Fraud Alleged In Dodger Document Switch
Less than two weeks before the Dodger divorce case heads to trial, Jamie McCourt is raising new allegations of fraud against husband Frank, who claims to be the sole owner of the franchise.
The case hinges on a marital property agreement signed in 2004, which gave Jamie the couple's houses and gave Frank ownership of the team. The parties have fought over whether that agreement was valid -- Frank says yes, Jamie says no -- but there has been no dispute about what the document actually said.
In a motion filed Thursday, Jamie says that three copies of the agreement excluded the Dodgers from a schedule listing Frank's properties.
Only after she signed it was the document switched to include the team among Frank's assets. That, she contends, was fraud.
However, three other copies, signed earlier, include the team among Frank's assets.
So now, rather than arguing about whether the agreement was valid, the two sides are disputing which agreement was valid. That's a stronger position for Jamie to be in.
Frank's attorneys maintain that the versions that exclude the Dodgers were the result of a "clerical error" or a "scrivener's error." You may recall that Jamie has said she was in a hurry and didn't read the agreement before signing it. Well, now Frank says that he, too, didn't read the versions that excluded the team before he signed them.
In a statement, Frank's lead attorney, Stephen Susman said that "Jamie and her lawyers have truly become desperate and are now using their court filings as press releases."
Susman said he would not object to Jamie's motion to introduce the "incorrect draft" into evidence. He will argue that the original version of the document, which included the Dodgers among Frank's assets, was the correct version.
He also said it would have been "absurd" for Frank to sign a document giving Jamie "all the houses and all the money, and for Frank to end up with nothing of substance as his separate property except $119 million in personal liabilities."
Jamie's attorney, Dennis Wasser, contends it would have been just as ludicrous for Jamie to voluntarily sign away her right to the team, which was "by far the couple's most important asset -- and Jamie's heart's desire."
Stepping back for a second, it doesn't look like this is getting us closer to a settlement.
The trial is scheduled to start on Aug. 30.
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