Describing the late billionaire’s daughter as a ‘scavenger’, a judge has rejected her demands for a $228 million share of her family’s estranged fortune.
Serene Warren, 55, was paid “only” $41 million from Judge Edward Wahl in Minneapolis last week and has been ordered to pay her own costs.
The ruling ended a five-year battle which Wahl described as a “tragic lawsuit”, and which saw Warren estranged from her late father, Mark Evenstadt’s brother Ken Evenstad, her only sibling.
Kane came from humble roots, trained as a pharmacist and made his fortune after purchasing the pharmaceutical company Upsher-Smith for $1,500 in 1969.
The company was taken to higher levels by Ken’s son – Sirin’s brother – after he became CEO in 2004.
He quadrupled the company’s value to $1.1 billion by the time it was sold in 2017, but Sirene — who has been a stay-at-home mom since 1994 — slammed after her brother earned a monetary reward for his hard work.
Serene Warren is pictured with her late father, Ken Evenstadt, in an undated photo. She just lost her bid to claim $228 million of her family’s fortune, after a Minneapolis judge ruled she did nothing to deserve it.
Serene’s brother Mark, pictured, helped quadruple the size of the family drug company Upsher-Smith so that it sold for $1.1 billion in 2017, but Serene moans when he takes an additional 1.5 percent stake, despite being based in Home mom since 1994
Mark Evenstadt is pictured at his late father’s vineyard named after his estranged sister Syrene, who has just lost her bid to claim a huge chunk of the fortune he helped make.
She did this despite receiving more than $328 million over her lifetime from her father, who died in 2020, and her mother, Grace.
The drama began after Ken decided to give Mark an additional 1.5 percent stake in 2014 as a reward for the huge success of the company.
Warren felt it was unfair for her brother to have extra stock, and the bad blood continued, even as their father was terminally ill.
In 2016, she cut off all contacts with her family.
In 2017, she called for the family business to be sold as a path towards her “financial independence”.
She owned 25 percent of the company at the time, worth nearly a quarter of a billion dollars.
In 2018, Warren sued her family for more than $75 million in bonuses paid to Ken and Mark Evenstadt, arguing that they unfairly reduced the value of the company and thus its stake.
An independent auditor found that the bonuses were fair, and indeed Ken and his son had been paid pittances over many years, due to the influence they had had on the previously small pharmaceutical company.
It hurts Warren to choose “this tragic litigation” rather than accept the settlement offered years earlier, which would have seen her walk away from $150 million, said Judge Edward Wahl, who presides over the court in Hennepin County.
Warren has been a stay-at-home mom since 1994, and her husband, Chris, 56, has not worked since 2004.
The couple lives in a stunning $3 million, five bed, five bath mansion overlooking Lake Minnetonka.
Still, Wahl said Warren developed a sense of “entitlement” to what she believed her parents owed her, according to the verdict she received. Star Tribune.
Wahl praised “the generosity of my father (Warren)”.
Ken was so devoted to his daughter that he named the famous Oregon vineyard he named after her – Domaine Serene, a popular tourist destination in the Willamette Valley.
Seren and her husband, Chris, live in this $3 million mansion in Minnesota. Chris has not worked since 2004
Serene and Ken are photographed at Domaine Serene – the famous winery in Oregon that he named in honor of his daughter
Ken is pictured with his wife, Grace, at Domaine Serene Vineyard in Oregon. It is named after their daughter, who was separated from both parents at the time of her father’s death in 2020
Wahl said it was sad that the family feud was being aired in public.
“The tragedy of this case is now compounded by the court’s duty to explain its decision in detail in a public forum,” Wahl said.
“The Court is not satisfied with having to set out in such a detailed manner what would probably have been best for all the principal players had it been resolved by private negotiation.”
In his ruling, Judge Wahl said Warren was in no position to assess how her father and brother were running the business.
He said Ken and his wife Grace, along with Mark, “all embody the characteristics of many successful, driven corporate executives” who work hard and gather the kind of knowledge that helps them make “tough business decisions.”
Serene Warren tried to stake a large claim against her family’s drug company, Upsher-Smith – but Judge Ken Wahl ruled that she had done nothing to support the family’s finances, and had no right to the amount she was seeking.
He added, “Serene and Chris, on the other hand, have chosen a different path.
“As a result of their life choices, Cyrene did not have the relevant practical experience, skills and knowledge that Ken, Grace and Mark possessed when the critical decision times in this litigation arose between 2016 and 2019.”
The judge said he could see why some decisions were “angry”, but failed to find that they were fraudulent.
Ken Everstad passed away in 2020 at the age of 77.
The case was sad, Wahl said, but it reflected the choices Warren had made.
“If Siren is disappointed that she may not end up with a large inheritance in addition to hundreds of millions in shareholder dividends, she has made decisions over the past six years that have consequences,” he said.