Lawsuit over MacMillan trust fund reaches confidential settlement |

Lawsuit over MacMillan trust fund reaches confidential settlement

Rick Carroll
The Aspen Times

Aspen lawyer David Bovino and Old Snowmass homeowner Patricia MacMillan, heir to the Cargill agribusiness fortune, won’t be going to federal trial this month after settling their legal dispute that centered around allegations of a smear campaign, a death threat and misuse of a trust fund.

Details of the settlement are confidential, and U.S. District Judge Philip A. Brimer’s ruling said each party will pay their own attorney’s fees. The settlement means they won’t go to trial as scheduled on Aug. 31.

It also puts an end to a contentious suit in which Bovino claimed MacMillan and her daughter-in-law, Christina MacMillan, conspired to damage his reputation in an effort to cut off his attorney-client relationship with Andrew MacMillan, the son of Patricia MacMillan.

Bovino also had a separate federal suit against the Swiss bank UBS, which he accused of engaging in the smear campaign. UBS, Bovino alleged, didn’t want Bovino to oversee Andrew MacMillan’s trust fund, which was worth as much as $220 million and had been under the management of UBS before the Aspen attorney took it over. As part of a global disposition, the UBS suit was settled, as well, according to court documents. Both suits were settled late last month.

In November, Bovino stood to make $3 million part of a settlement agreement, but that deal collapsed. Bovino, who hasn’t responded to messages seeking comment for coverage of his cases, originally sued Patricia MacMillan in Pitkin County District Court in May 2011; the suit was transferred to Denver federal court in March 2012, and Christina MacMillan was added to the complaint.

The suit claimed Bovino was Andrew MacMillan’s attorney in his dispute with Patricia MacMillan over his trust fund that was left behind by his non-biological father, John MacMillan III. MacMillan III, who died in 2008, is the great-grandson of the founder of Cargill Inc., the largest privately held company in the U.S.

Bovino alleged that both Christina and Patricia MacMillan intercepted Andrew MacMillan’s email exchanges with Bovino. The emails pertained to Andrew MacMillan wanting to remove the trust fund from under the control of UBS. Bovino also alleged that on Oct. 1, 2013, a private investigator visited Bovino in Aspen and threatened to have him killed if he repeated the nature of their conversation.