Valerie Sarofim Says She Was Taken to the Cleaners

The socialite sues to get back her investment from an alleged money launderer

Problem is, "They didn't pay the legal fees," says Todd.

In light of this, Sarofim and Todd decided to sue Wathne for the full amount owed if the initial investment had continued to double every fiscal quarter.

It's "quite a sum of money," says Todd, "and quite frankly the family is good for it. We're asking the court to award damages for fraud and teach (Wathne) a lesson..." Meanwhile, the Wathne family has filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York federal court seeking to bar Sarofim from suing them, stating the debt has already been paid.

Todd says Sarofim still has the money that the Wathnes wired her.

"If they'll take an interview," says Todd, "they'll probably be screaming mad."

The Wathnes' New York attorney, Bruce Turkle, declined to comment.

Todd says Stefan Wathne's arrest and Sarofim's lawsuit against the prominent family's business are already making for hot conversation on the New York society party circuit.

"The Wathne family is big time," says Todd, "and that's what makes this so bizarre. It makes you wonder why a person who's born into that much money would engage in that sort of conduct. A question for the ages, I guess."

chris.vogel@houstonpress.com

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