Forensic accountant challenges plaintiff’s claims against Jackson

[b]Forensic accountant challenges plaintiff’s claims against Jackson[/b] By LINDA DEUTSCH, AP Special Correspondent Wednesday, July 12, 2006 (07-12) 12:08 PDT Santa Monica, Calif. (AP) — A forensic accountant hired by Michael Jackson’s lawyer testified Wednesday that a former associate who is now suing the singer used money from a Japanese record production company for the down payment on his own $1.9 million home rather than for the business expenses he claimed. [b] Jan Goren, who showed jurors how he traced millions of dollars through the various bank accounts of F. Marc Schaffel, also said he found no substantiation for a $300,000 payment Schaffel claimed he provided to a mysterious “Mr. X” in South America on Jackson’s behalf.[/b] The testimony was presented as the trial neared the closing arguments phase. Schaffel’s lawsuit claims Jackson owes him $1.6 million for various endeavors he worked on for the pop star. Jackson’s side has sought to show Schaffel enriched himself at the singer’s expense, outweighing any sums that might actually be owed.

Jackson lawyer tries to show ‘pattern of false claims’ in suit

[b]Jackson lawyer tries to show ‘pattern of false claims’ in suit[/b] By LINDA DEUTSCH The Associated Press SANTA MONICA Michael Jackson’s attorney called a forensic accountant to the stand Tuesday to try to show that a former associate suing the pop star for $1.6 million deceptively juggled money to enrich himself. Accountant Jan Goren said he was able to trace most of the complicated transactions in a ledger kept by plaintiff F. Marc Schaffel, but could not find that all of the explanations by Schaffel were accurate. Schaffel has brought a complex case involving sums he claims he’s still owed, including royalties from a charity record project and from two video programs about Jackson that aired on Fox, among others. Jackson attorney Thomas Mundell has pointed to a lack of receipts in some cases or called witnesses to broadly undermine the credibility of Schaffel’s claims. Goren, for instance, said a $500,000 transaction Schaffel claimed was a loan to Jackson was not a loan at all.

Schaffel Admits to Taking Money from Account after Firing – MB#313

Schaffel Admits to Taking Money from Account after Firing – MB#313 JULY 12 2006 – There was explosive testimony July 10 in the civil trial between Michael Jackson and Marc Schaffel. Schaffel is suing Jackson and Jackson is countersuing him. Under questioning by Jackson attorney Thomas Mundell, Schaffel admitted to writing 18 checks to use Jackson’s money for his own personal use. If that weren’t bad enough, the checks were written AFTER he was terminated from Jackson’s direct employ in Nov 2001. It gets worse. The checks were backdated by Schaffel to cover the fact he was writing them after he was fired; essentially trying to conceal what appears to be the theft of this money. According to the testimony, he was sent a letter of termination which he received on Nov 15 2001. So what did he do afterwards? Wrote a bunch of checks and dated them for before Nov 15. These 18 checks were included in the total amount of over three quarters of a million dollars within in the larger amount of money Schaffel claimed Jackson owed him or promised to give him.

Former Jackson lawyer testifies on ill-fated charity record

[b]Former Jackson lawyer testifies on ill-fated charity record[/b] By LINDA DEUTSCH The Associated Press SANTA MONICA A former lawyer for Michael Jackson testified Tuesday that he tried to convince a Japanese company not to negotiate with a fired associate of the pop star for rights to a charity recording, but the company proceeded anyway with efforts to acquire the ill-fated song and stage a concert tour. Zia Modabber, testifying in a $1.6 million lawsuit against Jackson by former associate F. Marc Schaffel, said that when he learned of Schaffel’s contacts with the company, Music Fighters, his first concern “was to find out who they were and whether they were legitimate people to negotiate with. I never got to the bottom of it.” Modabber was put on the stand by Jackson’s attorney to support the pop star’s position that Schaffel, who claims he’s still owed royalties and other debts, enriched himself at Jackson’s expense while producing “What More Can I Give,” a song that was intended raise money for victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorism.

Witness: Jackson ‘angry, upset’ at associate’s past

[b]Witness: Jackson ‘angry, upset’ at associate’s past in gay porn[/b] LINDA DEUTSCH Associated Press SANTA MONICA, Calif. – In November 2001, Michael Jackson was oblivious to the fact that the man he hired to produce a charity recording to benefit victims of the Sept. 11 terror attacks had been a producer of gay pornographic movies, the singer’s former lawyer testified Monday. Zia Modabber said he broke the news to Jackson about F. Marc Schaffel’s background and met with the pop star in the middle of the night to show him a video of Schaffel directing a gay porn scene. “Can you describe Mr. Jackson’s reaction?” asked Thomas Mundell, who is defending Jackson against Schaffel’s claims that the pop star still owes him $1.6 million. “I think he didn’t want to believe it was real or true,” said Modabber. “He appeared angry, upset.”

Jackson defense in lawsuit targets plaintiff’s backdated checks

Posted on Mon, Jul. 10, 2006 [b]Jackson defense in lawsuit targets plaintiff’s backdated checks[/b] LINDA DEUTSCH Associated Press SANTA MONICA, Calif. – In the days after being fired by Michael Jackson, former associate F. Marc Schaffel rushed to issue 18 backdated checks totaling $784,000, the pop star’s attorney showed Monday. Schaffel, who is suing Jackson for $1.6 million, testified in Superior Court that he wrote the checks for items including prepayment of $54,000 in rent on his home, prepayment of utilities and phone bills, and reimbursement for expenses such as camera rentals after he received the termination letter on Nov. 15, 2001. Showing Schaffel one of the checks, Jackson attorney Thomas Mundell said, “And you dated it Nov. 14 because you knew if you dated it after that you would run into problems because of the termination?” “Yes,” said Schaffel. Mundell asked, “Isn’t it true you falsified books and records to try to get as much money as possible from Mr. Jackson before your termination?”

Jackson begs to differ over cash claims

7-8-06 [b]Jackson begs to differ over cash claims[/b] By Michael J. Tittinger Daily Press Staff Writer SM COURTHOUSE — The defense of Michael Jackson began in earnest on Friday in the $1.6 million lawsuit brought against the entertainer by a former associate, a day highlighted by bizarre twists such as cash loans smelling of French fries and a $1 million gift given by the singer to late actor Marlon Brando. The jury began the day watching hours of videotaped testimony by Jackson, who repeatedly said he couldn’t remember the details, financial or otherwise, of his dealings with F. Marc Schaffel, a former producer of adult films. Schaffel, who claims he was empowered to negotiate creative projects for Jackson in return for a percentage of the profits, was let go in 2001 after Jackson learned he was involved in the adult entertainment business. He then was back on the scene in 2003 and claims he is due unpaid royalties from a pair of TV specials.

Pathetic Accusations from Schaffel as his Case Crumbles – MB#312

Pathetic Accusations from Schaffel as his Case Crumbles – MB#312 JULY 10 2006 – Marc Schaffel’s testimony in the suit/countersuit civil trial against Michael Jackson held in Santa Monica, California left much to be desired. Particularly, any type of verified documentation showing that he gave Jackson any loans anywhere near the amount he initially claimed he did. After a key ruling from the judge in the case, and probably seeing that Jackson’s attorney was tearing their “case” to shreds, Schaffel and his attorney slashed the amount of money they are trying to get by more than half. Now Schaffel only wants $1.6 million instead of the $3.8 million he originally sought. The attorney cross-examining Schaffel on Jackson’s behalf cornered Schaffel about monies he allegedly gave to Jackson. Possibly seeing his case crumble before his eyes, Schaffel played the ‘boy’ card by making an asinine, last minute allegation of helping Jackson adopt boys in Brazil. You can’t make this stuff up, people!

Michael Jackson tells his side by video in suit over alleged debt

[b]Michael Jackson tells his side by video in suit over alleged debt[/b] By LINDA DEUTSCH The Associated Press SANTA MONICA The plaintiff in a lawsuit against Michael Jackson prepared to rest his case Friday after the jury was shown hours of videotaped testimony from the star, who professed little memory of major financial transactions involving the former associate who claims he’s owed $1.6 million. Jackson, who was interviewed twice in London by F. Marc Schaffel’s attorney, Howard King, said he did remember at least one occasion when Schaffel delivered money to him on the set of a music video. He said it arrived in a fast-food bag and they called it “french fries,” which became their slang for money. But Jackson said he thought that any money Schaffel gave him came from Jackson’s own funds.

Jackson adviser: trial signals star’s new approach to business

[b]Jackson adviser: trial signals star’s new approach to business[/b] LINDA DEUTSCH, AP Special Correspondent July 7, 2006 12:10 AM PST SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) – Michael Jackson’s decision to fight his former associate F. Marc Schaffel in a civil suit now under way is symbolic of ”a new day” in Jackson’s financial life, the man who is restructuring his business affairs said. L. Londell McMillan, a New York lawyer who has attended every day of the current trial, was responding to a comment by Schaffel’s attorney Howard King, who told reporters it would have been less expensive and more expeditious for Jackson to have settled the case before it went to trial. ”It would have been to all parties’ benefit to settle,” McMillan said Thursday. ”But Mr. Schaffel’s request was outrageous. And Mr. Jackson is taking a new approach to people trying to hijack him with dishonorable claims.” ”This is a very important case,” he added. ”It’s the beginning of a new day defending against bogus claims and accepting responsibility for his business.”