05/13/2007 11:00PM

Jackson settles with two from suit


Thoroughbred owner Jess Jackson has reached settlement agreements with Fernando Diaz-Valdes and Brad Martin, two defendants named in Jackson's suit against his former bloodstock advisers. The agreements follow a financial settlement with trainer Bruce Headley in March.

Jackson's 2005 lawsuit still alleges that his former bloodstock adviser, Emmanuel de Seroux defrauded him of "at least $3.2 million" by inflating the values of horses purchased on his behalf and obtaining secret commissions on transactions.

Jackson has dismissed all claims against Diaz-Valdes, a bloodstock agent representing sellers in 13 transactions for horses Jackson bought from South America. According to a joint statement from Jackson's and Diaz-Valdes's attorneys, on May 9 Jackson and the agent "amicably resolved all issues between them. No money shall change hands as a result of this agreement, and Jess Jackson shall drop all claims against Fernando Diaz-Valdes, including claims of fraud, conspiracy, and punitive damages."

As part of the agreement, Diaz-Valdes will drop a counter-claim he made against Jackson.

"There have been allegations that there was a substantial difference between the price Mr. Jackson paid and what the sellers received" in the South American transactions, Diaz-Valdes's attorney, James Morgan, said Monday. "Fernando only negotiated on behalf of the sellers and received a commission based on the price the sellers received."

In his settlement with Jackson, Martin has agreed to pay $250,000, according to Jackson's attorney Kevin McGee. Martin remains a party to a separate suit Jackson has filed in Kentucky federal court involving alleged price inflation in Jackson's 2005 purchase of Buckram Oak farm in Lexington for $17.5 million.

Jackson's suit had alleged that Martin conspired with Headley and de Seroux. Martin's attorney, Edward Freedman, could not be reached for comment Monday.

Jackson's lawsuit against de Seroux and Narvick International has alleged that the agent charged Jackson more than sellers were actually paid in a number of transactions in the United States and abroad. De Seroux, who is still a defendant, denies the claims against him and has counter-sued, alleging Jackson owes him commissions for a number of bloodstock transactions.