“Happy Days” producer William S. Bickley and his production company obtained a default judgment of almost $15 million against a longtime business manager who he alleged stole money while engaging in a pattern of deception to advance his own interests.
The $14.9 million judgment in favor of Bickley and against Kenneth Cleveland and his company, Recome Financial Inc., was signed Feb. 27 by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge William Fahey. The underlying damages were $6 million, but the amount was increased when interest was added.
“I think the judgment was the correct one and that it reflects what happened here,” Bickley’s attorney, Roger Golden, said today.
Cleveland worked as Bickley’s business manager for more than two decades and the two had grown up together in Texas and been friends for nearly 50 years, according to Golden’s court papers.
“In that capacity, Cleveland controlled plaintiffs’ bank accounts from which he stole millions of dollars, all the while assuring William that his financial affairs were in order and he was economically set for life,” Golden stated in his court papers.
Cleveland’s certification as a CPA was suspended in 2009 and his license as an investment adviser was revoked in 2005, but Bickley was not aware of those developments until later, Golden’s court papers state.
Bickley also was involved in the development and production of such shows as “The Love Boat,” “Family Matters,” “Step by Step” and “Perfect Strangers.”
—City News Service