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September 2014

After 2 years we have some new information about MJ Estate vs Tohme lawsuits.

As you might remember Tohme filed a complaint against MJ Estate asking for fees he’s owed. These were 10% from Neverland refinancing, 10% from any future transaction about Neverland, 15% of income from services he provided (plus interest when applicable). Details of Tohme’s complaint can be found here:  http://dailymichael.com/lawsuits/estate-v-tohme/100-tohme-complaint-against-mj-estate

Estate had also filed a complaint against Tohme asking for accounting all actions and transactions done by Tohme, return of any money and property (of Michael) Tohme has and cancellation of the three agreements Michael had with Tohme. Details of Estate’s complaint can be found here: http://dailymichael.com/lawsuits/estate-v-tohme/99-estate-complaint-against-tohme

Tohme and Michael had 3 agreements:

  • Finder’s fee agreement that give Tohme 10% of Neverland loan amount, 10% from any future sale of Neverland and 10% from any future transaction with Colony Capital.
  • Services agreement which gave Tohme $35,000+ expenses per month and 15% all gross compensation received by Michael.
  • Indemnity agreement in which Michael agrees to compensate Tohme for professional and legal expenses.

The most recent September 2014 court filing has shown that court has separated all of the claims from both parties into two parts. Probate court has been hearing accounting and return of property requests where as Labor commissioner has been overseeing whether or not the 3 agreements between Michael and Tohme should be cancelled.

Probate court proceedings about accounting and return of property requests

A transcript from a hearing on June, 2012 shows Executors arguing they need accounting from Tohme for the years he was manager in order to file Estate tax with IRS properly. Probate notes showed several hearings and protective orders concerning the accounting request.

Return of property request is still ongoing. Tohme’s lawyers complain about not being able to depose co-executor McClain to date. Documents show McClain’s health issues are the reason why he isn’t deposed yet. The same June 2012 hearing transcript and a short mention of Branca’s deposition clarifies Estate’s “return of property” claims. Branca mentions a private investigator being hired. Weitzman in hearing states Estate wants to know “where all the money went and how it was spent” and “there’s property Tohme got has yet to be returned”. Weitzman also states that they know someone who was supposed to pay Michael directly paid to Tohme and coincidentally Tohme purchased houses just after Michael passed away. They want discovery of all accounts managed by Tohme, where the money come from and where it went.

Labor commissioner proceedings about cancellation of 3 agreements

MJ Estate had filed a petition with Labor Commissioner based on California’s Talent Agency act. This act requires talent agents to be licensed. Estate argued as Tohme was unlicensed the agreements between him and Michael should be cancelled. LA Superior Court agreed this is a matter to be decided by Labor Commissioner.

This most recent filing states that the final hearing in front of the Labor Commissioner was in October 2013 and the closing briefs were submitted in November 2013. Almost a year later there’s still no decision from Labor Commissioner.

However Tohme’s lawyers claim the hearings in front of the Labor Commissioner has showed that while they have jurisdiction over the management agreements, they have no jurisdiction over the finder’s fee agreement about Neverland.  So Tohme’s lawyers now asking LA Superiour court to take over the finder’s fee agreement issue put it on calendar and even make a summary judgment decision in favor of Tohme that the finder's fee agreement is valid and binding.

As of May 2014 the 10% Neverland loan + 10% interest equals $3.9 Million. Tohme asks a judgment for this amount. He also asks the court to determine that Tohme is entitled to 10% from future transactions about Neverland (which includes loan buyout and sale of Neverland).

An hearing is set for October 6, 2014.