Fugees star payment problem

Seven On Your Side
October 17, 2008 9:09:07 PM PDT
The musician was a member of hip hop group The Fugees, selling 30 million albums since the mid 90's. But those record sales aren't helping one small business owner who says one of the group's founding members owes him thousands. His name is Pras Michel. In the 90's, he was one of the three members of The Fugees. The group may be the best selling hip hop group in history. But one man says he's no longer a fan.

"He owes me roughly $19,000," Ray Devers told to Tappy Phillips of Seven On Your Side.

Ray Devers owns Fight Klub Studios. He says Pras had 24 hour use of his recording facility last May to record his latest album. "I've contacted his management team," Ray says. "I've contacted his lawyers and just (get) stories after stories."

Finally, in June, Pras issued him a check, payment in full. "Gave him benefit of the doubt, gave me a check. Bounced!" says Ray. That's right, Pras's check didn't clear because of "non sufficient funds."

"I've pretty much tried to dedicate like a month trying to track him down and no luck," says the frustrated business owner.

But tracking down Pras is not easy. The reason? He travels - a lot. His own video blog shows him in Miami at a rooftop party in South Beach, partying with celebs like football great Jim Brown. His vlog tells us his travels even extend all the way to Paris for a video shoot.

But we caught up with Pras walking to an event on the campus of his alma mater - Rutgers University. That's when Tappy asked the hip hop star a few questions.

Tappy: You got a debt there of about $19,000 that hasn't been paid and a bounced check. Did you know about that?

Pras: No, I didn't. We've been talking to them about it.

Next, Pras tried to put us off, telling us to talk to Ray from Fight Klub Studios.

Tappy: We've talked to Ray, (he) wants us to talk to you. Ray wants us to talk to you and he wants to know when he's going to get his money?

Pras: You need to speak to my attorney.

Tappy: When is he going to get his money?

So we called his attorney, who never gave us a reason for the non payment. But that same day? Fight Klub Studios got a down payment, $5000 from Pras, with the promise of more coming.

And if Pras doesn't make good on his vow to pay in full, Seven On Your Side will be calling on him again. Ray says, "We'll come right back to you guys. Channel 7's here to help us."


Story by: Tappy Phillips
Produced by: Steve Livingstone