How discouraging when a rockstar career ends on a sour note. The “master of disaster” Stan Chesley, who has won billions for his clients in a high-stakes career that won him among other things the ability to buy an $8 Million dollar mansion and a 20-car line of of Jaguars, Rolls-Royces, Ferraris, and so forth, is now ending his career, at 76-years-old, possibly disbarred by the Kentucky Supreme Court as well as the Ohio Supreme Court, as he is licensed in Ohio as well. What did he do? He played a role in a case involving a diet-drug that was later proved to damage the valves of the heart; he pumped the original settlement from $20 million to $200 million in a case that was settled in 2001, but could not but have been aware that almost two thirds of that was illegally snatched by the legal team he was hired by.
After all, he himself should collected $14 Million for his services, but was paid $20.5 million. Simple arithmetic shows the 440 clients did not get the money that was due. Chesley for his part claims he was there only to negotiate a settlement and had no duty to the clients, but the law disagrees.
A hearing officer recommending Chesley’s disbarment said he was “fully aware” that the settlement was shady, and that “fifth-grade arithmetic” shows that he was being paid $7.6 million more than his contract entitled him, as reported by the Courier Journal.
The case has been called “the largest-scale fraud in the history of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.” The other lawyers involved, Gallion and Cunningham, were convicted of fraud and sentenced to 25 and 20 years in prison, while Mills, the third, was acquitted according to his argument that he was “too drunk to have participated.” Bunch of winners here!
Chesley at least has put in his time, is near retiring age, and has had his days of glory. Just as the law did in Socrates when he was already in his 70’s, it’s a little less tragic when a career is cut short by a few days rather than a few decades.