LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Late Las Vegas entrepreneur and former Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh owned assets worth upwards of $500 million held in real estate, bank accounts and other ventures, not including several private companies, court documents obtained by the I-Team show.
Hsieh, 46, died in a house fire in November 2020 in Connecticut. Last December, a judge named his father, Richard Hsieh, and brother, Andrew Hsieh, as special administrators to his estate since the entrepreneur did not have a will.
Hsieh was worth an estimated $840 million, documents filed in court as part of two lawsuits against his estate said earlier this year.
In court filings earlier this year, Hsieh’s family said he suffered from social anxiety. The family writes in court documents that Hsieh used “alcohol as a social lubricant to alleviate his social anxiety.” The family also said doctors prescribed Hsieh with Adderall, Xanax and Ambien.
In February, the administrators filed notices of sale for dozens of properties in Las Vegas to sell to “the highest and best bidder” in all cash transactions. In March, the same was done for Hsieh’s properties in Utah.
The properties vary from buildings and plots of land in downtown Las Vegas, to houses in Park City, Utah, to a resort near St. George, Utah, documents revealed.
Hsieh had lived the last few months of his life in Utah and was working on several projects there, several lawsuits filed in court indicated.
In documents filed Thursday, a preliminary inventory of Hsieh’s assets includes 100 individual real estate assets in Las Vegas alone. The properties’ combined value is upwards of $63 million based on Clark County’s 2020-2021 assessments.
Hsieh’s Nevada-based limited liability companies have valued listed as to be determined.
The most expensive property is the Zappos headquarters at 400 Stewart Ave., which was assessed at nearly $20 million. The 10-story complex, built in the early 1970s, was originally Las Vegas City Hall.
Hsieh’s Utah properties are listed as limited liability companies worth upwards of $60 million.
The court filing also indicates Hsieh had more than $400 million in one bank account.
The inventory is preliminary, and lawyers write assets “are still being identified and evaluated.”
The fight over Hsieh’s enormous wealth is playing out publicly in probate court. His former assistant, Jennifer “Mimi” Pham is seeking more than $130 million from the estate.
Hsieh’s family has claimed some people in his inner circle allowed him to enter into contracts even as his health deteriorated due to longtime substance misuse, court records said.
In November 2019, Hsieh’s family said he began to experiment with ketamine, which in high doses can lead to hallucinations, they said. Soon after, Hsieh began to misuse ketamine, causing “Tony to suffer from disorganized delusions and delusions of grandeur,” they write in court documents. One example the family gives is Hsieh’s belief that all humans were living in a simulation called the “simulation hypothesis.”
Court documents also said Hsieh’s bedroom was “littered with hundreds of spent nitrous oxide cartridges.”
Hsieh traveled to Connecticut in early November 2020. On the night of the fire, Hsieh had retreated to a shed at the home after a fight with his girlfriend and was using a propane heater to stay warm before the fire that killed him, investigators said earlier this year. Hsieh was in a storage room with a 20-pound propane tank at the time.
According to witness reports, Hsieh was lying in a storage area with a blanket near candles. Part of the blanket and a plastic bag had caught fire earlier in the night, a report obtained by the I-Team said.
Lawyers for Pham and others named in the court documents have not commented. A spokesperson for Hsieh’s family has repeatedly declined to comment on the ongoing legal matters.