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Utah company files $19M creditor’s claim against Tony Hsieh’s estate

Updated November 30, 2021 - 1:20 pm

A Utah limited liability company filed a $19 million creditor’s claim against Tony Hsieh’s estate on Monday regarding a film studio space the Las Vegas tech mogul rented in Park City, Utah, just before his death.

Gary Crandall, whose lawyers filed the claim in Hsieh’s probate case, owns the company, Quinn Capital Partners, which operates Utah Film Studios in the wealthy ski town.

In November 2020, the film studio ended its lease early with a Paramount production company known as “Yellowstone” so that Hsieh’s limited liability company, PC Studios, could move into the space.

Hsieh’s and Crandall’s companies were negotiating terms of a letter of credit for the space when Hsieh died at age 46 on Nov. 27, 2020, from injuries he suffered in a Connecticut house fire.

He was unmarried and did not leave a will. Hsieh’s father, Richard, and brother Andrew are overseeing his estate, and more than $150 million in creditor’s claims have been filed in the probate case.

According to Mondays’ court filing, Hsieh’s company failed to pay rent or provide the letter of credit after the former Zappos CEO’s death. PC Studios also hosted “several licensees in the space” and collected rent before the company voluntarily vacated the studio, Crandall’s lawyers claim.

Hsieh’s company had agreed to lease the film studio for five years at $250,000 a month, in addition to other charges.

The film studio is owed damages up to $19 million, “resulting from detrimentally relying on Hsieh’s personal representations” and PC Studios’ breach of the lease, Crandall’s lawyers, Michael Olsen and Thomas Grover, wrote in the complaint.

In April, the film studio filed a lawsuit against PC Studios in Utah. According to the April suit, PC Studios owed the company $1.75 million, including rent payments and fees Crandall’s company paid to market the studio to other tenants.

The Utah suit also requested a court order for Hsieh’s company to provide a $6 million letter of credit.

Crandall’s lawyers declined to comment on Tuesday.

In previous court filings, Hsieh’s relatives have described his alarming behavior in the year leading to his death, including drug use and delusional thinking. The legal battle over Hsieh’s estate also has featured allegations that people close to Hsieh took advantage of him financially as his health spiraled downward.

Much of the legal battle over Hsieh’s estate involves Jennifer “Mimi” Pham, who, in court filings by her lawyers, was described as Hsieh’s assistant, right-hand person and friend for 17 years.

She also has filed more than $130 million in creditor’s claims, the largest of which, at $75 million, is the “anticipated profit” from Hsieh’s venture in the documentary-movie streaming service Documentary+ that launched this past January.

Pham’s lawyers on Nov. 21 filed notices of intent to serve subpoenas seeking information on Hsieh’s dealings with people in Hollywood, including Joseph Gordon-Leavitt and David Arquette.

They’re seeking communications of documentation of Hsieh’s planned or executed investment in Gordon-Leavitt’s company HitRecord.org LLC, a “documentary project based on Bozo the Clown,” and the two actors’ concerns for Hsieh’s “mental health or perceived drug addiction.”

The subpoenas also are seeking documentation or “any financial or monetary benefit” regarding Arquette introducing Hsieh to the heads of a documentary-movie streaming service.

Also on Monday, the California-based Weintraub Tobin Chediak Coleman Grodin Law Corporation filed a creditor’s claim in Hsieh’s probate case seeking $15,509.50, court records show.

It is for services rendered to Hsieh before he died. An itemized list of services included in the claim consists of telephone calls, emails and the review of documents related to Hsieh’s various projects throughout November 2020.

The law firm did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday. Hsieh’s lawyers also did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Other creditor’s claims in Hsieh’s probate case include a $40,000 claim for a custom “ceiling brain prototype;” an $8.7 million claim from a Texas-based travel, fitness and wellness company for consulting work; and a transcript of Hsieh hiring someone for $450,000 a year under a loosely defined job title including working on “random projects like koi fish or tree houses.”

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

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