Attorney says estate of James Brown was saddled by more than $20 million in debt

31 Oct

COLUMBIA, S.C. — James Brown’s charitable trust had withered to just $14,000 and his estate was saddled with more than $20 million in debt before a professional money manager was able to turn it around, an attorney told The Associated Press.

Under a complex 2009 settlement, the manager took control of Brown’s assets from the estate’s trustees. That manager wiped out the crushing debt and paved the way for thousands of needy students to receive full college scholarships by next year from the charity by cutting deals that put the Godfather of Soul’s music on national and international commercials for Chanel perfume and Gatorade.

The full details of that settlement and the dire condition of Brown’s estate had previously been a mystery and were provided to the AP by David Black, an attorney for the money manager.

And now that deal — which gave about half of Brown’s assets to the trust, a quarter to Brown’s widow and young son, and the rest to his adult children — could be in jeopardy because the ousted trustees claim the deal should never have been approved and should be thrown out.

Read the full story on Chicago Sun Times

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