Akon’s Rep Responds to Former Business Partner’s Claims That Senegal City Plans Contain Ponzi Scheme ‘Red Flags’

A rep for the singer and entrepreneur has addressed the latest allegations from former business partner Devyne Stephens, including scam claims.

Akon is seen on the red carpet for a special event

Image via Getty/Jerod Harris/The Volume

Akon is seen on the red carpet for a special event

A former business partner of Akon argues in recently filed court documents that the “Lonely” artist’s Senegal city plans can be likened to a Ponzi scheme.

Per a report from Page Six this week, Devyne Stephens—who was previously reported to have sued Akon for millions—is now asking a judge to freeze the singer and entrepreneur’s New York assets until the case is resolved. 

In related court docs dated March 7 and viewed by Complex, Upfront Megatainment, Inc. and Stephens argue that Akon is “flagrantly breaching two separate contractual promises” that were part of a prior settlement agreement.

And in an affidavit that’s dated March 7, it’s argued that both the Akon City and Akoin ventures have—in the “professional opinion” of an M20 Associates-affiliated consultant and self-described former Special Agent with the U.S. Government—“red flags” associated with business-based schemes.

Here’s more, straight from the affidavit-included comments of the aforementioned consultant, i.e. Scot Thomasson:

“The Akon City and Akoin ventures have many of the trademark characteristics (known as ‘red flags’) of fraudulent business ventures such as Ponzi schemes and pyramid schemes. Therefore, it is likely that Akon City and Akoin are part of a fraudulent money-raising scheme.”

In short, Stephens is arguing that an assets freeze would assist in procuring money he says he’s owed from Akon, including royalties. Mentioned elsewhere in the 20-page affidavit are alleged issues with Akon City-related paperwork, claims of unregistered investments via unlicensed sellers, and more. Stephens’ team is arguing this all shows the venture to be “likely a financial scam,” though a rep for Akon has since taken issue with these allegations.

In a statement to Page Six, a rep for Akon said that the claims about his ventures are “not based on any evidence,” arguing that they are instead inspired by a previously dismissed claim in connection with the allegations. “They are nothing but innuendo and speculation, made by someone who had a claim against Akon dismissed,” the rep said this week, adding that Akon is “proud” of the work he’s doing for Senegal. 

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