Prizefighter Floyd Mayweather Jr. must perform 40 hours of community service after he angered a federal judge in South Carolina who learned Mayweather was actually burning money in a nightclub on the day he was supposed to give a deposition and not resting up from injuries he sustained in a fight, as he had claimed.
Mayweather must help the Las Vegas Habitat for Humanity Project by the end of January or face further penalties, U.S. District Judge Joseph F. Anderson Jr. ruled Monday.
Mayweather, along with his production company and World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. are being sued by Anthony Dash, who accused the boxer of stealing a beat he created in 2005 for a song Mayweather used as he entered the ring at wrestling events in 2008 and 2009.
As part of the copyright infringement suit, Dash's lawyer tried to arrange a deposition with Mayweather. The boxer asked for a delay from a July date because he was training for a September fight. So the judge ordered the deposition to happen at the end of September.
Three days before the deposition was set to take place, Mayweather asked for another delay, saying he was recovering from injuries and his doctor asked he not be put under too much stress until after he got the results of an MRI. After the boxer's lawyer assured him Mayweather was not partying, but resting and recuperating, Anderson delayed the deposition for another month, ordering Mayweather's lawyers to pay expenses Dash's lawyers incurred when the deposition was delayed.
A few days later, Dash's lawyers brought the judge video of Mayweather at the Echelon 3000 club outside Atlanta throwing money into a crowd and burning bills on the day the deposition was scheduled to take place. Anderson ruled Mayweather acted in bad faith by making his injuries sound worse than they were.
Ordinarily, judges punish people who disobey orders with fines. But in his order, Anderson said that likely wouldn't work in this case.
"At the parties in question, Mayweather can be seen burning money, allegedly one-hundred dollar bills, while in another video he throws money into the crowd. Mayweather often advertises himself using the moniker `Money Mayweather' and his production company is Philthy Rich Records. Suffice it to say that Mayweather has substantial personal wealth," Anderson wrote.
Mayweather's attorneys responded in court papers that flying across the country for promotional appearances at clubs is not much different for the boxer than making bank deposits or surfing the Internet, which Dash's attorneys said he was also doing when he was supposed to be resting after the fight.
"These promotional activities are not mentally strenuous or stressful in the way that preparing for and attending a deposition is mentally strenuous," Mayweather's attorneys wrote.
A phone message and email left for Mark Tratos, the lawyer who asked for the delays for Mayweather, were not returned Tuesday morning.