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Ne-Yo awarded $6 million from ex-manager in fraud case


ABC/Richard HarbaughNe-Yo has been awarded $6.4 million, and Brian McKnight will receive $150,000, in a judgement against their former manager, Kevin Foster, who was found guilty of fraud and other charges.

The amounts were determined in court in Columbus, Ohio after Foster was recently convicted, according to  

Foster was sentenced to 89 months in prison on May 16 and ordered to pay nearly $8 million in restitution to Ne-Yo, McKnight, and the IRS. As previously reported, Foster was convicted in August 2018 of 16 charges, including wire fraud, money laundering, bankruptcy fraud, tax evasion and filing false tax returns.

Prosecutors say that addition to working with Ne-Yo and McKnight, Foster also served as a controller for the Imperial Integrative Health Research and Development company.  He convinced Ne-Yo, born Shaffer Smith, and McKnight, to invest in the firm’s sports drink, OXYwater, under false pretenses.

Court documents also show that Foster took more money out of Ne-Yo and McKnight’s accounts than they agreed to invest.

“Unbeknownst to Smith, Foster invested an additional $1.5 million of Smith’s money into the product without his consent and fraudulently took out $1.4 million in lines of credit under Smith’s name by forging his signature,” prosecutors said. 

They added that Ne-Yo and McKnight didn’t know that Foster was receiving a large commission from the company, based on their investments.

Foster used the millions he stole from the singers to purchase several luxury vehicles, designer watches, and season tickets to see the New York Giants and New York Knicks.

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