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Rihanna sues accountants for big losses

06 July 2012, 10:00

 Los Angeles - Rihanna is suing her former accountants for negligence that allegedly resulted in her losing millions of dollars.

The We Found Love singer filed a lawsuit in Manhattan Federal Court on Tuesday seeking unspecified damages from Berdon LLP of New York and two of their employees - who have since left the firm - for breach of contract and a string of other problems with her financial affairs.

The suit - filed under her real name Robyn Fenty - alleges Berdon caused "significant financial losses" between 2005 and 2010 by charging "exorbitant" commissions from her Last Girl on Earth Tour in 2010 and accused the company of mishandling her taxes by withholding more funds than necessary, leading to "significant losses of tax benefits" and failing to file taxes on time, causing late penalties.

The suit states: "Between 2005 and 2010, [Rihanna's tour company] Tourihanna suffered significant losses due to defendants' financial mismanagement and other acts and omissions."

Rihanna began working with the accountancy firm when she was just 16 years old and "a minor with a booming music career and no knowledge or understanding of financial matters whatsoever".

Commissions beyond industry standard

The lawsuit says the company assumed control of the singer's affairs "beyond the industry standard" and they had an "unusual" deal which saw them earn commissions based on a percentage of Rihanna's gross receipts which were "exorbitant and expensive."

It estimated that between 2007 and 2010, the accountants earned millions in commissions on tour gross receipts - an amount equalling 23% of total tour income, compared to 6% received by Rihanna.

It also claims several of the 24-year-old star's tours lost money compared with her recent Loud tour - undertaken after Rihanna parted ways with Berdon - which was a financial success.

The suit further alleges the firm did not do monthly planning reports and performed little record-keeping of expenses, as well as failing to uncover millions in unpaid royalties and problems with the way in which her royalties were tracked.

Additionally, Rihanna claims she is now being audited because of the mishandling of her tax returns between 2008 and 2010.

A spokesperson for Berdon has not commented on the accusations.

- BangShowBiz


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