Former Olympic Gymnastics Star Sues Financial Adviser
NEW YORK (AP) _ Mary Lou Retton, the Olympic gymnast who won a gold medal in 1984, claimed in a lawsuit filed Tuesday that her former accountant cheated her out of $1.4 million.
She is seeking the $1.4 million she says she lost plus $1.4 million in punitive damages.
Retton, 24, said in papers filed in federal court that George Teichner convinced her to put the money into a limited partnership, Bowling Arms Ltd., which owned a single apartment complex in Cary, N.C.
The lawsuit claimed Teichner wanted Retton to invest only so he could ″line his own pockets″ by receiving fees from the selling agent for Bowling Arms.
Reached at his home, Teichner said the lawsuit was ″a surprise to me.″
He said he did Retton’s taxes but didn’t act as her accountant or her financial adviser.
″I can’t even understand what this is all about,″ he said. He added that he couldn’t recall anything about Bowling Arms.
In 1985, Retton, then 17, bought 14 units of the partnership. Tuesday’s lawsuit called the investment a ″financial disaster″ that failed to generate promised returns and didn’t provide tax advantages because of a change in federal tax laws in 1986.
The investment caused her ″significant financial losses, mental anguish, extreme emotional distress and consequential damages,″ the lawsuit said.
Retton won the all-around gold medal in women’s gymnastics in the 1984 Olympics and helped the U.S. women win a team silver medal.