A recent court ruling has mandated Universal Music Group to cover the unsettled restitution bill of R. Kelly. The artist, presently serving a 30-year prison sentence for his 2021 convictions on charges of racketeering and sex trafficking in New York, had been issued a bill surpassing $520,000, along with accruing interest, in July 2022, aimed at compensating his victims.
U.S. District Judge Ann M. Donnelly issued a garnishment order on Wednesday, directing both R. Kelly and Universal Music Group to remit a sum nearing $507,000 from the payments retained by the music label. This payment effectively fulfills the remaining balance of his restitution bill as of August 15th.
According to documents accessed by USA TODAY, Universal Music Group is granted a 10-day timeframe from the receipt of the garnishment order to settle R. Kelly’s financial obligation. Furthermore, the documents disclose that the government abandoned its efforts to collect payments from Sony Music Entertainment. This decision was influenced by the fact that the royalties owed to R. Kelly by Universal exceed $567,000, an amount deemed sufficient to cover his outstanding liabilities.
R. Kelly’s legal predicaments stem from his conviction in September 2021 on nine counts relating to sex trafficking and racketeering, culminating in his sentencing in June 2022, which included a monetary fine of $100,000. Notably, in a distinct case in February, he was handed a 20-year prison term for additional sex-related offenses, including charges connected to child pornography, in Chicago.
U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber ruled that 19 of those years would run concurrently with Kelly’s ongoing prison term. Consequently, only a solitary year was appended to the conclusion of his initial 30-year sentence. Worth mentioning is that his September conviction encompassed three counts of child pornography and three counts of child enticement. He was acquitted, however, of a fourth pornography charge and a conspiracy to obstruct justice charge, which had accused him of tampering with his 2008 state child pornography trial.