New York Federal prosecutors are demanding the feds seize $27,828 in R. Kelly’s prison commissary. Officials say the disgraced R&B singer hasn’t paid his court fees or fines.
In a letter written on August 4, prosecutors urged the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to freeze the singer’s money so that the funds could be used to clear up his outstanding court-related fees.
R. Kelly owes thousands in court fees and fines
In the letter, prosecutors accused the 55-year-old celeb of accumulating “substantial funds in his inmate trust account,” Bloomberg noted. After receiving authorization, the BOP restricted the R&B legend’s account access to $500 until further notice.
According to court documents, the Grammy-award-winning singer owes over $140,000 in fees and fines. Following his sentencing, New York Federal Judge Ann Donnelly slammed the convicted star with a $100,000 fine in addition to a $40,000 human trafficking penalty.
In September, Kelly will face off with Judge Donnelly again to determine the amount he’ll pay in restitution to his victims, Insider reported.
Kelly’s lawyer slams feds for seizing funds
The Chicago native’s attorney Jennifer Bonjean called out the federal government for seizing the star’s funds on Twitter.
Bonjean claimed that federal authorities also filed a motion to “confiscate” the star’s trust account money.
“Could the gov. be more unethical? ….You’re supposed to do that BEFORE you take the money,” she tweeted. Bonjean included an e-mail she wrote to the federal government along with the post that claimed the funds were seized by the prison “with no notice” to Kelly and “without any court order.”
During an interview with the Washington Post, Bonjean bashed the feds again for the move.
“My client has an appeal pending, and until the Second Circuit affirms his conviction, nobody should be touching any of his money,” she explained, noting how the singer has made little to no income since his sexual assault conviction.
Bonjean added: “Neither the BOP nor any entity should have anything to say about whatever money he has in his commissary account.”
However, federal prosecutors say Kelly allegedly transferred millions of dollars from music royalties into his account before his sex-trafficking conviction.
R. Kelly will stand trial on August 15 in Chicago, where is faces federal charges of the production of child pornography and sexual abuse of minors.
The singer also faces a separate trial in Hennepin County, Minnesota, where he faces two criminal counts of engaging in prostitution with a minor and hiring a minor to engage in sexual acts.