Village Halloween Parade organizers sued for allegedly misusing donations
NYC's Village Halloween Parade is being sued by longtime donor Frank "SuperFrank" Copsidas, Jr, for allegedly misusing donations and "leaving the event at risk of financial ruin," Page Six reports. In a complaint filed with the New York Supreme Court on Monday (11/26), SuperFrank claims that nearly $300,000 donated to the parade is being held as a "retirement fund" for secretary and parade artistic and producing director Jeanne Fleming. Other donations, he says, have been funneled towards Hudson Valley, NY's Sinterklaas! festival, which Fleming also runs. In addition, SuperFrank's complaint says the parade hadn't obtained the right insurance for itself and its volunteers.
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The complaint alleges: “Ms. Fleming explained to SuperFrank that she had lent money to the Organization over the years and that it owed her a huge debt.
“However, after looking into the Organization’s finances to determine the amount of the debt to Ms. Fleming, SuperFrank was unable to find any amount paid by Ms. Fleming to the Organization. Rather, the Organization had paid Ms. Fleming between $20,000.00 and almost $50,000.00 per year between 2007 and 2016 for a total of $311,000.00 during that period.
“Ms. Fleming did not stop there. When SuperFrank told her that he was unable to find any loans on the books from her to the Organization she became combative and accused him of trying to ‘screw her out of her money.’”
When SuperFrank confronted Fleming, the suit says she attempted to sell control of the non-profit to him in November 2017. He then voiced his concerns to board chair Richard Aldrich — who claimed SuperFrank was not, in fact, a board member.
SuperFrank's attorney Peter Scoolidge told PageSix that Fleming asked SuperFrank to join the board of directors in September of 2017.
"I grew up with the Parade and it's in my DNA," SuperFrank told PageSix. "My goal with this case is to ensure the continued success of the Parade in decades to come with a responsible board." His legal complaint concludes, "SuperFrank now brings this derivative action to save the Parade from financial ruin so that it can continue to be enjoyed by millions of New Yorkers."