Jackson Bilked By Money 'Vultures'
According to Halperin, the best-selling author of 'Unmasked: The Final Years of Michael Jackson,' Jackson's financial advisers are likely behind "a lot of financial fraud going on over the years, and that's why he [Jackson] was in such dire straits when he died."
"While the coroner and the LAPD has been following the money, tens of millions of dollars have been systematically looted from Jackson by his handlers in the months and years before his death, which contributed to his depleted financial state," Halperin tells PopEater.
Halperin says that Katherine Jackson is currently fighting Jackson's advisers over his estate. The family estimates its worth at $2 billion though advisers only estimate it at $500 million. "That's why Katherine wants to be the executor of the estate," he says.
According to Halperin, just weeks before Michael died he "had a meeting with Leonard Rowe and Joe Jackson ... and in front of everyone, Michael did ask Rowe to come in and clean up 'the mess,'" referring to his financial state. "He believed he was being ripped-off and that people were stealing from him."
"This really debunks the theory that he was estranged from his father because he called his father to this meeting just weeks before he died."
Halperin says that "while everyone's looking at the medical trail in the drugs, it's 1000 percent the financial trail that's going to play a bigger part. That was a major factor that forced Michael to agree to a punishing London concert residency that he could have never logically completed given his frail mental and physical state."
Executors of Jackson's will have "refused to completely divulge" Michael's financial records to Katherine Jackson, according to Halperin. "Shortly after Katherine and the rest of the family started asking questions, Michael's former manger Tohme Tohme turned over millions of dollars ($5.5 million) in cash almost two weeks ago that he claimed Jackson had given to him secretly to buy him a house in Las Vegas. This immediately set off major red flags to the family as they wondered how much more money was out there missing. It was highly suspicious."
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Another red flag that Halperin says he discovered is that Jackson's adviser failed to pay the premium on Michael's life insurance policy.
Because of this, Halperin says he's "calling on authorities to conduct a forensic audit into Michael Jackson's assets immediately." He goes on to claim that Katherine Jackson is fighting for the money so that it can go to Jackson's children, as he wished, but that "it appears the vultures have looted the childrens' legacy just like they took advantage of Michael."
A close friend of Jackson and former aide told Halperin that while Jackson was certainly financially taken advantage of, The King of Pop is partially to blame. "He hired these people. No one put a gun to his head," the source said.
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