Manny Pacquiao In New Legal Fight, This Time With Former Accountant
By Bryanna Fissori
Just this summer Manny Pacquiao retained accounting agency VisionQwest to handle a number of duties including all of his accounting, personal and business tax, audits and examinations as well as contract reviews starting from 2005 forward. This move served to take the responsibilities out of the hands of the boxer’s Business Manager Michael Koncz, though Koncz remains an advisor to Pacquiao in a number of other facets.
Photo: Chris Farina – Top Rank
Almost exactly a month later Team Pacquiao was re-considering the move after VisonQwest contacted the Nevada State Athletic Commission in an attempt to obtain more information about the champion’s bout agreements. The exact information VisionQwest was seeking is unknown.
Under the NRS 467.1005 Section 1 (c) of the Nevada State Administration Code regarding confidentiality of certain information concerning applicant for license, disclosure of information and procedure, the commission must maintain confidentiality regarding Any information relating to the financial records of an applicant or licensee.
The action by VisionQwest was rumored to have inspired Pacquiao’s manager Bob Arum of Top Rank Promotions to demand that the boxer fire the accounting firm. Last month it was announced that the accounting firm Tanner, Mainstain, Blatt and Glynn, which is based in Los Angeles will take over the duties.
According to VisionQwest, the contract between Pacquiao and the firm granted them power of attorney, which would allow them to access financial information from the Nevada State Athletic Commission. The power was intentionally drafted into the agreement because without the allotted access the accounting firm would be unable to gather the necessary information given the unavailability of both Pacquiao and Koncz.
In July Koncz stated that he had requested a specialist from the VisionQwest firm to review pay-per-view finances. “I specifically requested that they bring in somebody else with expertise with pay-per-view numbers, which they did,” said Koncz. “They spent more or less three days in Top Rank’s office and gave me a report. As far I’m concerned, they’re doing a very thorough job in monitoring our tax issues and reviewing documents.”
According to a September press release issued by VisionQwest after their termination, the findings were not all as rose-colored as Koncz had anticipated. The press release stated that representatives from the firm last met with Pacquiao July 24 of this year to discuss their findings. The document sums up the findings and current situation:
“We started compiling records and building files for Manny and MP. We were able to get the audits under control and to stop the seizure and levies taking place before we took over. However, to be able to completely do our job, we needed for Manny’s boxing promoter, Top Rank, Inc. to provide a lot of documents that where in their possession. From the beginning of the review and examination in late 2010 of Top Rank Bout income statements, Top Rank, Inc. and its majority owner Bob Arum provided us with minor documentation, then in 2011 became very hard to work with and would not respond to requests for documentation and answers to questions. From the documents that where furnished, VQ and its staff where able to decipher various accounting issues and we were very concerned that there were considerable un-answered questions regarding the recording of revenue (through a verification processes with outside companies) and their expenses. We were also able to identify ridiculous amounts of money being paid to Michael Koncz and the fact that Michael Koncz not only worked for Manny and MP but Top Rank, Inc. as well.”
According to the firm, Pacquiao agreed to pursue legal action against Top Rank and Koncz, but did not wish to do so until receiving the advance from the upcoming November 12 bout against Juan Manuel Marquez. The advance was supposed to be given on September 1 and thus payment made after. They have yet to receive neither compensation for the work completed nor repayment for the loan taken out to purchase Koncz’s home in Orange County.
Pacquiao was served with the lawsuit on October 12. The sum being requested by the firm totals $649,016.95 according to the complaint which was filed with the Los Angeles Superior Court under the assertion of a breach of contract.
“We will vigorously defend these false allegations contained in the lawsuit, and we have also instructed our attorneys to research counter-claims,” stated Koncz. “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.”
The lawsuit will be handled by Pacquiao’s attorneys at the O’Melveny and Myers law firm, specifically Dan Petrocelli and David Marroso who are also retained by Top Rank.