Jackson lawyer targets lack of documentation for money claims UPDATED

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[b]Jackson lawyer targets lack of documentation for money claims [/b] By Linda Deutsch ASSOCIATED PRESS 2:23 p.m. July 6, 2006 SANTA MONICA, Calif. – A former associate suing Michael Jackson testified Thursday that he never got a receipt for a $300,000 payment he claims he delivered to a “Mr. X” in South America on the pop star’s behalf. The issue of the mysterious payment was used by Jackson attorney Thomas Mundell as an example of big-ticket claims made by plaintiff F. Marc Schaffel that are not documented. Schaffel, who worked with Jackson on various projects for three years, testified Wednesday that the money was his and he was never fully repaid. He testified Thursday that in the entire time he was with Jackson he loaned the pop star millions of dollars and never once got a receipt. Outside court, Schaffel’s lawyer, Howard King, disclosed that disputes over receipts, statutes of limitations and work agreements have led him to cut the claim against Jackson by more than half, to $1.6 million rather than the original $3.8 million. “Mr. Schaffel is an idiot for not getting receipts,” said King. “I don’t think he is going to be making loans of millions of dollars to stars any more.” In court, Mundell showed enlargements of ledgers Schaffel submitted and pointed out discrepancies. Concerning the $300,000 Schaffel said he delivered in South America to someone listed on his ledger as “Mr. X,” Mundell asked if he had any documentary proof. Schaffel said he did and handed a paper to the lawyer. But after a private conference with the judge it was not shown to the jurors. King said outside court that the paper was a withdrawal slip from a bank in Brazil. Later on the stand, Schaffel added more details, saying he initially took money from an account in Budapest to Brazil to buy a condo, but later withdrew it and at Jackson’s request “delivered it to its final destination in Argentina.” Referring to the molestation charges Jackson was acquitted of last year, Schaffel added, “The criminal case was at hand and it was a sensitive time. It was a very, very private transaction of a very sensitive nature for Mr. Jackson. And I never imagined he would not pay it back to me.” Schaffel also testified that when he and Jackson decided to work together the pop star gave him $2 million for use in the business and discussed making a charity record. Mundell pointed out that Jackson did not have checks for the account in which the money was deposited and never made a withdrawal, but that Schaffel did. In testimony and a declaration read to the jury, Schaffel also told of loaning Jackson $500,000 after the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center. He said Jackson was initially stuck in New York, then took a bus across the country and called along the way, saying he needed the money to find shelter underground. Schaffel said Jackson pulled up to his house in the bus and collected the cash. Jackson’s attorney challenged the story as a lie and noted there was a financial entry for $500,000 on Sept. 18 but it was just a transfer from one Schaffel account to another. Schaffel denied lying. At day’s end jurors were watching a videotaped deposition by Jackson, who will not testify in person. He claimed a poor memory about his finances but recalled Schaffel as a man “who came to me with ideas.” Jackson said he became disenchanted with his new associate in November 2001 when someone gave him a video showing Schaffel directing an episode of a gay porn movie. “What shocked me was that he was involved in that whole circle and I didn’t know. It surprised me,” he said. Source: http://www.contracostatimes.com/mld/cctimes/news/state/14981554.htm http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/state/20060706-1423-ca-michaeljackson.html

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