The estate of financier and Perseus Books founder Frank Pearl, who died in May 2012, is being sued by Bank of America, TD Bank, Eagle Bank and even Perseus Funds for more than $50 million, according to the Washington Post, alleging he “sought to avoid payment to creditors by fraudulently moving $59 million in life insurance proceeds and other assets from his estate into Perseus Trust, which he had created for his wife” after being diagnosed with terminal cancer in November 2011. Bank of America seeks $22 million; TD Bank and Eagle Bank are asking for more than $16 million and $11 million, respectively.
Pearl had attested to TD Bank and Eagle Bank that his net worth exceeded $400 million, but a court filing by his widow claims the estate has almost no assets (outside of the trust). Filings by his own firm stated Pearl “was insolvent, or he became insolvent as a result of the changes” to his life insurance benefits — and they assert those changes were fraudulent, “an attempt to keep the death benefits out of reach of his creditors, including Perseus and the Perseus funds.” As tax lawyer Edward Weidenfeld said to the paper: “There are some unanswered question here as to why Pearl would go to such extraordinary lengths to avoid what are clearly legitimate debts.”
The Perseus investment firm has moved out of Washington, DC, to offices in Bethesda. “According to a recent SEC filing, Perseus and its funds have received clean audits by PriceWaterhouseCooper, although the firm has noted it will need between $6 million and $7 million ‘to meet its contractual obligations to clients through mid-2016.'”
– Over a week after “Robert Galbraith” was revealed to be JK Rowling, one clear winner is Blanlavet Verlag, which acquired German rights to the book in February for a four-figure sum. The AFP reports that the Random House Germany imprint will print 200,000 copies of THE CUCKOO’S CALLING and will release the book “as soon as possible.” Meanwhile, a winner in the goodwill department is Goldsboro Books, which stocked 250 signed copies of THE CUCKOO’S CALLING and continues to sell remaining first editions of the book at the list price of £16.99, according to the Sunday Times.
– David Zinczenko and Stephen Perrine’s new Zinc Ink imprint (part of the Random House Publishing Group) will launch itself ahead of schedule. On August 20 they will issue top-ranked tennis player Novak Djokovic‘s SERVE TO WIN, a nutrition-based performance guide. Djokovic relies on a gluten-free diet and a focused nutrition plan.
– In this week’s New York Magazine FSG president and publisher Jonathan Galassi reflects on the company’s past and present in advance of the August 6 publication of magazine contributor Boris Kachka’s HOTHOUSE (about which Galassi, who was interviewed for the book, had “an odd, vertiginous sense of unreality” while reading the finished version.) Galassi said he “loved reading the spiky, spicy evocation of the company’s good old days. But the story of those years casts a shadow on the current life of the company, and I found myself wondering: Do the book-publishing cynics have it wrong, or do I?”
The answer seems to be a bit of both, as “the old FSG had never been about money, but survival.” As for his own depiction in HOTHOUSE, Galassi wondered, “‘Are you really the introverted, aloof, corporate tool Boris makes you out to be?’ Maybe so—or maybe the Good Old Days are always more inspiring, more golden, less weighed down by drudgery, because the drudgery is precisely what we let ourselves forget.”
In correction of our review on Friday of HOTHOUSE, Henry Robbins was editor-in-chief of Dutton.
– Osprey Group is moving its non-US-based digital distribution to ePubDirect.
– Finally, one more correction: Twitter-based book recommendation service BookVibe did not debut at the Publishing Hackathon.