A group of 30 musicians who performed at a May 2011 benefit concert for the foundation say that when they were paid for their work accompanying such stars as Blige, Jennifer Hudson and Christina Aguilera, the checks bounced. Their lawsuit, which was filed in State Supreme Court in Manhattan earlier this month, is claiming a total of $167,252 in wages and penalties for non-payment.
The charity, known as FFAWN, is also being sued by TD Bank over a $250,000 loan taken out in June 2011. The bank claims that FFAWN defaulted on the loan, which was due to be repaid at the end of last year.
The Post also reports that FFAWN appears to have no working phone number or legitimate address, and that it failed to file its 2010 federal tax return. FFAWN also reported no finances for that year, despite collecting $60,000 from sales of Blige's perfume on the Home Shopping Network.
The foundation was founded by Blige and former record producer Steve Stoute in 2007 as a means of supporting education, career development and personal growth for women. Blige told the Today show in late 2010 that FFAWN had sent 25 women to college.