Former fraud accountant to pay Ne-Yo back R93 million

Kevin Foster used to be Ne-Yo and Brain McKnight’s accountant and business manager and now he is learning some tough life lessons, like crime does not pay. He was recently convicted in Columbus, Ohio of a list of crimes including wire fraud, money laundering, and tax evasion.

The 43-year-old allegedly also convinced Ne-Yo to invest $2 million (R28.9m) into a sports drink company called OXYwater without letting the singer know that Foster was both the CEO and the CFO. He also allegedly took $1.5 million (R21.7m) from Ne-Yo’s bank account without his permission while forging the singer’s signature to open a line of credit worth $1.4 million (R20.2 m).

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According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Foster used the money to fund his luxury lifestyle. He reportedly purchased a Mercedes, a Bentley, a Jaguar, a Rolls-Royce, expensive jewelry, and extensive wardrobe, lavish vacations, and season tickets to NFL and NBA games.

Foster was sentenced to 89 months or just over seven years in prison and now both Ne-Yo and McKnight can celebrate being awarded restitution. Ne-Yo will receive $6,456,250 (R93 m) and McKnight will be paid $151,675 (R2.2 m).

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“Foster deceived his victims into believing they were investing in a profitable sports beverage company when, in reality, he was using their money as a personal slush fund for his lavish lifestyle,” U.S. Attorney Benjamin C. Glassman said in a statement, according to justice.gov.

“His ongoing and systematic deception also included stealing millions of dollars in additional funds. Not only did Foster betray the trust of his clients who believed he would act in their best interest, but he also used his accounting expertise to fraudulently report his income and live a virtually tax-free life.”