Banker Chris Latham says his estranged wife’s attempts to implicate him in an alleged plot to kill her have forced him into early retirement and left him struggling to pay his bills.
Latham, who reportedly was paid $683,000 a year as an executive with Bank of America, has asked a Family Court judge to end or reduce the $8,500 he is paying monthly to support his wife, who is caring for their two daughters. He stated in an affidavit that he has no job, no cash flow and no prospects for employment.
Latham, 50, said his wife Nancy successfully waged a campaign to ruin him by repeating his affiliation with the bank while alleging in statements and in a civil lawsuit that he was involved in a murder-for-hire plot that targeted her.
“(Nancy Latham) has been on a mission to destroy me and she has succeeded,” he stated in an affidavit. “She and her lawyers have succeeded in ruining my career and thus the financial future of the family.”
Nancy Latham’s divorce lawyer, Tim Madden, declined to comment Thursday. Chris Latham’s attorney, Robert Rosen, said the motion speaks for itself.
Rosen and his client sought an expedited hearing on his request, but a judge turned them down Thursday. It appears the hearing will not occur until at least July 9.
Federal investigators have charged four people in connection with the alleged murder plot, including a woman authorities have identified as Chris Latham’s girlfriend.
Chris Latham has not been charged with a crime or linked by authorities to the alleged plot against his wife, who is a Mount Pleasant real estate agent and a state lottery official. He said allegations to the contrary derailed his career and left him with no immediate prospects for a new job.
His court filing includes copies of Bank of America emails indicating that he was given the choice in late May of resigning, retiring or facing immediate termination from the bank. He chose to retire May 30, the emails indicate.
Bank of America officials declined to comment on the matter.
Latham stated that his salary will end in July, and he has been forced to borrow money from relatives, max out his credit cards and raid his 401k plan just to fulfill his financial obligations to his wife.
“I am currently seeking opportunities within private banking but have been informed that I am unemployable until the federal court matters are resolved due to the negative publicity about my personal life and (my wife’s) objective and mission to destroy me in the community and in the banking industry,” he stated in his affidavit.
Chris Latham wants the court to end his $8,500 monthly subsidy to his wife and allow him a $99,000 advance from his retirement funds so he can pay for his living expenses, attorney fees and other obligations. He stated that he is “happy to pay reasonable child support” for his daughters’ care.
The Lathams have accused each other of adultery and other misbehavior, but their already contentious divorce reached a whole new level in April when the alleged murder-for-hire plot was exposed.
During a court hearing this month, Nancy Latham described how she and her daughters live in constant fear for their lives, subject to police protection and afraid to even venture to the grocery store.
“We sit in the house with the lights out and we stay away from the windows, with cameras surrounding us,” she told a judge. “We don’t get to enjoy our summer.”
Charged in the plot are 38-year-old Samuel Yenawine of Louisville, Ky.; Yenawine’s ex-wife, 37-year-old Wendy Annette Moore, identified as Chris Latham’s girlfriend and former assistant at the bank; Yenawine’s girlfriend, Rachel Palmer, 36, and Russell Wilkinson, 39, both of Louisville.
The alleged plot came to light after Wilkinson was stopped by Charleston police while looking to buy heroin on the East Side. Police found a gun in his car, and he volunteered information about the scheme to kill Nancy Latham to officers, police said. Yenawine was back in Kentucky at that point and was arrested later.
Moore is accused of hiring Yenawine to do the job, and he, in turn, contracted Wilkinson’s services to “watch his back,” Senior Agent Joseph Boykin of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has testified.
The would-be killers bought disposable cellphones so their communications couldn’t be traced, then traveled to the Lowcountry, where they met with Moore to collect a $5,000 down payment and receive a “hit package” full of photographs, maps, schedules and other information on Nancy Latham and her family, Boykin said.
Reach Glenn Smith at 937-5556 or Twitter.com/glennsmith5.