Less than a month after rapper 50 Cent reportedly declared that he had accidentally amassed an $8 million fortune by holding on to a cache of bitcoins he received back in June 2014, the Queens-born rapper and actor said in sworn testimony that the bitcoins never existed.
According to TMZ and The Blast, the rapper filed a sworn declaration in bankruptcy court saying “[I have] never owned and [do] not now own, a Bitcoin account or any Bitcoins, and to the best of his knowledge, none of his companies had a bitcoin account from 2014 to the present.”
The rapper said he asked his financial advisers to investigate the situation after the US Trustee in his bankruptcy case and other creditors started asking about the coins.
It was widely reported last month that the rapper collected 700 bitcoins via his album sales – an amount that would be worth about $7 million at today’s price.
The documents were obtained by TMZ, which is following 50 Cents jaunt through bankruptcy court. The rapper is being sued by the ex-girlfriend of rival rapper Rick Ross for allegedly leaking a tape showing her having sex with her boyfriend.
Of course, it’s unclear if 50 Cent was being dishonest to begin with – or if he’s just trying to avoid reporting his bitcoin assets.
According to the court documents, 50 Cent said he didn’t feel compelled to deny stories about his bitcoin wealth, saying “as a general matter, so long as a press story is not irreparably damaging to my image or brand, I usually do not feel the need to publicly deny the reporting.”
“This is particularly true when I feel the press report in question is favorable to my image or brand, even if the report is based on a misunderstanding of the facts or contains outright falsehoods.”
However, he did acknowledge that it’s possible some sales of his album “Animal Ambition” and merchandise may have been paid for in bitcoin, but he said they were converted to US dollars by a third party before he ever saw the money.
The rapper famously earned $100 million from an investment in Vitamin Water – which was eventually sold to Coca-Cola.
The news of 50 Cent’s denial hardly dented a bitcoin rally that carried the pioneering cryptocurrency back above $10,000 on Monday.
In an unrelated development, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said the Department of Justice is honing in on criminal uses of cryptocurrencies.