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$178,000 Suspected Stolen From Aretha Franklin Before Her Death

Michigan law enforcement are investigating claims that nearly $180,000 was stolen from Aretha Franklin in the months before her death. Oakland County prosecutors told the Detroit News that the investigation is still in-progress, but that a check for the amount was missing and believed to be stolen just two months before her death, as Rolling Stone points out.

“In June 2018, [Franklin] filed a complaint with the Bloomfield Township Police that one of her checks was missed and believed stolen,” Paul Walton, Oakland County’s Chief Assistant Prosecutor, told the Detroit News. “But unfortunately with her death, it is difficult to determine whether she actually passed it on to someone else who had the permission and authority to cash it.”

Following her death, the Franklin estate paid $6.3 million in back taxes to the IRS, with estate attorney David Bennett later claiming that Franklin had numerous uncashed checks in her possession. “[Franklin] had a lot of checks lying around that she had never cashed,” Bennett told the Detroit News. “I had to have some of them reissued because they were so old. I don’t know why she didn’t cash them but it seems that the IRS figures some of it as undeclared income and are going after it.” The check is reportedly for $178,000.

Franklin died in August 2018, notably without a will. In November, her home in Detroit was sold for $300,000. Read the Detroit News full report here.