September 15, 2011
By: Brenna Lemieux
Celebrity news site TMZ.com reports that Percy "Master P" Miller, rapper and head of the former No Limit Records, is facing a lawsuit that could push him into an involuntary bankruptcy. Apparently, Master P failed to pay crew members from a movie he produced in 2003.
The project, called "Uncle P," starred the rapper alongside comedians Cheech Marin and Ken Jeong. In 2003, crew members reportedly sued Master P for nonpayment and a judge ruled that he owed them $240,000. Now, though, sources report that the rapper never paid his crew members. In a second attempt to collect their salaries, crew members have filed a lawsuit with the Los Angeles Bankruptcy Court.
If the court rules to force Master P into bankruptcy, a court-appointed trustee will take financial control of his assets and distribute them among creditors as the court deems appropriate. Now, though, almost a decade has elapsed since the first court order mandating payment. The creditor crew members are reportedly requesting far more than the original amount because of the interest that could have accrued on the payment had it been distributed on time.
A forced bankruptcy case would not be the first financial difficulty Master P has faced. In 2003, he filed for bankruptcy protection for his record label, No Limit Records. Master P had founded the label in 1990 and after significant success in the 1990s, the label spread itself too thin and lost many of its profitable acts.
Following the bankruptcy reorganization, Master P launched New No Limit Records, which was distributed by Koch Records.
The bankruptcy court may rule in favor of forced bankruptcy if Master P's creditors (in this case, the unpaid crew members) can demonstrate that the most likely method of collecting on their debts is through the bankruptcy court.
If the bankruptcy court rules against a forced bankruptcy, the crew members could attempt another lawsuit, but Master P would retain control of his assets, thus making a second nonpayment possible.
At the height of his fame and success, Master P's net worth was estimated at more than $600 million.