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'Idol' winner Ruben Studdard faces nearly $200,000 in tax liens

By Christopher Rocchio, 08/25/2008 

Ruben Studdard better have some deep pockets.

The American Idol second-season champ owes more than $193,000 in back taxes to the state and federal governments and has thus been hit with liens on "all property" he owns, The Birmingham News reported Saturday.

According to an Internal Revenue Service filing in Jefferson County Probate Court obtained by The News, Studdard owes $171,911 in federal income taxes.  In addition, two separate liens filed by the Alabama Department of Revenue indicate he owes another $21,731 in state income taxes.

The legal claims on property owned by Studdard to cover his unpaid taxes from 2003 and 2005 were filed earlier this year, according to The News.

While efforts to reach Studdard were unsuccessful, his Birmingham-based lawyer Byron Perkins said his client is "in good shape financially" and should be able to pay his debts.

"Ruben is doing well," Perkins told The News.  "We think he'll probably be able to take care of this."

Despite the fact Studdard was dropped by his J Records label in December he still plans to release a new album on December 1 and has a national tour planned for the fall, which Perkins told The News should help him generate additional revenue to settle any debts.

In addition, Studdard is also an investor in a night club in Birmingham's yet-to-be-started entertainment district -- The Forge, which is planned by the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.

"[Studdard has] got some explaining to do," Convention Complex developer John Elkington told The News before expressing optimism the situation will be resolved. 

"Ruben's is a money problem.  You can always solve that somehow."

(Photo credit Fox)

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