The courtroom was ablaze in blue suits. Lawyers packed the place along with their bag handlers. A psychiatrist was there and his conservator and a forensic accountant put in an appearance.
There's no telling how much Wednesday's emergency hearing cost Edward Abbott Ravenscroft. I figure at least $3,000 an hour for a hearing that lasted six hours – not counting three or four hours the next day when Ravenscroft's various court-appointed protectors met yet again.
All this to determine how to prevent him from being exploited.
To date, Ravenscroft has no clue how much all this court-ordered protection has cost him. He asked several months ago and says he was told then that they'd already spent over $500,000. He figures the tab is now nearing a million dollars but there's no way to know. Court rules allow those billing Ravenscroft – a cast of thousands, it seems -- to put off disclosing just how much they've collected from him for more than a year.
The 49-year-old Scottsdale millionaire has been under the watchful eye of Maricopa County Probate Court since January 2009 after a series of drug arrests raised questions about his mental health and his vulnerability given the size of his bank account.
No doubt Ravenscoft needed help last year. Now, he's been clean for seven months and he wants to regain control over his life and his bankbook.
The operative word, being his.
Probate court's hold over Ravenscroft was set to expire on Friday which was the reason for Wednesday's emergency hearing.
Sun Valley Group requested the hearing, asking to continue as Ravenscroft's conservator. Attorney Alisa Gray explained that the millionaire's complex finances – and the possibility that he's been exploited by a bank and a real-estate firm -- warrants Sun Valley's continued oversight.
But the driving force behind Wednesday's hearing was the fact that Ravenscroft went out and hired himself an attorney who then filed a federal RICO suit against Sun Valley and several of his former probate protectors. (With the exception of Sun Valley, all of those being sued have withdrawn from his probate case.) The lawsuit was filed despite the fact that he was deemed “incapacitated” by a probate judge and thus shouldn't have been able to sue his protectors without the permission of his protectors.
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Probate Court Extends Its Hold Over Scottsdale Millionnaire
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