Rapper Sean Kingston arrested along with his mother on fraud, theft charges after SWAT raid

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Friday, May 24, 2024
Singer Sean Kingston arrested in SoCal on fraud, theft charges
The Jamaican-American rapper is best known for his 2007 No. 1 single "Beautiful Girls," his collaboration with Justin Bieber on "Eenie Meenie" and "Take You There."

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Rapper Sean Kingston was arrested in California Thursday evening on a warrant out of Broward County, Florida, police there said.

Broward County police confirmed the rapper, whose given name is Kisean Anderson, was taken into custody without incident on a warrant for "numerous fraud and theft charges." Investigators said he will be booked into jail in San Bernadino, Calif.

A SWAT team raided Kingston's rented South Florida mansion earlier on Thursday and arrested his mother on fraud and theft charges that an attorney says stem partly from the installation of a massive TV at the home.

Broward County detectives arrested Janice Turner, 61, at the 14,000-square foot (1,300-square meter) home in Southwest Ranches, a well-off Fort Lauderdale suburb that is home to many celebrities and professional athletes, including Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Miami Dolphins star Tyreek Hill.

The sheriff's office said the investigation is ongoing and declined to release specific details about the charges against Turner or whether her 34-year-old son is also a target. Local media reported that Kingston is out of town and was not present during the raid. Broward County prosecutors referred all questions to the sheriff's office.

Federal court records show she pleaded guilty in 2006 to bank fraud for stealing over $160,000 and served nearly 1.5 years in prison.

"People love negative energy!" Kingston posted on Instagram on Thursday. "I am good, and so is my mother! ... My lawyers are handling everything as we speak." The post was later taken down.

Robert Rosenblatt, an attorney representing the rapper and his mother, said "we are aware of some of the allegations" being made against the two.

"We look forward to addressing these in court and are confident of a successful resolution for Shawn and his mother," Rosenblatt said in an email Thursday.

Florida Department of Corrections records show he is currently on two-years probation for trafficking stolen property. Reporters at the home could see authorities filling a loading van with goods. The mansion was surrounded by expensive sports cars.

The Jamaican-American rapper is best known for his 2007 No. 1 single "Beautiful Girls," his collaboration with Justin Bieber on "Eenie Meenie" and "Take You There." In 2011, he suffered near-fatal injuries in a jet ski accident. Kingston, whose legal name is Kisean Anderson, hasn't had a major label release in more than a decade.

An attorney who witnessed the arrest says it is partly related to a lawsuit he filed against Kingston in February accusing him of defrauding a Florida company that installed a 232-inch (5.8 meter) television - or approximately 17-feet wide and 9.5-feet tall (5 meters by 3 meters).

"It is amazing what you can get away with if you are a celebrity," attorney Dennis Card told The Associated Press. "He creates this larger than life, 'I am rich' persona. His mother is a necessary component in this. He presents himself as a family-oriented guy, 'I'm taking care of my mom,' but she knows full well what is going on."

In the lawsuit, Ver Ver Entertainment says Kingston contacted the company in September about purchasing the television, sold under the brand name Colossal TV, and having it installed at his home. The system costs $150,000.

Kingston allegedly told the owners that if they would agree to a lower down payment and give him credit, he and Bieber would do commercials for them.

In November, Kingston paid the company $30,000 and the TV was installed, the lawsuit. No commercials or further payments were ever made, despite numerous promises by Kingston, the lawsuit says.

The two most recent known publicists for Kingston did not respond to emails seeking comment.

The lawsuit says Kingston no longer has a working relationship with Bieber, who recently dropped his longtime manager. No current contact information for Bieber is available.

"He is 100% not involved in this," Card said of Bieber. "He had the misfortune of doing some work in the past with Sean and Sean drops his name like crazy."

ABC OTV contributed to this report