Past Scams, Nonsensical Claims & a Lying, Controlling Mother? MJEOL Bullet #235 The past scams of the accusing family, under the guide of a Svengali-like mother, are now catching up with them. This as the more details we hear about the current “case”, the more ridiculous the allegations against Jackson become.
More devastating information concerning the accusing familys past was revealed recently by Celebrity Justice (CJ). They report that the mother once scammed a paper telling them a sob-story and deceiving them into soliciting donations for medical bills that sources say never existed, may have defrauded a number of celebrities including Jackson, and apparently conned the Los Angeles Police Dept. Not one to let negative news about the accusing family circulate in the press without an equal amount of negative Michael Jackson news, prosecutors and/or police have leaked sealed court documents (docs) to the website thesmokinggun.com. The docs were sealed by the Court, but apparently that didnt matter to the leaker at all. However, this leak may have backfired as the docs are now being ripped apart by everyone from legal pundits and case observers, to Jackson fans; even the writer for thesmokinggun.com expresses some suspicions about the story the family is trying to float. More on that later. What makes this worse for the family is that Jackson isnt the first one to whom they told an elaborate story for their own ends. The editor of that conned newspaper, the Mid Valley News, went on the record in an explosive interview in which she detailed the scam. She told the show that the mother talked about how expensive the medical bills were and implored the paper to write a story in which they would ask for donations for the family. Connie Keenan, the editor, says at first the mother asked that the money to be sent directly to her home in her name. Keenan told TV show Celebrity Justice: She pleaded her case that her son needed all sorts of medical care and they had no financial means to provide it (see Did Jackson Accuser’s Mom Falsely Solicit Aid for Son’s Treatments?). The mother also told them that her car had been repossessed, that one chemotherapy injection costs more than $12,000, and that they were in dire need of money. So in 2000, the paper ran a story on the family and included contact info of where to send the money. From the CJ report:
Keenan insisted that her paper would solicit funds only if the mother opened a trust account to receive them. Sources tell “CJ” that, nine days before the article ran, the boy’s mother did open an account in her name for the benefit of the boy at a Washington Mutual bank on the Sunset Strip and deposited one cent — but it was not a trust account. The article gave readers a roadmap to make donations: the name of the bank, the account number, even the routing number. We’ve learned that, within the first three weeks after the article ran, $965 was deposited — and $750 was promptly withdrawn. (see Did Jackson Accuser’s Mom Falsely Solicit Aid for Son’s Treatments?)
So where did this money go? And could it be that this Jackson case may be her most brazen con-job to date? Well that may be a tall order to fill, considering past con-jobs could have included scamming actor/comedians Chris Tucker and George Lopez, TV weatherman Fritz Coleman, and the Los Angeles Police Dept. (LAPD). No that last one is not a typo. More information from CJ out Jan 4 2005 also concerned the mothers past with Fritz Coleman and Jamie Masada, Laugh Factory club owner. The show is reporting that the family received tens of thousands of dollars from donations and various Laugh Factory fundraisers. All of this money was supposedly for medical bills. Medical bills that CJ learned may have never existed thanks to the fathers teamster medical coverage. From the report Comedy Kings Used in Bogus Benefit for Jackson Accuser? dated Jan 4 2005:
“CJ” has learned that the family got tens of thousands of dollars from donations and various Laugh Factory fundraisers. In light of the fact that the family’s insurance apparently covered the boy’s treatments, the question remains: where did the money go? “CJ” has also learned that the family recruited Fritz Coleman, TV weather personality for LA’s KNBC and a stand-up comic in his own right, to do an on-air plug for a charity event for the boy held at The Laugh Factory on October 26, 2000. Though Coleman couldn’t be reached for comment, we’re told he believed the money was being raised for the boy’s medical expenses and that he’s extremely upset he may have been misled. We’re also told that Jackson’s defense team believes Lopez and Tucker were used as well. (see Comedy Kings Used in Bogus Benefits for Jackson Accuser?)
Where exactly did the thousands of dollars go if it was not spent on medical bills? Well, tabloid reporter Diane Dimond doesnt know either. But that sure didnt stop her in a failed attempt to explain away the mothers past scams. Appearing on Court TVs Crier Live Jan 4 2005, she at first claimed the family was dirt poor, and thats why they needed the money. She also tried, unsuccessfully, to spin why the mother told a reporterwho brought over free Thanksgiving dinner to the familythat she would rather have the money instead of the food. First, the family wasnt dirt poor. They had already been getting help from a number of celebrities and was having thousands of dollars raised for them through the comedy club The Laugh Factory. She was also getting child support payments from the biological father as well as checks from the welfare system. Whats also telling is Jacksons defense team brought out in court that, as a result of their investigation, they found out the mother began hiring civil attorneys in JANUARY 2000. Why, you ask? It turns out that she was trying to seek a settlement for molestation allegations from Jackson. The only problem with that story is that neither she nor her children had even met Jackson yet! They didnt meet until AUGUST 2000 according, to her own sworn testimony. Numerous courtroom observers who scribbled down their own unofficial transcripts of the exchange between the mother and Jackson attorney Tom Mesereau report that it went as follows:
TOM MESEREAU: When did you meet Michael? ACCUSERS MOTHER: August 2000. MESEREAU: According to this official statement/sworn declaration that you gave to the Santa Barbara Sheriffs department and district attorney, you retained an attorney and investigator in January 2000 for the sole purpose of finding out information about Michael Jackson and settling with him. You discussed a settlement concerning Michael Jackson before you even knew him? ACCUSERS MOTHER: I I well PROSECUTORS: Objection! Irrelevant. JUDGE MELVILLE: Sustained.
The only reason the prosecution objection was sustained is because this came out during a limited hearing. But one could bet that the defense wants to get into this during the course of a possible trial. Second, I dont care how dirt poor the mother personally claimed she was. The money was reportedly raised to pay for medical bills; not to support the accusing mothers personal lifestyle. It wasnt a Give me money, Im dirt poor and need to pay my light bill fundraiser. So that excuse simply wont fly. Dimond also suggested that maybe all the medical bills werent covered and that each ambulance trip costs $600. But quite frankly, their track record for telling the truth (both the mother and Dimond, by the way) isnt exactly a stellar one. Either way, Celebrity Justice actually spoke to Paul Kenney who gave an on-camera interview. Kenney heads the Teamsters Union in Los Angeles. He has a different story to tell than the one Dimond and her sources recently tried to float. Kenny told the show that everything, with no exceptions, are covered 100% under the fathers contract. From the report aired on CJ:
PAUL KENNY: Theyre covered 100% HARVEY LEVIN: Paul Kenney heads up the Teamsters Union in L.A. The boys father was a teamster member who worked at this super market facility in the L.A. area. The teamsters negotiated a sweet deal when it came to heath care coverage (begin tape of interview) KENNY: There was no cost to him out of pocket at all. LEVIN: So everything was paid for? KENNY: Everything should be covered 100% under his contract. LEVIN: Including chemotherapy for his son. KENNY: Everything. Allthere is no exception. (end video interview)
Now, the vast majority of case observers believe Mr. Kenney over a woman who has been accused numerous times of running scams on everyone from Fritz Coleman and Michael Jackson, to JC Penney and the LAPD. __Mothers first book should be 101 Ways to Scam the Cops__ Yes, the LAPD may have also been scammed out of money and a free Christmas by the accusers mother as well. An article posted at powerhouse Jackson fansite MJJFORUM a very long time ago and posted here as a Highlight Historyand picked up by Fox news and CJ recentlydetails how LAPD officers helped the accusing family in 2001. Remember what is also going on at this time because the family reportedly received a $137,500 settlement from JC Penney as well. The article, dated Dec 21 2004 titled Chance Encounters with Cops Lead to Merry Christmas for LA Family, details how LA officers Diane Reyes and Edward Moreno met the accuser and his brother. The accuser and his brother was spotted by the pair hanging around Union Station Messanine on a school day. When they were questioned by officers, the younger brother started crying and they told the cops that their mother was allegedly having surgery at Kaiser Hospital in Hollywood. The officers then got permission from their lieutenant to drive the kids to the hospital. Some time afterwards in late 2001, Reyes met the mother, on crutches, making her way to the Metro Red Line. The mother said she was on her way to a job interview. The officers at some point decided to do something special for the family. According to the report, they donated a Christmas tree, bought ornaments with their own money, and took up a collection of approximately $200 for the family:
Over the weekend, Reyes and Moreno who have children of their own decided they had to do something for the Arvizos. On Thursday, they dropped by the familys apartment to find a Christmas tree that had been donated by the LAPDs Hollenbeck Division officers, but no ornaments. And no gifts. The officers bought a stock of ornaments with their own money, then talked to their sergeant, Eric Windham, about further help for the family. So, at roll call this morning, Windham asked his troops to look into their hearts and their pockets for the Arvizos. They did, and out came some $200. (see 2001 Article about Accuser’s family LAPD )
With this being 2001, by this time, she had already met Jackson and was probably still getting money from various other celebrities as well. Not to mention the settlement check for almost $140,000 from that JC Penney case too. So, dirt poor they were not. But they still managed to sweet talk a couple of cops out of a free Christmas; $200 and all. Celebrity Justice picked up on the story. They report that all three under-aged children were at the station unattended by an adult. They also spoke to one of the officers involved who says that they did notice some expensive gifts already given to the family; some of them by Jackson. A retired LAPD officer spoke on camera to CJ in which he commented that officers sometimes give out of their own pockets to people who they see as needy. He also said there was something suspicious about how this family just so happened to be getting money from all these various sources:
Jim Holcomb (Retired LAPD officer): Given what we know about this case now, all the facts, it’s hard to imagine that everybody’s giving to this family just out of coincidence. Velez-Mitchell: Retired LAPD officer Jim Holcomb says cops often reach into their own pockets to help strangers in need. Holcomb: From time to time in law enforcement, we do see families who exploit people who give. When you see someone hurting, the natural tendency is to want to give as much as you can. Velez-Mitchell: It’s a pattern Jackson defense team might be able to use to bolster their contention that the family is after money. Holcomb: These officers will most likely be dragged into court on this. (see Celebrity Justice – LAPD Scammed (Jan 6 2005 | Aired here Jan 7 2005) )
Now the question becomes whether or not they are also running a convincing scam on the Santa Barbara DAs office, or whether or not these prosecutors see this case simply as an opportunity to get Jackson as long as the accusing family sticks to the story. But which story would that be? The one they told in June 2003…or the one they apparently told the grand jury or the one they told LA Child Services (DCFS) in February 2003 or …oh my head. This 2000-2001 time period seemed to have been a very active time for the accusing family based on recent reports. __I guess a simple slip-and-fall wasnt sufficient__ Speaking of JC Penneys, the attorney who represented the store against the mothers $3 million lawsuit spoke out about the mothers wild claims and ability to get her children to lie for her. A very disgusted Tom Griffin did an interview with NBCs Mike Taibbi in March 2004. Griffin detailed how the JC Penney case began and how it took a twist as soon as the mother started adding sexual abuse allegations to the complaint some two years after she initially filed suit. Griffins interview was replayed on MSNBCs Abrams Report on March 4 2004 (see ‘The Abrams Report’ for March 4 2004: JC Penny lawyer speaks out). Griffin says the JC Penney case began when the children were caught shoplifting merchandise from one of their stores. Security stopped them outside the store to confront them. The altercation turned into something more when they all then accused the security guards of viciously beating them without provocation. As far as the public has been told, there were no medical records backing up their alleged beating. The lawyer for the store says it became very clear that this turned into a scam to get money from JC Penney. Taibbi reports that after obtaining over 100 pages of documents around that case, they found an incredibly damaging psychological report done by the psychiatrist hired by JC Penney. NBC also learned that two years after filing the suit–and without so much as mentioning it at all at the time–the entire family suddenly remembered that the mother was sexually molested in broad daylight by these security guards. She then added it to the story:
TAIBBI (voice-over): But NBC News has obtained more than 100 pages of documents not on the public record, including defense deposition excerpts and psychiatric reports and the documents give a far more detailed version of J.C. Penneys case. That the psychiatrist hired by Penneys found the mother to be schizophrenic and delusional and severely depressed. Sad over being a nobody, shed said, a sad housewife getting fat, even though her own therapist found her to be anxious and depressed after the incident, but not delusional. (see ‘The Abrams Report’ for March 4 2004: JC Penny lawyer speaks out)
The NBC report continued to detail the sexual abuse allegationadded almost as an afterthoughtfrom the mother and backed up by her children. From that March 4 2004 report:
Penneys says that more than two years after the incident, the mother added on the charge that one security guard had also fondled her breasts and pelvic area for up to seven minutes. And that Penneys psychiatrist said she rehearsed her two sons to back up her far-fetched story in what sounded like scripted copies of her testimony that they and she had all suffered broken bones, in addition to her sexual assault. Penneys insist there was no evidence to back up any of the allegations.
Again, as far as the public knows at this moment, there were no medical reports to back up these allegedly broken bones. So there is a history of the mother possibly coaching her children to lie to the authorities. This is in addition to a previous allegation where the mother apparently coached her children to lie to the Los Angeles Dept of Children & Family Services (DCFS) about the father abusing them. Couple this with yet another allegation that the mother once accused the accusers biological father of molesting one of the children during their divorce. And who knows what else hasnt come out yet about their past. But back to this specific JC Penney case: The lawyer told NBC She just came up with this fairy talenot a fairy tale, its a horror story and just ran with it. Sound familiar? Yeah, it sounds familiar to Griffin as well. Of this Jackson allegation, Griffin had the following to say: Theyre going for a homerun this time. This is a shakedown. Shakedown, part two. Although the family sued for $3 million, as mentioned above they took a reported $137,500 settlement which they received in November 2001. Some observers have suggested that JC Penneys legal fees were probably more than the amount for which they settled the suit. Appearing on that March 4 2004 Abrams Report show, defense attorney Karen Russell says this kind of behavior is coming into this current case. From the show:
KAREN RUSSELL, TRIAL ATTORNEY: This is absolutely relevant and it absolutely will come in because the defense is going to say this is a pattern. Its not just the J.C. Penney case, but its also the custody case. And this woman has a habit of not getting what she wants and coaching her kids into saying what she wants and proceeding legally. So, this is absolutely relevant and it will show a pattern… (see Abrams Report: J.C. Penney Lawsuit + Mike Taibbi (March 4 04) – TRANSCRIPT)
Stay turned for part two of this particular MJEOL Bullet detailing another run-in with the Dept. of Children & Family Services (DCFS) where the mother may have coached her children to lie about being beaten and threatened by their biological father, along with more revelations from Russ Halpern (the attorney for the biological father), and information about how Jamie Masada spread what may have been untrue sob-stories about the family in an effort to gain sympathy. And later, the nonsensical details leaked to thesmokinggun.com website which has even the most rabid prosecution supporters asking questions about the logic of the story. Stay tuned. -MJEOL