Following a request from prosecutors, Judge Ann M. Donnelly has ordered the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to seize $28,000 in funds from R. Kelly’s prison inmate account.
As reported by Bloomberg last month, prosecutors filed a motion to seize the money until a restitution judgment could be reached. Donnelly has ruled that the funds could be seized by the government as Kelly has filed to pay any of the financial penalties he was issued after being found guilty of rackteering and sex trafficking charges, per legal documents reviewed by Complex.
When the disgraced singer was sentenced in June, he was ordered to pay a $100,00 fine, a $900 special assessment, and an additional assessment of $40,000. “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 a letter signed by Donnelly on Friday. “The government now seeks an order requiring the BOP to turn over the restrained funds to the Clerk of Court ‘for deposit into an interest-bearing account pending a determination as to the amount and applicability of a restitution judgment.’”
R. Kelly reportedly protested against the decision and claims the BOP “confiscated” the funds contained within his inmate trust account. Donnelly has rejected the assertions made by Kelly’s legal team and determined the money seized should go toward the 55-year-old’s alleged victims.
“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,” the ruling reads. “The BOP acted properly and in accordance with its policies when it placed the defendant’s funds ‘in hold until this Court could adjudicate the pending motion.’”
In a statement provided to Law & Crime, Kelly’s attorney Jennifer Bonjean said they plan to appeal the decision.