Akon Accused by Former Business Partner of Running 'Ponzi Schemes'
Akon's former business partner claims in court papers recently filed that the artist's plans for a Senegal city are a Ponzi scheme.
Page Six reported this week that Devyne Stephens -- who was previously reported to have sued Akon for millions -- is now requesting a judge freeze the singer's assets in New York until the matter is settled.
Based on court documents seen by Complex on March 7, Upfront Megatainment, Inc. and Stephens contend that Akon is "flagrantly breaching two separate contractual promises" that were part of a previous settlement agreement.
It's argued in an affidavit dated March 7 that both Akon City and Akoin cryptocurrency ventures have--in the "professional opinion" of an M20 Associates affiliate and self-described former U.S. Government—“red flags” associated with business-based schemes.
“The Akon City and Akoin ventures have many of the trademark characteristics (known as ‘red flags’) of fraudulent business ventures such as Ponzi schemes and pyramid schemes. Therefore, it is likely that Akon City and Akoin are part of a fraudulent money-raising scheme.”
Stephens argues that a freeze of Akon's assets would assist him in recovering funds he claims he is owed from Akon, including royalties. The 20-page affidavit also mentions alleged issues with Akon City-related paperwork, unregistered investments by unlicensed sellers, and more. Akon's representatives have disputed these allegations, arguing this shows the venture is "likely a financial scam." Stephens' team has argued this all points to the venture being a scam.
Akon's rep told Page Six that the allegations about his ventures are not based on evidence, but rather they are inspired by a previously dismissed claim related to the allegations. “They are nothing but innuendo and speculation, made by someone who had a claim against Akon dismissed,” the rep said this week, adding that Akon is “proud” of the work he’s doing for Senegal.