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Zygi Wilf and family decry "anti-wealth bias"

Zygi and company would have you believe being rich ain't easy.
Zygi and company would have you believe being rich ain't easy.

It's not exactly breaking news, but Zygi Wilf and his family are stinkin' rich.

They don't want you to know exactly how rich they are, however. And in a court filing where they make their case as to why their net worth shouldn't be publicly revealed, their attorneys argued that the same judge who blasted them for demonstrating "bad faith and evil motive" in bilking their New Jersey business partners harbors an "anti-wealth bias" clouding her judgment.

The argument is basically that if that judge Deanne Wilson didn't have it out for rich people, the Wilfs would never have been ordered to make their net worth public in the first place.

Last month, Wilson ordered the Wilfs to pay $84.5 million in damages as a result of the suit brought against them by the aggrieved business partners. As part of her ruling, she ordered the Wilfs to disclose their net worth, but gave them the opportunity to appeal that ruling. The court filing in question articulates the rationale behind their appeal.

"[B]eing wealthy provides [the Wilfs] with some business advantages... [but] none of the Wilfs is seeking special treatment," the filing says (via the Star Tribune). "Just because the Wilfs are involved in businesses that attract attention, such as owning a National Football League team, and successful real estate developments, they should not be forced to reveal private financial information that others working in less public endeavors would not be required to reveal."

"A number of American families have been targeted and put in harm's way -- through home invasions, kidnappings and extortion attempts -- due solely to public knowledge of their financial resources," the document continues.

As for Wilson, the Wilfs' attorneys argue she "embraced an anti-wealth bias that gave undue weight to public curiosity. [The] trial court repeatedly commented that wealthy individuals like the Wilfs who work in a business that has high visibility must accept unwarranted invasions of privacy."

On the other hand, attorneys representing the bilked business partners argue the family has "utterly failed" to provided anything other than "conjecture" in attempting to make the case that their financial information should remain private.

Let me play a sad song on the world's smallest violin for you, Wilf family. And if you'd like to make your lives easier by unloading some of that burdensome wealth, my contact information is at the bottom of this post. Hit me up.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.


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