Aug 14, 2013

Michael Jackson debts

Michael Jackson debts, Forensic accountant William Ackerman took the stand at a Los Angeles courtroom on Monday (13Aug13) as a defense witness in the battle between the Jackson family and concert promoters AEG Live over the singer's 2009 death.

Ackerman was handed the job of sifting through the King of Pop's finances, and he revealed the star was "tapped out" at the time of his passing due to the huge interest payments on a number of loans estimated to total $500 million.

He told the court that "consistently, his (Jackson's) largest expenditure was interest expense. He spent a ton of money on interest."

Other expenditures which were draining Jackson's finances included payments on his Neverland ranch, which boasted its own zoo, train line and full staff, and donations to charity, as well as purchases of jewelry, art and furniture.

Ackerman claimed Jackson's history of debt started in 1993 with a $30 million loan, which grew to $140 million by 1998. The total stood at between $400 and $500 million when he died in June, 2009.

In the lawsuit, the family claims AEG bosses should be held accountable for hiring the King of Pop's doctor, Conrad Murray, who has been convicted of inadvertently killing the star by giving him an overdose of a surgical anesthetic.