Anthony Scaffidi claims he put Karen DeSoto through law school and that she used that legal training to dupe him out of more than $1 million in real estate, fancy cars, jewelry and other property.
Their affair ended years ago and DeSoto is now married to someone else, but she and Scaffidi are still battling in state and federal court. Whether they were only lovers or, as he claims, also attorney and client, their present relationship is purely adversarial.
The story unfolds at an unlikely intersection of legal malpractice, bankruptcy and tort law, with allegations of domestic violence and even a claim for palimony.
Scaffidi is suing DeSoto and her husband, Joseph Olszewski, a Jersey City, N.J., police officer. DeSoto has counterclaimed, accusing Scaffidi of years of threats, abuse and harassment. She has filed a Chapter 7 petition and says the cost of defending Scaffidi's claims has bankrupted her.