Brown trustee pays up, quits

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AIKEN - A trustee of the estate of the late James Brown resigned Friday amid allegations that he misappropriated $350,000 of the internationally known performer's money.

Cannon (center)  Annette M. Drowlette/Staff
Annette M. Drowlette/Staff
Cannon (center)

David Cannon handed over a check for that amount during a court hearing that could have seen a judge remove him from his duties as executor of the singer's will.

That wasn't the only surprise during the four-hour hearing. With nearly two dozen attorneys in court to represent various individuals wrangling over the music legend's estate, it was revealed that:

- Mr. Brown's estate might be broke. The court-appointed attorneys who are helping settle the estate told other lawyers behind closed doors Friday that the estate and trusts that will be funded by his music royalties appear to have a "zero balance." Louis Levenson, the Atlanta attorney representing several of the singer's children, said it's not yet clear how much money is left or where it went.

- Before he died, Mr. Brown was given an "allowance" of $100,000 a month, though Mr. Levenson said his firm is still trying to find out where the singer's money went.

- Mr. Brown's former pastor has filed a motion to intervene on behalf of the needy children who are supposed to benefit from the James Brown "I Feel Good" Trust, which was created to pay for the educational needs of poor children in South Carolina and Georgia. The Rev. Larry Fryer said he's worried the money is being squandered by all the court battles.

- One of the singer's grandsons said all the legal battles over his grandfather's estate have created a rift in the family, and he accused his aunts and uncles of trying to break the trusts to get their father's money.

"People are greedy," said Forlando Brown, a student at the University of West Georgia.

He said that he, his brother and his father, Terry Brown, have been ostracized by the rest of the family for siding with the trustees.

He said his grandfather wanted needy children to be taken care of after his death and that "greed" has caused many of the arguments since Mr. Brown died on Christmas Day at age 73.

The Rev. Fryer also said he is concerned about all the squabbling. Mr. Brown created two educational trusts: one to pay for school expenses for his grandchildren and the other for needy youngsters. But many of the legal bills will likely be paid by any money in those trusts.

"If we're paying all of the money to all of the legal sources," the Rev. Fryer asked, "what's left for the children? Why have a will if you're not going to respect the wishes of the one who wrote the will?"

That was one issue that was not addressed during the court hearing in front of 2nd Judicial Circuit Judge Jack Early, who had to schedule another hearing for Sept. 24 to follow up on concerns raised previously and on Friday.

He did accept Mr. Cannon's resignation as both the singer's personal representative - essentially co-executor of the will - and as trustee of the two trusts.

The court-appointed attorneys, Adele Pope and Robert Buchanan, had accused Mr. Cannon in papers filed recently of possibly misappropriating $350,000 of the singer's money just before he died. That money was returned Friday.

The other two trustees - Buddy Dallas and Alford Bradley - have been allowed to stay on, although their removal could be one of the issues argued at the September hearing.

Mr. Levenson still has a pending motion that accuses them of violating a court order not to sell off assets of the estate, and he said Friday that they have also not been adequately complying with an order to turn over financial and legal documents.

Judge Early didn't rule on that accusation - instead ordering that documents be turned over - but he said he would rule accordingly if it's proven.

"If I find any records that have been hidden or destroyed, somebody's going to answer," he said.

Reach Sandi Martin at (803) 648-1395, ext. 111, or sandi.martin@augustachronicle.com.

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patriciathomas
42
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patriciathomas 08/11/07 - 06:02 am
0
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If there was any significant

If there was any significant money left, lawyers wouldn't be dropping out of the game. James Browns talent didn't extend to business.

getalife
4
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getalife 08/11/07 - 07:38 am
0
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Or judge of character in his

Or judge of character in his lawyers!!

bosswench
0
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bosswench 08/11/07 - 07:55 am
0
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Enough already. Auction

Enough already. Auction everything and pay the mans debts.

cottontop
0
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cottontop 08/11/07 - 08:31 am
0
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Bravo, Terry Brown. Your

Bravo, Terry Brown. Your grandfather would be proud of you.

Give it a rest
0
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Give it a rest 08/11/07 - 09:29 am
0
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Can we please, PLEASE get on

Can we please, PLEASE get on with life? Who cares if the estate winds up totally bankrupt? This bum in life was nothing more than a stoned, abusive, overrated and undertalented joke. His funeral was a disgrace as was the disgusting spectical of where to "plant" the dead.
If there's no money, then GOOD! Maybe all the freeloading children, legitimate and illegitimate will have to actually work. If dear ole Dad kept his pants zipped and stayed sober, and actually living his supposed faith, maybe...just maybe none of this would be taking place.
Can we quit glorifying this bum?????

bone
23
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bone 08/11/07 - 09:45 am
0
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godfather of soul to a

godfather of soul to a bum...death, thy sting just keepeth on stinging.

Very Thankful
0
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Very Thankful 08/11/07 - 10:30 am
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To the person who posted as

To the person who posted as "Give it a Rest", your words and thoughts glorify your ignorance. James Brown may not have been perfect, but he is no different from the Paris Hiltons and Lindsey Lohans your kids probably look up too. But instead of being a white rich kid that was selfish and always causing a spetical, James Brown came back to Augusta---down to the poor side of town--(I am quite sure you dont know where that is)--and gave needy families turkeys for the holidays and children toys and other gifts who might not otherwise have anything on Xmas morning. So inspite of what he did with his personal life, he did good for others. And this holiday season some will feel the void that was actually James Brown, because there may not be a Thanksgiving dinner, or a new bike for a poor child. So you should choose your words wisely, and remember---he that is without sin---cast the 1st stone.

mable8
2
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mable8 08/11/07 - 10:38 am
0
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James Brown was a joke, and

James Brown was a joke, and so are his free-loading children. His money was used by him; bet he's laughing from the grave! Those attorneys are looking after themselves; to heck with the little one who really needs the help. Oh well, the grandson certainly has his family pegged right; good for him to take a stand against the greed.

jebko
0
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jebko 08/11/07 - 10:39 am
0
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pleeese! pleeese! pleeese!

pleeese! pleeese! pleeese!

420Time
0
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420Time 08/11/07 - 10:41 am
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Give it a rest has a point

Give it a rest has a point Very Thankful. Just to let you know I am black so it is not a racial issue for me. However, I am sure you will say I am a sell-out or a "TOM" for not towing the Black line right?

joesimpson
0
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joesimpson 08/11/07 - 11:21 am
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Maybe the man wasn't a saint,

Maybe the man wasn't a saint, but then again are any of us? This man did as much for music as the Beatles and Rolling Stones. Lest we also forget that during the riots in Augusta he kept the town from being burned to the ground. I am not the one to judge the man's faults. I'm only here to enjoy the musical legacy he left us and the charity he provoded to the needy. Judging by a lot of the comments written in most of the Chronicles articles, you people wouldn't let Jesus Christ in heaven. I cannot believe how critical and cynical you people are.

EdithPiaf
2
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EdithPiaf 08/11/07 - 11:23 am
0
0
None of you, ESPECIALLY the

None of you, ESPECIALLY the person called "give it a rest" have the right to judge James Brown or anyone else. Your harsh words will come back and bite you, even though you feel safe hidden by an anonymous screen name. I bet you call yourself a "Christian", too! Would Jesus do and say the things that you say and do?

GOD almighty1
0
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GOD almighty1 08/11/07 - 11:24 am
0
0
Very Thankful, you're a funny

Very Thankful, you're a funny person. James Brown only gave away gifts and turkeys for publicity and tax breaks. God knows he needed some positive limelight amid all those wife beatings. This washed up '60s icon needs to be forgotten about in Augusta. He simply does not portray this beautiful Southern town in the correct light.

EdithPiaf
2
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EdithPiaf 08/11/07 - 11:33 am
0
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By the way, this article is

By the way, this article is not about James Brown in particular. It's about one of the trustees that STOLE (or tried to steal) $350,000 dollars from James Brown. This was going on BEFORE he died, too. So if The Godfather's estate is "broke", then it's because of the thieves that he trusted. I'm sure it's not the first time they've stolen from him, and I'd bet the others have stolen money, too.

RichmondCountyResident1
29
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RichmondCountyResident1 08/11/07 - 12:07 pm
0
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James Brown, Barrack Obama,

James Brown, Barrack Obama, Michael Vick, Charles Larke ,Dr. Bedden, Ronnie Few,Tereasa Smith, Charles Walker, Ed Mc Intyre, Marion Williams, Coach Holland, Barry Bonds etc.It seems that if ignorant whites aren't confessing the sins of blacks, they don't have anything to say.I guess they replaced the rope and tree with the internet or pen and paper.They never speak ill of the sheriff, fire chief, the mayor or the white councilmen who biggest claim to fame is voting along racial lines.I cannot think of one good progressive idea they have come up with.Most of you posters are just racist trash venting your poison on this sight.God almighty what a name to choose to express your stupid view.Sewage might be more appropriate.Clean before your own door, before you talk about others.

bone
23
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bone 08/11/07 - 12:08 pm
0
0
can we please stop beating a

can we please stop beating a dead horse - er, washed up 60's icon & bum to some - and realize that the article is about stolen money & greed? that is more appropriate fare to bash, not j.b. by the way, i've worked with several former bandmembers from the heyday of j.b. and not one of them had a kind word to say for their former employer. i had to make sure not to accidentally spill the beans that i love the music they made together.

GOD almighty1
0
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GOD almighty1 08/11/07 - 12:40 pm
0
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Richmond County Resident, I

Richmond County Resident, I hate to point out the fact that half those people you named are in some kind of trouble with the law. Whereas, the fire chief, sheriff, and Mayor Copenhaver have done absolutely nothing wrong legally. Would it make you feel better if the media did not report the fact that James Brown was a crackpot wife beater, that Michael Vick is pot smoking dog fighter, that Charles Larke did absolutely nothing to move the Richmond County Schools forward and still claimed a six figure salary after quitting, that Marion Williams creates drama and then claims racism. It is also quite demeaning of you to use names like Barack Obama and Dana Bedden in the same line as convicted criminals like James Brown and Charles Walker. Speaking of "racist trash," it sure seems as if it takes one to know one. You're so quick to point out racism in the mayor and other innocent political figures simply because they are white. Richmond County Resident, you really need to learn how to use correct English grammar and punctuation, and know your facts before you start calling people names.

0430
0
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0430 08/11/07 - 01:22 pm
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To God almighty: How many

To God almighty: How many are you Republican friends from Richmond and Columbia County are in jail? You are a joke. I bet you have your father, grandfather, and your KKK memberships on the walls of your trailer.

tdp
0
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tdp 08/11/07 - 01:33 pm
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God Almighty, well said!

God Almighty, well said!

RichmondCountyResident1
29
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RichmondCountyResident1 08/11/07 - 01:50 pm
0
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Sewage, aka God almighty, my

Sewage, aka God almighty, my grammar is just fine, thank you.The bottom line is, racist scum like you always talking about blacks, while never scutinizing whites.You just resent black accomplishments in this society.It is small minded people like you who talk about others to cover your own short comings.James and many of them will live on and bigots like you will be forgotten.You only contribute hatred to society.

joesimpson
0
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joesimpson 08/11/07 - 02:21 pm
0
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to rcr, just to let you know.

to rcr, just to let you know. I am some of that white trash you are tlking about. This is what happens when you make open ended comments like that. I try and judge people on their merits. If I made blanket comments like you and several others on here (white and black) I don't think I would be calling anyone a racist.

Miss Soul
0
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Miss Soul 08/11/07 - 02:42 pm
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Bone, I am a former employee

Bone,
I am a former employee of Mr. Brown's and have nothing but praise and respect for him, maybe the band members you spoke of who had harsh words about him coudn't stand the heat of working for a perfectionist, Mr. Brown demanded the best from his employees and got it or they were history.

RichmondCountyResident1
29
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RichmondCountyResident1 08/11/07 - 02:58 pm
0
0
Well, Joe Simpson, if you are

Well, Joe Simpson, if you are not guilty of what I am talking about, then I am not talking about you. I'd like for to answer this if you can.How is it that we have an article about a white man stealing three hundred and fifty thousand dollars from a dead black man and all the scorn is heaped on the dead black man? I wonder if he will face charges or pay back the interest? How can someone go by handle God almighty, then began to trash someone who is dead?The Chronicle is smart though, they know the only way to get rise out of bigots, is to talk about the objects of their hatred.

a2
1
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a2 08/11/07 - 03:08 pm
0
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Oh no he didn't finally get

Oh no he didn't finally get nailed. Big D you're next!

a2
1
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a2 08/11/07 - 03:10 pm
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Uh oh. The trustee's house

Uh oh. The trustee's house is slowly coming unglued. Watch out Big D.

joesimpson
0
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joesimpson 08/11/07 - 03:24 pm
0
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Well, because he isn't a

Well, because he isn't a white man...he's a lawyer!! lol and that was a joke by the way!

jmoval0315
2
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jmoval0315 08/11/07 - 03:28 pm
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Aman Ricmond County Resident.

Aman Ricmond County Resident.

cparker
68
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cparker 08/11/07 - 03:29 pm
0
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I am ashamed of

I am ashamed of Augusta......James Brown loved Augusta and the thanks he gets is this? Augusta residents that make such insulting remarks about James Brown when there is a great possibility this will make the national news and dipict all Augusta residents as mean, hateful, and racist is absolutely crazy. Why do white folks attack black personalities this way in Augusta and not consider themselves racist?

jmoval0315
2
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jmoval0315 08/11/07 - 03:30 pm
0
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No Bacoraton you are a puke

No Bacoraton you are a puke sellout tom.

jmoval0315
2
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jmoval0315 08/11/07 - 03:35 pm
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James Brown's music will live

James Brown's music will live forever, instead of these Augusta Rednecks embracing him that they trash him at every chance they get.

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