Homeless dogs were victimized by the former CEO at Life Partners Holdings, with money intended for their care instead going to the executive’s mistress, according a trustee for the bankrupt company.
Happy Endings Dog Rescue, allegedly started to help large canines in need of homes, was actually used by Life Partners’ founder and then-CEO Brian Pardo to evade taxes, taking an estimated $16 million out of the hands of investors, the trustee said in a lawsuit filed in bankruptcy court in Fort Worth.
The suit, filed March 11, is one of several brought in recent days seeking to recover funds for investors who the trustee says are victims of one of the biggest frauds in Texas history.
The dog operation didn’t always serve its stated purpose, abandoning 250 animals at another rescue operation, Camp Diggy Bones, in 2014, the trustee said, citing reports from other shelter owners. Instead of going into the charity, millions of dollars a year went for the personal use of Pardo’s mistress, who founded the rescue in 2005, the trustee said.
“Happy Endings’ failure to pay for the dogs allegedly in its care is further evidence of its failure to serve its true, charitable purpose,” the trustee, H. Thomas Moran II, said in the suit. He’s seeking to get money back from the shelter, Pardo and his mistress.
Brent Perry, a lawyer for Pardo, said the trustee’s suits have “little, if any, validity.”
“The trustee has sued almost everybody who ever got a dollar from Life Partners, and it’s all based on the same idea,” Perry said in a phone interview Monday.
Waco-based Life Partners, which sold shares in life insurance policies on the elderly and terminally ill, defrauded individual investors, Moran has said in court filings. The company filed for bankruptcy last year after getting hit with a $46 million court judgment on Securities and Exchange Commission charges that it filed false and misleading statements.