*The family of Tupac Shakur has sued the late rapper’s estate trustee for allegedly “embezzling” funds and property from the estate proceeds. Sekyiwa Shakur (the late’s sister) and The Tupac Shakur Foundation have claimed Tom Whalley, the estate’s executor, has misappropriated millions of dollars for his own benefit.
After the rapper’s death, his mother Afeni became the beneficiary of his estate. After the mother died in 2016, Whalley became the executor of her (Afeni’s) estate. In the lawsuit, Tupac’s sister states that she is now the rightful primary beneficiary of her mother Afeni’s estate; therefore, she should have been given a number of items and property that had belonged to the rap star. The sister and the Foundation say they are entitled to 10% of the estate’s annual income.
Part of the lawsuit states: “Upon information and belief, Whalley has already received more than $5.5 million that he has paid himself in the last five years through Amaru…he has effectively embezzled millions of dollars for his own benefit well in excess of what would be reasonably necessary to retrain a property qualified third-party to perform such services.”
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It further adds that because of this, Whalley has unreasonably enriched himself at the expense of the beneficiaries and in bad faith by taking excessive compensation. For that reason, the sister and the Foundation argue that the executor should be ordered to “recompense” an amount the good shall determine to reflect the dollar value to which the trust has been injured, but in a minimum amount of $4,000,000.
Moreover, they ask for a full accounting from Afeni’s estate, inclusive of his compensation from the estate, filing of tax returns, and insurance matters. Because they have not received a proper accounting, they insist “they do not know the full scope of Whalley’s malfeasance, but it is clear that he was used and abused his powers as executor and special trustee of the estate and the trust to convert the personal property belonging to Sekyiwa as a piggy bank from which he has drawn substantial funds for his own benefit.”
It is worth noting that Tom Whalley has been part of Tupac’s career for a long time. He is a “highly respected” man in the business, and that’s how he was entrusted with such a responsibility. Also, he genuinely “cares about Tupac’s legacy.”
On hearing these allegations by Tupac’s sister and the Foundation, Howard King, a lawyer for the trust, had this to say:
“Tom Whalley was a friend and confidant of Tupac and his mother, Afeni Shakur, since signing Tupac to his first major recording deal in the 90s and helping to arrange the funds to bail Tupac out of jail. After Tupac passed away, Afeni requested Tom’s help with the job of managing the Tupac assets Afeni had inherited, a task he performed, without charge, for many years. In 2015, at Afeni’s request, Tom became the manager of Amaru, the company Afeni had established to protect and exploit all Tupac assets, on normal and typical terms. Under Tom’s management, enhanced by various personal loans Tom has made to the company, Amaru has gone from virtually insolvent to a solid financial footing.”
So, who is in the wrong? It is hard to tell at this point. The saga is still unfolding, and so much will come to light.