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Jackson gives up title to Neverland

the associated press

Michael Jackson has given up title to his Neverland ranch, transferring the deed to a company he partly controls.

The singer filed a grant deed on the ranch Monday that makes the new owner an entity called the Sycamore Valley Ranch Co. LLC, Tom Pearson of the Santa Barbara County clerk-recorder’s office said Wednesday.

Sycamore Valley Ranch Co. is a joint venture between Jackson and an affiliate of Colony Capital LLC, according to a person with knowledge of the transaction who was not authorized to speak on the record and requested anonymity.

The person could not say what would become of the 2,500-acre property in the bucolic, oak-studded hills of Santa Barbara County’s wine country.

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A call to an attorney for Jackson, L. Londell McMillan, was not immediately returned Wednesday.

Jackson had gone into default on the $24.5 million he owes on the property and had faced foreclosure before Colony Capital bailed him out earlier this year by purchasing his loan.

The property was called Sycamore Valley Ranch before Jackson bought it in 1988 and began turning it into a miniature amusement park with a zoo, Ferris wheel, roller coaster and other rides.

Jackson has struggled to pay his debts since his financial empire began to crumble after his arrest in 2003 on charges that he molested a 13-year-old boy at the ranch.

He has not been seen in the Los Olivos area since a jury acquitted him of all charges, and recent aerial photos show the ranch falling into disrepair.


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