Mike Tyson sues financial advisory firm and ex-adviser

Financial adviser allegedly embezzled $300K, cost boxer millions in lost income

By Darla Mercado

Feb 21, 2013 @ 3:38 pm (Updated 4:33 pm) EST

mike tyson, adviser, lawsuit, boxer
(Bloomberg)

Famed boxer and actor Mike Tyson has sued a financial advisory firm claiming that his adviser misappropriated more than $300,000, causing him to suffer millions in damages from lost income.

Mr. Tyson and his wife, Lakiha Tyson, yesterday sued Live Nation Entertainment Inc., one of its subsidiaries, SFX Financial Advisory Management Enterprises Inc., ex-adviser Brian Ourand and a slate of unnamed plaintiffs in Los Angeles Superior Court. The Tysons are suing all the parties for breach of fiduciary duty, fraud and unjust enrichment.

The Tysons' relationship with SFX and Mr. Ourand goes back to 2005, according to the lawsuit. Mr. Ourand, at the time a senior executive at the firm, provided accounting work, financial advice and management to the couple, according to the suit.

Mr. Ourand also was in charge of managing Mr. Tyson's bankruptcy trust, which was a top priority because it prevented the couple from earning “nonfight” income in excess of $225,000, according to the complaint. Mr. Tyson has been trying for the past decade, to close the bankruptcy proceeding, which forces him to surrender any income over that amount to the Internal Revenue Service.

In April 2011, the Tysons noticed that money they were being allowed to retain was not going toward speeding the closure of the bankruptcy, according to the suit. The couple claim that around that time, Mr. Ourand, who was charged with overseeing the bankruptcy trust, “was making false statements to the Tysons' legal advisers, making closure of the bankruptcy more difficult.”

“The Tysons were compelled to forgo lucrative business opportunities while the bankruptcy proceedings were pending,” according to the claim. “The Tysons suffered millions of dollars in damages based on the false, deceptive, and faulty financial advice given by Mr. Ourand in order to advance, and cover up his scheme.”

In July of that year, the couple heard from Mr. Ourand via e-mail from an address that was not affiliated with SFX. In the message, the adviser said he had a new address. Shortly after, the couple heard from another executive at SFX, Eugene Mason, who said he was now responsible for the Tysons' affairs, according to the suit.

After pressing SFX's executives for more information, the Tysons discovered that Mr. Ourand had allegedly swiped $300,000 from their accounts.

Though the firm wired some of the money back to the couple, the Tysons are also claiming that SFX asked them to sign a settlement agreement that would release the firm from legal claims. When the two refused to sign the document, SFX allegedly refused to return their client files, according to the case.

A call to Mr. Ourand, who lives in Miami, according to the complaint, was not immediately returned. A search through records of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. and the Securities and Exchange Commission turned up no information about him.

Jacqueline Peterson, a spokeswoman for Live Nation, declined to comment, saying that the firm had not been served yet.