Even a world-class mind-reader and interdimensional traveler can face real-world problems like legal bills
, a self-proclaimed psychic master from Beaverton who teaches enlightenment at his Higher Balance Institute
, is being sued by the lawyers who defended Pepin against a former acolyte who claimed Pepin sexually abused him when he was 17.
Pepin, the subject of a recent WW cover story
, was acquitted of related sex-abuse charges
by a Washington County judge in 2007. But the alleged victim, who goes by the initials "CNY" in court, filed a civil lawsuit in 2008 that dragged Pepin into a 20-month legal battle until Pepin settled
the case for an undisclosed sum
Portland lawyers John Kaempf and Scott Brooksby represented Pepin in the civil case. In the latest twist, their firm Brooksby Kaempf
filed suit against Pepin on Friday in Multnomah County Circuit Court seeking $61,138
in alleged unpaid legal fees.
Higher Balance Vice President Eric Robison
told WW earlier this year that sales had dropped
from $2 million to $1.5 million a year as a result of the well-publicized sex-abuse allegations.
Robison says Higher Balance's insurance paid a portion of the company's legal expenses but that the outstanding bill is for Pepin's own defense. Robison says Pepin filed for personal bankruptcy last week. But the suit for unpaid legal fees names both Pepin and Higher Balance as defendants.
Here's a statement from Pepin that Robison sent by email:
“Although successful, my previous legal battles have also been numerous and financially consuming. With the added weight of a declining economy I, like many others, have reluctantly decided to file for personal bankruptcy. I believe this will relieve Higher Balance from the burden of incurring debt on my behalf and offer it a much more secure future. This in no way should effect Higher Balance and surely only make it a more successful service.”