Police Checking Lawsuits Against Investment Adviser Who Was Attacked

SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio (AP) - Police are checking into lawsuits filed against an investment adviser who was severely beaten by three attackers who broke into his suburban Cleveland mansion.

Kevin P. O'Donnell, 44, told police he was attacked by three men in his home last Wednesday. O'Donnell (pictured, right) said he was beaten and tied up before the intruders left with money, electronics and jewelry.

Police Chief Walter Ugrinic said officers would talk to many of the people who invested with O'Donnell and his father, former television financial adviser Neil O'Donnell.

Their company, O'Donnell Securities Corp., has been sued by around 100 clients for investments that went bad. There have been no arrests.

"The pieces of the puzzle are still coming together, but the pieces are not identifying who was there," the chief said.

Police are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of the intruders.

Lawyer Joel Levin filed three suits against the O'Donnells. He was upset that any of his clients might be considered suspects and said he couldn't imagine any of them attacking O'Donnell.

Christopher DeVito, a lawyer seeking $1.2 million from O'Donnell on behalf of a retired Medina County couple, said O'Donnell had directed his clients to aggressive technology investments.

"We really feel he didn't know his client base," DeVito said.

O'Donnell, who is recovering at home, said he has staples in his scalp to help heal wounds.

O'Donnell said most of the people who have sued are in the 48-54 age bracket and said he had invested in mutual funds for them.

"The number of litigants represent 5 percent of our clients," he told The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer for a story published Wednesday. "I understand the frustration with an ineffective market in the past 2½ years. Frankly, I didn't raise interest rates eight times in 2000. I didn't cause the presidential crisis. I didn't collapse the dot.coms. Sometimes things just happen."

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)