They say money can't buy happiness. As one Salt Lake City company sees things, it doesn't buy a sense of humor, either.
Lawyers for Gary Winnick, the former chairman of Global Crossing Ltd., who made more than half a billion dollars before the onetime Beverly Hills company filed for bankruptcy protection, recently sent a cease-and-desist letter to the publisher of a "Shareholder's Most Wanted" deck of cards. In it, Winnick was the ace of hearts.
Salt Lake City stockbroker Lynn Brandenburg modeled his deck of tycoons and stock analysts after the playing cards depicting the Pentagon's most-wanted officials from Saddam Hussein's Iraq.
No one else in the $9.99 deck has asked to be removed, Brandenburg's lawyer said Thursday. Other aces are former WorldCom Inc. Chief Executive Bernard J. Ebbers, former Enron Corp. CEO Kenneth L. Lay and former Tyco International Ltd. CEO L. Dennis Kozlowski.
But Winnick thought he had been dealt a bad hand.
In a June 26 letter, Winnick's attorney, Patricia L. Glaser, said the cards "violate Mr. Winnick's right to privacy and are defamatory," and noted that Winnick "has not been accused or convicted of any crime."
Asked about the letter, Glaser snapped, "Would you like a card like that about you?"
Brandenburg's attorney, Bruce Pritchett, said nothing on the Winnick card was untrue. Nonetheless, the card was pulled.
"It seemed like the best thing to do for Lynn," Pritchett said. "It's easier not to mess with at this point."
The company that publishes the deck, Fairness & Justice for Shareholders Inc., is looking for a new ace of hearts.