The latest in our long-running series…
Here are the many and various ways Live Nation-owned SFX Financial Advisory Management Enterprises screwed Mike Tyson, according to legal documents filed earlier this year. The charges include financial fraud, embezzlement and general mismanagement leading to $5 million in damages.
(1) In a relationship between SFX/Live Nation and Mike Tyson that started in 2005, senior executive and financial advisor Brian Ourand is accused of embezzling $300,000 in cash owed to the boxer, with broader damages (missed opportunities, legal costs, hardship) reaching $5 million.
(2) On or around July of 2011, it was discovered that Ourand had embezzled $300,000 of Tyson’s earnings, in the middle of a bankruptcy process. Furthermore, Ourand is accused of giving false and misleading financial guidance to Tyson’s lawyers to cover the actions.
(3) These misleading and false statements and information subsequently forced Tyson to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars, for ultimately useless work.
(4) Instead assisting in the matter, SFX/Live Nation is accused of launching a calculated, ‘oppressive and deceptive’ cover-up to deflect the blame away from the company and Ourand.
(5) As part of the process to attract Tyson’s business, Ourand and SFX pledged to reverse a string of corrupt financial managers that had mismanaged Tyson’s finances in the past, while resolving the ongoing bankruptcy problems. Ourand was eventually given complete trust: he was a considered a friend who attended Tyson’s wedding, was given complete authority to sign checks and manage the boxer’s accounts.
(6) Brian Ourand’s other superstar clients included Allen Iverson.
(7) After discovering the embezzlement, Live Nation replaced Ourand with a new account manager, without notifying Tyson or his representatives. Eventually, Ourand reached out to Tyson with a different email address (not associated with SFX/Live Nation), while Tyson was ultimately notified of a reassignment.
(8) When pressed on the reasons for the change, SFX/Live Nation admitted to $300,000 in embezzlement and theft, but did not offer any accounting details.
(9) SFX/Live Nation subsequently wired a portion of this money to Tyson, but not the complete amount.
(10) Live Nation never returned the entire amount.
(11) Soon thereafter, SFX/Live Nation sent legal documents and agreements directly to Mike Tyson that would exonerate Live Nation of all liabilities, even though Tyson had legal counsel retained at the time. The direct mailing included a binding legal document that would have waived Tyson’s right to a lawsuit, and included strict confidentiality terms surrounding Brian Ourand.
Tyson did not sign the documents.
(12) After requesting that all financial documents and accounts be returned, SFX/Live Nation refused. The files were not returned.
(13) According to the lawsuit, SFX/Live Nation did not report Brian Ourand to the Securities & Exchange Commission, which allowed Ourand to subsequently obtain ‘lucrative work as a financial advisor’ at another firm(s).
(14) Immediately following the embezzlement, Tyson and his family were forced to mortgage their home while shifting cash towards legal professionals that could handle and resolve the ongoing bankruptcy issues. The also obtained loans to pay outstanding debt to the IRS.
(15) The embezzlement further exacerbated the bankruptcy proceedings, according to the lawsuit, and forced Tyson to forego ‘lucrative business opportunities’ while the IRS negotiations were pending.
The complete lawsuit is here.