Rapper 50 Cent’s bankruptcy continues its roller-coaster ride. Back in January I wrote a post about how 50 Cent might be in trouble with the bankruptcy court because he posted on Instagram that he had millions of dollars in bitcoins. This Instagram post did indeed land Mr. Jackson (50 Cent’s real name) back in front of the bankruptcy court. In a lengthy document filed in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Connecticut, 50 Cent says that “I do not own and have not owned either a bitcoin account or any bitcoins.” You can view the document on Scribd here.
That declaration that he does not and has not owned bitcoins is contradicted by a later statement he makes in the same document. He states that to the best of his knowledge he was one of the first major music artists to accept cryptocurrency as payment for online sales. In his sworn declaration he provides a link to coindesk.com from 2014 that indicates 50 Cent received bitcoin payments for his new album, Animal Ambition. However, 50 Cent goes on to explain that though payment may have been received in bitcoins, those were converted at the then-going rate to dollars immediately upon receipt. Thus he did not own any bitcoins at any time.
As for the reports of his ownership, Mr. Curtis explained that by saying that, as a general rule, he does not contradict press reports if they show him in a favorable light, even if they are not true. He said “I did not publicly deny the reports that I held bitcoins because the press report was favorable and suggested that I had made millions of dollars as a result of my good business decision to accept bitcoin payments.”
The problem with taking opposite positions regarding your financial condition is it raises the question: are you lying now or were you lying then? It’s always harder to prove you didn’t have something after you once claim you did.
If you need to file bankruptcy, don’t claim you own something if you really don’t. By the same token, if you DO own something, don’t omit it from your schedules. Doing so is called bankruptcy fraud.
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