Trial Set Next Year in Fraud, Elder Abuse Lawsuit by Leo's Stereo Founder

Lawsuit form an a desk

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BEVERLY HILLS (CNS) - The 96-year-old founder of the Leo's Stereo chain will have a trial next year of his lawsuit against a woman he alleges misappropriated money and gave him wrong medication that caused him to be hospitalized for more than three weeks while acting as a caretaker for him and his wife.

Beverly Hills Superior Court Judge Edward B. Moreton, Jr. held a case management conference on Thursday in Leo David's case against 50-year-old Aurice Veloso, which alleges multiple causes of action that include fraud, elder abuse, defamation and both intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress. A final status conference is set for June 14, 2024, with trial scheduled 10 days later.

Veloso was hired in February 2011 to care for David, then 84, and his late wife, Ruth David, who was 90 years old at the time and suffering from advanced stages of Alzheimer's disease, David's suit states.

After Ruth David died in August 2020 at age 98, Veloso "engaged in egregious conduct to manipulate and take advantage of (David's) grief," David's suit filed Oct. 19 states. The alleged manipulation included misappropriating money and personal property from David, the suit contends.

David further alleges that Veloso intentionally administered him incorrect medication that caused drowsiness, "thus making it easier for (Veloso) to render care to and take advantage of (David)," the businessman's suit states.

David's health severally deteriorated and he was in critical condition at the hospital for more than three weeks, according to David's suit.

On March 16, Veloso was ordered to pay $4,000 in attorneys' fees to David concerning a countersuit Veloso filed against him but later withdrew. However, Veloso on Nov. 3 filed a separate suit against David, alleging she was vastly underpaid for hours worked caring for his elderly wife and that he wrongfully fired her in 2022. She also alleged her firing came in part due to her refusal to submit to sexual demands by David.

David's "scorched earth litigation strategy" has caused Veloso "heavy financial, psychological and emotional burdens I bear every day," according to Veloso's court papers, which further allege that her complaints about not being paid overtime owed to her also contributed to her losing her job.

Additionally, Veloso is opposing an effort by management at two companies she also sued, XCVI LLC and Construction for Less Inc., to obtain dismissal of claims she filed against the entities. Veloso asserts that the two firms, together with David, acted as her joint employers, controlling the terms of her employment and compensation as well as paying her wages. The companies deny they employed Veloso.

Attorneys representing the firms allege that there are multiple contradictions in Veloso's claims. They note that she maintains in her court papers that David controlled her employment, including her wages, hours, overtime, working conditions, duties and job responsibilities, and that she was fired in September because he believed she had blocked a contact on his iPhone.

However, elsewhere in her court papers she maintains she lost her job for reporting employment violations, according to the attorneys for the companies.

A hearing on the firms' motion is scheduled next week.

David made his fortune as owner of Leo's Stereo, which at its peak was a chain of 45 consumer electronics stores offering home audio equipment and car stereos and speakers. The company filed for bankruptcy in 1991.

David claims to have cash assets of $50 million and real estate holdings, a private jet and other holdings worth many more millions of dollars, according to Veloso's suit.

Along with the Los Angeles residence David shared with his late wife, David also maintained dwellings at the Balboa Yacht Club, the Palm Valley Country Club in Palm Desert, a Wilshire Marquis penthouse, a yacht and a private jet, the Veloso suit states.

Veloso, a certified medical assistant, was hired in December 2009 to care for Ruth David, whose physical and mental abilities declined to the point she eventually needed 24-hour assistance before she died, the Veloso suit states.

In February 2011, David changed Veloso's work status to state she was a customer service employee of XCVI, a clothing manufacturer and retailer, even as she continued being his wife's caregiver, the suit states. David's work demands for Veloso increased over time, but her pay did not, the Veloso suit alleges.

"She often worked around the clock for many days straight," the Veloso suit states.

When Veloso complained about not being paid for overtime, David allegedly told the plaintiff, "You have to be thankful you have this job, you're a poor girl from the jungle."

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