William Hageman of Chicago Tribune reports that KISS leaders Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley were served subpoenas by a private investigator Friday night (September 26) before their performance at the Tweeter Center in connection with a former business manager who is now a fugitive living in South Africa.
The case involves Jesse M. Hilsen, 63, who was KISS' business manager during the late '80s and early '90s. There have been warrants out for his arrest since 1994, and a federal grand jury re-indicted him in July. Hilsen, who reportedly owes his former wife Rita at least $2 million, has been on the run since 1994.
The purpose of the subpoenas is to determine what, if any, financial ties exist between Hilsen and the band, as well as whether any band members have been in touch with him since he became a fugitive. Hilsen had been guitarist Stanley's psychiatrist for several years before becoming the band's business manager. He and the band split in 1992.
"We have reason to believe they have some assets belonging to Jesse," said Chicago attorney Jonathan Clark Green, who is representing Rita Hilsen and who was present for the serving of the subpoena.
The subpoena, called a citation to discover assets to a third party, seizes the assets of a debtor that may be in possession of a third party.
Rambam and Green, followed by a Tribune reporter and photographer and a film crew from CBS' "48 Hours", which is documenting the case, arrived at the Tinley Park concert venue shortly after 5 p.m. and met with security personnel. Rambam and Green eventually were ushered backstage, where they met with Stanley and Simmons and served them with the papers.
"They kept bumping us up the food chain," said Rambam, who works out of New York and Texas, "higher and higher through the levels of Tweeter Center security. They realized the documents were legitimate and let us meet with the band."
Simmons and Stanley, he said, "were incredibly gracious and they wanted to know more about the case. I wished them both a Shana Tova, a happy [Jewish] new year, and they wished me a Shana Tova back."
The band did not issue a statement. "They said they'd prepare some sort of press release later," Rambam said.