On the CLAIM  by Lisa Marie Presley regarding the salary allegedly paid to Priscilla Presley by EPE:
Lisa Marie Presley alleges in her 2018 action against Barry Siegel [Paragraph 31] that he, “allowed (and, in fact, lobbied) for EPE to pay Lisa’s mother (and the co-Trustee of the Trust) a salary of $900,000 per year, even though Lisa’s mother has no ownership in EPE (nor was she performing any sort of executive-level work to justify the salary). Siegel failed to disclose these facts to Lisa and he did not negotiate the same salary benefit for Lisa.”
If EPE was paying Priscilla Presley this salary, how did Lisa Marie Presley not know about it until this 2018 lawsuit? If she did know about it, why did she wait until 2018 to address the situation? Note that in Mr. Siegel’s response to the allegations he denies the allegations in Paragraph 31 outright.
Note: Lisa Marie refers to her mother in this 2018 document as the co-Trustee of the Promenade Trust, though the wording could also refer to Priscilla Presley’s position as co-Trustee prior to March 2016. The time frame of this salary paid to Priscilla Presley “per year” does not mention when this salary began.
The wording in this paragraph suggests that Lisa Marie may not have been bothered so much by Priscilla’s salary, but perhaps by the fact that her salary was not on par with Priscilla’s. (“Salary benefit” seems to be a purposely vague term.)
Why did Priscilla Presley not tell Lisa Marie about this salary? Why did no one at EPE tell Lisa Marie about this salary? How does a non-employee (employee?) get paid a huge salary for doing [whatever Priscilla Presley was paid to do] and the former Chairman of the company, with presumably continued ties to the company, doesn’t know about it? How is this possible?
What exactly is Priscilla Presley’s business relationship with EPE in this situation?
Think about it: this part of the legal action is telling us that EPE was paying Priscilla Presley $900,000 in annual salary, and not only did Lisa Marie not know about this salary, but over the course of some indeterminate period of time, mother and daughter not once discussed this matter. This is impossible to accept at face value.
Before filing this action did Lisa Marie’s attorneys perform the due diligence to figure out why there was such a huge disparity between the salary paid to Lisa Marie and the salary paid to Priscilla Presley, who according to this document “has no ownership in EPE” and did not “[perform] any sort of executive-level work to justify the salary”?
What would Priscilla Presley’s work entail to be paid $900,000 per year in salary?
Was Barry Siegel also providing financial advisory services to Priscilla Presley? If that was the case, was there a conflict of interest question to consider?
Returning to the question of Lisa Marie Presley’s signature on the 2018 filing (discussed here), there is another key reference to Priscilla Presley as “the co-Trustee of the Trust” in this document, even though there is now the open question of whether Lisa Marie removed Priscilla from that position in March 2016. However, there are other “errors” like this in the same filing, and there is no clear evidence that Lisa Marie Presley signed the Verification statement in this 2018 document.
[It is worth noting that in questioning why EPE was paying Priscilla Presley $900,000 per year in salary, LMP was taking an adversarial position with EPE, and is it reasonable to assume that she could have resolved this specific matter outside of a lawsuit.]
Finally, there is a critical issue to look at in this case:
In the 2018 filing, Lisa Marie Presley alleges that, “Over the course of the next 11 years [2005 to 2016], the Trustee of her Trust, Barry J. Siegel, would dissipate her wealth through his reckless and negligent mismanagement, and self-serving ambition, leaving her millions of dollars in debt.”
Now, the wording here is important: Barry Siegel, the Defendant in this case, and up until March 2016 the co-Trustee of Lisa Marie’s Trust, is alleged to have “dissipated” Lisa Marie’s wealth through “reckless and negligent mismanagement,” as well as “self-serving ambition,” actions that resulted in Lisa Marie being left “millions of dollars in debt.” But who was the co-Trustee during this same time period (or at minimum from 2010 to 2016, keeping the timeline simple)? The co-Trustee was Priscilla Presley. The Defendant in this action is Barry Siegel, but if he is named as the sole person who caused Lisa Marie to lose all this money, in his position as co-Trustee, then why isn’t Priscilla Presley also named in this section of the action? (Note that in this one paragraph Siegel is referred to as the sole Trustee, singular, not as co-Trustee, which is the term used elsewhere.) If one co-Trustee caused so much financial destruction, where was the other co-Trustee? In the January 27, 2010, restatement of the Trust, we find the following:
“I, Lisa Marie Presley, as Trustor (hereinafter referred to a “Settlor”), established The Promenade Trust dated January 29, 1993, of which Barry J. Siegel and Priscilla Presley are the Trustees…”
So, from 2010 to 2016, Siegel was a co-Trustee, meaning he shared the position with Priscilla Presley, who was the other co-Trustee. From the wording in this paragraph, and according to the allegation, it would appear that as co-Trustee Barry Siegel was responsible for Lisa Marie’s financial woes, but nowhere is Priscilla Presley mentioned. What role did she play in her daughter’s Trust? Was one co-Trustee permitted to do whatever he/she wanted, and the other co-Trustee was left in the dark? If the responsibilities of the Trustee positions are shared, then both co-Trustees would share the responsibility for the allegations Lisa Marie makes in this paragraph. Otherwise, why have two co-Trustees?
Why is Priscilla Presley’s name missing from this paragraph?
Consider the following (from milvidlaw.com):
Is naming co-trustees a good idea?
Appointing co-trustees may seem like a good choice for many reasons. For example: Having two trustees can act as a safeguard, since there is a second person with access to records and responsibility for management and monitoring. In theory, having two trustees reduces the burden on each, since the work is shared.
“Management and monitoring.”
It is obvious, then, that Priscilla Presley shared the responsibilities for the Trust with Siegel. And yet, no mention of her in this part of her daughter’s legal action against Siegel.
So, why was Priscilla Presley ever named as a co-Trustee, if she didn’t “manage and monitor”? And as a co-Trustee, why doesn’t she bear some of the responsibility for this alleged “reckless and negligent mismanagement”?