Ray Charles' children seek AG investigation
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Legal Newsline)-California Attorney General Jerry Brown could be drawn into a dispute between the family of pianist Ray Charles and his longtime manager.
Charles' 12 children are calling for an investigation into their father's estate and of the charitable foundation that now bears his name.
The charity, originally established as the Robinson Foundation for Hearing Disorders, in 2006 attracted scrutiny from the California attorney general's office.
The attorney general's office objected to the foundation's operation because Charles' longtime manager Joe Adams was serving simultaneously as chairman, president and treasurer, in violation of state law.
The Los Angeles Times reported Sunday that Charles' children are now accusing Adams of mismanaging his estate and perhaps damaging his reputation by releasing two posthumous CDs that were a commercial disappointment.
They say their father would have never released the recordings.
The Charles children have registered complaints against Adams, 86, with the FBI and the Los Angeles District attorney's office.
They accuse Adams, whom Charles signed on as his manager in 1961, of having too much power over Ray Charles Enterprises and the Ray Charles Robinson Foundation.
The children complain also that they have largely been left out of business dealings.
They are seeking to win control of the marketing of their father's name and image as well as more of a say in the foundation's affairs.
Charles died of cancer at the age of 73 in 2004.
Estimates place the value of his original masters at about $25 million, in addition to $50 million in other assets, including real estate, the newspaper reported.
From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.