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TheStreet Open House

The Five Dumbest Things on Wall Street This Week: March 1

4.) Live Nation's Hangover

Seriously Live Nation (LYV). Did you really think you were going to do business with Mike Tyson and not wind up in front of a judge?

The former heavyweight champion sued a financial services firm owned by Live Nation last Wednesday, asserting that one of its advisers embezzled more than $300,000 from the pugilist turned Hangover thespian. Tyson is seeking $5 million in damages for breach of fiduciary duty, negligent hiring, unjust enrichment and a host of other financial injuries conjured up by the legal team in his corner. The suit claims that Live Nation and its company SFX Financial Advisory Management Enterprises returned a portion of the stolen money from Tyson and his wife, yet wanted the couple to sign a nondisclosure agreement, which they refused, before giving back the rest.

"Defendants did not secure, protect, safeguard and appropriately apply the Tysons' finances for their intended purposes, but instead misappropriated said funds for the benefit and enrichment of SFX/Live Nation," stated Tyson's case.

Unfortunately for fight fans like us, Live Nation reported fourth quarter earnings this past Tuesday without commenting on its battle with Tyson. The world's biggest concert promoter and ticket retailer posted a wider fourth-quarter loss of $159.7 million, or 85 cents a share. The loss was primarily due to $68.2 million in expenses tied to its artist-management unit, as well as the exit of its former chairman Irving Azoff.

Aw shucks! We really were hoping to see Live Nation publicly counter Tyson's legal jabs this week, but apparently the company is opting to play rope-a-dope instead.

Of course, an evasion strategy is better than getting your ears bitten off, a la Evander Holyfield. And judging at least from Tyson's side of the story, it does seem like Tyson could have Live Nation on the ropes. The company apparently admitted at least some wrongdoing when it returned a chunk of the Champ's money, and Tyson's formerly trusted financial advisor has not-so-mysteriously left SFX (Watch your ears dude!).

Then again, no case is ever cut and dry when Tyson is involved. In fact, Tyson by now has probably spent more time in the witness box giving his side of the story than the squared circle doling out punishment. And we're not just talking about the case that led to his spending three years in an Indiana prison for the 1991 rape of a Miss Black America pageant contestant.

In 2003, for example, he faced a bankruptcy judge for debts totaling $27 million, despite earning over $300 million in the ring. The following year Tyson reached a settlement with another once-trusted adviser - famed fight promoter Don King - by agreeing to drop a $100 million suit in exchange for a $14 million payment. Tyson's next legal decision came in the spring of 2006 when he reached an out of court agreement worth $275,000 with a man he allegedly bit during a motorway road rage incident.

Heck, even when he isn't directly involved in a lawsuit, Tyson still gets dragged into the fight. In 2011, Warner Bros. settled a copyright infringement lawsuit brought by the tattoo artist who inked Tyson's face so it could release The Hangover Part II.

Put it all together, and Tyson's legal headaches make an open-and-shut case that a senseless Live Nation is now paying the price for not steering clear of Iron Mike from the opening bell.

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