Terrence Howard Accused Of Avoiding Taxes By Funneling “Empire” Earnings To Ex-Wife’s Company
Howard, his ex-wife Mira and her company, Universal Bridges, Inc. are all under scrutiny by feds amid allegations that Howard used Mira’s business as a shell company to divert his income in order to not have to pay a court-ordered divorce judgment to another ex-wife and “several million” to the IRS.
That’s according to new docs from Howard’s ex-wife Michelle Ghent, who just asked the court to force Universal Bridges to hand over info about how much money Howard’s been making, and to order Howard to pay nearly $450,000 for her legal fees as part of their acrimonious, drawn-out divorce battle.
Howard’s lawyer asked the judge to let Howard and Mira off the hook from being deposed in Ghent’s case, arguing that if they were to be forced to testify, they could incriminate themselves in the “federal criminal investigation against the defendant.”
But a lawyer for Ghent said Howard had already discussed his business dealings with Mira for the case, so he no longer had legal protection from testifying again about it. The ex-wife’s lawyer said that he had proof that Howard had defrauded Ghent, and that Mira’s company, Universal Bridges cherry picked Howard’s bills to be paid – like up to $1.3 million in lawyers fees – but ignored others, like Ghent’s judgment and his federal tax payments.
“Not surprisingly, this had given rise to a criminal investigation of Terrence, Universal Bridges and Mira for criminal tax evasion…” Ghent’s lawyer, Said Vakili wrote in court papers obtained by BOSSIP.
“Furthermore, the fact that Terrence may soon be incarcerated, and/or have his resources seized by the IRS makes further delay in this matter manifestly prejudicial,” Vakili said in court docs.
Ghent filed for divorce in 2011, alleging that she’d been a victim of domestic violence. Howard later contested their divorce judgment, saying that he signed it under duress because Ghent was threatening to blackmail him. A judge sided with Howard and later set the divorce judgment aside, but that decision was reversed on appeal.
A judge will rule on the case in August.
An IRS spokesman said he could not comment on an individual case.
We’ve reached out to lawyers for Ghent and Howard for comment.