Death Row Records head, Suge Knight, took the stand on Friday (May 5) in a federal bankruptcy hearing, giving creditors a chance to ask questions regarding his assets and debts that total more than $100 million.
According to the Associated Press, Knight testified that Death Row Records has struggled since his incarcerations starting in ’96 when he was jailed for five years on a parole violation. And the recent judgement ordering him to fork over $107 million in a case filed by Lydia and Michael Harris, who claim they helped fund the start of the label, only added to the problems.
Knight testified that during his various jail stints, he was not able to be involved in the label’s business, which handicapped its success.
During questioning, Knight denied having any money hidden in overseas accounts, and is actually broke.
According to bankruptcy documents filed on April 20, Knight’s personal assets include a bank account holding $11, clothing worth $1,000, furniture and appliances valued at $2,000, and jewelry worth $25,000.
His biggest asset was listed as unspecified publishing/copyrights worth $4.4 million, according to the AP. But, the I.R.S. had placed a lien on it to cover taxes of $11.3 million.
Knight’s debts — totaling $137.4 million — include $11.3 million in federal income tax, $437,000 in state income tax, $9,300 to Nextel, $1,100 to Cingular Wireless and $15,000 on his Orchard Bank credit card, according to a 22-page filing.
The music mogul filed for bankruptcy back in April to avoid losing control of Death Row Records, which would have been placed in control to the court due to Knight missing an April 1st hearing where he was ordered to appear.
The bankruptcy blocked the court from taking control of Death Row and in trying to collect the $107 million judgment in the Harris suit.