Jackson’s Finances Topic of Nonsensical Discussion – MJEOL Bullet #223 Recent reports speculate about Jackson’s finances with conflicting and contradictory information It wasn’t a shock that self-proclaimed Jackson know-it-all and Fox reporter Roger Friedman is out, again, with another article professing to know details of Jackson’s personal finances. He and other reporters have been riding this story into the ground for at least the past two years, alleging everything from ‘Jackson is on the very of bankruptcy’ to ‘Jackson will sell Neverland any day now’. None of these pipe dreams from those mired in the cesspool of inaccurate information have come to fruition. They also seem to sidestep the fact that none of their claims have come true to date by finding a mythical savior that always seems to swoop into Jackson’s life just in time to save him from bankruptcy…until the next resurrection of their “Jackson is broke” series of articles. How convenient. That’s why the recent article from Friedman, and assertions from former leeches, come as no surprise to those who have heard the claims before. The desire to be the one to say ‘I told you so’ of course is overshadowed by one simple fact: Jackson’s finances are simply none of our damn business. Let me say it another way: The amount of money in Jackson’s pockets is not up for discussion, nor is it within any of the public’s control anymore than Jackson can control the public’s own finances. One seriously wonders if these reports are nothing more than pseudo-psychic predictions/wishful thinking. Where are my darn tea leaves… For example, there use to be reports about a $200 million loan from Sony pushed by certain members of the media. Remember those? Well, the initial story was reported, but the fact that Sony denied the story go very little press. As a result of that rumor, Jackson released a statement. In it he said:

“For Sony to make a false claim that I owe them $200 million is outrageous and offensive.” (see Michael Jackson, Al Sharpton, Johnnie Cochran Take On Labels (June 7 2002))

Then Sony replied with a statement of their own; covered, actually, by anti-Jackson station MTV in an article dated June 7 2002 titled “Michael Jackson, Al Sharpton, Johnnie Cochran Takes on Labels”:

Sony responded with its own statement: “We have never issued any statement, verbally or in writing, claiming that Michael Jackson owes us $200 million. As a result, we are baffled by the comments issued today by his press representatives.” (see Michael Jackson, Al Sharpton, Johnnie Cochran Take On Labels (June 7 2002) ) | at MTV’s website

That rumor didn’t die a fast death thanks to know-it-all reporters not wanting to let it go. After the death of the $200 million dollar rumor, in comes another one about Bank of America (BOA) and a $70 million balloon payment that Jackson supposedly had to make on a $350 million loan. Notice the escalation in the number? This rumor, too, was shot down by official and current Jackson associates who are not known for playing games with the media. Charles Koppleman, Jackson senior business advisor, appeared on NBC’s The Today Show January 14 2004 and slapped down this rumor. From Koppleman it was learned that there was no $350 million loan from Bank of America nor was there a $70 million balloon payment due. From the show:

Matt Lauer: So, he made a $70M payment? Charles Koppleman: No, no! There was no $70M payment due. He… Lauer: Does he have a $350 M loan with Bank of America? Koppleman: Absolutely not. (see Money Trouble, NOI Rumors Slapped Down; Bullet #63 )

Koppleman also told Associated Press reporter Tim Molloy that “Jackson’s assets far exceed his debts.” According to a CNN report dated February 13 2004, Koppleman also says that no loan in that amount is due to anyone else either:

Charles Koppelman said no payment was due in that amount to Bank of America or anyone else. (see Michael Jackson, Al Sharpton, Johnnie Cochran Take On Labels (June 7 2002))

So what does Bank of America have to say about this? Official BOA spokesman Jennifer Tice had no comment. However, as revealed in recently released court documents, BOA say that Jackson never even had an account with them; at least during the time period from Feb 1 2003 to April 31 2003. In the defense’s Supplemental Motion to Traverse Affidavits, to Quash Warrants and to Suppress Evidence Under Penal Code 1538.5, not only did we learn Jackson had no account with BOA during the prosecution’s timeline, but that BOA gave information to them which fell outside prosecutor’s scope:

Search Warrant 5005 requested documentation held by Bank of America pertaining to Mr. Jackson’s accounts which were active during the time frame between and including “2/1/2003 through 4/31/03 (sic).” A true and correct copy of that search warrant is attached as Exhibit A. According to a Sheriff’s Department Report,_________, of Bank of America legal compliance department, indicated that there were no active accounts for Mr. Jackson during the requested time frame. A true and correct copy of that report is attached as Exhibit B. Nevertheless, _________ sent Detective Bonner information about account activity that was outside of the requested time frame. The material faxed to the Sheriff’s Department is clearly outside of the scope of the search warrant and must be suppressed. pg8 (see Supplemental Motion to Traverse Affidavits, Quash Warrants

Last time I checked, in order to have–and to still be paying for–a $350 million loan, you’d actually have to have an account with the bank. Now, either Jackson paid off that alleged $350 million loan before Feb 1 2003 or the loan never existed. It seems the latter is the most correct scenario, according to statements from credible Jackson insiders coupled with the fact Jackson had no account with the bank in early 2003. So where does that leave Friedman and the like? Well he’s off again on another exciting adventure of trying to forecast the loss of Jackson’s Neverland Ranch. And he’s still pushing the ‘$350 million loan from Bank of America’ idea in his latest…”news” dated Nov 18 2004. These rumors seemed to have also made their way to Santa Barbara News Press reporter Dawn Hobbs. In her latest article, “Jackson associate sues, claims singer owes him $3 M” dated November 18 2004, she claims that Jackson secured a $60 million loan in 2000 from Bank of America. No word of whether or not Jackson has paid back this alleged loan. Logically speaking, it certainly would’ve had to have been paid back before Feb 1 2003, as court docs indicated there was no active account by that time. Hobbs also writes that “former associates” claim Jackson has borrowed against his ownership in Sony/ATV. Note the operative words “former associates”. So is it $350M? Or $200M? Or $70M? Or $60M? Or $12M? And what makes any of these people believe that Jackson would have any trouble paying anything back? What makes people think they deserve to know what loans Jackson has taken out? That’s personal financial information. Some certainly haven’t been able to find anyone who thinks they have a right to know about Jackson’s finances. From where are these rumors coming? Probably from the likes of “former associates” like Marc Schaffel. Schaffel was a “former” associate/employee who has made all sorts of wild claims against Jackson recently. In MJEOL Bullet #222, Schaffel was discussed. He’s claiming Jackson owes him $3M after already claiming Jackson paid him $6M according to other reports. This information directly conflicts with reports from prosecution reporter and tabloid “hack” (some have called her) Diane Dimond. Yeah her…again. In a previous report, she claims Jackson bought Schaffel a house and that was somehow linked to the “case” in Santa Barbara County. Thus, the question is how in the world could a “broke” Jackson have bought a house for Schaffel when Schaffel claims he’s the one lending Jackson money? All of these reports contradict each other, with all sources claiming that their story is the “true” one. Uh-huh. Sure. Okay. Most observers who have spoken out have said they wouldn’t be surprised if all these stories are untrue. On top of these rumors is new information trickling out about Schaffel. Sources say Schaffel is the one with debts up the wazoo. Wazoo…that’s a technical term. According to other sources, even people still working with Jackson say it’s not Jackson, but rather Schaffel who still owes them thousands of dollars they have yet to collect. So what’s the real deal? Chances are you certainly won’t get the ‘real’ deal from either Friedman, Dimond or Schaffel. The larger question is with all the information pouring out from released court documents, why the focus on what Jackson has in his pockets? From documents and reports, the public has learned, among other things, that NO DNA from the accuser was found on Jackson’s mattress; that Jackson never had an account with Bank of America from Feb 1 2003 to at least April 31 2003; that prosecutors destroyed handwritten notes of officers and investigators; and that the accusing family gave two different timelines to prosecutors before the initial charges filed against Jackson in comparison to what they told the grand jury. Let’s see if Dimond will do special reports about these issues…but don’t hold your breath. Stay tuned. -MJEOL

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