Montclair man charged for role in fraudulent sports drink scheme
By Erin Roll
A Montclair man is facing multiple charges related to his alleged role in a fraudulent sports drink investment scheme.
Kevin Foster, 42, was charged with two counts of tax evasion and four counts of filing a false tax return on Tuesday, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Ohio. These are in addition to charges of wire fraud and money laundering brought against him in 2016. Additional charges of wire fraud, money laundering and bankruptcy fraud were brought against him in 2017.
Foster is alleged to have been involved with a fraudulent investing scheme in which investors were encouraged to invest in the creation and marketing of a sports drink called "OXYwater." The OXYwater founders were convicted of wire fraud, money laundering and tax fraud in March 2015.
Foster had been the principal of the Foster & Firm, Inc. management and accounting firm. He was also the business manager for musician and songwriter Shaffer Smith, better known as "Ne-Yo." The original charges alleged that Foster convinced Smith to invest $2 million in OXYwater. It is also alleged that Foster then invested an additional $1.5 million of Smith's money, without Smith's knowledge or consent, and then forged Smith's signature to take out $1.4 million in lines of credit in Smith's name.
Additional charges were brought after it was alleged that Foster defrauded a second famous client, musician and songwriter Brian McKnight, in order to secure more money for OXYwater's parent company, Imperial Integrative Health Research and Development. It is also alleged that Foster withdrew more money than was authorized from McKnight's accounts and transferred it to Imperial.
Tuesday's tax charges allege that Foster never reported the money he took from Smith and McKnight on his 2012 and 2013 tax returns.