LOS ANGELES (CN) – “My Name is Earl” actress Jaime Pressly sued her former business manager for $900,000, claiming he made a series of bad investments with her money and fraudulently charged her $500,000 for a loan.
Pressly, 37, and her loanout company Southern Belle sued Daniel Rivero and his companies Rivero and Associates, and Larkin Rivero Management on Jan. 16 in Superior Court, alleging breach of fiduciary duty, constructive fraud and professional negligence.
Pressly says she fired Rivero in 2013 after discovering several irregularities in her finances, including an excessive $227,639 bill for landscaping her home.
“However, only after Pressly retained forensic accountants in 2014 did she discover the nature and magnitude of Rivero’ s misrepresentations, omissions and other conduct,” the 14-page lawsuit states.
Rivero’s attorney Michael H. Golland of Hamrick & Evans said the manager disputes all Pressly’s claims and expects to prevail in court.
Pressly claims Rivero invested hundreds of thousands of dollars of her money in three companies without consulting her. She says in the lawsuit that investments in Crunchies Food Companies, Nooma Networks and Sunrise Self Storage went bad.
Rivero invested $25,000, $20,000 and $125,000 respectively in each company without her knowledge, Pressly says.
In 2008, Pressly says, she needed $200,000 to buy a home in Sherman Oaks. She claims Rivero told her to take out a loan through a business called Residential Equity with an interest rate of 2 to 3 percent.
But he never mentioned that he controlled the entity, Pressly says. She says she later discovered the loan was for $500,000, and that Rivero had charged an origination fee of $6,437.50 and an interest rate of 10.25 percent.
She claims that Rivero made an unauthorized $50,000 loan to a personal management company called Rocklin Management.
And, Pressly says, Rivero blamed her in 2011 when “much to her embarrassment,” she learned she had unpaid tax liabilities of $600,000 and that the Internal Revenue Service had placed a lien on her home.
She claims that Rivero paid $227,639.95 to a landscaping service, Rendluis Gardening, which is “exorbitant and unwarranted given the size of her property,” and that Rivero falsified invoices for the services.
She seeks at least $900,000, with interest, plus punitive damages.
She is represented by David B. Golubchik, with Levene, Neale, Bender, Yoo & Brill.
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