OJ Simpson secretly hid his money in offshore bank accounts prior to being jailed for kidnapping and armed robbery, a bombshell audio recording obtained by DailyMailTV reveals.
And lawyers for the family of Ron Goldman, the friend of Nicole Brown Simpson who was murdered along with OJ’s ex in 1994, believe the disgraced NFL star could have millions of dollars tucked away ready for his release on as soon as Monday.
Simpson was famously acquitted of the double murder of Nicole and Goldman in 1995, but a civil court jury in 1997 found Simpson liable for their deaths and ordered him to pay $33.5million in damages to their families.
Enforcement lawyer David Cook, who represents Ron’s father Fred Goldman, has been unsuccessfully trying to access the former star’s assets ever since.
The audio tape sheds doubt on whether the 70-year-old nicknamed ‘The Juice’ has been truthful about his financial situation over the years.
And DailyMailTV can reveal the total amount of damages Simpson is on the hook for has ballooned to more than $100 million due to interest on the original amount.
Cook, 68, suspects an offshore account exists and he vows not to stop until he finds all of Simpson’s alleged hidden assets.
‘We’ve heard about that over the years and I have asked OJ about his assets and he didn’t disclose any offshore bank accounts, but that doesn’t mean anything,’ Cook told DailyMailTV.
‘Do I think he has an offshore bank account? That’s a good conclusion. How much does he have in it? God only knows,’ he added, acknowledging the figure could potentially run into millions of dollars.
‘Mr Simpson has made it very clear that he will not work for Fred Goldman, he has no interest in compensating Mr Goldman, he is in a state of complete denial, which is a continuing affront to all justice.
‘Whatever hole Mr Simpson hides his money in, I’ll find it.’
The bombshell recording that mentions the offshore accounts was captured seconds after the robbery in Las Vegas when Simpson and his gun-toting entourage burst into a hotel room to retrieve sports memorabilia the star believed had been stolen from him.
In the recording, memorabilia collector Bruce Fromong, a long-time friend of Simpson, can be heard speaking with fellow collector Alfred Beardsley, who has since died, about the violent incident that had ended minutes earlier.
Fromong was furious and in a rant, during which he threatened to kill Simpson, he let slip that he had personally helped the star set up offshore accounts.
He is heard saying: ‘Nobody puts a gun in my f***ing face. I stood up for the motherf***er (Simpson) while he was in jail, I stood up for him in the press, I stood up for him on the stand.
‘I helped him set up his f***ing offshore accounts. Don’t f*** with me. It’s not over. It’s not f***ing over.’
When DailyMailTV approached Fromong about the recording he refused to comment.
The dramatic audio clip obtained by DailyMailTV was made by sports collectibles dealer Tom Riccio who helped orchestrate the ill-fated memorabilia recovery mission that day September 13, 2007.
Riccio recorded part of the confrontation in room 1203 at the Palace Station hotel in Vegas and the tape was used as evidence at Simpson’s trial in 2008.
Fromong’s testimony during the trial was a vital part of the prosecution’s case in finding Simpson guilty.
Simpson was convicted of robbery, kidnapping and assault charges in October 2008 after the bizarre incident. He has served the minimum nine years of his 33-year sentence for the robbery and could be released as early as Monday.
Earlier this summer Fromong’s stood as a key witness in Simpson’s parole hearing, telling authorities he had forgiven the star and insisted he was a ‘good man’.
However the audio tape alludes to some disturbing claims about the pair’s relationship.
What’s significant is that the recording eludes to Simpson having money hidden away in offshore accounts.
In 1997 a civil court jury ordered Simpson to pay $25 million in punitive damages to the families of slain Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman.
The same jury had awarded the Goldman family $8.5 million in compensatory damages – both figures totaling $33.5 million.
Ever since, lawyers representing both families have been chasing Simpson’s money, with very little forthcoming.
The wealthy often use offshore accounts to hide money from view – usually as a tax haven. The most common places to conceal cash include the Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and the Bahamas.
The Goldmans’ lawyer Cook said setting up an offshore account is ‘expensive’ and Simpson would most likely have had to hire a local lawyer to set up a corporation and manage the account.
‘If he did set up those offshore bank accounts and he didn’t report them to the federal government on his tax returns then he will be convicted of tax fraud of epic proportions,’ said Cook.
The lawyer said he renewed the judgment against Simpson two years ago and discovered the payment owed has more than tripled.
‘The judges in California accrue interest at about 10 percent per annum, so Mr Simpson owes about $66 million to Fred Goldman and a further $40 million to the family of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman’s mother also has her own settlement. In total it’s in excess of $100 million.’
Cook believes it is possible to prove Simpson has an offshore bank account but he will need to keep a ‘close eye’ on his spending to track his assets.
‘Money offshore only has value if you have access to it, so frequently what you do is trace the money upstream.
‘How’s he paying for his utilities, how’s he paying for his credit cards, so you end up tracking the money. We can subpoena utility companies for their records.’
When Simpson is released Cook said he will first figure out where he’s living.
‘If he’s going to Florida then you want to figure out if he is going to buy a home and what’s the source of the money, if he’s renting, then what’s the source of income for the rent.
‘You start to go backward. Where is he getting the money to pay for his daily expenses?’
Cook says Simpson will want to monetize his name once he’s out and will most likely create what’s known as a loan-out corporation to which he can transfer his intellectual property rights.
He says the loan-out will receive any money Simpson gets through media or business deals and will be difficult to find.
‘It’s a matter of getting a bee-line of what projects he has in the future and attempt to intercept the money before he gets it,’ says Cook.
Cook, of Cook Collection Attorneys in San Francisco, has been an enforcement lawyer for 43 years. He says he’s in ‘good health’ and is happy to ‘grow old’ chasing Simpson’s money.
‘My message to OJ is real easy, pay the judgment, grow up, you went to trial you lost, admit your guilt and start paying this thing. He’s in absolute denial and that’s got to end.’
He added: ‘When OJ Simpson was riding in that White Bronco he tossed his soul out the window, this man is completely without a soul.’
Riccio, who provided the audio recording to DailyMailTV, also says he fully expects Simpson to cash in on his infamy after his release.
Riccio mocked Simpson’s assertion to the parole board that he will retire to Florida to spend his final years away from the spotlight reconnecting with his family.
He claims Simpson hopes to revive his fame and cash in on his celebrity and mind set.
‘OJ Simpson has missed a lot of things over nine years – the limelight is part of that.
‘It would be sad to see him back running around with crazy people, doing weird deals, but that is what I am hearing is happening. I am hearing he wants to do a reality show.
‘They are supposed to give him $1 million up front, but again it would be feeding into his narcissistic camera star type thing again.
‘Producers are figuring out a way to get the money set up, so his family get money not him. And that way the Goldmans cannot take the cash.’
On Fromong’s alleged role in setting up offshore bank accounts for Simpson, Riccio said: ‘Bruce said that he hid money for OJ and he bragged about it on many occasions to people that we were around during that time. He told me to my face that “I have hid his money from the Goldmans”.
‘Bruce was involved, and he knows he was part of the reason that the Goldmans did not get their money from the civil case.
‘If he wants to sue me, I am here. I have no problem being on the record about this.’
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Ryan Parry