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R. Kelly Owes Almost $2 Million In Taxes

R. Kelly appears during a hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019 in Chicago, Ill. (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

Disgraced singer R. Kelly is tendering his tax debt of almost $2 million as proof that he wouldn’t run away if granted an early release due to the spread of the coronavirus.


R. Kelly has been fighting for weeks, attempting to be granted an early release due to his fears of contracting the coronavirus. His request was denied last week after prosecutors argued that he had already made $200,000 in royalties this year alone, which gives him enough money to flee from the justice system.

In another request, his lawyers argue that R. Kelly owes the government $1,878,737.43 in taxes which makes it impossible for him to flee.

Combatting his prosecutors, Kelly’s lawyer says that because of his massive tax lien, the singer doesn’t even have access to the $200,000 he has earned in royalties. They argue that any money he does make can be seized by the feds, also citing the fact that he did not attempt to flee when the police were building a case against him.

His lawyer, Michael Leonard states in a letter submitted to the court on April 19 that:
“The monies the Government claims Mr Kelly has access to are not the kind of funds that would present an opportunity to flee, let alone live a life covertly in exile. It similarly ignores the fact that the current environment of restricted travelling commercial activities would make it that much more difficult than before, and albeit impossible for a celebrity like Mr Kelly, to flee from prosecution.”

Kelly’s attorney filed this letter with the court after the government submitted a motion that R. Kelly is a flight risk and a danger to the community. U.S. Department of Justice attorneys are asking the federal judge overseeing his case to keep the singer in prison pending trial.

Kelly has been charged with several counts of state and federal sexual misconduct charges in Illinois, Minnesota and New York, from sexual assault to heading a racketeering scheme aimed at supplying Kelly with girls.

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