Kanye West has been center stage in pop culture all of 2022. He recently celebrated the fact that DONDA 2 is ineligible for Billboard album charts, he released a disturbing and controversial music video, he harassed Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson on social media, and he asked a judge to halt his divorce. Now instead of taking the stage, Mr. West is taking the witness stand in Chicago federal court.
Ye has been subpoenaed to testify at the federal trial of his former employee, Arjun Dhillon, who is charged with using his name to try to scam $250,000 from a philanthropist running a charity campaign. The trial is set to begin with jury selection on April 4, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The indictment was filed two years ago in January 2020 and only referred to West as “Musician A.” But as the trial date came closer, Dhillon’s attorneys subpoenaed West’s attorneys for records in regards to its representation of the Grammy-winning rapper and other communications the attorneys had about the case.
From the Chicago Tribune:
According to the indictment, Dhillon in 2019 convinced a Florida-based philanthropist who was running a crowdsourcing charity campaign to wire $250,000 to a bank account purportedly affiliated with one of West’s companies but was actually controlled by Dhillon.
The victim was identified in the charges only as Victim A, but sources have told the Tribune he is Bill Pulte, grandson of the late founder of Detroit home-building giant PulteGroup who has found social media stardom by giving away money to charity and documenting it all through Twitter.
As part of the ruse, Dhillon created false emails purporting to be between himself and West to convince Pulte that he was close to the artist, when in fact West had ended their relationship in October 2018, according to the charges.
Dhillon told the victim West was willing to lend money and star power to the victim’s cause in exchange for financial support of West’s “design studio project,” the indictment stated.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the indictment states that once the funds were wired to Dhillon’s account, his bank flagged the transaction. He “falsely represented” to the bank that he worked for West so they would not take the money back.
Bill Pulte, the victim in the case, alerted his bank to the potential fraud and they were able to stop the money from being disbursed to Dhillon.
This feels like the first time in a long time Kanye is witnessing the “show” and not actually a part of it.