Akon has been accused of planning to use the city he’s building in Senegal as a “Ponzi scheme,” according to legal documents filed by the artist’s business partner. On Monday (March 7), Devyne Stephens, a music executive who’s worked with stars including Jay-Z, Destiny’s Child, and Akon himself, requested that a Manhattan Supreme Court judge freeze the crooner’s assets in New York until a judgment is reached in the $4 million lawsuit Stephens filed against Akon in 2021.
Stephens believes that Akon’s assets must be withheld to ensure he receives his due sum if the judgment goes in his favor, citing the star’s history of sordid business practices. According to Stephens’ lawyer, Jeffrey Movit, this could potentially include Akon’s Wakanda-inspired city, an oceanfront village in his homeland of Senegal slated to run on his “Akoin” cryptocurrency. The project is estimated to cost $6 billion to complete.
According to the findings of retired federal Special Agent Scot Thomasson, the potential framework of Akon’s city includes “many of the trademark characteristics (known as ‘red flags’) of fraudulent business ventures such as Ponzi schemes and pyramid schemes.” Movit, who described Akon’s plans for the village as “broken promises,” noted that the singer has provided “almost no transparency about who is investing in Akon City or how it will be purportedly built. Therefore, Akon City is likely a scam.”
In response to Thomasson’s findings and Movit’s claims, a rep for Akon vehemently denied Stephens’ accusation of Akon City being a scam. “Mr. Stephens’ allegations about Akon City and Akon’s business ventures are not based on any evidence.” The rep continued, adding, “They are nothing but innuendo and speculation, made by someone who had a claim against Akon dismissed,” referring to a previous claim against Akon by Stephens that was tossed out.
“Akon is proud of the efforts he is undertaking to create opportunities for his homeland in Senegal,” the statement said of the “Locked Up” singer’s true intent behind the building of Akon City.