A prominent and politically influential local businessman has filed a lawsuit against his former son-in-law and the man’s attorney, alleging a Protection From Abuse Order they sought last year — and information they provided to federal law enforcement officials about him — were part of a conspiracy to defame his character and remove his control of valuable trust funds established for his grandchildren.

Developer CJ Betters filed a lawsuit last week in the Beaver County Court of Common Pleas against Timothy Albanese, who was married to Betters’ now-deceased daughter Roxsan, and attorney Daniel Lynch, who represented Albanese in cases involving Betters and members of his family. Betters alleges causes of action including wrongful use of civil proceedings, defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, false light, and civil conspiracy.

Timothy Albanese and his children sought a Protect From Abuse Order (PFA) against CJ Betters in August of 2016, alleging they were in fear for their physical safety. Following a lengthy hearing on the matter, then-President Judge John McBride denied their petitions, noting that the alleged incidents being used as a basis for the PFA did not surface in court “until there was a concern for money, there was a concern for a place to reside, and until there was a legal action to remove the trustee [referring to CJ Betters] from those trusts before this Court.”

In his civil complaint filed with the court, Betters alleges that Albanese and his attorney had “engaged in a course of conduct intended to fabricate allegations of abuse in order to create a pretext upon which to launch a legal challenge to the continuing status of Betters serving as trustee” of two large trusts established for his grandchildren by their mother prior to her death. Betters asserts that the two men “knowingly provided false and/or materially misleading information in [the Protection From Abuse] petition and did not have probable cause” to file the complaint.

“Albanese and Lynch caused to be published allegations that Betters regularly placed Albanese and his children fear of imminent harm notwithstanding the fact that Albanese regularly told his children that he was not afraid of Betters and notwithstanding the fact that Albanese routinely told his children that their grandfather would never harm them,” alleges Betters.

Betters’ complaint states that the PFA and other issues arose only when Timothy Albanese became pressed for money, with Duquesne Light showing up to disconnect service due to Albanese being $2,100 behind on his electric bill — he notes that the PFA and litigation to have him removed as the trustee came at a time when Albanese was in the process of moving out of a $3 million home owned by the trust to live with his new wife.

Betters claims that Albanese has only worked 5 out of the 12 years since the death of Roxsan Betters and while his daughter was still living the man “lacked the desire to improve his financial situation and wished only to partake and benefit from [CJ Betters’] financial success and acquisitions.” Betters alleges that Albanese had “threatened to remove and relocate Roxsan’s body from the family burial plot (which cost Betters in excess of $500,000) unless he received from Betters the sum of $1 million, on or before [his grandchild] reached the age of 18.”

Betters accuses Timothy Albanese, Albanese’s new wife, and attorney Daniel Lynch, of provided misleading information to his three grandchildren “in an effort to induce their cooperation and their support of filing the PFA action.”

CJ Betters also alleges that attorney Lynch: “cajoled and threatened [Betters’ grandchildren] in an effort to secure their positive participation in the PFA Action, nothwithstanding the fact that at least two of the grandchildren specifically advised him that they had no interest in participating in the PFA Action and that, in fact, the factual averments relating to fear of imminent harm from their grandfather was simply not true […] [T]he entirety of the PFA Action was little more than an attempt to fabricate a factual basis, untrue and knowingly untrue, to support the efforts taken by Albanese and Lynch to remove Betters as trustee [of the trusts established for his grandchildren].”

Betters asserts that Albanese and attorney Lynch were challenging provisions of his grandchildren’s trust funds “to gain access to the assets held in trust for [the] children and, in turn, provide themselves indirect access to these funds for their personal and professional use and benefit.”

CJ Betters also claims Albanese and Lynch provided “material misstatements of fact” to other third parties as well, including to “local area ‘bloggers,’ representatives of the US Attorney’s Office and the Internal Revenue Service” — information about alleged “business improprieties” which he says were defamatory as they “implied that Betters engaged in unlawful and criminal activity.”

Betters’ complaint does not detail those alleged defamatory statements.

CJ Betters is seeking in excess of $500,000 in compensatory and punitive damages for each of his five alleged causes of action. He is being represented by attorney Douglas Linn of The Linn Law Group in Cranberry Township. Betters’ civil complaint can be read in its entirety here.

The Beaver Countian will report on responses to the litigation when they are filed with the court by Timothy Albanese and Daniel Lynch.

27 COMMENTS

  1. Money …. It can’t buy happiness on either side of this dispute. What a shame for those kids. The article does not say how old they are. These adult men need to come to grips with the fact that they are damaging more than just themselves and their own reputations. They both look like clowns. The clock is ticking on how much time they both have left to enjoy with those grandkids.

     
    • Chuck is a bastard but the Betters family are hard working people. They earned their way and what they have. Chuck is ruthless in business and no doubt a difficult family man to live with. Albanese is a piece of s,,, and useless.
      Sad

       
  2. There is no way this can be tried in Beaver County. I wouldn’t know either man if they were standing in front of me. It is common knowledge in Beaver County and even at the State level that Mr. Betters has political and judicial influence at his disposal. I don’t know if it could be tried anywhere other than Federal Court. Since it involves the U. S. Attorney and the IRS, my guess is that is exactly where it will go, Federal Court.

     
  3. Dear CJ Betters

    Why do this? To clear your good name and reputation? You have no good name or reputation. You’re only known for having wealth. You surely can’t be doing this for money. He doesn’t seem to have any, but you do. You must be doing it to make absolutely certain your grandchildren will always hate you.

    After the last fiasco of a trial, This one will remind everyone what a douche-bag you really are. Do you really want your grandchildren once again testifying about the things you’ve said and done? Why put them through that? Why remind them and the world of the kind of person you are? You might in court, even then you’ve lost. Why can’t you see that? Just filing this lawsuit makes you look small and petty. Is this really how you want to be remembered by you’re supposed to care about?

     
  4. If someone has to reassure their children that their grandfather would never hurt them then their grandfather can and most likely will hurt them at some point. My parents never had to reassure me, the thought of my grandfather hurting me never once crossed my mind… There’s something wrong with Chuckles if his grandchildren had to be reassured.

    Two questions:
    1) what the hell was sonnyboy lighting up that he managed to rack up an electric bill of $2100? If I didn’t pay my bill for an entire year it wouldn’t amount to half of this amount.

    2) where the hell is Chuckie burying his family that it cost a half a million dollars….is there a hidden goldmine buried around here somewhere. Since he wants the county to be reassessed let’s start with his little mausoleum.

     
    • I live in a 1000 sq ft home, my electric bill is that much or more per year. It’s all where you live in BC!

       
  5. Sounds to me that CJB is trying to protect his grandkids trust funds from their money grubbing lazy father. I say good for him. Those kids will thank him one day.

     
    • I’ve known, as you so rudely put it, ” the money grubbing, lazy father” all of my life…. obviously you don’t know Tim or anyone in his family. I guarantee that you will not find anyone in New Brighton to say a bad word about anyone wth their last name. Its a shame when people like you automatically jump to conclusions without any knowledge of anything/anyone involved.

       
  6. Don’t agree with the lazy son in law but CJB has NO REPUTATION to be ruined. He is his own worst enemy. A money grubbing political hack using inside information to accumulate vast wealth. Guess what CJB, you cannot take it with you and for all the bullshit and skullduggery you have been involved your whole life, you will be judged by someone who doesn’t give two shits about your empire. He will call you out for what you are. A total money grubbing asshole with no scruples and absolutely no class whatsoever. I feel really sorry for the grandchildren. They are surrounded by a bum of a father and a ruthless prick of a grandpa. Wonder what kind of people they will grow up to be? I hope you rot in hell CJB. And I hope they bury you inside a pig carcass!

     
  7. I don’t know Misters Albanese, Lynch or Betters, only what I have read. The majority of these comments slam CJB with little mention of the kids, which is the main point of the article. There’s a lot of “he said/he said” covered here laying blame on BOTH sides, and it’s all about the money.

    However, IF CJB can PROVE that Albanese “threatened to remove and relocate Roxsan’s body from the family burial plot (which cost Betters in excess of $500,000) unless he received from Betters the sum of $1 million, on or before [his grandchild] reached the age of 18”, that sounds like extortion of the worst kind to me.

    CJB MAY be an asshole, BUT Mr Albanese has no right or business to trust funds for and in the kids names. IF is true that Mr. Albanese is unemployed, get a f*cking job Alby and tell your lawyer to hang it up.

     
  8. Charles Betters spirit hovers over the psyches of locals like a deus ex machina in a Greek play — in and out of local stories as he presumably helps out in local plots as needed to untangle them, but rarely, if ever, directly connected in any observable way. Somewhere, between the tough in a black T shirt and the composed businessman in a suit, lies the “real” man that few know or understand. I don’t know him, have never met or seen him, and I have no interest in him. So too do I find it difficult to tie him to anything nefarious. It’s all about rumors.

    Maybe it is time for a local biography to be written about how he fits into the scheme of things, not just references to the local small town rich guy, a theme played out in thousands of small towns across America. He is not unique.

    I doubt many people reading this article know him personally. Reactions seem to revolve around the name, not anything specific. For example, he has been tied to getting a person a job at Friendship Ridge, but I see no proof. Similar rumors appear occasionally in the news.

    Who is this guy? Does he have a real effect upon local politics or does it just seem that way?

    Maybe as the Friendship Ridge deal and monies owed matter unfolds in the coming months, specifics about his involvement, if any, will be detailed as well. Otherwise, leave him alone, and his family too, until their actions justify a public airing. This matter affects none of the public, beyond chatter about the local rich guy, and I see no reason to perpetuate it.

     
    • @Raven:

      I agree with you, but he brought this scrutiny on himself. After his grandson’s testimony in the previous trial, I’d think he wouldn’t want that repeated in a public forum. I’d hope he wouldn’t want to put him through that again.

      If his objective is to keep his former son-in-law from his money, his team of lawyers could probably accomplish that quite easily without the spectacle of a lawsuit. I don’t see what good can come out if this, if he wins in court, he does so at the peril of re-airing his dirty laundry, putting his grandchildren through another trial, and potentially further alienating them and their father. The whole thing is sad, and he comes across petty and vindictive.

       
  9. Over the years I have heard stories of bullying, bribery, kickbacks etc. I have also heard good things about Betters. I have no idea if they are true or not. History tells us that anytime someone accumulates wealth, there will always be someone trying to get at that wealth. I have heard that when his daughter passed away at a young age, it had a devastating effect on him. Understandable, and I’m sure it will last for the rest of his days. The children involved are his daughters children. That can never change. That being said, I’m sure that Mr. Betters will deny those children nothing in life and they will ever want for anything.

     
  10. In order to remain anonymous and avoid being part of any future lawsuits against the Beaver Countian, let’s just say I’ve done work for some of the people mentioned in the article and one of them has never impressed me as being anything but lazy and thinking things should be handed to him. On the other hand, Chuck Betters suing anyone for “intentional infliction of emotional distress”, that’s funny right there. I don’t have a dog in that fight but I have to side with Chuck Betters on this one.

     
  11. What exactly are Chuck’s damages here? He’s claiming defamation and false light. In order for him to be successful in a defamation claim he has to show that the statements caused injury. It’s going to be a long haul finding people who will say that they refused to do business with him because of these statements. False light means that the statements were sufficiently made public to the point that he suffered embarrassment. I’m doubtful that just because something is in a court record that it’s met the burden of being made public per se.

    One might even go so far as to say that in Beaver County he is a public figure based on the local celebrity he’s achieved as a developer…in which case all bets are off. Further, if there is a substantial enough percentage of the population that thinks he’s a person of questionable integrity then it’s going to be significantly more difficult to show that he was financially injured or that he suffered embarrassment and humiliation from anything other than his existing reputation.

    My guess is that this is just a tactic to force the son in law to spend money that he doesn’t have on an attorney. Someone with money can bankrupt someone who has nothing simply by playing a game of filing motion after motion then creating delay after delay in order to jack up the fees of his opponents lawyer until that person just gives in and gives up – meaning that Chuck would get everything that he wants control of without ever having to step foot in a courtroom.

     
  12. Some people just cant be embarrassed. No dignity at all. Just goes to show that money does not come along with character.

     
  13. Mr. Betters may be the biggest prick around, but I believe he has his grandchildrens’ best interests at heart. Now Mr. Albanese just sounds like a lazy greedy person who doe not want to work….just wants a free ride and is willing to get it at his childrens’ expense! As for Mr. Betters, he is in business…..and sometimes you have to be ruthless……….he’s built his company and provided employment for a lot of people. I’d work for him in a heartbeat!

     

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