R Kelly must pay more than $27,000 in court fines and victim restitution, a federal judge has ruled.
US District Judge Ann M. Donnelly has ruled that the 55-year-old music star’s victims needed $27,828 in "full and timely restitution" from his prison account after he was given a 30-year prison sentence in June after being found guilty of sexual exploitation of children, racketeering, bribery and sex trafficking.
The prosecution said: "The defendant has amassed nearly $30,000 in his inmate trust account over the course of the last three years of incarceration.
"The defendant has not made any payments towards the substantial criminal monetary penalties imposed upon him at sentencing, even though payment was due immediately."
Judge Donnelly argued for the Bureau of Prisons to hand over the contents of his account until she determines the exact amount that ought to be given to his victims.
She said: "The government is entitled to the defendant’s funds because he owes substantial fines.
"I am also mindful of victims’ rights to full and timely restitution."
Her ruling continued: "Once restitution is determined by the court, the Clerk of Court should apply the monies held in the interest-bearing account first to the $900 special assessment and then to the restitution judgement."
R Kelly - whose real name is Robert Sylvester - and his legal team have already outlined their intention to fight the ruling, saying they plan to secure the "immediate return" of the cash.
Lawyer Jennifer Bonjean told the Washington Post newspaper: "We plan to appeal."
The ‘Trapped in the Closet’ hitmaker is currently on trial in his hometown of Chicago, where he is facing 13 counts of production of child pornography, conspiracy to produce child pornography, and conspiracy to obstruct justice.
The music star has denied the allegations.