SERENA Williams’ debt-ridden stepmother is due to appear in court again next week in a desperate bid to keep the tennis ace’s childhood home, which she allegedly ‘stole’ from her husband ‘King Richard’.
Lakeisha Williams’ financial woes are getting much worse as her estranged spouse, legendary tennis coach Richard, has vowed to file an elder abuse lawsuit after he was allegedly shaved from his $1.4 million home in a complex stabbing operation .
Now The US Sun can reveal that Richard is not the only victim of elder abuse in this whole sad saga.
Former Miami stripper Lakeisha, 44, has been accused of luring the frail Richard, 81, out of the home the Williams family has owned since 1995, when he bought it with Serena’s mother, Oracene.
Lakeisha admits to forging his signature on the title deeds to put the property in her name, which she claims Richard knew about, and taking out a $255,000 loan with “hard lender” David Simon, which she was unable to repay and the amount now stands at over $600,000 including interest and legal fees.
The case has been in court since 2017, with the final hearing scheduled for next Thursday, May 4th.
Lakeisha is currently hiding in the four-bed mansion in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., with her aunt Betty Downing, with whom she has worked for over a decade on numerous failed deals and disastrous real estate projects that led to foreclosure, court documents claim.
Her accomplice Downing was charged with two counts of first-degree grand larceny and the exploitation of an elderly person for over $100,000, which can carry a 30-year prison sentence in Florida.
Downing, 60, was arrested by Broward County Police and is now on trial for allegedly paying at least three sums totaling $165,000 and $8,000 a month from Ruth and Leon Wright, ages 90 and 91 respectively decreased over a three year period from January 2010 after becoming their live-in carer.
She reportedly spent the money to buy two houses and a car.
Both Lakeisha and Downing appear to be playing by the same manual, as Downing’s case has been dragged through the courts for a decade, with the Wrights’ son Bruce accusing them of delaying tactics.
Arresting Officer Detective Nora Schwartz said in an affidavit: “Victim Ruth Wright is 90 years old with Alzheimer’s disease and is incapable of consent; Victim Leon Wright is 91 years old, uses a wheelchair and has impaired memory and is unable to answer basic questions accurately.
“Defendant is a live-in caregiver for the elderly couple and is paid $8,000 a month for her services; however, within the last six months, the defendant has received funds in excess of $100,000 from the victim’s account, primarily in the form of checks made out to her or her business.
“Furthermore, the defendant bought two houses with the victims’ money and placed both in the name of her company. The defendant admitted to using the victims’ funds for her bills and personal use, as well as for the victims’ bills and groceries.
The defendant stated that she received gifts of $40,000 and $25,000 from victim Leon in the past, which she used for her children’s college.
“The defendant has also pointed out that the victim Leon willingly gave her all that money and knew what he was doing. She shared that she also received POA [power of attorney] only last month, when the exploitation allegations were first raised.
“The defendant, who was in a position of trust and had a business relationship with the elderly couple, knowingly obtained and used, through deception, the funds, assets and property of the listed elderly.”
According to the sheriff’s report, when social workers and police officers questioned Leon, he did not know the president’s name, his son’s name, or how to dial 911 in an emergency.
Downing told investigators Leon asked her to invest his money and she bought two houses and is working on a third to “repair and rent out the houses and put the rent money into Leon Wright’s bank account,” the reports said documents .
Downing knew Leon had three bank accounts and said one had $900,000 in it.
She has since been out on $57,500 bail, and the case has stalled in Broward County Criminal Court because the victims have since died.
Leon Wright’s son Bruce, a New York insurance attorney, says Downing is using “excuses” to delay the case. He was due to testify in person last June but asked to do so via video link as he was traveling to Las Vegas on business at the time.
He added in a court document, “I was asked to testify on this matter more than once a year for many years, and each time I scheduled time in addition to my professional work and personal life to travel to Florida and testify, and each time.” I was informed shortly before the scheduled trial date that the trial was being postponed because the defendant or her attorney had provided an excuse for such a postponement.”
The next court date is April 25.
Downing is currently hiding with Lakeisha in a small outbuilding on the grounds of Richard’s former home, which is said to be in such a state of disrepair as a result of Lakeisha’s negligence that it’s worth half its $1.4 million value.
Richard’s son Chavoita Lesane said: “As far as I know Lakeisha now lives in what we call the ‘dog kennel’ next to the main house. My dad converted a clubhouse into a small studio and I’m told she lives there with Betty. They’re just playing games.”
They are preparing an elder abuse lawsuit as they allege Lakeisha sold several of his vehicles and cashed his Social Security checks behind his back, court documents claim.
Chavoita said, “I can’t remember how long it was in the relationship when my dad started having financial headaches like, ‘What’s wrong with my Social Security checks?’
“Lakeisha took the Mercedes, she took the bus, she took money, what else was it? The motorcycle.
“We just put everything together, it’s a lot. This whole situation was frustrating.”