Less than a month after his exoneration by California jurors on multiple child-molestation charges, it seems there's more legal wrangling in store for Neverland's monarch.
On Monday, Prescient Acquisition Group, Inc., a New Jersey-based financial advisory firm, slapped Michael Jackson with a breach-of-contract lawsuit, claiming the pop star owes the company millions for various financial services it has provided since November. According to New York Newsday, the suit, which was filed in Manhattan federal court, demands immediate payment of $48 million — for the costs associated with securing Jackson a much-needed loan.
Prescient's suit claims it lined up several investors to help him pay off his $272.5 million debt to Bank of America. In addition, the suit asserts Prescient helped the singer acquire complete control of Jackson's MJ Publishing Trust, which owns and manages copyrights to thousands of songs, including 251 compositions penned by the Beatles, Newsday reports.
Prescient lawyer Steven Altman told the daily that in April, Jackson's stake in MJ Publishing Trust was threatened when Bank of America found the singer in default on portions of his loans with them. Jackson' publishing company, along with his half of the Beatles catalog (the other half is owned by Sony/ATV Music Publishing), was offered as collateral on some of his loans.
The suit further alleges that Prescient helped secure another $256 million for Jackson, which he had hoped to use in a bid to acquire Sony/ATV Music's piece of the Beatles pie.
"The reality is we have helped Michael Jackson acquire a magnificent asset and he'll be able to fund his exotic lifestyle for the rest of his life," Altman told Newsday. "He was in desperate straits before [investors] came in and paid off Bank of America. We just want to get paid."
Jackson's attorney could not be reached for comment on the suit.