- (Photo: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni)
Toni Braxton has been accused of fraudulently depositing $53,490 to her estranged husband Karl Lewis in order to avoid paying fees in her bankruptcy case. The singer was, at one time, nearly $50 million in debt and had declared bankruptcy.
According to documents filed in the case, Braxton transferred the money that was supposed to go to her creditors into Lewis' account instead. Her bankruptcy trustee is now suing the singer in order to reclaim the money and get the accounts paid off.
"All of the payments made to Lewis prior to Toni's bankruptcy filing were appropriate transfers for reasonable and necessary personal and business expenses in the ordinary course of her business," Braxton's representative told TMZ.
This is the second time Braxton has filed for bankruptcy, stemming from 2010 and several years' worth of health-related issues that prevented her from working. She and her company filed for bankruptcy, stating that she owed between $10 million and $50 million at the time.
"This was a very difficult decision for Ms. Braxton," her attorney Debra Grassgreen said in a statement. "However, after months of trying to work out an acceptable arrangement with her principal creditors, she determined that the only way to assure that she could meet her tax obligations and provide for her two small children was to commence these bankruptcy cases."
Braxton first filed for bankruptcy in 1998 but was able to recover from that debt and start fresh. Unfortunately, health setbacks prevented the star from fully rebuilding her career and earning what she needed in order to pay off her growing debts.
It's unclear what will happen now that Braxton has been accused of hiding her assets for personal gain, though it is likely she will see the inside of a courtroom. Her trustee has already filed a suit against her in order to set things back in order.