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Beverley Schottenstein Shares Story Of Elder Abuse

Beverley Schottenstein (left) with her granddaughter Cathy Schottenstein Pattap in 2006.
Cathy Schottenstein Pattap
Beverley Schottenstein (left) with her granddaughter Cathy Schottenstein Pattap in 2006.

Beverley Schottenstein, matriarch of the Central Ohio family that built DSW, American Eagle and Big Lots, is sharing her story of elder financial abuse in the hopes it will prevent similar crimes from happening in the future.

Schottenstein says two of her grandsons mismanaged an $80 million fund. Although the account didn’t lose money, she argues they left her out of the loop and made decisions that weren’t in her best interest.

“He said, 'I’m too busy, I can’t talk to you now,' that’s the remarks I got all the time. There was never a good conversation. That annoyed me very much. I never knew what the heck I had,” Schottenstein said on WOSU's All Sides with Ann Fisher.

In an arbitration ruling earlier this month, financial regulators ordered her grandsons and the firm J.P. Morgan, where the two brothers worked, to repay millions. The firm has fired both Avi and Evan Schottenstein.

Beverley Schottenstein says she’s no longer in contact with that part of the family.

“I thought these were my grandsons and they want the best for me, but they wouldn’t talk to me,” Schottenstein says.

Her granddaughter, Cathy Schottenstein Pattap, is now writing a book about the ordeal. 

Through their attorney, Avi and Evan Schottenstein declined invitations to appear on All Sides. A statement from their attorney said, "Although a fraction of the over $69 million sought by Claimant, our clients are disappointed by the result and believe it is not justified by the facts or the law.  The award is inconsistent with the substantial evidence presented at the hearing which showed that over the entire time Evan Schottenstein served as his grandmother’s financial advisor, Mrs. Schottenstein’s accounts profited by more than $30 million."

Nick Evans was a reporter at WOSU's 89.7 NPR News. He spent four years in Tallahassee, Florida covering state government before joining the team at WOSU.