Court filings filed this month by Tony Hsieh’s family and associates further accuse both sides of profiting financially from the Zappos founder, even after Hsieh’s death.
Lawyers for Tony Lee, Hsieh’s longtime friend and chief financial officer, have filed court documents accusing Andrew Hsieh of using money from his brother’s estate for personal expenses after his brother’s death. The expenses included $200,000 for a new Mercedes Sprinter and $100,000 for a “personal nutritionist and training plan,” according to the district court filing.
“Andy may have siphoned off hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars from the estate for his own benefit,” wrote Lee’s attorneys Liane Wakayama, Dale Hayes and Jeremy Holmes.
Attorneys for Andrew Hsieh and Lee did not respond to requests for comment.
Tony Hsieh was 46 when he died on November 26, 2020 from injuries sustained in a house fire in Connecticut.
He died without a will, triggering the probate filing in which the September 16 document was filed. Texas-based travel, fitness and wellness company for consultancy work; and a transcript of Hsieh hiring someone for $450,000 a year under a loosely defined job title that included working on “random projects like koi fish or treehouses.”
Lee sued Hsieh’s estate in April 2021, claiming nearly $7 million from a broken contract.
Andrew Hsieh was overseeing his brother’s estate with Tony Hsieh’s father, Richard Hsieh, until a district court judge issued an order in July allowing Andrew Hsieh to step down as co-administrator of the estate, according to court records.
Lawyers for Lee argued in the court filing that Andrew Hsieh failed to file proper estate accounting before stepping down as co-administrator, and that his resignation was an attempt to “gain strategic advantage.” in other disputes.
Meanwhile, Tony Hsieh’s estate filed an amended counterclaim on September 16 in response to a lawsuit from Puoy Premsrirut, a former lawyer for Hsieh, who originally sued the estate in January for legal fees.
In the amended lawsuit, Hsieh’s estate also sued Ling Yim, known as Chrissie Yim, and Connie Yeh, who is Hsieh’s cousin.
The filing accused both Yim and Yeh of nearly doubling their salaries by more than $200,000 during the summer of 2020, while Hsieh allegedly had a “breakdown” in Montana. According to the filing, Yim was “one of Tony’s trusted advisors” and Yeh was responsible for keeping track of his business and personal finances.
Attempts to reach Yim and Yeh for comment were unsuccessful.
Earlier court documents detailed the bus trip Hsieh took to Montana, during which he asked his friends to join him in a suicide pact, believing that dying was the best way to transcend human consciousness. .
The lawsuit also accused Yeh and Yim of wire-transferring approximately $3 million to “entities they owned or controlled (including approximately $500,000 wire-transferred within days of Tony’s tragic death),” according to court documents.
The counterclaim, which was originally filed in August, also alleged that Hsieh planned to build a theme park, dubbed Country Zero, in Park City, Utah, where visitors would use tarot cards to enter and exchange seashells for coins. food, hot air balloon rides. and thermal days.
Multiple court documents claimed that Hsieh suffered from malnutrition, barely slept and abused ketamine and nitrous oxide during the last year of his life.
Lee’s lawyers repeated allegations in recent court documents that Andrew Hsieh was supplying drugs to his brother.
“Andy was supplying Hsieh with increasing amounts of nitrous oxide without concern that his brother was mentally incompetent,” according to the court filing from Lee’s attorneys. “Yet Andy hypocritically claims that Lee (among others) took advantage of Hsieh in the last months of his life.”
The countersuit from Hsieh’s estate also alleges that Hsieh’s line of credit reached $250 million before his death. Transactions he made regarding Country Zero that appeared in court documents included paying Premsrirut and his law firm $2.2 million for legal services; awarding Lee a five-year, $7.5 million compensation agreement for financial advisory services; and award Mark Evensvold, who ran Nacho Daddy’s restaurant, a $30 million “signing bonus” and $450,000 compensation deal to operate a “boat bar and ice castle” in the park theme.
Although Hsieh allegedly intended to sell some of his Las Vegas properties to raise money for the Park City project, he instead spent $70 million to acquire the Zappos headquarters, paying $30 million more than the value of his property, according to court documents.