De Rance Corporation
The De Rance Foundation was the world's largest Catholic charity until its dissolution in 1992. It was named for Armand Jean le Bouthillier de Rancé, the 17th-century abbot of the monastery at La Trappe, France.
Begun in 1946* by Harry G. John, a grandson of Miller Brewing founder Frederick Miller, De Rance was at one time worth $188 million. In 1983-1984, the charity's value plummeted to $83 million as a result of Harry John's questionable expenditures and investments of its assets. John's wife, Erica, and Dr. Donald Gallagher, two of the three foundation directors, subsequently sued to have John removed as a De Rance director. Harry John was found guilty of gross mismanagement and was permanently removed from the De Rance board in August,1986.In a news release from the foundation, which was formed in 1946 by the late Harry G. John, an heir to the Miller Brewing Co. fortune, officials said most of the money is going to charities in the Milwaukee area.
When Harry John died in 1992, the De Rance board voted to award $30 million of the charity's $100 million in assets to several of John's favorite causes. The remaining $70 million was used to create a new charitable organization, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee Supporting Fund. The fund was further renamed in 2009 as the Erica P. John Fund and reportedly contributes around $600,000 annually to the archdiocese. The fund was involved in leading a class action suit Erica P. John Fund, Inc. v. Halliburton Co. at the Supreme Court in June 2011.
- National Catholic Reporter, September 17, 1993.
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1993-01-01/news/9303152182_1_rance-foundation-harry-g-john-southern-cross I was honored to be Harry G. John's broker at Paine Webber Jackson Curtis. I guided Harry's choice of investing in Gold Futures from the beginning, through the approval process and ended my association with P.W.J.C. the day after the first trade was selected by Paul Sarnoff (with Power of Attorney). Paul Sarnoff was assigned Broker 1 and I was assigned as Broker 2 on the account. Subsequently, The De Rance Foundation sued P.W.J.C. and won a substantial award for fraud, deception and the creation and distribution of false account transactions which were designed to deceive The Foundation by showing profits where there were, in fact, losses. P.W.J.C. appealed the court's decision and was slapped with RICO charges that resulted in one of the largest awards in the history of P.W.J.C. @arthurbarbato