A former 50 Cent employee fired for embezzling more than $2 million, is discovering why he should not have messed with 50 Cent’s money.
An arbitrator found that Mitchell Green, the former director of brand management of 50’s Sire Spirits liquor company that sells his Le Chemin du Roi (The King’s Path) Champagne and Branson cognac, stole millions from 50 — and now the rap mogul is demanding repayment by March 13.
50 Cent wants his money ASAP. “Look I’m a need that by Monday!” the Queens rapper wrote on his Instagram account this week.
The Details of the Embezzlement
Court documents show Green joined Sire Spirits as a consultant in 2016 and by 2018 had been given the brand management director role.
It was in that role he was found to have embezzled a total of $2.2 million over two years.
In 2022, the court ordered Green to pay the company over $6 million, including pre-judgment interest, attorney’s fees, arbitrator compensation, and more.
Court documents show Green joined Sire Spirits as a consultant in 2016 and by 2018 had been given the brand management director position.
Green’s roles were to help identify two sources of champagne and cognac for its brands. Sire Spirits signed an agreement with Champagne Castelnau, a French winery, to supply champagne. Raymond Ragnaud, a French distiller, agreed to supply cognac.
However, Green made secret agreements with Castelnau and Ragnaud.
Through his company Q Branch Consulting, LLC, Green made an exclusive deal to work in the best interests of Castelnau and “not sell or represent any other Champagne to Sire Spirits” other than Castelnau.
The same deal was struck with Ragnaud. Additionally, Green secretly negotiated for Sire Spirits to pay a surcharge known as an agency fee on every bottle of Champagne or cognac it bought from those suppliers.
Green pocketed those fees, which Sire Spirits was unaware it was paying.
Castelnau’s chief executive Arnaud Fabre, who was directly involved in the deal with Green, also received agency fees for the cognac that Sire Spirits bought from Ragnaud, a company Fabre had no known association with.
Q Branch received $2,226,988 in agency fees, and Fabre received $948,096 in agency fees.
Sire Spirits only knew about the final price per bottle, not the upcharge for the agency fee.
Green would warn Fabre about unwittingly disclosing the commissions, privately emailing him, “please write back and revise the pricing, as [Jackson and his assistant] only need to know the final price per bottle, and not the upcharge for the agent fee.”
50 Cent Sues
On May 26, 2020, Sire Spirits filed a lawsuit against Green after he revealed the scheme because he said someone was trying to extort him.
Sire Spirits claimed Green had breached his contract, fiduciary duty, committed fraud, was unjustly enrichment and conversion, and accounting.
On August 25, 2021, it was determined at a hearing that an arbitrator issued a partial final award that would cover the parties’ liability and damages for all claims after determining that Green committed breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, and unjust enrichment.
The arbitrator also dismissed Green’s counterclaims with prejudice.
The court initially awarded Sire Spirits $3,462,695 in compensatory damages, $2,226,988 for fees paid directly to Green, and $948,096 for fees paid to Fabre.
Green tried to argue he lacked the ability to pay back 50 Cent and objected to paying the full amount of fees.
The arbitrator dismissed Green’s counterclaims with prejudice, which resulted in Sire Spirits receiving an additional $2,731,598 in attorneys’ fees, costs, and damages.
The final award also includes $825,434 for simple interest on the agency portion of compensatory damages, $1,469,374 in attorneys’ fees, $302,115 in costs (excluding fees charged by the arbitrator), and $134,675 in fees charged by the arbitrator.
The total amount awarded to Sire Spirits and against Green is $6,194,293.
If Green fails to pay, 50 could seize Green’s personal property and other assets.
The New York Post reported that an employee of premium spirits company Beam Suntory named Michael Caruso and his wife, Gina, conspired with Green in the champagne scheme.
The Staten Island, New York, couple also is being sued by Sire Spirits, the Post reports.