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Final Accounting Ahead for David Howell Case

1 min read

The favorable ruling by the Internal Revenue Service has cleared the way for what may — please, Lord — be the final hearing in the eternal probate case of M. David Howell Jr. of Little Rock.

This case was opened on Oct. 30, 2002, a week after Howell died of a drug overdose in a Beverly Hills hotel just as his $84 million Ponzi scheme was unraveling back home.

On Dec. 18, Pulaski County Probate Judge Mary S. McGowan will hear estate administrator Robin Mays’ petition to pay all remaining costs and then distribute the balance of Howell’s estate — estimated at $472,800 — to his victims and other approved claimants.

“The goal is to close this puppy out before the end of the year,” said Stuart Hankins, the North Little Rock lawyer representing Mays and the estate.

The estate has filed income tax returns for 2002-11, according to the court filing, and the IRS has indicated that it will not ask for any changes on the final return, which calculated a taxable estate of negative $28.2 million.

After more than 11 years, 58 parties whose claims for $38.3 million were approved by the court have already split up $2 million and are expected to receive additional amounts ranging from $19 (Pulaski County Treasurer) to $68,253 (Robert Vogel of Little Rock).

In the end, they will receive about 6.5 cents for each dollar they were due.

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