Rich Dad, Bankrupt Dad?

For years this self-help author’s financial teachings were credited with turning around the lives of thousands, but has his bubble finally burst?

Robert Kiyosaki, better known as the financial self-help guru behind theRich Dad Poor Dad series of financial education books, has filed for bankruptcy.

According to a report in the New York Post, Kiyosaki’s Rich Global LLC filed for bankruptcy after losing a court case and being ordered to pay out US$24m to business partner Bill Zanker, chairman of the Learning Annex.

The settlement was ordered after a jury decided that Kiyosaki should pay a percentage of his profits to the Learning Annex from various speaking engagements that used its platform – including a high-profile gig at Madison Square Garden.

“I took Kiyosaki’s brand and made it bigger. The deal was I would get a percentage, and he reneged. We had a signed letter of intent. The Learning Annex is the greatest promoter. We put his ‘Rich Dad’ brand on a stage. We truly prepared him for great fame and riches. But when it was time for him to pay up, he said ‘no’,” Zanker told the New York Post.

“This has taken years in court. I won even more money than I asked for from the jury, then he declared corporate bankruptcy. Oprah believed in him, and Will Smith believed in him, but he didn’t keep his promise to us.”

However, Rich Dad Co. CEO Mike Sullivan hit back, stating that Kiyosaki was still a successful investor.

“The dealings we had with Learning Annex were with a company that hasn’t been in business for a number of years,” he told the New York Post.

“I am not surprised Learning Annex is upset and angry, the money doesn’t exist in that company, and we can’t bring money out of the group.

“Robert and [wife] Kim are not paying out of personal assets. We have a few million dollars in this company, but not 16 or 20. I can’t do anything about a $20 million judgment…. We got hit for what we think is a completely outlandish figure.”