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Florida man seeks nearly $400K from Tony Hsieh estate for bus sales

Updated January 14, 2022 - 3:54 pm

A Florida man claims Tony Hsieh’s estate owes him nearly $400,000 for helping to sell 11 buses the Las Vegas tech mogul bought before his death, according to court papers filed Friday.

Don Calder, who court records indicate is from Plantation, Florida, filed a creditor’s claim for $396,259 in Hsieh’s probate case. According to court filings, Andrew Hsieh, Tony Hsieh’s brother who is helping oversee his estate, asked Calder to help sell 11 “newly purchased, fully custom, coach buses” that the tech mogul had ordered.

“Calder spent nine months working on this project and needs his invoiced paid for his services provided to the Estate,” Calder wrote in the claim.

Hsieh died on Nov. 26, 2020, at age 46 from injuries suffered in a Connecticut house fire. He was unmarried, did not leave a will and left a massive portfolio of real estate holdings.

In the final years of his life, Hsieh was malnourished, barely slept and suffered from hallucinations from ketamine and nitrous oxide use, his family has claimed. Hsieh’s erratic behavior described in court filings include “impulsive, poorly planned” or “incoherent” investments to turn Park City, Utah, into a “mecca for creatives.”

Other creditor’s claims in Hsieh’s probate case include a $40,000 claim for a custom “ceiling brain prototype, and a $12.5 million claim from a man who said he was to be paid $450,000 a year under a loosely defined job titled that included working on “random projects like koi fish or tree houses.”

According to the claim filed Friday, Calder was tasked with tracking down all of the buses that Hsieh purchased and determining how to cancel the orders without losing deposits Hsieh has paid. Calder helped negotiate deals to sell the 11 bus shells, plus two additional buses the estate owned, he wrote in court documents.

Calder wrote that the state owed “millions of dollars” for the buses that were being built before he canceled the projects.

Hsieh’s estate asked Calder to submit a $12,500 invoice for a “property management job” in St. George, Utah, where Calder was living and working for the estate. Calder wrote in the claim that the invoice “appeared to be an attempt by the estate to get out of compensation” related to the bus project.

Calder did not immediately respond to request for comment on Friday. Attorneys for Hsieh’s family also did not respond to request for comment.

According to emails accompanying Calder’s claim, Hsieh’s longtime assistant, Jennifer “Mimi” Pham had worked with multiple companies to purchase the buses for Hsieh.

Much of the legal battle over Hsieh’s estate had involved Pham, who had filed millions in creditor’s claims. This month, a settlement agreement was approved in which Pham and her boyfriend agreed to pay $750,000 to the estate instead of pursuing the claims.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.

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