August 3, 2009

Posner: Michael Jackson's missing millions

Posted: 08:49 AM ET

From The Daily Beast contributor Gerald Posner:

Today, a court decides who controls Michael Jackson’s finances. Whoever wins, reports The Daily Beast’s Gerald Posner, will inherit a secret legacy of dicey advisers and vanished cash.

As the world awaits Michael Jackson’s autopsy results, along with the expected conclusion on which drugs, and which doctors, caused his death, an equally dramatic mystery is playing out in California courts today:  How did the pop superstar’s massive fortune disappear?

Getting answers to that question has been delayed by the very people in charge of safeguarding the estate, The Daily Beast has learned. The singer’s mother, Katherine Jackson, will be squaring off today against the estate’s official executors in Los Angeles Superior Court, to determine who will control a fortune once estimated to top $500 million. According to several people familiar with the estate proceedings, speaking only on the condition of anonymity, this fight has delayed an urgent probe into what happened to millions of dollars in missing Jackson funds. Some of these sources say they fear that potential leads and evidence may get cold as those involved in any plundering scatter and have the time to cover misdeeds by destroying paper or electronic records.


Filed under: Larry King Live • Michael Jackson

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Debbie   August 3rd, 2009 8:57 am ET

Why haven't those girls that went to the storage sged been arrested and why haven't their places been searched and why do we keep talking about the same things over and over again about Michael. Can't you find new stories to talk about , like how he even after death is still helping charities, and how he really isn't broke . And why has AEG showed the document to prove that Michael really did sign for more than the 10 he said he signed for . And why are all his so called friends and family talking to the media that help push him over the top and cause him to take drugs . The world needs to back to hack off and let this family be . Sick of it and sick of people calling him Jacko , freak, and other names and unless you know him or knew him stop running your mouths . And the ones who really knew him are the ones not talking like Janet, Miko, his mom , Randy , Jermaine , so untill the tox. report is released just find something else to talk about .

Honorine   August 3rd, 2009 8:59 am ET

Mrs. Katherine Jackson, our prayers are with u.

Maureen (UK)   August 3rd, 2009 9:06 am ET


THANK YOU CNN ! Please help us (the fans) to tell the world what was really going on in Michael's life. The double crossing, the control, the greed and the attempts to subdue Michael's expertise in handling his own business affairs.

Cocovelvet   August 3rd, 2009 9:10 am ET


I am just not surprised that all these things are coming out now....MJ was always cheated out of his fortune which he painfully created for himself. GOD BLESS YOU MJ AND OUR PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU KATHERINE.


Linda from New York   August 3rd, 2009 9:16 am ET

It's about time somebody started to talk about all the vultures that surrounded MJ. What happened to his money? I'll give you one guess.

Honorine   August 3rd, 2009 9:17 am ET

All these leeches stuck on MJ and gradually sucked up all his blood. MJ's blood is on their hands!!!!!!!!!!!
Yes, it is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Linda from New York   August 3rd, 2009 9:22 am ET

Hi Honorine

Honorine   August 3rd, 2009 9:25 am ET

They need to go down for what they did and have been doing all these years.

Probably all the stress from the media wasn't enough. Now, MJ had to worry about his money disappearing in the hands of the people closest to him, whom he is supposed to trust.

I really see why he had all this population around him yet always felt lonely. Coz he could trust no one. He knew their hearts were not as open to him as his was to them. What a life???????

Honorine   August 3rd, 2009 9:25 am ET

Hello Linda.

Malaika   August 3rd, 2009 9:33 am ET


Linda from New York   August 3rd, 2009 9:36 am ET

Michael's fans are behind you Mrs Jackson. Good Luck.

Linda from New York   August 3rd, 2009 9:36 am ET

Did you see that report last night?

Honorine   August 3rd, 2009 9:40 am ET

I didn't. One of my friends was moving and i had to help.
What happened?

Malaika   August 3rd, 2009 9:40 am ET

Mrs Jackson... i hope u wl not rest until all these smooth criminals are behind bars.

Honorine   August 3rd, 2009 9:44 am ET

Mrs. Jackson we'll "Scream" for u.

Malaika   August 3rd, 2009 9:45 am ET

hi Larry, who is on your guest list for 2nyt's LKL???
good luck Mrs K Jackson.

Linda from New York   August 3rd, 2009 9:54 am ET

Go to our headquarters–I'll post info there

Honorine   August 3rd, 2009 9:58 am ET


ok then.

Dana   August 3rd, 2009 10:26 am ET

REALLY! everyone knows that the people who have current control over Michaels estate is hiding and getting rid of documents. they are rich just like everyone else who has ripped him off. and now they have to cover their behinds. I think its appauling. He really did surrond himself with the wrong people. Common sence would tell you that Mrs. Jackson should have control over her sons estate. Bur this is all about who can get richer, the bodyguards, the people controlling his estate,the drs, AEG, socalled friends, this Debbie person, the children are the ones who will suffer from this.
SHAME ON ALL OF YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dana   August 3rd, 2009 10:31 am ET

Dear Mrs. Jackson,
My thoughts and prayers are with you and the children today. You are a figher, you deserve what belongs to your son, and his children deserve also NOT THE LEACHES WHO CONVINCED MICHAEL THEY WOULD BUDDY PALS. and Yes, i agree whey aren't those women who went to the storage questioned and arrested they are involved also.
good luch today Mrs. Jackson,

Maria   August 3rd, 2009 10:32 am ET

Tabloids MUST PAY for every lie an offensive article written about Michael . They made a lot o millions killing this great man. They have to pay for their lies to the Michael s childrens , for killing their father .

JUNIOR   August 3rd, 2009 10:42 am ET

October 22, 1990 Vol. 34 No. 16

By Todd Gold

It's 9 A.M. and rancher Frank Dileo is padding through his eight-stall horse barn, bidding good morning to his Tennessee walking horses. It's part of his routine since settling in 14 months ago at the Tookarosa Ranch, his 40-acre spread in Ojai, Calif. Not that Dileo is any ordinary rancher. Five-feet-two and a muffin-soft 240 lbs., he is wrapped in sweats and powder blue loafers and tickling a horse's nose with a fat cigar.

Dileo, 42, looks like the kind of man who's more at home making deals than mending fences. And small wonder. As Michael Jackson's manager for five years, he had done just that, shepherding the singer through two hit albums (Thriller, still the biggest-selling LP in history, and Bad), two world tours and into enough endorsements to make them both rich for life. Then, 20 months ago—without warning, Dileo says—he was sacked.

The reason, some speculate, may have been his failure to secure theatrical release for Jackson's feature-length film, Moonwalker, which was eventually released in Europe. "I brought in a $7-or $8-million offer," retorts Dileo, insisting that others had then counseled Jackson against that deal. In February 1989, when he and the singer spoke by phone, Dileo says, it was business as usual, and "everything was hunky-dory." Three days later Jackson's attorney called. "Michael doesn't want to work with you anymore," was all Dileo was told.

Although the dismissal still "hurts plenty," the ex-manager says, any would-be fiscal woes were tempered by a severance package estimated to be worth more than $5 million. As for psychic scars, they were salved by friends like director Martin Scorsese, who called to offer Dileo a part in his gangster film GoodFellas. And so it was that when the movie opened last month, there was Frank Dileo, novice actor, playing the part of a heavy with all the pinkie-ring panache of a Mafia capo.

"I remember reading the script and telling Marty, 'Geez, you gotta give Frank the part of Tuddy. He's perfect,' " recalls actor Joe Pesci, one of the film's stars (along with Robert De Niro and Ray Liotta). "There wasn't much dialogue at first, but it grew when Frank showed he could handle it. The guy's a natural."

Dileo, however, says that moving to the big screen wasn't all that easy. As an old friend of both Pesci and De Niro (Dileo is a partner in De Niro's Tribeca Grill in Manhattan), "I certainly didn't want to fail, the job or their friendship," he says. "It made things a little more intense." He also learned that "when you see yourself for the first time on a movie screen, all you see are the imperfections. I thought, 'God, am I that fat?' But the second time I enjoyed it."

For most of Dileo's life, of course, music, not movies, has provided the enjoyment. The son of a Pittsburgh tavern owner and his wife, Dileo was working as kitchen manager in an Italian restaurant in 1968 when a customer asked him if he would be interested in the record business. "He said, 'You stay up late, eat at nice restaurants and leave big tips.' " Dileo recalls. "It was like they custom-made it for me."

Starting as a record rack jobber—or salesman—he moved quickly into promotion and eventually to Nashville. Then in 1976, feeling burned out, he quit the business, returned home and married Linda Laughlin, a lab technician he had been dating for seven years. Two years later Dileo got himself into trouble and was fined for misdemeanor bookmaking. In 1979 trouble found him: A fire gutted his home, destroying everything. "I sold my Cadillac for $2,000, then bought two blue suits, three white shirts and a plane ticket to New York," he says. Hired by Epic, a subsidiary of CBS Records, he became vice president of promotion within three years, then in 1984 was hired away by Jackson, CBS's biggest star.

Soon, Dileo became the singer's closest confidant in business and his constant companion on the road. Jackson called him Uncle Tookie and, in a 1987 letter to PEOPLE, wrote: "He's loyal. He's competent.... And also my shield of armor. He's my other half. We dream together and achieve together."

Dileo suggests, however, that he didn't always get credit for his marketing savvy. "Don't get me wrong; I think Michael's a tremendous performer," he says. But "whether it was money, record sales or trophies, Michael wanted to be the one who claimed it. He used to wonder, 'Why do they call Elvis the King? Why don't they call me the King?" I'd have to explain."

Now, with his Jackson days behind him, Dileo has had a chance to be a father again to son Dominic, 12, and daughter Belinda, 9. "Before, I was just a guy who was coming home late at night and then, when on tour, once in a while on weekends," he says. "I've had to ease myself back into their lives."

But gradually, it seems. Although Dileo now rides daily through the picturesque hills of Tookarosa—a hybrid of Tookie, a childhood nickname, and Ponderosa—and hangs out with the locals, his five-bedroom ranch house has 24 phones and two fax machines. In a single morning recently, he closed sales on a Nashville recording studio and a music-publishing company he owned. "Most people look at Frank and wonder how anybody like him could be on a ranch," says Linda, wise to her husband's ways. "But he hasn't changed. Not too long ago he was thinking about making a deal to buy the feed store."

By Todd Gold in Los Angeles

Michelle D. Ontario ,Canada   August 3rd, 2009 10:44 am ET

The vultures and leeches who are sniffing around for any money that can come thier way is pathetic and selfish .Everyone leeched off of MJ for years and still now after death they want a peiece of the pie .

JUNIOR   August 3rd, 2009 11:05 am ET


Cocovelvet   August 3rd, 2009 11:14 am ET

Hi Junior,

HAA!!!HAAAA!!!! So the dismissal by MJ "HURTS PLENTY" for DiLeo!!???......Probably those wounds never healed and thats why they finally teamed up all those gangsters to plan this conspiracy to kill MJ!!????

Oooh!!!Yeah!!!!....that was a pretty good and well-chosen part for him to play in Scosese's gangster movie GOODFELLAS!!...because he has portrayed himself to be a real mafia gangster in real life, not only from an actor's view. The movie was always one of my best mafia movies; NOT THAT I LIKE WHAT THEY DO BUT THAT I WANTED TO OBSERVE AND GET INFORMED HOW TRICKY AND BRUTAL SOME PEOPLE CAN BE ON EACH OTHER. However this movie seem to potray a true-life event from what we are now observing with all events surrounding MJ's death.

Thanx once again Junior for the article....we need all these articles to get a clear picture of who really these men who surrounded MJ were. Its really amazing how GOD seem to reveal each and every deed that all those people did to MJ....UNBELIEVABLE!!!

Mary Lee   August 3rd, 2009 11:17 am ET

Sad, but true, there are so many ways people you intrust your financials to, wheel and deal with your money. Michale put his trust in the wrong people. True, he spent his money like no tomorrow, but where is the true and accurate documents that show exactly what is what-there isn't any because these people know how to manipulate his finances. they can say he had 5 million stashed, but how do we know if it wasn't more? If he has a worth of 300 Billion, how do we know it isn't more? How does anyone know if his money wasn't used for other investments that is bringing in the dough for someone else and not Michael, nobody knows because there never is a true accounting of it when it goes to anothers hands for safe keeping.

LA courthouse is gearing up, reports say Katherine arrived early and Debbie is expected to show up, the streets are lined with all the news media. going to be a busy day in downtown.

Samantha - South Africa   August 3rd, 2009 12:00 pm ET

If memory serves me correct,Michael's fortune in 1988 was estimated to be around $1 billion.In 1995,he co-founded Sony/ATV Music Publishing with his share of the company worth $1 billion which also includes the much prized Beatles catalogue and the rights to his own music.According to his executors,John Branca and John McClain,Michael's estate at this very moment is now worth $100 million.Whilst I do understand that Michael faced some financial difficulties over the last few years,it certainly does not explain how almost his entire fortune 'disappeared'!!!

I strongly believe that there are a bunch of scumbags out there who tried to control Michael by getting him hooked on to drugs so they could run amok with his finances and then conspired to murder him so they could get their dirty hands onto his most prized possession,that being the catalogues!Actually,I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if Murray was working in cahoots with these scavengers!

Maureen (UK)   August 3rd, 2009 12:12 pm ET

Mr D. Misdemeanors etc very unsavoury. He got a good leg up the career & wealth hierarchy with MJ. ( but the poor horses!).
The call made on the morning of 25th June: MJ to Mr D. ? Could have been the Dr to Mr D. on MJ's phone during the panic.
Thought only a Dr could sign a death cert ?

Lori   August 3rd, 2009 12:32 pm ET

You all realize of course that this fourtune was Michaels, and the way he spent it and how much of it he spent, was his own damn business. He earned the money, it was his to do with as he wished.

Lori   August 3rd, 2009 12:37 pm ET

I don't like the imolication that Michael "Squandered" his money. He did what he wanted. I also agree that he had a lot of so-called advisors that appear to be more than a little shady.

Nicole S. -- North Carolina   August 3rd, 2009 12:38 pm ET

Hey Lori - girl, you know I second that! (I'm on briefly. Will be back later on.)

Mary Lee   August 3rd, 2009 1:14 pm ET

He liked to spend it, he had a right. Remember when he went shopping at that high priced Gallery in Vegas? Those things are not what they appear to be. I got a good lesson in this from my son years ago when he worked at a Gallery like that. He calls them high end profit junk stores. They get this stuff brought in and take off the other tags and replace tags to make the object appear to be worth much more than actually is. This is a very common practice and yes, unfortunately shoppers are unaware, they just see a fancy label and buy it.
In Michaels' situation, I can imagine a lot fo extra things were always added onto whatever bills went to his accountant and then all these dedcutions for things, he probably didn't even know half of what was hidden. Too many people taking liberties and advantages.
Strange that Dielo guy just sold his music business in Nashville, keeping a low profile for when they coem to investigate him???? He got with the wrong people, I think it's sneaky how they all came back in the picture months before michael died.

Vitoria   August 3rd, 2009 1:16 pm ET

Really that is my theory , Michael was influence under the drugs , someone for sure take advanced of the situation .
We Can only blame Michael with certain level of responsibility since he was under the influence of prescription drugs , Michael choose to surrounded himself and his beloved children in a private world , unfortunate he also allowed and trusted some very nasty people
to be a part of his world .
We always will love Michael with all his imperfections because his quality was so brilliant as an artist and also as a humanitarian .
the children should have an independent lawyer team to make sure that their assets will be protected , I am sure Michale's mother has their best interest in her heart .
I am glad that Debbie Rowe will be a part of their life as well , for sure she will be a good and strong influence she indeed gave Michael the best days of his live by conceiving their beautiful children , lets not forget about that ! hopefully Blanket will be part of it as well .

Mary Lee   August 3rd, 2009 1:16 pm ET

Hmmm...Yes, only a Dr. can sign a death cert. and I thought it was LaToya who gave the other informaton...Once again, too many hands in the pie.

aisha   August 3rd, 2009 1:40 pm ET

hi Larry
if those people in charge of mj estate are being honest they should give her the chance to take control.

MIMI   August 3rd, 2009 2:29 pm ET


Maureen (UK)   August 3rd, 2009 2:30 pm ET

Gerald Posner, Giornalist

Great ! Independant, factual reporting at last exposing the truth. The rest of the press are busy with non newsworthy "red herrings," such as MJ's other son.

MJ knew he was in peril and that there was a conspiracy but not many could see through the smokescreen of false allegations in the past

Could Gerald Posner be invited to Larry's programme please ?

Cindy   August 3rd, 2009 5:55 pm ET

Oh for heaven's sake most speculation caused by the media. Don't you wonder why the sources are unnamed? Because they don't want to have to prove their allegations. I seriously doubt that these executors that MJ trusted would do anything wrong. They are well known to have a spotless reputation and are well known as very fine people. If MJ trusted them completely then that's all that matters. Maybe whoever the so called source means is someone who handled MJ's money that we when Bracca was not in charge. Maybe that is why Michael brought him back into his trust because he discovered that he was the ONLY financial advisor that he could trust. It was these two current executors who helped Michael make money and it's possible that when Michael let them go temporarily that whoever took over was screwing MJ and that was why the current ones were brought back. Don't worry if Michael was cheated I have a feeling that these two executors will be sure to get the money back if it was stolen from Michael.

Cindy   August 3rd, 2009 5:58 pm ET

MIMI that was the SMARTEST thing that Michael did by leaving his mother out of his business deals and control of his estate. Any legal advisor will tell you it's NEVER good to put a large amount of money into a family member's hands. Michael is the one that knew his mother the best and just maybe he was afraid that Joe would manipulate his mother and get his hands on MJ's money so Michael set it up to make sure that didn't happen. No matter what I totally agree that Michael did the very BEST thing for his mother and children by using executors and making it a TRUST! SMART MOVE! BRILLIANT MOVE!

margie   August 3rd, 2009 7:09 pm ET

It is just proper that Katherine Jackson would dig up all MJ's fortune.

Nicole from London UK   August 3rd, 2009 7:11 pm ET

The bible says the love of money is the root of all evil,people who took advantage of MJ to steal shame on them,since he was trying to get back on his feets some had different agenda, but remember God sees and God always vendicates the innocent.....,if someone think to get away but the always forget certain details, one day the will have less sleep to like their done to MJ.

KD   August 3rd, 2009 9:52 pm ET

Can't believe a 78 year old should have custody of young children.

Monica   August 3rd, 2009 11:53 pm ET

"GOD DON'T LIKE UGLY"! Those criminals in this situation will have 2 answer 4 what they done , one day. They will not prosper! My heart goes out 2 the Jackson family. Especially his children.

Cecelia Burger   August 4th, 2009 12:34 am ET

I don't know about all the money issues but, I believe that Michael's will should be upheld because that was what he wanted. As for all these people spreading rumors and untruths shame on them. The truth will come out. I believe that Micheal was a gift from God to us and he used the talent that the good Lord gave him to the utmost. He was kind, loving, and caring and that is what is important. I don't believe any of the negative publicity about him. To Katherine, the Jacksons, and the children, we love Michael too, and are praying for all of you. The truth will come out. Just you wait and see. We in North Carolina are all praying for you. You have a lot of support out here.

Janice   August 4th, 2009 1:05 am ET

Not ready to believe any unnamed sources.

MIMI   August 4th, 2009 3:33 am ET



tracey   August 4th, 2009 3:36 am ET

i think micheal always new someone whant to kill him and i would like like to know what was his bodygraud doing to pertiding him they had to know something why did they not step in to get him help if i knew i would have micheal mom should have all say in estate micheal was still taking care of her so i think that is what he want it was his will ever filed in the court if not why and where is micheal copy they have to give him a copy for safe keeptng most people put it in a safe deposit box or give it to hold someone they trust / the family will miss him every day they will cry alot think about him it hurt i know

Mary Lee   August 4th, 2009 3:49 am ET

I cannot believe that Will is not being scrutinized. An attorney draws it up that has all these ties to Sony, etc., it is a common everyday run of the mill Will, sort of odd as you'd think an attorney would be much more detailed than just a 7 page document. and not Notarized. I know what the news is saying, but if it were Joe Blow, that same document would be questioned.
Comes down to it, they will forever hide the real value of things, ruthless cheats is what they are. Kind of funny Debbie's money did not stop when Michael died, but his mothers did. Very strange!
Word on the street is Wednesday will be bombshell news day once again.

Maureen (UK)   August 4th, 2009 9:01 am ET


LARRY KING programme today.
We get it the morning after the U.S. sees it. I don't think anyone can question the source now. Katherine Jackson's own lawyers made it very clear that she has found it difficult to get info from the executors of the will and they wish to change the present executors.

The present business deals negotiated by the lawyers/executors involve Sony. This would be completely against MJ's wishes. Why should Sony benefit & profit from MJ ? Everyone knows they treated MJ badly.

Why would the current executors even consider Sony considering their past history with MJ ? It's shameful ! Many fans will not buy products of MJ's if Sony are to profit by them. There will be more profit for MJ's estate if Katherine Jackson's executors handle the business dealings, so the current executors should stand down.

Debra Westphal   August 4th, 2009 9:34 am ET

There must have been some people in Michael's life that did care for him and looked out for his welfare. It's going to be people like Lisa Presley and Debbie Rowe that will have the most objective view of what it was really like inside Michael's life. They have both commented they didn't like being in involved with the people surrounding Michael. Makes you wonder what that means. Who were these people and how much did they really influence Michael. I am not sure as any of us are, just much Michael actually made any of his decisions or if he listened to what he was told. It will be interesting to see. Michael will always be the best performer and singer that I have ever seen.

Dorothy, Ontario, Canada   August 4th, 2009 10:42 am ET

I consider everything with the Michael Jackson estate issues as being a "good news, bad news" scenario for Katherine Jackson. The good news, is that she received full guardianship of Michael's children. The bad news, is that she must apply valuable energy and time in court, battling the many legal issues that Michael's death and the battles over his estate has spawned. Mrs. Jackson is a senior citizen. While vibrant, she must be allowed to reserve as much of her valuable time and energy as possible for the raising of his children. She must also be granted the privacy she needs to grieve M.J. I pray that these draining court trips and ensueing battles do not wear her into the ground literally – leaving M.J.'s children to grieve another tragic loss in their lives.

theresa from b'klyn,ny   August 4th, 2009 5:58 pm ET

dear larry, i know jermaine jackson will be on this coming friday. instead of asking him about michael. his unedited recording of "word to the bad" verrrrrrrrry revealing regarding honest and quite human feelings about his superstar sibling. maybe the way to learn more about michael, is to learn more about his siblings. michael was after all, just another scapegoat. i am learning so much more as i redirect my research. facinating!!!!!!!!! also when cnn shows photo's of michael can your station choose more positive photo's. you always show photo's of his botched up surgery and pictures at his trial which remind everyone of the negative connotations associated with the trial. after all anderson cooper said to his co-anchor that they needed a new video of debbie rowe because the one they always showed was very negative. (not his exact words,but you get my meaning).. refering to her cursing out the photographers. from just another "banana eatin' jungle monkey

Rosy from Miami   August 4th, 2009 9:27 pm ET

I have been wondering the same thing. Why haven't the 2 females been interrogated by thr LAPD reference: their trip to the storage facility and what was really taken. Wow, with the questions the public are asking .... and answering!!!! through sheer common sense .. maybe we should assist the LAPD Det. Bureau.

mihaela/romania   August 5th, 2009 6:59 am ET

i just want to say:never stop to speak us about Michael,i look at your show Larry for that,to khow and understand more about the King of our hearts...i miss him so much...he never stop to leave in my soul

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