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Old 09-18-2007, 08:54 PM   #1
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Question Hines Ward embroiled in legal battle

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_528145.html


By Bobby Kerlik
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 or 412-391-0927
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Old 09-18-2007, 08:56 PM   #2
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Default Re: Hines Ward embroiled in legal battle

Hope it isn't true but if it is... WINES HARD!
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Old 09-18-2007, 11:31 PM   #3
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Default Re: Hines Ward embroiled in legal battle

Sounds like going after the deep pockets instead of the guilty party.
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Old 09-19-2007, 07:16 AM   #4
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Default Re: Hines Ward embroiled in legal battle

Quote:
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Sounds like going after the deep pockets instead of the guilty party.
Exactly. Hines didn't do anything. His associate just wants money
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Old 09-19-2007, 08:51 AM   #5
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Default Re: Hines Ward embroiled in legal battle

that is why they say you never do business with family and friends..lol..
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Old 09-19-2007, 09:16 AM   #6
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Default Re: Hines Ward embroiled in legal battle

I love Hines to pieces, but I have to ask . . .

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

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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.
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Old 09-19-2007, 09:25 AM   #7
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Default Re: Hines Ward embroiled in legal battle

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?
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Old 09-19-2007, 11:56 AM   #8
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Default Re: Hines Ward embroiled in legal battle

Quote:
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I love Hines to pieces, but I have to ask . . .

Why would he take on a slug as a business associate?
EXACTLY what I was thinking. You rise or fall to the company you keep.
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Old 09-19-2007, 12:30 PM   #9
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Default Re: Hines Ward embroiled in legal battle

Quote:
Originally Posted by HometownGal View Post
I love Hines to pieces, but I have to ask . . .

Why would he take on a slug as a business associate?
maybe he should ask michael vick about what kind of business associates you should and shouldnt hang around with??
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Old 09-19-2007, 03:20 PM   #10
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Default Re: Hines Ward embroiled in legal battle

Quote:
Originally Posted by lamberts-lost-tooth View Post
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

Last edited by PittsburghPower; 09-19-2007 at 03:51 PM.
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