Creditor’s claims filed in a Las Vegas court shed more light on Tony Hsieh’s self-described “right-hand” person’s bid for money she said the Zappos founder owed her, according to a recent report.
Jennifer “Mimi” Pham, Hsieh’s former assistant and friend, filed the creditor’s claims on Wednesday arguing for the more than $9 million she says she is owed, local station KLAS-TV reported, citing the court documents.
In February, the Las Vegas Review-Journal was first to report Pham’s pair of lawsuits – submitted weeks apart – against the estate of Hsieh, who died in November after a fire in New London, Connecticut.
In the most recent lawsuit filed last month in Nevada’s Clark County District Court, Pham argued that Hsieh had asked her to help him navigate a new venture in the documentary business through his company, Pickled Entertainment, LLC, according to the report. The pair signed a contract on Aug. 26, 2020, in which Pham, through her company, Mr. Taken, LLC, would “provide to [Hsieh’s] Company certain management and administrative support services,” according to court papers shared online by the Review-Journal.
But Richard and Andrew Hsieh, Tony’s relatives and administrators of his estate, allegedly suspended the business contract on Jan. 29, 2021, in a notice that “further directed that Mr. Taken, LLC, was therefore not permitted to communicate with third parties on behalf of Pickled Entertainment, LLC or to engage with counsel or other representatives of Pickled Entertainment,” according to the complaint.
According to Pham, Hsieh had also hired her to oversee his Park City, Utah, property, dubbed “Big Moose Yacht Club,” for which she would manage space rentals and guests and had at one point worked with the city to secure a business license, according to the report. Much like that with Mr. Taken, the contract was cut short after Hsieh’s death.
Pham’s earlier suit, which was filed on Jan. 20, alleged she had been contracted employees for Hsieh a company she co-managed, Baby Monster, LLC, and was, in turn, owed hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Lawyers for Pham described her in both lawsuits as being Hsieh’s “assistant, right hand person, and friend for the seventeen years preceding his death,” according to the documents. A spokesperson for Hsieh’s family declined to comment when contacted by Fox News.
Wednesday’s creditor’s claim described how Pham – a “manager and a member of Mr. Taken, LLC” – was owed 10% of an anticipated $75 million profit, the report states.
It also details how another of Pham’s companies, called Rove & Whim, LLC, was hired to work on “personal assistance services” and “project related services” for $30,000 each day, according to the report.
Hsieh, 46, died on Nov. 27, 2020, nine days after a fire broke out at the New London, Connecticut, home where he and his friends, including his brother, were staying.
Late last month, investigators released several hypotheses surrounding the cause of the blaze, which ignited in the home’s pool room shortly before 3:30 a.m. Hsieh was “trapped” in the pool room, the investigation report states, by shed doors that were “locked with a single keypad deadbolt style lockset.”
Hsieh had been staying in the shed-like room after he and the homeowner and his rumored girlfriend, Rachael Brown, had an argument at roughly 11:30 p.m. the night before. She asked him to leave the property until they departed for Maui, and Hsieh relocated to the pool room.
It took six minutes from the first firetruck to arrive on scene for responders to get to Hsieh, the report notes. When firefighters found him, he was “in a supine position on a blanket” inside the shed.
Hsieh was rushed to an area hospital, but ultimately could not be saved. His death was deemed accidental and caused by complications from smoke inhalation, officials previously said.
Authorities reportedly do not believe there was criminality involved, but said the cause of the fire is so far undetermined. Investigators identified four possible hypotheses, including that the “misuse of candles started this fire,” careless disposal of smoking materials, or “an intentional act by Hsieh.”