Phillies slugger Howard reaches settlement with his family over control of his finances



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ST. LOUIS — Phillies slugger Ryan Howard has settled a legal battle with his family over its management of his finances and business affairs.

Court documents filed in federal court in St. Louis show that RJH Enterprises, a firm set up to represent the former NL MVP's interests, and Howard's twin brother, Corey Howard, agreed to voluntarily dismiss the suit late last month after an out-of-court settlement was reached. No details were provided, and their attorneys didn't immediately return phone calls or emails from The Associated Press.

At issue is a consulting agreement that Corey Howard entered into with RJH Enterprises. When Ryan Howard took steps in July 2012 to terminate the agreement, effective one year later in July 2013, his brother sued. Ryan Howard, a St. Louis native and star athlete at Missouri State University star, then alleged fraud and mismanagement in a countersuit.

Corey Howard said that he worked for his brother for three years without a written contract before agreeing to a $92-per-hour consulting job that provided him a 5 percent commission on any marketing/business agreement he negotiated. The suit said that agreement stipulated that if the deal was terminated without cause before Dec. 31, 2026, that RJH would be responsible for the remainder of the contract.

But Ryan Howard alleged in a countersuit that his twin brother "engaged in a conspiracy" with relatives to defraud RJH.

The countersuit said Ryan Howard's father, Ron Howard, urged him to choose family instead of professionals to handle his personal affairs and operate RJH. His father acted as business manager, his mother, Cheryl as chief financial officer, Corey Howard as his personal assistant and other relatives performed other roles.

But the countersuit said Ryan Howard was concerned his family members were "attempting to enrich themselves at his expense" and that his twin "performed no significant services." His mother, Cheryl Howard, authorized nearly $2.8 million in payments from RJH to relatives, but Ryan Howard said in the suit that he didn't know the amount of the payments until he took over the finances of RJH in July 2012.

The counter-suit said that when Ryan Howard said he wanted to "have his family just be family," his father, Ron Howard, responded that he should receive $5 million himself and that Cheryl Howard should receive another $5 million.

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