Nancy L. Sponseller

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Legal battle ensues with Ohio businessman

On behalf of Law Office of Nancy L. Sponseller posted on Thursday, June 19, 2014.

After being dissatisfied with her divorce settlement, an Ohio woman is making serious allegations against her ex-spouse, including fraud. The lawsuit alleges that the husband used unfair dealing to manipulate terms related to their property division and divorce settlement in an attempt to give the wife less than she was owed of the marital estate.

The couple wed in 1994 and had three children together. The wife filed for divorce in 2007, but withdrew the case until filing it again in 2010. The husband is a McDonald’s franchise owner. He purchased his first restaurant in 1967, followed a few years later by the purchase of five restaurants. By the time he married his second wife, he had 16 restaurants in Stark County alone. However, he sold four of the restaurants in 2007 for approximately $11.5 million.

The former couple entered into binding mediation in 2010. The mediator determined that the husband would retain the businesses, but he also ruled that the wife would get half of the appreciated value of the companies during the marriage, about $3.8 million. However, the problem arose with the disposition of other real property owned by the couple. The mediator ordered the former couple to auction off the residential and commercial properties and split the proceeds if they did not sell within a year of being listed. However, the wife alleges that the husband conspired to have acquaintances purchase the properties for prices well below market value and then resell them to him at a discounted rate. The businessman’s first wife made similar allegations in 1997 and won her lawsuit.

A person who is concerned about getting his or her fair share of the marital estate is advised to seek the advice of a family law attorney. There may be options that are available in their case to ensure that they are not defrauded of an equitable portion of the property division.

Source:, “Cecchinis’ divorce turns into legal tug of war“, Matthew Rink , June 07, 2014