Rihanna has sued her former accountants for mismanaging the singer’s finances, claiming they earned huge commissions yet cost her millions of dollars.
In a lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court, the 24-year-old singer and her tour company, Tourihanna, is seeking an unspecified amount of damages.
The pop superstar’s dealings with accountancy firm Berdon LLP and former employees Michael Mitnick and Peter Gounis are the subject of the lawsuit.
The suit, first filed late in Tuesday ahead of the July 4 U.S. holiday, claims the accounting firm caused “significant financial losses” between 2005 and 2010.
She accuses the firm of charging “exorbitant” commissions from Rihanna‘s 2010 “Last Girl on Earth Tour” and mishandling Rihanna’s foreign and domestic taxes.
“Between 2005 and 2010, Tourihanna suffered significant losses due to defendants’ financial mismanagement and other acts and omissions,” the lawsuit said.
Rihanna, whose real name is Robyn Fenty, is referred to in the suit as a financial novice who found fame at a young age and relied heavily on her accountants.
In 2005, the Barbados native was 16 years old and “a minor with a booming music career and no knowledge or understanding of financial matters whatsoever.”
The lawsuit said the accountants concealed facts regarding her finances and earned commissions on Rihanna’s revenue that was “exorbitant and expensive.”
The lawsuit said Rihanna lost millions during “The Last Girl On Earth” tour after the firm failed to reconcile costs versus revenues while still paying itself millions.
It estimated that between 2007 and 2010, the accountants earned commissions equaling 23 percent of total tour income, compared with 6 percent for Rihanna.
The firm did not do monthly planning reports and performed little record-keeping of Rihanna’s personal and business expenses, including those for Tourihanna.
For example, during 2008 and 2009, the accountants kept only 2 percent to 4 percent of all receipts for expenses charged on the singer’s personal credit card.
It also failed to uncover millions in unpaid royalties and problems with the way in which Universal Music Group (UMG) was tracking Rihanna’s song royalties.