Manny Pacquiao is being sued by VisionQwest Resources Group, a company he originally had hired to review his general finances and tax issues, but which he replaced last month, as originally reported by FightHype.com,.
Citing documentation contained in the lawsuit, TMZ.com reported the amount the WBO welterweight titleholder is being sued for to be at $649,016.95.
Preident and CEO Michael Lodge of VisionQwest claims that the money was loaned to Pacquiao, and that the fighter failed to pay it back. Pacquiao’s tax issues “seriously affected his ability to fight,” according to TMZ.com, again citing the report.
VisionQwest was replaced in a move that was originally reported last month by RingTV.com, when Pacquiao hired Los Angeles-based accounting firm Tanner, Mainstain, Blatt and Glynn to review his tax returns regarding refunds due and to audit the records of his promoter, Top Rank Inc., among other things, according to his adviser Michael Koncz.
Koncz and Lodge have both issued statements, below, responding to RingTV.com’s story regarding the situation, with Koncz saying Pacquiao has retained attorneys Daniel Petrocelli and David Marroso. A senior attorney with the Los Angeles-based O’Melveny and Myers law firm, Petrocelli gained a wrongful death conviction against O.J. Simpson in 1997.
“Mike Koncz is misrepresenting the facts. VisionQwest was still in the process of reviewing Top Rank for Pacquiao up to the time Mike Koncz and Pacquiao breached their contract. We kept Manny informed of the status. We had a last meeting with him in July where he signed a new contract that allowed us to go forward and take legal action against Top Rank.
“Manny asked us to not do anything until September 1 against Top Rank, which we followed. However, because of interference from certain parties, they terminated our contract in September. Thus, Mr. Koncz has not given a true statement of fact. Go back and review our last press release that records the facts.” — Michael L Lodge, President and CEO, VisionQwest Resource Group, Inc.
“It’s confirmed that Manny was served last week I believe on Wednesday, and the lawsuit has been turned over to our attorneys at the O’Melveny and Myers law firm, specifically Dan Petrocelli and David Marroso. We will vigorously defend these false allegations contained in the lawsuit, and we have also instructed our attorneys to research counter-claims.
“Because VisionQwest has breached a number of confidentiality laws contained within their own contract and made a number of slanderous statements against Manny Pacquiao and myself alleging that I’m misappropriating money and stealing money, which is totally bulls**t.”
“They spent more time focusing on trying to handle Manny’s endorsements and then subsequently trying to be fight promoters by putting together the fights, that they lost their focus and never worked on our taxes. They didn’t inform Manny the true standing of our taxes, which subsequently has been done by our new accounting firm.
“Other than that, I have no further public statements. It’s in the hands of our lawyers. There will be no further public comments made on this issue by Team Pacquiao. Any additional comments to be made will be made by our attorneys, David Marroso and Dan Petrocelli.” –– Michael Koncz, Manny Pacquiao’s adviser.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org