Police Investigating Theft Of Aretha Franklin’s Money

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January 11, 2019 | 11:10am EST

Michigan police officers are hunting a thief who allegedly stole from Aretha Franklin before her death.
According to legal documents obtained by website The Blast, detectives investigating whether an individual inappropriately tapped into her funds before she passed away aged 76 last August. A criminal report was initially filed last June, but it’s not known how much of the music legend’s cash is missing.
Police Lieutenant Timothy Abbo confirmed to the Detroit Free Press that an active theft investigation involving the Queen of Soul’s mansion in the city’s suburbs is underway, but offered no further details beyond stating that it started before her passing.
The legal filings that revealed the theft case relate to a legal battle between her estate’s managers and her son, 61-year-old Edward, who was born when the Respect singer was just 14-years-old. He has been trying to obtain a court order forcing those overseeing her finances to provide her heirs with monthly financial documents. The estate’s managers claim doing so could potentially jeopardize the criminal investigation into her missing assets.
Her executors have also paid at least $3 million in back taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) since her her death. Officials claim she owes $6.3 million in total for bills dating between 2012 and 2018, and an additional $1.5 million in penalties.
David Bennett, the lawyer representing her estate told the Associated Press he disputed the amount owed.
“We have disputes with the IRS regarding what they claim was income,” he explained. “We claim its double-dipping income because they don’t understand how the business works.”
Stars and dignitaries including Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, president Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, Whoopi Goldberg, Jennifer Hudson, Faith Hill, Ariana Grande, Pete Davidson, and Tyler Perry attended her funeral in Detroit.