Posted Sep 17, 2012 06:34 pm CDT
Attorney Lee Levenson Jr. was making a base salary of $100,000 when he left a Florida law firm and went to work for Billy and Barbara DuBois in 2007, at an annual salary of $350,000.
By the time Levenson stopped working as a private attorney for the wealthy retired farm owners in December 2008, he had cost them $1.4 million while providing little in return, lawsuits filed in Palm Beach County Circuit Court allege. Along with a self-proclaimed financial adviser who worked for the couple after Levenson left, the lawyer is accused of taking advantage of a man whose mental capacity was diminished after a 2005 head injury, the Palm Beach Post reports in a lengthy article.
DuBois reportedly had a net worth of $20 million when he retired from farming in 2003. Four years later, his net worth had plunged to $12 million.
Levenson declined to comment when contacted by the newspaper, but it appears that his fees were far from the only issue the couple faced. He said in a deposition that he did what the couple asked him to do, including responding on a 24/7 basis to help them resolve their fights.
Among other claimed excessive charges, the lawyers now representing the couple question why Levenson asked Billy DuBois for a $150,000 contribution to a partnership that purchased and renovated a historic Delray Beach building in which Levenson now has his law office, the Post reports. Only the attorney and his father are listed as the owners of the property on county records.
Levenson testified that the couple had insisted he buy the building, so that he would have a nice office. However, any profit made on its eventual sale would go to Billy DuBois.
In response to the litigation that has been filed against him, Levenson is counterclaiming for over $1 million, the Post reports. He contends that the money is owed under his employment agreement with Billy DuBois, which was never properly canceled in accord with the requirements of the contract.