Dallas Morning News: Ted Skokos Sued by Business Partner Over Investment

Hat tip to the Arkansas Times blog for sharing the latest chapter in the saga of Theodore C. "Ted" Skokos Sr., a lawyer and former chairman of the Arkansas State Bank Board who sold his Aloha Partners company (and its valuable portfolio of wireless spectrum licenses) to AT&T in 2008.

The Times notes that Skokos, who now lives in Dallas, is in the Dallas Morning News today, sued by a business associate over an investment dispute:

New York attorney Arthur N. Abbey claimed in a federal lawsuit that Skokos tricked him into an investment that lost money but allowed Skokos to pocket a large profit for himself.

Abbey is claiming fraud, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty.

Skokos and his wife, Shannon, are best known in Dallas for their $10 million gift to the AT&T Performing Arts Center. The stage at the Winspear Opera House and the pavilion at Annette Strauss Square are both named after them.

Skokos could not be reached for comment.

You can read the full Morning News Story here.

Longtime Arkansas Business readers will remember our coverage of Skokos, who got tangled up with former Little Rock tax attorney and lemur-lover Keith Moser, who is serving a federal prison sentence after pleading guilty to 13 felony counts in May 2005 in connection with stealing client funds.

Skokos' son, Teddy Skokos Jr., had been an associate in Moser's Little Rock law firm, Jewell & Moser. When Ted Skokos sold his early cellphone company in Little Rock, Cellular One, in 1996, Ted hired Moser for tax advice. Among the crimes Moser ultimately pleaded guilty to was defrauding the federal government by making it appear that Skokos' gain on the Cellular One sale was much smaller than it was. Ted Skokos said he just followed his tax lawyer's advice; he was never charged with any crime.

Arkansas Business also reported extensively how Ted, Teddy and accountant Lance Talkington together operated a company called Clearwater Consulting Concepts LLC in the U.S. Virgin Islands, a known tax haven that state tax officials investigated beginning in 2004.

In that coverage of the USVI investigation, Arkansas Business also noted another Ted Skokos company, 3F Therapeutics Inc. That firm, a medical devices company, is at the heart of Skokos' current dispute in Dallas.

According to the Dallas Morning News, the business partner suing Skokos, Arthur N. Abbey, is also suing Harold Asher,

a Louisiana accountant who Abbey claims provided an analysis, “unreasonable and factually insupportable,” that justified Skokos’ actions. According to the complaint, Asher was involved in a 2003 lawsuit in a Louisiana federal court with similar allegations against him.

In other words, Abbey says Skokos again relied on bad advice from a third party.