Black Eyed Peas Didn’t File Tax Returns for Years

An attorney for the Black Eyed Peas has filed suit accusing the hip-hop group’s manager of failing to file income tax returns for the group for at least eight years.

The lawsuit, filed last week by lawyer Helen Yu, came in response to a defamation suit filed late last month by Sean Larkin, who has managed the group for 10 years.

Larkin blamed the failure to file tax returns for the group’s touring income on an “inadvertent oversight,” according to He said that after he discovered the problem, he immediately took steps to correct it. He filed suit against Yu claiming that she was trying to “poach” his clients and ruin his reputation “through a series of deceitful lies” in letters that she sent anonymously to the group’s record company and a financial advisor to the record label’s president.

In response, Yu claimed that Larkin had breached his fiduciary duty toward his clients and that the IRS, the California Franchise Tax Board, and his record company had been looking into the matter before she started writing the letters.

“Larkin claims his failure to file federal and state income tax returns on behalf of his clients was ‘inadvertent,’” she wrote in her complaint. “However, Larkin has failed to file numerous tax returns for years. Despite the music group earning tens of millions of dollars over several years, Larkin is only now creating necessary accounting ledgers of the music group, which books and records should have been created and maintained on an ongoing basis.”

Yu claimed that Larkin hid more than $1.4 million in U.S. Treasury checks made payable to members of the group and that his failure to make timely elections to tax various entities affiliated with the music group had cost the members at least $1.1 million.

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