Mitchell Green, the former director of brand management for Sire drinks, a drinks firm owned and founded by award-winning artist Curtis “50 Cent,” has pled guilty to stealing $2.2 million from the celebrity’s spirits business. Green’s sentencing date has been set on January 23, 2024.
Green’s involvement in the embezzlement plan extends back over two years, according to court filings, coinciding with 50 Cent’s purchase of $14.8 million in champagne and cognac from two French distilleries. Green allegedly stole $2.2 million in “agency fees” from the purchase and shared the proceeds with the distilleries. He is also accused of stealing $948,096 from another wholesaler.
Commenting on the case, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger stated: “Though he was supposed to negotiate the best deal possible for his employer, Green set up secret side deals to inflate what his employer paid to reap millions of dollars in kickbacks. Companies must be able to rely on the integrity of their agents to conduct business.”
Green now faces up to 20 years in jail as a result of his guilty plea. He will also face a $250,000 fine, which is “twice the gross profits or twice the gross loss suffered by the victims of his offense, whichever is greater.”
Green’s financial problems go beyond the criminal allegations. Green declared bankruptcy when an arbitrator ordered him to pay Sire Spirits $6.2 million, including $2.7 million in attorney’s costs.
In June 2022, a New York judge upheld the arbitrator’s judgment. Green’s subsequent petition to appeal the ruling was dismissed, resulting in a $89,305.50 attorney’s fee charge in November 2022.
50 Cent diversified his profits beyond music and celebrity endorsements by investing in numerous privately held firms, real estate, equities, and bonds. Notably, some of these assets lost money during the 2008 financial crisis.
50 Cent acquired a minority shareholder in Effen Vodka, a Dutch vodka brand, in 2014 after spending an undisclosed amount in the parent firm, Sire Spirits LLC.
The Indiana Pacers announced a multi-year agreement with 50 Cent, his luxury wine and spirits brand, Sire Spirits LLC, and his charity organization, The G-Unity Foundation, in October 2022, adding to his growing portfolio.