Rapper Sean Kingston and his mother stole more than US$1mil through fraud, authorities say


Sean Kingston had a No.1 hit with 'Beautiful Girls' in 2007 and performed with Justin Bieber on the song 'Eenie Meenie'. Photo: AP

Rapper and singer Sean Kingston and his mother committed more than a million dollars in fraud in recent months, stealing money, jewelry, a Cadillac Escalade and furniture, documents released Friday allege.

Kingston, 34, and his 61-year-old mother, Janice Turner, have been charged with conducting an organised scheme to defraud, grand theft, identity theft and related crimes, according to arrest warrants released by the Broward County Sheriff's Office.

The two were arrested Thursday after a SWAT team raided Kingston's rented mansion in suburban Fort Lauderdale. Turner was arrested in the raid, while Kingston was arrested at Fort Irwin, an Army training base in California's Mojave Desert where he was performing.

Kingston, who had a No.1 hit with Beautiful Girls in 2007 and performed with Justin Bieber on the song Eenie Meenie, is being held at a California jail awaiting his return to Florida.

Robert Rosenblatt, the attorney for the Jamaican-American performer and his mother, said on Friday that Kingston would return voluntarily if allowed, "which would save the state the expense of extradition and the costs of travel for the detectives and Sean.”

His mother was being held Friday at the Broward County jail on US$160,000 bond.

"We look forward to addressing these (charges) in court and are confident of a successful resolution for Shawn and his mother,” Rosenblatt said.

Specific details of Kingston's and Turner's alleged crimes are not included in the warrants, but the documents say that from October to March they stole almost US$500,000 in jewellery, more than US$200,000 from Bank of America, US$160,000 from the Escalade dealer, more than US$100,000 from First Republic Bank, US$86,000 from the maker of customised beds and other smaller amounts.

Kingston, whose legal name is Kisean Anderson, was already on two years’ probation for trafficking stolen property. Further information on that conviction could not be found.

According to federal court records, his mother pleaded guilty in 2006 to bank fraud for stealing over US$160,000 and served nearly 1.5 years in prison.

The two have also been sued.

In 2015, a seller of customised watches successfully sued Kingston and his mother in a New York City federal court for US$356,000 after they failed to pay.

In 2018, a New York jeweller successfully sued the two for US$301,000 after they scammed the store out of nine items.

More recently, a Florida entertainment systems company sued Kingston in February, saying he failed to pay US$120,000 of a US$150,000 bill for a 232-inch (5.8m) television it installed in his home. The TV is approximately 17 feet by 9.5 feet (5m x 3m) and covers a wall.

He allegedly told the owners that if they gave him a low down payment and credit, he and Bieber would make commercials for them. That never happened, and Kingston never paid, the lawsuit says.

The company's attorney says Bieber had no involvement - Kingston was falsely using his name. – AP

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