Biz Markie’s widow has sued her former business manager for embezzlement and intellectual property infringement.
Biz Markie’s widow sued his former business manager for control of his licensing company and money allegedly owed to his estate.
According to court documents obtained by AllHipHop, Tara Hall accused Jennifer Izumi of myriad intellectual property violations in the lawsuit. Hall also claimed that Izumi embezzled company funds from Biz Markie.
Tara Hall married Marcel Theo Hall aka Biz Markie in 2018. Prior to their marriage, Izumi obtained a limited power of attorney from Biz Markie regarding transactions but not intellectual property.
“Izumi granted herself 51% of Mr. Hall’s income and control of his business during the last years of her life, until she was discovered,” the lawsuit states. “Defendant Izumi and/or his authorized representative filed tax returns for Biz Markie, Inc., listing himself as a 51% shareholder and Mr. Hall as a 49% shareholder, through 2020.”
The lawsuit cites several examples of Izumi’s “fraudulent, willful, malicious, knowing, gratuitous, reckless and/or grossly negligent” behavior. One instance involved Izumi allegedly making himself the beneficiary of Biz Markie’s life insurance policies, which were supposed to provide money for his nephews and niece.
“In or around 2015, Mr. Hall purchased two $500,000 life insurance policies from Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company and, while alive, named his three nephews and his niece as sole beneficiaries,” explains the trial. “However, the month after her marriage, in or around November 2018, Defendant Izumi secretly requested to change ownership of the fonts to one of her wholly-owned companies, Balancing Acts, Inc., with herself sole beneficiary of one of the policies and 40% beneficiary of the other, reducing the percentage of Mr. Hall’s nephews and niece to 20% each. These changes came into effect on January 24, 2019 – three (3) months after her marriage, and without her knowledge or consent.
Hall says Izumi took advantage of Biz Markie’s health issues, making moves while incapacitated from June 2020 to July 2021. Izumi allegedly hacked into his personal email accounts, preventing Biz Markie’s widow from make bank transfers, search for creditors and more.
“During the period of incapacitation, the defendants engaged in numerous financial and corporate transactions that directly benefited the defendants … to the detriment of the financial well-being of Mr. Hall and therefore the plaintiff,” Hall argues. “These actions were not authorized by Mr. Hall as he was unable to make financial decisions during the incapacitated period.”
Izumi’s alleged misdeeds even included a PPP loan scam.
“While Mr. Hall was in the hospital, BM, Inc. secured a $149,000.00 loan from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), authorized by the CARES Act to provide small businesses with the funds needed to continue paying their employees,” the lawsuit reveals. “However, according to Plaintiff’s understanding and belief, there were no employees and Defendant Izumi embezzled company funds and used them to pay her personal taxes.”
Izumi allegedly excluded Biz Markie’s widow from his business while Hall was the administrator of his estate. Hall wants the court to decide that she is the sole owner of Biz Markie Inc. and get a full account of what Izumi did with the company.
Additionally, Hall is aiming for Izumi’s power of attorney to be deemed “invalid and unenforceable”. If this is not possible, she seeks to confirm that this does not include intellectual property rights.
Biz Markie passed away in July 2021. He was 57.