Former James Brown manager sentenced for theft

  • Follow Crime & courts

AIKEN — James Brown’s former manager has been sentenced to three years of home confinement on charges he took more money from the soul singer in his final years than his contracts allowed.

Cannon  Special

David Cannon, 72, of Barnwell, S.C., entered an Alford plea before Circuit Judge George James to two counts of breach of trust, The Aiken Standard reported Friday. The plea does not admit guilt but acknowledges there is enough evidence for a conviction.

Brown died Christmas Day 2006.

Cannon said in court Thursday that although he did nothing wrong, he realized a jury would likely find him guilty.

“James Brown was a very difficult man to do business with. He was the boss,” Cannon said. “I loved James Brown. I loved him like a brother, and he loved me. I know I respected him, and he respected me. I know that he knows – he knew – that I’d never take a dime from him.”

Brown’s daughter Deanna Brown Thomas, however, expressed a different opinion. Cannon maintains a home in Honduras that he likely had constructed with her father’s money, she told The Augusta Chronicle.

“He’s the one who had the power of the pen,” she said. Cannon “held up the progress of what James Brown wanted to do.”

Prosecutors said Cannon was supposed to receive 5 percent of whatever Brown made in a year but instead gave himself close to 15 percent.

Cannon was also accused of stealing part of a $900,000 check, but his defense attorneys said that was a misunderstanding.

Cannon received the check with instructions to disburse it to people to whom Brown owed money, and Cannon was among them, said his attorney, Sherri Lydon. It was later determined that money came from Brown’s royalties and should have been spent differently, but Cannon didn’t know that at the time.

Cannon’s attorneys said Brown sometimes told Cannon to take more money, but such verbal agreements couldn’t be proved after Brown died.

Comments (4) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
rmwardsr 10/29/11 - 09:54 am
Three years of home

Three years of home confinement, while he counts his money daily. Sounds like a southern good ole boy plea deal to me. Good thing he was white.

sue summer
sue summer 10/30/11 - 10:27 am
Questions! Why would the AG's

Questions! Why would the AG's office ask for NO restitution? Is Cannon being allowed to keep the $1 million retirement home in Honduras he purchased with Brown's funds? What efforts are being made to pursue the civil suit against Cannon? Why was there NO victim's statement?

Could this generous deal be connected to an appeal by former trustees who questioned a settlement under which Brown's estate plan (to give scholarships to needy students) was destroyed by a former AG?

Believe it or not, thief/forger Cannon is on attorney Wingate's witness list in the case against former Brown trustees Buchanan/Pope, who discovered Cannon's takings.

See facebook page, James Brown "I Feel Good" Trust (FOIA Concerns) for actual pleadings and more info. (Stories are under info/bio.)

david jennings
david jennings 10/29/11 - 04:28 pm
I once heard James Brown say

I once heard James Brown say that he had lost four fortunes before he got educated, I guess he meant educated as in the business world about parasites like Cannon

Jeff allen
Jeff allen 10/29/11 - 07:21 pm
I was James Browns agent for

I was James Browns agent for more than 26 years. I watched first hand the abuse of trust, lying and manipulation of James Brown by David Cannon for his own personal gain. James Brown who in the last years of his life had lost all his will to live, in large part due to what David Cannon had done to him financially. David Cannon had held himself out to James Brown and all of us that surrounded James Brown as a good Christian, a man of charity who was building a hospital in honduras. It was less than a year after The publishing bond deal I negotiated on behalf of James Brown, that the money being held in the trust at Morgan Stanley would start to be moved around and transferred to accounts controlled by David Cannon. James Brown at the beginning gave his trust to David Cannon only after his legal adviser Buddy Dallas assured him that he would watch over Cannon and make sure that Browns wishes were adhered to. James Brown never had a chance with these men. The manipulated him for there own personal gain. David Cannon is equal to Bernie Madoff. He took money that was entrusted to him by a man that was unable to protect himself. In the end, the approximate 25 million dollars that was netted by the bond deal would be gone. James Browns life time of work would be stollen. His legacy stained. The court that approved this sweat heart deal is now equally culpable in this crime. Why did Cannon have for pay restitution. Why didn't he have to serve time just as Bernie Madoff had to. I guess a black man being cheated in the south is just business as usual. To bad. I thought we as a nation were heading to a better place, maybe not.

lsmith 10/30/11 - 09:35 am
This sentence makes no

This sentence makes no sense.Three years of home confinement? No restitution? I really don't think I've ever heard of many situations where the thief was allowed to keep ill-gotten gains, particularly if it were connected to realestate. Future thiefs should keep this in mind, perhaps the crime is worth the time afterall. This judge should prove to be very popular with defense attorneys ......As for the lack of jail time, there probably is not much room in prison due to overcrowding with pot smokers and drunk drivers.

Back to Top
Search Augusta jobs