Estate lawsuit file here : Estate Complaint against Tohme
- Tohme gets hired around January 2008.
- Tohme doesn't have any experience in being a manager.
- Tohme took control over all of Michael's personal and professional affairs. They also claim Tohme hired and fired and supervised other people that worked for Michael and therefore no one could have objected his actions.
- May 2008 Tohme and Michael signs a finder's agreement for Tohme introducing Michael to Colony Capital.
- Estate alleges that Tohme didn't tell Michael that he had a pre-existing relationship with Colony Capital.
- According to the finder's fee agreement : Michael was to give Tohme 10% of the loan amount ($2.4M), 10% from the future sale of Neverland and 10% from any future transactions with Colony Capital.
- Estate claims Michael didn't have an independent lawyer and signed the finder's fee agreement without fully understanding and getting independent explanation of it.
- Estate says Michael signed the agreement because he trusted Tohme and believed the finder's fee amount was normal and customary. Estate argues that these amounts are too high.
- Estate says Tohme had conflicting roles - working as a finder and working as the manager of Michael.
- Estate states that the Neverland deal done with Colony Capital was highly unfavorable for Michael. It limited his use and control of Neverland and had unfavorable financial terms.
- Estate says as Tohme had ties and interest in regards to Colony Capital, he didn't look for better and more favorable financing options for Neverland. (Estate says that they believe other better options were available)
- Estate says Michael signed the Neverland / Colony Capital agreement without having counsel independent from Tohme and not subject to Tohme's control and authority.
- July 2008 Tohme gets Michael to sign a "Services agreement".
- Again MJ Estate says Michael signed because he trusted Tohme, didn't have an independent counsel and thought it was customary.
- According to this agreement Tohme was to be paid $35,000 + expenses per month even though Michael earned nothing.
- The agreement also said Tohme was to receive 15% of all gross compensations [U]received[/U] by Michael for his services in the entertainment industry including live performances, merchandising, electronic arts, recorded and live telecasts, motion pictures, animation projects.
- August 2008 Tohme gets Michael to sign two Power of Attorney (POA) which gave extraordinary powers to Tohme.
- Also Tohme gets Michael to sign an Indemnity Agreement which was again too broad.
- Again the same claims of Michael didn't have an independent counsel, trusted Tohme, signed them without fully understanding them.
- Estate says Tohme cause harm with his POA when in November 2008 he gifted Michael's art to Brett Livingstone-strong. Estate says the POA's don't give Tohme the power to gift anything and sign over Michael's copyrights.
-Tohme negotiated TII concert deal with AEG.
- Tohme was supposed to get $100,000 a month as a producer fee from TII concerts. AEG would have pay this amount but then would get it back from Michael.
- Again the same claims about Michael signing this agreement.
- Estate alleges that Tohme took possession and control of millions of dollars, tangible personal property and other property of Michael.
- Estate says Tohme merged his own funds with Michael's and used Michael's money for his expenses, travel, entertainment and purchase other property for himself.
- Estate says Tohme has refused to provide accounting for the money he handled.
- Estate says they believe Tohme is in possession of property belonging to the Estate (and alleges Tohme disposed some of them) and asks for twice the value of such items.
- Estate says Tohme was fired March 2009 and Michael revoked his POA's in April 2009.
- Tohme didn't return Michael's property.
- After Michael's death Tohme requested significant funds from MJ Estate.
- Tohme refused to return the property in his possession to MJ Estate.
- Estate says Tohme also didn't return books and records.
1. Accounting : Estate is asking for account of all actions and transactions done by Tohme and return of any money and property of Michael.
2. Recovery of Property: Estate is asking for all the property and cash Tohme has. Estate also claims that when Michael died he had a claim to property that the title or possession is held by Tohme.
3. Wrongful taking: Estate wants twice the value of the property that Tohme took, concealed and disposed of.
4. Breach of fiduciary duty: Tohme took advantage of Michael's trust (for the things listed above) and only considered his self interest. Estate doesn't know the exact amount of damages but they're asking for currently undetermined damages from Tohme.
5. Rescission: Due to the breach of duty Estate is asking for rescission - in other words the cancellation - of the 3 agreements (finder's fee, service and indemnity) between Michael and Tohme.
6. Rescission: Estate is asking for the rescission / cancellation of the 3 agreements between Michael and Tohme due several facts such as Michael didn't have independent counsel and/or didn't fully understand it and trusted Tohme. Estate says Michael could not known that these agreements weren't customary and highly unfavorable for him. So Estate wants to rescind / cancel all these agreements.
7. Rescission due to undue influence: Estate also claims that Tohme misused Michael's confidence in him to obtain advantage over Michael and took advantage of Michael's financial distress.
8. Relief: Estate wants the court to rule that Tohme is not entitled to any commission for the time after he was fired and certainly not after Michael's death, void the agreements and rule that Tohme is not entitled any further compensation and order the return of Michael's property and money that's in Tohme's possession. Estate is also asking for damages (not yet determined) and legal costs.