Robert Kiyosaki, author of the bestselling “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” series, has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection after losing a nearly $24 million court judgment to The Learning Annex, The New York Post reports. As one of Kiyosaki’s earliest backers, The Learning Annex was responsible for arranging the speaking engagements and platform that led to his massive success.
But apparently the fame went to his head because according to court papers obtained by the Post, Kiyosaki, who published his first “Rich Dad” book in 1994, never paid the Annex its rightful share. Said founder and chairman Bill Zanker: “Oprah believed in him, and Will Smith believed in him, but he didn’t keep his promise to us.”
Kiyosaki’s Rich Global company was ordered by a U.S. judge in April to cough up $23,687,957.21, which in turn led him to file for corporate bankruptcy on Aug. 20.
Despite the blow to the personal finance guru’s reputation, Kiyosaki probably won’t feel the pinch in his wallet. Forbes pegs his net worth around a cool $80 million, and Kiyosaki, who’s written 11 books, operates as many as 10 other companies. Rich Global was said to be worth a few million when it went under.
“Rich Dad, Poor Dad” became an overnight sensation when Kiyosaki made the rounds on feel-good daytime TV like “Oprah” and aired his speaking programs on PBS. Cash-strapped consumers identified with his inspirational story of learning how to manage money from one father who struck it big and another who died penniless and alone.
Of course, not everyone bought into the schtick. As Helaine Olen’s wrote in Forbes Thursday, the guru’s “tips ran the gamut from ridiculous to illegal and downright hurtful and included advocating for insider trading, arguing for the purchase of multiple real estate properties with little or no money down and telling followers they could purchase stocks on margin via unfunded brokerage accounts.”