Prosecutors rest case against fake German heiress
New York prosecutors have rested their case against the woman accused of passing herself off as a German heiress and swindling friends, banks and hotels. Anna Sorokin told a judge Monday she will not testify in her grand larceny and theft of services trial in state court in Manhattan. Her decision came after several weeks of testimony in a case that has drawn international attention. Closing arguments are expected Tuesday, and jurors will begin deliberating the same day. Prosecutors say Sorokin bilked people and businesses out of $275,000 while living a jet-setting lifestyle she couldn't afford.
© (Photo by Rob Grabowski/Invision/AP) Tom Petty
Tom Petty‘s two daughters are now suing his widow for allegedly mismanaging the late rocker’s businesses and they believe she has cost the company over $5 million.
Petty Unlimited was set up to manage Petty’s affairs after his death and was supposed to be run by his daughters, Adria and Annakim, and his widow, Dana Petty.
According to court documents obtained by The Blast, Petty Unlimited claims that Dana and others have breached their fiduciary duties to the company by withholding certain assets and diverting them to another company she set up.
They claim Dana has set up a competing company, Tom Petty Legacy LLC., which has interfered with their work and gone against their father’s wishes.
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Lonzo Ball and his family recently had a falling out with longtime business manager Gregory Alan Foster. And it’s possible that Foster cost the Los Angeles Lakers guard and his family millions. Tania Ganguli and Richard Winton of the Los Angeles Times reported that the matter is being investigated by the FBI. “Authorities say the investigation is focused on allegations included in a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court this month by Lonzo Ball and Big Baller Brand. The suit alleges Foster took more than $1.
© Mark Horton/Getty Images for ABA Tom Petty of Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers. The lawsuit claims, “As direct and proximate cause of Defendant Dana York Petty ‘s usurpation of Plaintiff s business opportunities as alleged herein, Plaintiff has suffered and continues to suffer damage in an amount in excess of $5 million, according to proof at trial.”
As The Blast first reported, Dana filed documents last month requesting that all “significant decisions” require consensus between her and Petty’s daughters because majority voting would allow for the two daughters to exert their will over her.
In her petition, Dana claims “she has gone above and beyond to seek to work cooperatively with Tom’s daughters” but they have made that difficult.
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“Although Petitioner did everything in her power to treat Adria and Annakim as family,” she writes, “sadly, they, and in particular Adria, have repeatedly demonstrated their resentment over their father’s love of Petitioner and her role in his life.”
Related slideshow: Tom Petty's life and career in pictures (via Photo Services)
A veteran rocker and the frontman of the popular '80s rock band Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Petty died on October 2, 2017, at 66. He achieved countless milestones during his career and continued to impress with his performances until just days before his death. Here is a look back at the heartland rocker's inspiring life and career.
Petty was born in Gainesville, Florida, in 1950. His interest in music started at an early age when he started dabbling in rock 'n' roll with local bands.
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He left high school to tour with his country-influenced rock band Mudcrutch. Mudcrutch didn’t make a big splash, but its disbanding brought future members of the Heartbreakers, Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench together with Petty.
Petty got married at the age of 22 to Jane Benyo in 1974, with whom he had two daughters, Adria and Kimberly Violette. The couple divorced in 1996.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers formed in 1975 and featured Petty as the lead vocalist, Mike Campbell as the lead guitarist, Ron Blair on bass, Stan Lynch on drums, and Benmont Tench on keyboards.
(Pictured, L-R) Tom Petty, Mike Campbell, Randall Marsh and Tom Leadon of Petty's earlier band Mudcrutch pose for a portrait session in December 1974 in Los Angeles, California, U.S.
The following year, the band released its self-titled first album, which found huge success with two hit songs, "American Girl" and "Breakdown."
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The band continued its success with their second album "You’re Gonna Get It!" in 1978. The album climbed to #23 on Billboard's Top LP's & Tapes chart in 1978.
The third album, "Damn the Torpedoes" (1979), broke all their previous accomplishments, selling around 2 million copies. The album featured two hit singles, “Don’t Do Me Like That” and “Refugee,” and the classic tracks “Here Comes My Girl” and “Even the Losers.”
The band’s next releases, "Hard Promises" (1981) and "Long After Dark" (1982), emerged as major hits. The former went on to sell over a million copies in the U.S alone.
Petty sang a duet song “Insider” with Stevie Nicks (L) for the album "Hard Promises" (1981). In the same year, he also sang another duet with Stevie Nicks, "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around," for her album "Bella Donna" (1981).
The band spent a frustrating three years while developing their next release, "Southern Accents" (1985), owing to clashes in creative decisions. On one occasion, Petty reportedly broke his left hand by punching a wall in his studio out of frustration.
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The biggest achievement for Petty and his band after "Southern Accents" was their world tour with Bob Dylan (R), performing as his band in the late '80s.
The singer lost his house in a fire in 1987, a major setback for him during the peak of his career.
He teamed up with music legends Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne to form the supergroup Traveling Wilburys. They released their first album in 1988.
(Pictured) Tom Petty and Bob Dylan, with the band Traveling Wilburys, performing on stage in 1987.
Petty planned to work solo and take a break from his band. He produced his first solo album, "Full Moon Fever," in 1989. It was another platinum hit, selling more than 3 million copies.
"Free Fallin'," "Runnin' Down a Dream" and "I Won't Back Down" were the biggest hits from his first solo album.
He resumed his association with Traveling Wilburys in 1990, when Petty, Lynne, Dylan and Harrison produced their second album "Traveling Wilburys, Vol. 3." Orbison had died in 1988 after recording the first Wilburys album. The album brought the first Grammy for Petty, for best rock performance by a duo or group.
Petty and the Heartbreakers were back in business again in 1991 with "Into the Great Wide Open," their eighth studio album. "Learning to Fly" became his joint longest-running number one single with six weeks on top of the US Billboard rock charts.
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The singer earned critical success with his next solo album, "Wildflowers," in 1994. The track "You Don't Know How It Feels” made it to the top 15 of the Billboard Hot 100 and Petty won a Grammy Award for best male rock vocal performance for the song.
"Wildflowers" featured other members of the Heartbreakers, except the drummer Stan Lynch, who was replaced by Steve Ferrone (pictured).
The band were selected for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.
(Pictured) The band's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles.
Petty and his band made a brave attempt to criticize the music industry in 2002 with their album "The Last DJ." The album received a mixed reaction from the audience and critics. It turned out to be one of their least successful, selling just 500,000 copies.
In 2006, Petty released another solo album, "Highway Companion." The album featured another Billboard hit, “Saving Grace.”
The band performed during the Super Bowl halftime show in 2008.
In June 2001, Petty married Dana York Epperson. They have a son, Dylan, from York's earlier marriage.
In 2010, the band announced the release of their new album and their first studio project in eight years, "Mojo."
Petty had wrapped up his final tour, the 40th anniversary of playing with the Heartbreakers, just a week before he suffered a cardiac arrest. Here he performs on Sept. 17, 2017, in Del Mar, California.
The 2017 tour ended with three nights at the Hollywood Bowl, in Petty's adopted hometown. He had told Rolling Stone before the tour began, "I'd be lying if I didn't say I was thinking this might be the last big one." On Oct. 2, 2017, he died from an accidental drug overdose of several pain medications (originally it was reported that he had succumbed to a massive heart attack). Petty had been prescribed the drugs to treat emphysema, knee issues and a fractured hip, his family said in a statement released on Jan. 19, 2018. His wife Dana and daughter Adria wrote, "On the day he died he was informed his hip had graduated to a full on break and it is our feeling that the pain was simply unbearable and was the cause for his over use of medication."
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