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View Full Version : Hines Ward embroiled in legal battle



Stlrs4Life
09-18-2007, 08:56 PM
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_528145.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/rss/s_528145.html)


By Bobby Kerlik (bkerlik@tribweb.com)
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, September 18, 2007


A business associate of Hines Ward has accused the Steelers receiver and another associate, who together own a South Side bar, of removing money from the business and insurance fraud.
Ward owns the Locker Room Bar & Grille, which opened in December 2005 on East Carson Street, along with Kimberly Pitts and Nicholas Lettieri.
Court documents reveal an ugly legal battle over the bar's bank accounts, accounting books and insurance claims between the owners.
Specifically, Lettieri leveled accusations in court documents that Pitts, her husband, Korry Pitts, and Ward failed to deposit cash receipts into the company accounts and have diverted the funds to their own personal bank accounts. Lettieri states that despite profits of more than $1 million and insurance money of $500,000, the company's bank accounts totaled less than $19,000 as of last week.

He also claims that Pitts, her husband, and Ward created false invoices to defraud the business of insurance proceeds of $300,000.
"We don't know where the money went," Lettieri's attorney, Bruce Fox, said today. "There's been a lot of money drained from the business."
Attorney Thomas Castello, who represents the business, called the allegations, "baseless, ridiculous and unfounded."
Castello said profits from the bar never came anywhere close to those totals and that Lettieri was a part of the process to submit insurance claims after a February incident in which a boiler malfunctioned and flooded the bar. He also said the bar was closed until June, while repairs were made.
Castello said the insurance company also inspected the premises. The carrier, RCA Insurance, did not return messages.
The court battle began last week when Castello filed a lawsuit on behalf of the company against Lettieri. In that complaint, the company accused Lettieri of withdrawing all of the company's funds -- about $19,000 -- on Sept. 11, causing the business to bounce checks, and miss payroll and tax payments.
Fox said the business owes Lettieri more than $100,000 from profits and that Lettieri withdrew the money because it's part of what he's owed.
Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Christine Ward on Monday ordered Lettieri to return the $19,000. She also ordered that the Locker Room open its business records to Lettieri, something his attorney said was being denied.
Fox said he does not know to what extent Ward was involved in the financial mess. He said he believes Korry Pitts, whom he described as a business associate of Ward, took company money and deposited it into a personal account.
Court records show Korry Pitts was sentenced to 30 months in prison in 1997 after pleading guilty to a federal charge of conspiracy to distribute narcotics. County court records show Korry and Kimberly Pitts recently bought a $360,000 Franklin Park home in April.
Attorney David Slomski, who was hired to represent Kimberly Pitts and Ward, did not return calls for comment.
Ward and several Steelers are known to frequent the bar and some have tended bar on occasion. A hearing on the case is set for Thursday.


Bobby Kerlik can be reached at bkerlik@tribweb.com (bkerlik@tribweb.com) or 412-391-0927

BlitzburghRockCity
09-18-2007, 09:42 PM
Stuff like this happens all the time but when it involves a high profile person like Hines it gets a lot more press. I'll be interested to see how this turns out but hopefully it all works itself out for Ward.

BBG7
09-18-2007, 09:46 PM
Stuff like this happens all the time but when it involves a high profile person like Hines it gets a lot more press. I'll be interested to see how this turns out but hopefully it all works itself out for Ward.

yep...all the time. My Dad is actually dealing with a similar legal battle of his own!

AZ_Steeler
09-18-2007, 11:29 PM
Who cares as long as Hines is on the field come Sunday (Monday or Thursday ;))!

steelersgal86
09-19-2007, 06:42 AM
Who cares as long as Hines is on the field come Sunday (Monday or Thursday ;))!


you got it :bigthumb:

okiesteeler
09-19-2007, 07:07 AM
I care because if this legal battle goes against ward, he could be doing jail time for the insurance fraud, which would keep him off the field, and out of the black and gold and into a cincinnati uniform (where all convicts play). I do not think that someone with the finances of Ward would stoop to this level.

BB2W
09-19-2007, 07:37 AM
Hines prolly just needed some cash to get him through the week untill payday... :rolleyes:

tonyromo9
09-19-2007, 08:00 AM
i hate this kinda stuff. its no big but cuz hes famos it gets blown into a huge deal GRR!!

memphissteelergirl
09-19-2007, 09:26 AM
I feel bad for Hines and his family...hope this whole matter is resolved soon.

BBG7
09-19-2007, 11:27 AM
I care because if this legal battle goes against ward, he could be doing jail time for the insurance fraud, which would keep him off the field, and out of the black and gold and into a cincinnati uniform (where all convicts play). I do not think that someone with the finances of Ward would stoop to this level.

In all honesty it's way to early to say anything about jail. It's seems like BS to me. My dad is in the middle of one of these battles and I can't believe he still has to deal with this crap becasue the allocations are absolutely rediculous and so far out there it's not even funny. My point is....DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT RIGHT NOW...this thing will probably drag out for years! It does happen all the time.

Hburg
09-19-2007, 12:58 PM
I doubt Hines has any personal invovlement in the bar except as an investor, spokesperson, and celebrity guest(s). But this might have him pull out of his ownwership of the bar.

BuFu

Bucsfan4ever
09-20-2007, 04:41 PM
Wonder if he even knew Pitts was a felon...it was 10 years ago. Sounds like a big husband/wife mess to me. Bet he wishes he'd never invested with them!