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View Full Version : Hines Ward embroiled in legal battle


Stlrs4Life
09-18-2007, 08:54 PM
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/rss/s_528145.html


By Bobby Kerlik (bkerlik@tribweb.com)
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, September 18, 2007


A business associate of Hines Ward has accused the Steelers receiver and another associate, who together own a South Side bar, of removing money from the business and insurance fraud.
Ward owns the Locker Room Bar & Grille, which opened in December 2005 on East Carson Street, along with Kimberly Pitts and Nicholas Lettieri.
Court documents reveal an ugly legal battle over the bar's bank accounts, accounting books and insurance claims between the owners.
Specifically, Lettieri leveled accusations in court documents that Pitts, her husband, Korry Pitts, and Ward failed to deposit cash receipts into the company accounts and have diverted the funds to their own personal bank accounts. Lettieri states that despite profits of more than $1 million and insurance money of $500,000, the company's bank accounts totaled less than $19,000 as of last week.

He also claims that Pitts, her husband, and Ward created false invoices to defraud the business of insurance proceeds of $300,000.
"We don't know where the money went," Lettieri's attorney, Bruce Fox, said today. "There's been a lot of money drained from the business."
Attorney Thomas Castello, who represents the business, called the allegations, "baseless, ridiculous and unfounded."
Castello said profits from the bar never came anywhere close to those totals and that Lettieri was a part of the process to submit insurance claims after a February incident in which a boiler malfunctioned and flooded the bar. He also said the bar was closed until June, while repairs were made.
Castello said the insurance company also inspected the premises. The carrier, RCA Insurance, did not return messages.
The court battle began last week when Castello filed a lawsuit on behalf of the company against Lettieri. In that complaint, the company accused Lettieri of withdrawing all of the company's funds -- about $19,000 -- on Sept. 11, causing the business to bounce checks, and miss payroll and tax payments.
Fox said the business owes Lettieri more than $100,000 from profits and that Lettieri withdrew the money because it's part of what he's owed.
Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Christine Ward on Monday ordered Lettieri to return the $19,000. She also ordered that the Locker Room open its business records to Lettieri, something his attorney said was being denied.
Fox said he does not know to what extent Ward was involved in the financial mess. He said he believes Korry Pitts, whom he described as a business associate of Ward, took company money and deposited it into a personal account.
Court records show Korry Pitts was sentenced to 30 months in prison in 1997 after pleading guilty to a federal charge of conspiracy to distribute narcotics. County court records show Korry and Kimberly Pitts recently bought a $360,000 Franklin Park home in April.
Attorney David Slomski, who was hired to represent Kimberly Pitts and Ward, did not return calls for comment.
Ward and several Steelers are known to frequent the bar and some have tended bar on occasion. A hearing on the case is set for Thursday.


Bobby Kerlik can be reached at bkerlik@tribweb.com (bkerlik@tribweb.com) or 412-391-0927

ShutDown24
09-18-2007, 08:56 PM
Hope it isn't true but if it is... WINES HARD!

Godfather
09-18-2007, 11:31 PM
Sounds like going after the deep pockets instead of the guilty party.

SteelCityMan786
09-19-2007, 07:16 AM
Sounds like going after the deep pockets instead of the guilty party.

Exactly. Hines didn't do anything. His associate just wants money

TackleMeBen
09-19-2007, 08:51 AM
that is why they say you never do business with family and friends..lol..

HometownGal
09-19-2007, 09:16 AM
I love Hines to pieces, but I have to ask . . .

Why would he take on a slug as a business associate? :dang::dang:

Court records show Korry Pitts was sentenced to 30 months in prison in 1997 after pleading guilty to a federal charge of conspiracy to distribute narcotics.

lamberts-lost-tooth
09-19-2007, 09:25 AM
Based on my experience in taking police reports.....If a party sues only AFTER the being sued by his partners for withdrawel of company funds.....Then its usually retalitory in nature.
Sounds like Lettieri got his hand caught in the cookie jar by illegally taking the $19,000, and now is trying to validate his crime.
Anyone know if Lettieri is a Bengal fan?

Preacher
09-19-2007, 11:56 AM
I love Hines to pieces, but I have to ask . . .

Why would he take on a slug as a business associate? :dang::dang:

EXACTLY what I was thinking. You rise or fall to the company you keep.

TackleMeBen
09-19-2007, 12:30 PM
I love Hines to pieces, but I have to ask . . .

Why would he take on a slug as a business associate? :dang::dang:

maybe he should ask michael vick about what kind of business associates you should and shouldnt hang around with??:wink02::flap:

PittsburghPower
09-19-2007, 03:20 PM
Based on my experience in taking police reports.....If a party sues only AFTER the being sued by his partners for withdrawel of company funds.....Then its usually retalitory in nature.
Sounds like Lettieri got his hand caught in the cookie jar by illegally taking the $19,000, and now is trying to validate his crime.
Anyone know if Lettieri is a Bengal fan?

I think you have it all wrong, but we shall see.. And how is it illegal to take money from an account if you are the owner? Maybe he was trying to force a resolution? There is deception, but I think we will see that Pitts (convicted felon) was skimming from both Ward and Letteiri- Did you read the article above? It explains quite clearly what happened, and Ward (part of the business) was named in the suit against Letteiri because the "Business" sued Letteiri for withdrawing the 19,000- but he probably did that to stop all "business" and force Pitts to hand over the business records and to fess up about the money he took from the "business". Sounds like a pretty good legal tactic to force a response.. Just my take on the situation

Atlanta Dan
09-19-2007, 03:58 PM
Ward owns the Locker Room Bar & Grille, which opened in December 2005 on East Carson Street, along with Kimberly Pitts and Nicholas Lettieri.

Willing to bet a silent partner is Korry Pitts - given his criminal history I assume he is not a likely candidate to be an officer in a company seeking a liquor license.

Sounds like the bar had cash flow problems after the boiler blew and someone who needed $$ (presumably not a 10 year NFL vet and multi-Pro Bowl player) dipped into the till.

PittsburghPower
09-19-2007, 04:13 PM
Ward owns the Locker Room Bar & Grille, which opened in December 2005 on East Carson Street, along with Kimberly Pitts and Nicholas Lettieri.

Willing to bet a silent partner is Korry Pitts - given his criminal history I assume he is not a likely candidate to be an officer in a company seeking a liquor license.

Sounds like the bar had cash flow problems after the boiler blew and someone who needed $$ (presumably not a 10 year NFL vet and multi-Pro Bowl player) dipped into the till.
I tend to agree, I bet Ward don't know about any of this until it was plastered all over the TV and papers this morning. I think he was named in the suit because the "Business" sued Letteiri for removing the operational funds (19,000), probably to halt the business and force a response from Pitts. Ward is only caught up in all of this because he is part owner. I am betting Pitts, who is a felon- made up fake invoices and submitted them to the "Business" , got paid and deposited the funds from the insurance and profits into dummy accounts. Letteiri must have caught on and demanded record of who was paid for what, and Pitts denied him any records.

stillers4me
09-20-2007, 08:37 PM
Steelers' Ward deflects allegations
By Bobby Kerlik
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, September 20, 2007


Hines Ward said Wednesday that he had nothing to do with alleged financial problems at a bar he co-owns on the South Side.
One of the Locker Room Bar & Grille's three owners, Nicholas Lettieri, stated in civil court documents filed earlier this week that Ward and co-partners Kimberly Pitts and her husband Korry Pitts removed money from the business and committed insurance fraud.

The Steelers receiver told reporters in the locker room before practice yesterday that he has "zero" role in the day-to-day operations of the bar and that he's not concerned about Lettieri's allegations.

"My attorneys, my accountants, are all handling that. They're allegations, and they're providing the courts with all the documents and stuff," Ward said.

"Yes, I am the owner, but I had nothing to do with that," Ward said. "My job is really publicity of the bar. I don't write checks; I don't even get involved with the money and the accountants and stuff like that."
Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Christine Ward yesterday ordered attorneys for Lettieri not to discuss financial information involving the bar, other than the information that's already been disclosed in court filings.

Earlier this week, the judge ordered all financial records be made available to Lettieri for inspection. Incomplete records were provided to Lettieri earlier this week and yesterday more financial documents were turned over, according to Lettieri's court filings.

"They produced a large amount of disheveled documents (yesterday) in beer boxes, as I understand it," said Bruce Fox, Lettieri's attorney.

The court battle began last week when Locker Room attorney Thomas Castello filed a lawsuit on behalf of the company against Lettieri. In that complaint, the company accused Lettieri of withdrawing all of the company's funds -- about $19,000 -- on Sept. 11, causing the business to bounce checks, and miss payroll and tax payments.

Lettieri answered Monday, stating in court documents that Kimberly Pitts, Korry Pitts and Hines Ward failed to deposit cash receipts into the company accounts. Lettieri states that despite profits and insurance money of $1.5 million, the company's bank accounts totaled less than $19,000 as of Sept. 11.

Castello has called the allegations baseless and said Lettieri's allegations only surfaced after the bar sought to get its money back.

"Everybody is missing the point here. Mr. Lettieri removed money from four different company bank accounts," Castello said.

PittsburghPower
09-21-2007, 10:11 AM
Excerpts from the Pittsburgh Post, and Tribune Review-

Specifically, Lettieri leveled accusations in court documents that Pitts, her husband, Korry Pitts, and Ward failed to deposit cash receipts into the company accounts and have diverted the funds to their own personal bank accounts. Lettieri states that despite profits of more than $1 million and insurance money of $500,000, the company's bank accounts totaled less than $19,000 as of last week. He subsequently asked the court to rule that it ($19,000) was being held in trust until finances could be sorted out.

"Lettieri became aware that these insurance proceeds payable to the Company exceeded the actual cost of the repairs to the premises by approximately $350,000," according to a court brief filed by Mr. Fox. "He also became aware that the insurance checks were never deposited into the Company's bank accounts at PNC Bank. Instead, they were, somehow, deposited into an account at Dollar Bank controlled exclusively by Korry Pitts, Kimberly Pitts' husband."

Mr. Lettieri's court filings say that, during that period when he was shut out of the company, he became aware of other financial irregularities "most of which centered around Korry Pitts." They include, he says, the inexplicable drop in the company's four PNC bank accounts form a total of $570,000 to less than $20,000.

He says that after confronting Mr. Pitts with questions about the disappearance of the insurance payments, "Korry Pitts has physically threatened Lettieri, including death threats, on numerous occasions. Lettieri became concerned that Korry Pitts with at least the tacit acquiescence of Kimberly Pitts, Hines Ward and the Company's attorney, Thomas Castello, if not their active participation, was absconding with moneys owned by the Company, in which he, as a member, had an interest."

He also claims that Pitts, her husband, created false invoices to defraud the business of insurance proceeds of $300,000. "We don't know where the money went," Lettieri's attorney, Bruce Fox, said today. "There's been a lot of money drained from the business."

Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Christine Ward on Monday ordered Lettieri to return the $19,000. She also ordered that the Locker Room open its business records to Lettieri, something his attorney said was being denied.

Fox said he does not know to what extent Ward was involved in the financial mess. He said he believes Korry Pitts, whom he described as a business associate of Ward, took company money and deposited it into a personal account.

Court records show Korry Pitts was sentenced to 30 months in prison in 1997 after pleading guilty to a federal charge of conspiracy to distribute narcotics. County court records show Korry and Kimberly Pitts recently bought a $360,000 Franklin Park home in April.

I am trying to find Ward?s involvement and there is NONE, other than being in business with a FELON! I have been watching the story and I bet Ward did not know about any of this until it was plastered all over the TV and papers the other day. I think he was named in the suit because the "Business" sued Letteiri for removing the operational funds (19,000), which I am guessing his attorney told Letteiri to draw the accounts and halt the business and force a response from Pitts.

Ward is only caught up in all of this because he is part owner, and his name is on the bar- so he is named in the suit. I am betting Pitts, who is a felon- made up fake invoices and submitted them to the "Business", got paid and deposited the funds from the insurance and profits into dummy accounts. Letteiri must have caught on and demanded record of who was paid for what, and Pitts denied him any records. Now that they have a court order to find the money- I think we will find that Pitts misapproaited the funds, diverging them to other bank accounts outside of the business.

stillers4me
09-22-2007, 10:41 AM
Hines is IN-NO-CENT!

Hines0wnz
11-12-2007, 12:55 AM
Anyone in the 'burgh got an update?

Steelers28
07-22-2008, 06:49 PM
I normally just read thru posts but wanted to warn all the good folks on this forum. This guy Korry Pitts owns a wheel shop called Wheel Emporium on Penn Ave... BEWARE, do not shop here, This guy Korry is a crook. I really hope Hines Ward is not in business with this guy anymore, its already tainted Wards stats with this story about the bar and grill. Unreal how this guy walks around Pittsburg rippin people off.