A Los Angeles judge has declared that he plans to seize control of Marion "Suge" Knight’s personal and business assets after the Hip-Hop mogul refused to pay a $107 million civil court judgment from 2005.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Ronald Sohigian said that he planned to appoint a court officer to manage the Death Row co-founder’s finances, but said Knight could prevent the injunction if he would reveal all of his assets to the court.
Knight wasn’t present for the proceedings on Thursday.
In March 2005, Knight was ordered to pay Lydia Harris $107 million, after she charged that the impresario defrauded her out of her half of the label. Harris asserts that she helped found the fledgling Death Row label in the early 90’s.
"Because he had a long history of deceiving the court and avoiding payment, I asked the court to appoint a receiver to take over," Harris’ attorney, Rex Julian Beaber, said to Reuters. "If Knight cooperates in providing the information, he can ask the court to remove the receiver. But I don’t think there’s a chance in hell Knight is going to cooperate."
Sohigian said that Death Row Records would be placed in receivership if Knight refuses to appear at a debtor hearing next month. Receivership is a special form of bankruptcy where a company can avoid liquidation through a court-appointed trustee.
Dermot Givens, counsel for Knight, claimed that Sohigian had yet to formally signed the order sequestering Knights assets. Furthermore, Givens said that Knight and Harris had independently settled on the multi-million dollar case. The judge hasn’t signed such an agreement, should it exist.
"In May of 2005, [Harris] received a million dollars and rights to various music, and she signed a settlement agreement," Givens told Reuters.
Lydia Harris must also contend with her husband, convicted drug dealer Michael “Harry-O” Harris. Harry-O claims that he is due at least half of the $107 million judgment and he filed for divorce in June of 2005 after learning of Lydia’s legal maneuvering.
Earlier this year, Knight and Death Row Records filed a $106 million dollar lawsuit against Harry-O and others claiming fraud, conspiracy, racketeering and attempted extortion.