Story Update: In May 2010, Sean Larkin's defamation lawsuit against attorney Helen Yu was dismissed. The judge in the case ordered monetary sanctions against Larkin.
There's a war of words between two people representing the Hip Hop group, Black Eyed Peas. The group's manager, Sean Larkin, seems to have missed a minor detail... for the last ten years or so, he has neglected to file income tax returns on the group's income of $10 million. Now, among other woes, the state of California has suspended several corporations owned by the band or members of the band. The Black Eyed Peas' attorney, Helen Yu, has not spared any venom in blaming Larkin, accusing him of jeopardizing the group by not taking care of their tax issues on a timely basis.
Larkin owns Larkin Business Management in Sherman Oaks, California. He admits that he did fail to file income tax returns, "due to an inadvertent oversight." But, he says, that did not justify Yu sending out letters, "filled with venomous lies and fabricated accusations… that he engaged in criminal conduct," according to a report in The Wrap
On November 30, Larkin filed a legal complaint
against Yu to the tune of $5 million, for defamation of character in her comments about his tax-related failures. His complaint includes the charge that, "Yu hatched a deliberate and illegal plan to ruin Larkin's reputation and poach his clients through a series of deceitful lies."
Hitting back, Yu filed papers
claiming that, for years, "Larkin knowingly and/or recklessly breached his fiduciary duties as a business manager by failing to timely make elections to tax various entities affiliated with the music group . . . resulting in losses of no less than $1.1 million to the members of the music group." She also states that "Larkin has delayed and obstructed efforts to audit the performance of his duties as a business manager for the music group."
She responded to Larkin's legal complaint by providing details of several ways the business manager allegedly failed the group. Her charges include that Larkin:
· neglected to keep accurate books on a timely basis. Yu says that Larkin is now scrambling to compile bookkeeping records for the last several years, which should have been kept concurrently.
· failed to file tax returns and pay taxes for nearly a decade.
· caused the group's corporations to suffer suspension by the California Franchise Tax Board, which could also lead to other damages.
Yu is being represented by Century City attorney Alan Weil, and Larkin's attorney is Skip Miller. Both Weil and Miller are considered powerhouse lawyers with impressive client lists. The Black Eyed Peas themselves are not participants in these legal proceedings.