield money for personal use, improper financial dealings, extra compensation, and political donations. Whittemore also acknowledged that he diverted Wingfield investment money and other company assets for his own personal use.
The Seenos, as co-owners of the new entities, filed a business litigation lawsuit on behalf of the new entities against Whittemore, his wife Annette, and various other entities that profited or may have profited from Whittemore's malfeasance. The suit, filed in the District Court of Clark County, Nevada in January 2012 alleges Whittemore engaged in a breach of his fiduciary duties, fraudulent concealment, civil conspiracy, breach of contract, tortuous breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, unjust enrichment, conversion, and intentional interference with prospective economic advantage.
Last week, Whittemore and his wife Annette filed a counter business lawsuit against the Seenos claiming the Seenos "are associated with organized crime networks, have associated with and are associating with known felons and are currently, along with the Doe defendants, under investigation by the FBI and IRS, and were raided by agents of the FBI, IRS, and the Secret Service." Whittemore also claims the Seenos are intentionally devaluing the assets of the new entities.
Whittemore also acknowledges that he has transferred personal assets to the Seenos, but claims the transfers were because the Seenos threatened Whittemore, his wife, and family with intimidation and bodily harm, and not because he is guilty of embezzlement, fraud, or any other criminal activity. The Whittemores demand punitive damages of $180 million for racketeering, contract, fraud, conspiracy and conversion.
The FBI is now investigating whether Whittemore funneled thousands of dollars in illegal campaign contributions through his family and business employees.
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