Tuesday, November 1, 2011
According to the Associated Press, David Black (a professional money manager) has used a canny licensing deal to wipe out more than $20 million in debt owed by James Brown’s charitable trust. The trust is now able to pay for thousands of college scholarships for needy students.
However, Adele Pope and Robert Buchanan, the two ousted trustees, have filed a brief with the Southern Carolina Supreme Court arguing that Black should not be involved with the estate because both Pope and Buchanan opposed hiring Black and becuase neither of them participated in the negotiations that put the estate in Black’s hands.
The attorney general at the time oversaw the deal to hire Black and claims that Pope and Buchanan paid themselves hundreds of thousands of dollars from the estate, failed to appraise Brown’s estate, and claimed $5 million in fees.
Under the current deal, the trust receives half of Brown’s assets, Brown’s widow and young son receive a quarter, and Brown’s grown children receive the rest.
See Saddled by Debt, James Brown Estate Now Thriving, Still Contested, The LA Times, Oct. 31, 2011.
Special thanks to Joel Dobris (Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.