Former James Brown trustee ordered to turn over mansion to musician's trust fund

Monday, May 19, 2014 4:52 PM
Last updated Tuesday, July 22, 2014 1:32 PM
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A former trustee of James Brown’s estate was ordered to give a mansion in Honduras and his share of a music company to the late musician’s troubled trust fund.

David Cannon (center) a former trustee of James Brown's estate, must pay restitution for embezzling money.  FILE/STAFF
FILE/STAFF
David Cannon (center) a former trustee of James Brown's estate, must pay restitution for embezzling money.

South Carolina Circuit Court Judge Knox McMahon ordered David Cannon to pay restitution for embezzling money from the mismanaged estate. Of the $12 million that Cannon earned working for Brown, $7.7 million of the earnings – which Cannon claimed was valid – was disputed.

Cannon, of Barnwell, S.C., told the court he couldn’t afford to repay the trust, testimony the court found lacked credibility. He paid $875,000 in cash for a seaside mansion in Roatan, an island off the coast of Honduras, shortly after resigning in August 2007. Cannon testified that $600,000 was donated to charity, without accounting for the rest of his earnings.

The value of the mansion, which has an equitable lien against it, and Cannon’s interest in Geronimo Music LLC – a music publishing company founded by Brown and several of his associates – had not been determined when the restitution order was written April 23. The state and the defendant were given 30 days to calculate the value.
Cannon was also barred from any future earnings he might receive from the estate.
Without repayment, “the financial resources of the James Brown Trust are bleak and teetering on collapse,” according to the order.

Deanna Brown-Thomas, daughter of the late musician, said the court-ordered restitution will help restore some of her father’s earnings that were mismanaged after his death.

“This is some justice for dad,” she said. “He’s the one who worked hard for this money.”

Brown died on Christmas Day 2006. Six years earlier, he had signed an irrevocable trust and last will and testament designating almost all of his fortune to the education of underprivileged children in South Carolina and Georgia. Cannon, Buddy Dal­las and Alfred Bradley were named trustees, which Brown family members have fought in court.

In 2011, Cannon was sentenced to three years of home confinement on charges that he took more money from Brown than his contracts allowed. He entered an Alford plea, which does not admit guilt but acknowledges there is enough evidence for conviction.

Cannon spent three months in the Aiken County De­ten­tion Center in 2009 for failing to pay more than $400,000, as ordered by a judge two years earlier, after accusations he misappropriated Brown’s money.

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bdouglas
5134
Points
bdouglas 05/19/14 - 05:44 pm
6
0
First paragraph mentions

First paragraph mentions "multi-million dollar mansion"....third paragraph says it cost $875,000. I can barely follow this story. And how does a US court have any power to make someone turn over their home in another country?

dwb619
94833
Points
dwb619 05/19/14 - 06:02 pm
10
1
bdouglas

I don't know how they have the power, but this "lawyer skank" ought to be locked up until EVERY cent is accounted for.

edcushman
7930
Points
edcushman 05/19/14 - 06:36 pm
14
2
It seems that everyone that
Unpublished

It seems that everyone that the Godfather did business with took advantage and stole from him. He told me that one of his lawyers that lived in my subdivision stole from him. Brown said, 'I treated him like a son but he stole from me'. It is really sad that he didn't have someone he could trust.

Sweet son
10548
Points
Sweet son 05/19/14 - 06:54 pm
8
0
Money or any semblance of it always brings out the bad in

everyone especially when the rightful owner of the funds is dead.

All of these scoundrel business associates and some of the Brown family should be ashamed but I am sure none of them feel that way!

I couldn't understand the math either.

jdsgirl63
2579
Points
jdsgirl63 05/19/14 - 08:39 pm
10
2
Not sure how...

anyone can give a "thumbs down" to edcushman's post. Unless of course you're one of the people who stole from Mr. Brown.

Pops
9015
Points
Pops 05/19/14 - 08:45 pm
7
0
Brown made a lot of

bad choices in his life.........

JRC2024
9063
Points
JRC2024 05/19/14 - 10:05 pm
4
2
Drugs did alot of it. I had

Drugs did alot of it. I had dealings with him and he was high as a Georgia Pine just before he went to jail.

Riverman1
84907
Points
Riverman1 05/20/14 - 12:11 am
7
0
Bury The Money

JB used to bury his money in the woods. Watching these characters I can see why.

my.voice
4860
Points
my.voice 05/20/14 - 08:11 am
3
0
Picking money off the dead is

Picking money off the dead is as low as it gets...

Give him an enema...

Lock him up.

seenitB4
88112
Points
seenitB4 05/20/14 - 08:13 am
4
1
Many lawyers probably ripped him

I can see why he didn't trust very many....they took a bite out of him...I'm guessing M Jackson had the same problem..

Bodhisattva
6307
Points
Bodhisattva 05/20/14 - 08:16 am
4
0
Dick the butcher

"The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers."

Marinerman1
4936
Points
Marinerman1 05/20/14 - 08:53 am
2
0
Cannon = old coot crook. The

Cannon = old coot crook. The Court can make him surrender the house, because it was purchased with ill gotten gains. Where's the other $5M ?? My math may be a little rusty, but I still see some money missing? Everyone's right - it is a shame that Mr. Brown was stolen from, by supposed people he thought he could trust. Cannon is a piece of work.

itsanotherday1
43728
Points
itsanotherday1 05/20/14 - 09:15 am
2
0
Many fortunes have been lost

Many fortunes have been lost to "advisors" who took advantage of financially uneducated people.

shamrock
519
Points
shamrock 05/20/14 - 09:57 am
3
0
Too Trusting

James Brown was always too trusting and was taken advantage of most of his life. Forget the stupid things like the drugs ... he was a MAJOR talent, ignored greatly in this area yet could fill stadiums around the world. His family deserves to have some resolution .... it has gone on far too long.

Dixieman
15308
Points
Dixieman 05/20/14 - 10:21 am
2
0
Give it up!

I say give it up, y'all!
Great God almighty!
Give it up, now!
Right now!
Give it up!
Give it ALL up!
Give it back!
Give it ALL back!
Don't wait now!
All y'all!
Give it up, now!
Give it back, now!
Right now!
Etc.
(As sung by the late, great James Brown who must be spinning in his grave about how his estate has been handled).

zazzy43
45
Points
zazzy43 05/20/14 - 10:57 am
3
0
Everyone hates

Everyone hates lawyers...until they really need one. Just because some lawyers do not live up to the ethical standards of the profession, does not mean that all lawyers are morally corrupt.

redfish
683
Points
redfish 05/20/14 - 01:45 pm
3
0
Lawyers...

It's the 95% that give the other 5% a bad name.

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