Feud erupts over Diane McIver estate

Claud Tex McIver and his wife, Diane, are shown in undated family photos. FAMILY PHOTO

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Claud Tex McIver and his wife, Diane, are shown in undated family photos. FAMILY PHOTO

Claim filed by businesswoman’s company

The company Diane McIver led plans to file a legal claim asserting the late businesswoman’s estate owes it nearly $1 million.

The move by U.S. Enterprises - where Diane McIver was president - could tie up her considerable assets as her husband faces criminal charges in her death.

In a Jan. 3 letter obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, U.S. Enterprises said it had lent $975,000 to a separate company of Diane McIver’s, called DRS Investments.

The letter was sent to Claud “Tex” McIver, who is the executor of late wife’s estate.

“We would appreciate your remittance in the above stated amount to Enterprises,” the letter said.

Tex McIver, himself a politically connected attorney, shot his wife in the back as the couple rode in their SUV near Piedmont Park on Sept. 25. He was in the back seat and she in the front when, according to McIver, he accidentally pulled the trigger on his .38-caliber revolver. He was charged in late December with involuntary manslaughter, a felony, and reckless conduct, a misdemeanor. The case has yet to go before a grand jury for consideration of an indictment.

The letter went on to say the $975,000 is part of some $3 million that McIver’s company DRS had owed to U.S. Enterprises.

U.S. Enterprises is the company of Billy Corey, who had hired Diane McIver as a teen and groomed her to eventually become company president. The two were said to be very close.

Since her death, Tex McIver has been disappointed that his relationship with Corey has deteriorated, said Jeff Dickerson, spokesman for Tex McIver.

A legal claim by U.S. Enterprises has the potential to tie up her estate for some time, and to prevent any distribution of the money, Dickerson said.

U.S. Enterprises had little to say beyond the letter.

“This is an estate matter that will be dealt with accordingly,” said Kenneth Rickert, Enterprises’ general counsel. “It is not connected to the criminal charges filed against Mr. McIver.”

Dickerson said that all the estate has received is the letter, and further documentation of the debt is needed. He anticipated that U.S. Enterprises would file a formal claim with the probate court.

“This is a claim that lacks any supporting documentation,” Dickerson said. “We’re going to review and investigate as necessary.”

In recent weeks, Tex McIver has auctioned off many of his wife's possessions at several estate sales. Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard had asked a judge to stop the auction Friday, but the judge refused.

McIver said money from those estate will help pay off $350,000 that Diane promised in her will to a few people who worked for her, as well as help with their children’s education.