You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Reality TV Meltdown: LMNO Claims Its Accountant Stole Money and Discovery Stole Hit Show

It’s a drama-filled meltdown worthy of… well, reality TV. LMNO Cable Group, producer of numerous cable reality shows, claims in a new lawsuit that its accountant has been stealing from the company for years. The company also alleges that Discovery Communications took advantage of the situation to steal its top-ranked show, TLC’s “The Little Couple.”

Last week, Discovery notified LMNO that it was terminating its contracts for six shows, including “The Little Couple” and “7 Little Johnstons,” both of which feature stars with dwarfism. According to Discovery, this followed a lengthy review of its relationship with LMNO, “which revealed procedures and practices that did not respect Discovery’s contractual rights.”

LMNO counters that it was the victim of an extensive and long-running embezzlement scheme perpetrated by its former accountant. According to a federal lawsuit filed on Wednesday, LMNO claims the accountant falsified the company’s books in order to divert hundreds of thousands of dollars into his own pocket. When LMNO discovered the scheme last year, the accountant allegedly tried to extort the company for an additional $800,000, according to the lawsuit. If the company did not pay up, the suit claims that the accountant threatened to tell Discovery about the doctored books.

“LMNO chose to stand up for itself, and refused to pay this illegal ransom,” the lawsuit states. “Instead it reported the accountant to the authorities. In its darkest hour, however, what LMNO did not count on was treachery.”

LMNO contends that the accountant took the company’s doctored financial documents to Discovery and that Discovery then used them to manufacture a reason to dissolve its relationship with LMNO. LMNO claims that Discovery initiated a surprise audit of LMNO’s books, knowing that LMNO could not produce its books because they had been stolen. LMNO also claims that Discovery is now producing new episodes of “The Little Couple” on its own.

According to the suit, the accountant threw many of LMNO’s records in dumpsters, and also hired someone to mix up the records with other paperwork. A photograph included in the lawsuit appears to show seven large cardboard boxes of accounting records that were found in a storage unit.

LMNO has had to lay off employees since last week’s announcement, though it retains relationships with other networks.

“LMNO remains steadfast in our total commitment to defend our company and our reputation from false accusations and egregious actions,” the company said in a statement.

Discovery issued its own statement, in which it said it would aggressively defend against the LMNO lawsuit.

“We believe that at the heart of any enterprise is trust and mutual respect between commercial partners,” a Discovery spokesperson said.

More TV

  • Lady and the Tramp trailer

    How 'Lady and the Tramp' Remake Solved Its 'Siamese Cat Song' Problem

    Janelle Monáe sings two songs, including the classic “He’s a Tramp,” in the live-action remake of “Lady and the Tramp,” among the most talked-about of the new offerings on the Disney Plus streaming service. But the biggest challenge for her writing and producing team, Nate “Rocket” Wonder and Roman GianArthur of Wondaland Productions, turned out [...]

  • CBS Sunday Morning Charles Osgood Final

    Mo Rocca Has an Unusual Career Recipe. Now He's Adding Obits to the Mix

    Spend half an hour with Mo Rocca and prepare for a conversation that veers into the unexpected. Perhaps he will discuss the differences between the characters of Dr. Seuss and the Muppets of Jim Henson (“It turns out they are oil and water. Seuss is head. Muppets are heart”). Maybe he will talk about Carl [...]

  • Busbee and Maren Morris

    Busbee Gets Posthumous CMA Award; Maren Morris Calls Album Win 'Bittersweet'

    The late producer-songwriter Busbee won his first CMA Award Wednesday night, as the primary producer of Maren Morris’ sophomore release, “Girl,” which picked up album of the year at the ceremony. Busbee, who died Sept. 29 at age 43, was saluted in the telecast first by Blake Shelton and then, later and more emotionally, by [...]

  • Bob IgerSimon Weisenthal Gala honoring Bob

    Bob Iger Joins MasterClass Roster for Course on Business Strategy and Leadership

    Disney chairman-CEO Bob Iger has signed on to the MasterClass digital education service, offering a course in business strategy and leadership. The course, available as of Thursday, will detail Iger’s view on the importance of taking bold steps and embracing mistakes in business. Iger also promises to dig into “case studies” of some of Disney’s [...]


    Argentina's Murillo Cine Exposes Femicide In TV Drama 'Vertientes del Paraná'

    Argentina’s Murillo Cine, whose credits take in Cannes sidebar entries “The Snatch Thief” and “Land of Ashes,” is dipping its toe into TV drama production with “Vertientes del Paraná,” a miniseries project exposing the social tragedy of femicide, from writer-director María Florencia Álvarez. Álvarez turned heads with her 2013 feature debut, “Habi la Extranjera,” a [...]

  • Viacom Chief Bob Bakish Talks Paramount's

    Viacom Chief Bob Bakish Talks Paramount's Rebound, Pluto TV Growth

    Viacom chief Bob Bakish took a short victory lap on Thursday during the company’s final quarterly earnings call before the completion of its merger with CBS Corp., which is expected to be sealed early next month. Bakish talked up the return of Paramount Pictures to profitability for the first time in four years, and the [...]

  • Ofanny Choi

    Ofanny Choi to Head Celestial Tiger, Replacing Todd Miller

    Veteran TV executive Ofanny Choi has been promoted to president of Celestial Tiger Entertainment. She replaces CEO Todd Miller, who will leave the company. Backed by Saban Capital, Lionsgate and Malaysia’s Astro Overseas, Hong Kong-based Celestial Tiger operates a bouquet of Asian pay-TV channels. It also produces original production for its bouquet of channels. Having [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content