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The tangled web a Halloween costume titan weaved

Brian Blatherwick may not be a name that seems familiar, but those who love to dress up for Halloween has likely donned the costumes and accoutrements his company has manufactured.

Blatherwick launched Seasons from his living room with the help of his wife Barbara. The home-based enterprise is now a $50 million global company that employs more than 4,000 people. The company has licenses with Warner Bros., DC Comics and Nickelodeon to create character costumes for both children and adults.

In addition to his wife, Blatherwick built his business by surrounding himself with several friends who became associates and partners. Once the team was assembled, Brian established his company in layers. Shares and profits were divided and subdivided. Registration in foreign jurisdictions and offshore banking allowed Blatherwick to sidestep taxes, hide assets and keep secrets.

His partners enjoyed full disclosure while his wife felt the brunt of his countless untruths, financial and otherwise. The “brotherhood of trust” was strongly unified behind their leader who wanted to shield as much money as he could from not only tax authorities, but also his wife.

After four decades of marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Blatherwick decided to divorce. The dissolution was fodder for tabloids and ripped from the pages of an eighties prime time soap opera script. The story told in court recounted affairs with young girlfriends, a secret second family and numerous offshore bank accounts.

After Brian promised Barbara that she would see nothing from the business, she “lawyered up.”

She contacted John Cox, an attorney known for handling complicated divorces involving significant finances. He knew he needed to act fast as the money would likely disappear sooner rather than later.

After securing a court order freezing Brian’s assets to prevent him and his “brotherhood” from moving or disposing of his hidden millions, Cox was also able to secure his laptop. With the help of associates, the lawyer cobbled together secret records of nine corporations registered in five countries.

Discovery Bay was one of those corporations. It was registered in British Virgin Islands and moved money through a Singapore-based bank. Cox traced $8.9 million transferred through the company in five years.

Upon the finalization of the Blatherwick divorce, Brian was ordered to pay $10 million to his wife of 40 years. He refused, not even flinching when a judge ordered him to serve six months in jail if he didn’t pay.

After his release, he remained steadfast and was again found in contempt. However, this time he would not have his brotherhood at his side as they have abandoned him as well.

He has until August 4 to write that long-awaited check.

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