The Bulletproof Skin deejay has issued proceedings in the High Court of Justice in London against British national Othman Mukhlis to recover almost J$60 million in royalties.
According to the lawsuit, obtained by DancehallMag, Bounty Killer claimed that Mukhlis and his company Jamdown Music Limited collected over £325,000 of Bounty’s royalties since 2002 that was never paid to the artist.
The missing money was recently discovered by Bounty’s former manager Julian Jones-Griffith, who brought it to the entertainer’s attention. Bounty, whose real name is Rodney Basil Price, quickly retained lawyers in the US and UK, who investigated the matter and found statements and payments for over £325,000 that were never paid to him.
According to the court document, Mukhlis “acknowledged that sums were due to Mr Price and transferred him the sum of £8,477.”
“Mr Price received $10,171.99 (the “Part page 4 of 8 Payment”). It is not known whether this sum was said to be in respect of the Agreed Royalties or the publisher’s share.”Mukhlis is known in the entertainment circle in Jamaica via his music publishing company Abood Music and is thought to have multiple other clients on the island.Bounty has also claimed in the lawsuit that when agreeing to allow Mukhlis to collect his royalties for a 15% commission, Mukhlis made a “fraudulent misrepresentation” which means that, according to him, the agreement should be rescinded.
“Mr Mukhlis represented to Mr Price that Mr Price would be obliged to pay withholding tax of 30% on sums paid directly to him by PPL and PRS in respect of performance royalties and writer’s royalties,” the lawsuit noted.
“Withholding tax is not payable in the country in which an artist is resident. Accordingly, in the case of Mr Price, no tax would be withheld on royalties collected in Jamaica, where he is resident.”
In addition to the agreement being rescinded for fraudulent misrepresentation, the lawsuit is also seeking an order from the UK High Court that Mukhlis and Jamdown fully account and pay to Bounty all the royalties they collected but did not pay him, plus interest over the 20 year period and legal costs.The suit was filed in June 2022.
In August last year, Killer signed a new global publishing deal with Florida-based Creative Titans, in partnership with Concord Music Publishing.
Killer, age 50, has not released an album in twenty years.
Following the release of his first album Roots, Reality and Culture in 1994, Bounty Killer kept pushing out albums almost every year up to the release of his Grammy Award-nominated Ghetto Dictionary: The Mystery in 2002. His other albums include Down in the Ghetto (1994), No Argument (1996), My Xperience (1996), Ghetto Gramma (1997), Next Millennium (1998), and The 5th Element (1999).
His next album is titled King Of Kingston, and though it is delayed, Bounty had previously revealed the artwork and a 30+ song tracklist for the project.