50 Cent Ordered to Pay $16 Million to Sleek Audio

Fif loses a legal battle to a headphone company he invested in before he hooked up with SMS.

Posted: 04/09/2014 08:13 AM EDT
Filed Under Music News, 50 Cent

50 Cent's bank account took a hit recently, when an arbitrator found that he owes more than $16 million in damages and fees to Sleek Audio for being "unjustly enriched" by a deal they had together, reports Radar Online

Fif had invested $1 million in the company to create a headphone line, but in 2011, he publicly parted ways (in the court documents it's revealed that he thought they weren't producing results quickly enough). In the years since, he's been promoting his SMS Audio Sync by 50 Cent headphones. 

That hasn't sat well with Sleek. The company claimed that the Sync design was all too familiar ("basically the same design, mechanically," court documents state), and that some of Fif's assistants hacked a Sleek website, pulling confidential information — info that was not part of their agreement, it seems.

The company sued the Queens-bred rapper for "misappropriating trade secrets, breaching his fiduciary duty owed to Sleek, participating in a civil conspiracy, breaching his confidentiality agreement with Sleek, and being unjustly enriched."

An arbitrator agreed, writing, "[Sleek] did not have a good head for business ... Thus the arbitrator can sympathize with [Curtis "50 Cent"] Jackson's growing frustration that he was putting money into Sleek and not, in his opinion, seeing the results that he assumed would be forthcoming on a timely basis." But, "Likewise, the arbitrator can appreciate the [Sleek team's] frustration with what they perceived to be Jackson's team taking control of their company."

Sleek was awarded $11,693,247 in damages last May, and another $4,488,331 in attorney fees was just signed off on.

Fif, meanwhile, is still promoting his SMS Audio gear, and his upcoming album, Animal Ambition. His latest release from the project is a new video "Big Rich Town," featuring Joe.

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(Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

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