Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Scaife Children and Trustees Fight over Wealth Disclosures Mismanagement of Billionaire Father's Trust Fund Claimed

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Scaife Children and Trustees Fight over Wealth Disclosures Mismanagement of Billionaire Father's Trust Fund Claimed

Article excerpt

The first courtroom face-off between attorneys for Richard Mellon Scaife's children and those of three trustees on Thursday set the stage for a potentially bitter legal fight to come.

Attorneys for two of the trustees told a judge that they were within their rights in December, when they aired details of the finances of David Scaife, 49, and Jennie Scaife, 51, including their receipt of $1 million a month, each.

The son and daughter "launched an attack" by accusing the trustees of mismanagement, said attorney David Strassburger, representing trustee H. Yale Gutnick, and the trustees "are entitled to respond."

Ms. Scaife's attorney, William Pietragallo, countered that the two trustees' court filings were laced with "rank hearsay and innuendo, and worst of all, public and private criticism of Jennie Scaife and David Scaife," which should be stricken from the record.

Jennie Scaife of Florida and David Scaife of Shadyside asked five months ago how a family trust fund went from $210 million in 2005, to zero upon their father's July death.

They suggested that Mr. Gutnick and the other trustees, James M. Walton and PNC Bank, let Richard Mellon Scaife drain the fund to prop up his Tribune-Review newspapers, ignoring their grandmother's wish that they should receive its balance upon their father's death.

The increasingly bitter arguments since suggest "that the animosity between the parties involved is of long duration, and not likely to be easily resolved," said Michael J. Hussey, an associate professor of law at Widener University's Harrisburg campus.

The trustees have agreed to file, by June 1, a detailed, 20-year history of the so-called 1935 Trust. Before reaching that agreement, Mr. Gutnick and Mr. Walton disclosed in court filings the son's and daughter's income from the separate Grandchildren's Trust, which contained $560 million. …

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