1992- Jackson Communications Inc. is formed. The corporation is owned by the 11 Jackson members, including Michael, Janet, LaToya, Jermaine, Jackie, Randy, Rebbie, Tito, Marlon, Katherine and Joe Jackson.
Entrepreneur Robert Petrallia met Joe Jackson almost a year earlier. The two discussed building a $350 million complex in Asbury Park, NJ. Asbury Park fails as financing falls through and the developer files Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Petrallia convinces the Jacksons for form Jackson Communications Inc. (from now on referred to as JCI) and appoint himself as chairman of JCI.
One of JCI's first moves is to acquire new businesses. One of the first was the Kramer Guitar Company in Neptune, NJ. Vaccaro is the owner of Kramer Guitar, and he already knows the Jackson family.
Kramer was a contractor for the Asbury Park development, but had dropped out of the project a year before Petrallia became involved. In 1988, before Kramer dropped out of the project, he hosted Katherine and Joe Jackson and gave them a tour of the city and took them to see Kramer Guitar Inc. Once a giant in the guitar business, by 1992 Kramer Guitar and Vaccaro were in bankruptcy. Kramer, through his HVV company, owns the assets to Kramer Guitar.
1992-JCI agrees to fund a reorganization of HVV through bankruptcy court. Essentially, JCI agrees to pay HVV's debt of $500,000 and in return, take control of Kramer Guitars.
This deal includes that Vaccaro will receive a 1% share of JCI, a five year consulting contract for $150,000, shares in the new Kramer Guitar, and a royalty profit for each Kramer Guitar sold.
1993- Kramer arrives at the Encino compound as a JCI advisory board member where JCI's corporate structure, investment sources and potential competition are discussed.
1993- JCI's first payment is due on the HVV debt restructure. JCI asks for a 60-day extension which is granted. The payment for $225,000 is made by JCI in the 60-day allowance term. However, the next payment is not made.
According to Petrallia, the reason is the child molestation allegations in 1993 leveraged against Michael Jackson. Sponsors began to pull their support and money, including Pepsi, who withdrew their financial support.
1993-The Jackson Family Honors special on NBC is taped in November. Michael, understandably with the allegations against him, does not want to perform solo. He appears and sings with his family, and according to J. Randy Taraborelli, only performs minimally because his mother asks him to.
1994- With the withdrawal of financial support from advertisers, etc. due to the allegations against Michael, JCI sinks.
1994-Kramer Guitar changes from Chapter 11 to Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the liquidation process. Vaccaro receives no compensation for liquidation and Kramer Guitar is sold to Gibson Guitar.
1994-Vaccaro sues JCI in federal bankruptcy court. The Jackson family fails to respond to the lawsuit.
1995- Consequently, the judge finds the Jacksons in default and schedules a hearing in three months.
1996-The Jacksons fail to respond or appear at the hearing.
1996- Judge William H. Gindin finds for Vaccaro in the amount of $1,347,733.40. (See p. 19 on the link.)
Two important points on Gindin's ruling:
#1. Judge limited the liability of the judgement to those family members who had taken/received dividends from JCI. Michael, Janet and LaToya were NOT INCLUDED.
#2 Judge ruled that those family members were liable for damages because they had violated corporate rules. Again, this did NOT include Michael, Janet or LaToya. These family members had nine months to appeal, and not one of them did so.
1997- Vaccaro has to be able to serve each of the Jacksons, but Vaccaro targets Katherine and Joe Jackson. Vaccaro serves Joe Jackson in Las Vegas by disguising his process server as a newpaper delivery man.
1997-Brian Oxman takes both Katherine and Joe Jackson's statement. Both claim they have no assets. Katherine Jackson claimed she had less than $1000 in assets.
1998-Vaccaro hires private detective Frank Coonis. Although Katherine has claimed that she owns no cars, Coonis finds records that state that Katherine owns seven cars registered in her name. A judge gives authorization to Vaccaro and his attorney to seize the cars to satisfy the judgement in part.
1998-U.S. marshalls arrive at the Encinco compound. They seize one car. Katherine asks to the court to return the car but is denied.
1998-Vaccaro sees a television show with Katherine Jackson in it. Vaccaro asks a judge to be able to seize more assets and is granted the request. This time, they enlist a locksmith to open the wrought iron gate, and seize two more cars and a baby grand piano.
1998-Vaccaro is not satisfied. Vaccaro and Coonis devise a plan to trick the Jacksons. They issue checks to all the Jacksons in the amount of $50 in the form of a rebate. Three of the Jacksons cash the checks, providing Vaccaro and Coonis account numbers by the stamp on the back of the rebate check. Vaccaro seizes $7,000 from those accounts.
Vaccaro's attorney subpoena's the bank accounts. They got Katherine Jackson's cancelled checks and discovered a monthly payment to what they described as a vineyard. This lead to the discovery of the storage units where the memorabilia was held.
1999- Vaccaro seeks and receives a court order to open the storage facility. According to this article, Michael and Janet's possessions were not taken. (This, in my opinion, cannot be true because Vaccaro was in possession of Michael's underwear which was later seized by Tom Sneddon, as well as his sketches and other items that clearly belonged to Michael.)
1999-Most of the Jacksons in the lawsuit file for bankruptcy. Vaccaro had to return the possessions over to bankruptcy court. (Again, in my opinion, he did not turn over all of the possessions.)
2000-Despite some objections from the Jacksons, the bankruptcy judge orders all the items from both storage units, including Michael and Janet's possessions, to be auctioned to the highest bidder in a liquidation bankruptcy proceeding.
2001-Ultimately, Vaccaro buys the both storage units for $85,000.