AceShowbiz - T.I.'s lawyer has denied the rapper's involvement in a cryptocurrency scheme after he was hit with a securities fraud lawsuit last week (ends November 04).
A group of 25 investors filed a $5 million (£3.8 million) securities fraud lawsuit against the "Live Your Life" hitmaker and his business partner Ryan Felton, accusing them of participating in a 'pump and dump' scheme - a practice in which the price of an owned stock is inflated by making false and misleading positive statements, in order to sell the stock at a higher price.
The investors claimed they spent than $1.3 million (£998,000) "for now worthless securities called FLiK Tokens" because T.I. and Felton created "the false impression that FLiK Tokens were a valuable liquid investment."
T.I.'s lawyer Albert A. Chapar Jr. has now responded to the lawsuit, telling The Blast that the rapper, real name Clifford Harris Jr. and also known as Tip, was not as involved as it appears.
"Tip is truly disheartened by the lawsuit. Tip did not receive a single dollar from Felton or any of the money alleged to have been invested by the Plantiffs, nor did he have any ownership of the company," he said.
"Felton has made multiple misrepresentations as well as unauthorised statements about Tip's involvement. The terribly unfortunate truth is that Felton misused and took advantage of Tip's name and likeness, thereby victimising both the investors and Tip."
The rapper says the company kept using his name illegally, and even used his photograph on their website without his permission. He is now considering his legal options because he reportedly feels he is "as much a victim as those who invested."
Sources have told The Blast that the "Whatever You Like" star only had "minimal interactions" with the company about potentially being an investor, but the talks fell apart almost immediately.
In the lawsuit, the investors claim T.I. and Felton drove up the price of the tokens by claiming comedian Kevin Hart was going to be face of FLiK and come onboard as an "owner of the business," and allege that once the value had been raised, they "dumped" their tokens and disappeared in late 2017, causing the currency to drop in price.