Affidavit: King Cheated Tyson, Cayton : Jurisprudence: Former employee alleges promoter's family got fees and expenses were 'overstated.'

TIMES STAFF WRITER

An affidavit filed Monday by Don King's former financial officer in Manhattan Federal Court in New York details ways that the boxing promoter allegedly siphoned millions of dollars off the top of former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson's multimillion-dollar purses.

In the nine-page affidavit, Joe Maffia, King's financial officer for five years until he resigned six months ago, charges that:

--Among the expenses King charged to Tyson for his first fight with Razor Ruddock on March 18, 1991, was a $2-million fee King paid to Ruddock's promoter, Murad Muhammad, from whom King received future promotional rights. Only one-half of this sum actually was paid.

--Typical of expenses charged by King to Tyson fights was a $100,000 "consultant's fee" to King's wife, Henriette King.

--There were numerous instances when expenses reported to Tyson's former manager, Bill Cayton, were "overstated."

Cayton was entitled to 20% of Tyson's net purses until his contract with the fighter expired last Feb. 12.

For example, Maffia said in the statement, for Tyson's fight with Henry Tillman on June 16, 1990, King reported to Cayton that Tyson's three trainers were paid $460,000. Actually, Maffia said, the three were paid $150,000, with King and Tyson splitting the difference, $310,000.

--Tyson's financial statements were shown to Tyson aides Rory Holloway or John Horne, or to Tyson, but were rarely given to Tyson or his representatives.

--Tyson signed "several powers of attorney for King, although I am not certain of their scope," Maffia said.

Maffia also said that the following expenses were charged to Tyson by King:

--A $52,000 salary for several years to King's daughter, Debbie, as compensation for her services as president of the Mike Tyson Fan Club.

--About $15,000 per fight for several fights to Debbie's husband, Greg Lee, as payment for consulting services.

--About $50,000 per fight for several fights to King's stepson, Carl King, for consulting services.

--About $50,000 per fight for several fights to another of King's stepsons, Eric King, for consulting services.

Maffia also said that travel expenses for King and his companions, security costs and partial costs for renovations of King's offices and home were charged to Tyson.

King, who was in Dallas Monday, said through his spokesman, John Solberg, that he had no comment.

"Don will have something to say later about this," Solberg said.

Maffia's affidavit was filed in connection with a lawsuit between King and Cayton.

Tyson, serving a six-year prison sentence for rape in Indiana, is rumored to be having difficulty paying his $2-million legal bill.

Tyson was convicted in February in Indianapolis of raping a teen-age Miss Black America contestant last summer. Boxing has been rife with rumors that Tyson is trying to borrow money to pay his legal team, headed by Washington lawyer Vincent Fuller.

Tyson, 25, has earned about $70 million in boxing since becoming a headliner in 1987. Yet the New York Daily News reported Sunday that an accountant, Mohammed Khan, had said in a deposition that Tyson had no liquid assets and very little cash.

According to the Daily News, Khan said that Tyson's assets consisted of several million dollars in real estate, dozens of expensive cars and a $2.8-million single-premium life insurance annuity bought for him in 1986 by Cayton and his late co-manager, Jim Jacobs.

New York Newsday reported today that Cayton said that Tyson has tapped into the annuity, borrowing $1 million to pay on the legal bills.

Cayton said that Maffia's affidavit was "only the tip of the iceberg."

"I've been trying to tell everyone King has been ripping off Mike since Day 1, and no one would listen," he said. "Now, the facts are coming out.

"And the next thing we'll learn is that those huge sanction fees Mike had to pay to the governing bodies (World Boxing Council, World Boxing Assn., International Boxing Federation) were much more than the governing bodies asked for. King was pocketing that money, too."

Sen. William Roth (R-Del.) has scheduled hearings for this summer on corruption in boxing. Roth's aide, Dan Rinzel, said Monday that charges in the Maffia affidavit would be looked at during those hearings.

King's rival boxing promoter, Bob Arum, said that the charges against King come as no surprise to him.

"He's been doing this for years," Arum said of King. "Everyone knows about it, and he just keeps getting away with it."

Arum was in Easton, Pa., Monday, promoting the Evander Holyfield-Larry Holmes fight June 19.

"I just talked to (former boxer) Jimmy Young today," Arum said. "He told me he signed with King to get $250,000 to fight George Foreman (in 1977) and wound up with $62,000. King signed to pay him $1 million to fight Ken Norton (in 1977), and he got $212,000.

"He was supposed to get $75,000 to fight Muhammad Ali (in 1976) and got $16,000.

"On the sanction fees, it's coming out now that King is deducting from Tyson's purses more than what the governing bodies are asking for. And if they investigate it, it'll show that that money goes right to Jose Sulaiman's pocket."

Sulaiman is president of the Mexico City-based World Boxing Council.

Arum says he has long asked the Internal Revenue Service to investigate the huge sanction fees paid at major American boxing shows to foreign-based boxing governing bodies.

"To the best of my knowledge, that money goes right out of the country and no one pays any taxes on it," he said.

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