Wyclef Jean’s former lawyers have filed a six-figure legal judgment against the musician after he failed to make agreed-upon payments to reduce his debt, according to court filings that include a recent e-mail from Jean’s business manager claiming that his client was broke.
“there ain’t no money,”
Jean’s accountant declared in a terse January e-mail to his creditors.
Other records show that federal and state authorities have, since mid-2012, hit the performer with nearly $2.9 million in tax liens (which remain outstanding).
According to New York State Supreme Court filings, Jean last year agreed to pay the law firm Shukat Arrow Hafer Weber & Herbsman $100,000 to settle an outstanding bill topping $133,000.
As part of a confidential settlement agreement, Jean was required to pay the firm $10,000 by August 1, 2013, and $50,000 by year’s end. The agreement stipulated that if Jean made those two payments, the firm would waive the remaining $40,000 it was owed by the musician. However, the agreement notes, if Jean failed to make the payments, he would be on the hook for the entire $100,000, plus 10 percent annual interest.
Jean, records show, made neither payment.
In response to Jean’s default, Shukat--a well-known entertainment industry law firm--this week filed a $102,027.40 judgment against the 44-year-old entertainer.
Before filing the judgment, the law firm wrote to Jean’s business manager to give notice of the impending court action. “File it,” replied accountant David Levin. He added, “In my most professional verbiage…there ain’t no money.”
As detailed in these pages, Jean has previously faced significant federal tax liens and questions about his handling of the finances of his charitable foundation.