A judge has granted permission for the Bureau of Prisons to move forward to seize funds from R. Kelly’s prison account.
According to reports, federal Judge Ann Donnelly directed the Bureau of Prisons to seize $27,828 from the disgraced singer’s inmate commissary account last Friday (September 9th). Judge Donnelly granted approval of the motion, which was filed last month in the Brooklyn federal court by prosecutors to seize the money until a restitution amount judgment for the victims in Kelly’s first federal trial could be reached. “On August 4, 2022, at the government’s direction, the BOP restrained or ‘froze’ $27,824.24 of the money in the defendant’s trust account, leaving a balance of $500 for his use in MCC-Chicago, where he is currently incarcerated,” reads the letter from the judge.
Prosecutors also cited in their motion that Kelly had not paid any of the financial penalties that were a part of his sentence in June after being convicted of racketeering and sex trafficking. At that time, he was ordered to pay a $100,000 fine, along with a $900 special assessment and a $40,000 assessment in concordance with the Justice For Trafficking Victims Act. “Once restitution is determined by the court, the Clerk of Court should apply the monies held in the interest-bearing account first to the $900 special assessment and then to the restitution judgment,” Donnelly wrote in the nine-page letter.
Kelly’s legal team protested the motion initially claiming the funds were being “confiscated”. Judge Donnelly provided a firm rebuttal. “The defendant’s remaining claims—that the BOP unlawfully ‘encumbered Mr. Kelly’s funds’ and that the BOP and the government should be sanctioned—have no merit,” she wrote. Jennifer Bonjean, the lead lawyer for the 55-year-old entertainer, said “We will appeal,” when contacted by the press. A hearing to assess how much restitution Kelly owes has been scheduled for September 28th.