- Leonard Muhammad, a man whom friends, employees and business associates of Michael Jackson say is running many of the pop star’s affairs, has a history of failed businesses, fraud allegations and unpaid tax bills behind him.
According to State of Illinois public records, Mr. Muhammad, chief of staff and son-in-law of the Nation of Islam’s leader, Louis Farrakhan, ran a series of companies in the 1990’s that were dissolved by the state in recent years for failure to file proper documents or to pay back taxes, among them Nationway Ventures International Ltd., DiNar Products and Economic Solutions Inc.
Earlier investigations, by The Chicago Tribune in 1995 and The Washington Post in 1996, found that Mr. Muhammad helped run a company that sold an unproven treatment for AIDS in poor Chicago neighborhoods and ran companies producing and selling soaps, shampoos and other toiletries – including one called POWER Inc. – that were chased by tax authorities and creditors for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Certainly Jackson can use some of that kind of acumen.
- Born Leonard Searcy in 1945, Mr. Muhammad married Donna Farrakhan, Mr. Farrakhan’s daughter, in 1983, and changed his name to Leonard Farrakhan Muhammad.
In 1996 The Washington Post reported that Mr. Muhammad ran a series of toiletry companies that records indicated owed a total of $226,949 to creditors and tax authorities.
The Tribune reported that Mr. Muhammad was listed as an officer of a company that sold interferon as an anti-AIDS drug in African-American neighborhoods in Chicago in the early- to mid-1990’s. The company, Per Ankh Inc., advertised in The Final Call, the Nation of Islam’s newspaper, and was promoted vigorously by group leaders from the mosque podium. Doctors at the time called the treatment ineffectual and criticized the company for giving false hope to those dying of the disease.
If Jackson is turning to this shyster, this unscrupulous charlatan, this snake in a bow tie, he is even farther gone than I thought – and yes, I am assuming Leonard’s motives are nefarious.