Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Queen of Mean

The "Queen of Mean" as she was known, hotel magnate Leona Helmsley pleaded not guilty in Manhattan federal court to income tax evasions charges. She was convicted in 1989 of federal invome tax evasion and other crimes and spent about 18 months behind bars and two more months under house arrest even though her initial sentence was for 16 years.

Helmsley was a billionaire New York City hotel operator and real estate investor.
When Leona Helmsley died from congestive heart failure at the age of 87, on August 20, 2007 in Greenwich, Connecticut, she left more than $4 billion — to the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.

What caught most people's attention was that she also left her Maltese, Trouble, a $12 million trust fund. Which was reduced by the trust to $2 million less than a year later.

Controlling people and situations was something Helmsley tried to do even from the grave. In her will she left two of her grandchildren $5 million in trust and $5 million outright, under her condition that they visit their father's gave site once each calendar year. Her other two grandchildren, received nothing apparently because they failed to name any of their children after her late husband.

Ah, the love of, well I was going to say family - but, in this case, I think it's the love of MONEY!

PS - Don't worry about 9-year-old Trouble - he lives in Florida with Carl Lekic, the general manager of the Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel, and that $2 million would pay for the dog's maintenance for more than 10 years - the annual $100,000 for full-time security, $8,000 for grooming and $1,200 for food. Lekic is paid a $60,000 annual guardian fee.

Oh, by the way....In addition to $12 million Leona Helmsley left to her pet, she left instructions that her trust, now valued at $5 to $8 billion, be used to benefit dogs. The trust is not legally bound to these wishes, however. Damn, they found a way to control you and your wishes, Leona - in death!