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Thursday, September 03, 2009

Helmsley Trustees Misdirecting Funds Meant to Help Dogs NY Lawsuit Charges, Dog "Trouble" lives on $2 Million In Sarasota Fl.

Helmsley Trustees Misdirecting Funds Meant to Help Dogs NY Lawsuit Charges, Dog "Trouble" lives on $2 Million In Sarasota Fl.

The Humane Society of the United States, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Maddie's Fund (a charitable foundation created by the former chief executive of the business software company PeopleSoft), filed a petition in Manhattan Surrogate Court arguing that Leona Helmsley, who died in 2007, specified in her will that her multibillion-dollar estate should be used to help dogs and that the trustees have flat out ignored these wishes.

The hotel heiress left behind $5 billion when she died age 87, including a $12 million trust fund for her dog Trouble, although a judge has since reduced the trust to $2 million. Helmsley cut her grandchildren entirely out of her will because that none had named any of their children after her late husband, Harry, who died in 1997.

In any case, the bad-tempered Trouble was last spotted living the high life (including $100,000-a-year security staff) at the Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel 1540 Ben Franklin Dr Sarasota, FL., oblivious to anything.

Trouble lives in Sarasota Florida with Carl Lekic, who is the general manager of the Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel in Sarasota on Lido Key. Helmsley's will had specified that either her brother or grandson care for Trouble. But both declined, and it's unclear how Lekic got the role of caretaker. Perhaps he's a dog lover.

The dog made news again this June 2009 when a New York judge cut Trouble's trust fund by $10 million dollars, leaving the pampered pooch to live on a mere $2 million. Carl Lekic, who is Trouble's current guardian, told the court that, "Two million dollars...would be enough money to pay for Trouble's maintenance and welfare at the highest standards of care for more than 10 years, which is more than twice her reasonably anticipated life expectancy.

There's no doubt that caring for Trouble is expensive. Lekic estimates that it costs $190,000 per year to care for Trouble, including:
$60,000 for Lekic's guardian fee

$100,000 for round the clock security
$8,000 for grooming
$3,000 for miscellaneous expenses
$1,200 for food
$2,500 to $18,000 for medical care