Shamar Daugherty and Alonzo Lee -- a.k.a. the Trak Starz, one of the city's most-decorated and prolific hip-hop/pop production teams -- have been charged with "allegedly failing to file federal income taxes," according to the Post-Dispatch. Yesterday, says the article:
Prosecutors accused Daugherty, 34, of failing to file tax returns for calendar years 2003-2005, when he had a total gross income of $889,938.
Lee, 38, allegedly failed to file tax returns for calendar years 2003-2004 on gross income of $594,263.
The Trak Starz first rose to national prominence thanks to its work with Chingy, including his hits "Right Thurr" and "Holidae In." The duo later went on to produce or engineer songs for artists such as Britney Spears, Usher and Ludacris; it had a production credit on the latter's Grammy-winning 2006 album, Release Therapy.
In Ben Westhoff's 2004 Trak Starz RFT profile, the men weren't shy about their musical -- and financial -- success.
[Daugherty] perks up when he describes his new north-county pad. "My first dream house -- real spacious, real futuristic," he says. When it's completed, he says, the space will boast a movie theater with a dozen seats, a pool table, a water fountain and -- like [Alonzo] Lee's new house in Lake St. Louis -- a recording studio.
Daugherty breaks off to take a call from his dad, who's worried about the price of a truck his mom wants to buy. "It's $22,000 -- get the damn truck!" Daugherty advises. Then later: "We've got plenty of money coming in, too much money. $35,000 for one beat tomorrow."
After hanging up, he makes a call to order a brush guard for his Hummer.
He's "just real tight with my money," Daugherty explains -- clearly referring more to whom he lets handle it than how he spends it. "I have an accountant, and then just my mom and myself, so other people don't lord over it."
Daugherty and Lee were also involved in a 2006 court case. A man named Ronald R. Gavin sued the men and Chingy (real name: Howard Bailey), alleging that the latter reneged on a 1999 record deal when he aligned himself with the Trak Starz and Ludacris' Disturbing Tha Peace label imprint. That case was dismissed by the court without prejudice in August 2008, according to Missouri court records.