Melba Moore’s Strange Response After Her Ex Husband Made Millions Illegally
Melba Moore has been surrounded by musical influences all of her life. So, it would seem she was destined for musical greatness since she was a small child. Melba’s biological parents and stepparents were all singers and musicians with some form of successful involvement in the music industry. Although Melba initially chose a career path in education, she soon decided she, too, desired to be in the spotlight. The career transition led to her first record deal with Buddah Records in 1975. However, that wasn’t all she accomplished that year…
History Of Melba & Ex-Husband’s Relationship- It Was All Good At First
It was only natural that she eventually married someone in the music field- record producer, manager and business promoter, Charles Huggins. The two have one daughter together. They ultimately found happiness personally and professionally as Charles also played an intricate role in his wife’s music career. Not long after she inked the deal, she ended up with her first hit record, “This Is It,” and had a number of hits afterwards.
Melba later caught the acting bug and career soared to new heights. So did her hubby Charles’ career. The couple launched their own record label, Hush Productions. In fact, Charles had the opportunity to work with many notable names in the music industry like Whitney Houston (he was her music producer), Kenny G., Freddie Jackson, and many more. They enjoyed 15 years of monumental success and it seemed they were on top of the world. But, that’s when things went left and all hell broke loose in the lives of Melba and Charles.
Marriage Turned To Disaster
The marriage took a totally unexpected turn and Melba learned things weren’t exactly as they seemed. In 1990, Charles abruptly filed for divorce and left Melba financially debilitated due to economic abuse. The brotha didn’t stop there though. He also filed a defamation lawsuit against his estranged ex-wife, claiming she’d defamed his character when she accused him of abuse throughout their marriage. Their divorce drama went on for quite some time. But then it got even stranger…and millions of dollars were involved…
Her Ex-Husband’s Multi-Million Dollar Ponzi Scheme
Charles then found himself at the center of controversy when investigators closed in on his multi-million dollar scheme.
According to Billboard, Charles misused money from investors and ultimately stole more than $8 million. Charles, along with business partners, Charles Butchko, and Anne Thomas, fraudulently acquired investments through their two companies JYork Industries and Urogo Inc. Instead of using the funds appropriately, he used the funds for one of his record labels and paid his $7,200-a-month luxury Manhattan apartment. Although his defense lawyers argued that he stole about $2.9 million from his clients, the prosecuting attorneys pointed out that had he not been caught, Charles Huggins was on track to stealing $8.90 million in his plot against his clients:
“This fraud was extensive, brazen, and sophisticated,” [U.S. District Judge Sidney Stein] told Huggins, noting he “lived a very luxurious lifestyle on the money of presumably hardworking individuals … people who were completely innocent.”
Prosecutors also revealed Charles conned his investors into believing their money was being invested in “gold and diamonds from Sierra Leone and Liberia,” reports New York Daily News. However, Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward Imperatore argued Charles “acted out of pure greed, out of a desire to spend other people’s hard-earned money on himself.” In addition to funding his luxurious lifestyle, court papers indicated that some of the money “was used to make payments to other investors, as in a classic Ponzi scheme.”
How Melba MooreStepped In To Help Him To The Surprise Of Many
Despite the incriminating evidence against Charles, one aspect of the case was quite unusual. Although Melba’s previous sentiments were very similar to the claims of her ex-husband’s investment victims- claiming Charles also abused her economically- she took a different stance when it came to his trial years later. Instead of testifying against him, she testified on his behalf as a character witness in hopes of helping him obtain a lesser sentence. Her testimony was relatively strange because he’d left her and their young daughter high and dry after the divorce, according to what she’d publicly revealed years prior. However, Melba had a different perspective of it all.
“I know the time he’s facing will be a death sentence,” said Moore, 67. “So hopefully I can help him through this. Everyone deserves a chance.”
Charles Huggin’s Sentence
As a result of his actions (and also probably the result of Melba’s help by way of her testimony), Charles Huggins was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of wire fraud. He was sentenced to 10 years behind bars in 2015 (avoiding the government’s request of a 22 – 27 year jails sentence) and is currently still locked up paying for his decisions. This reminds me of what comedian/actress Mo’Nique once said in her stand up to a group of prisoners: ‘We’re all just one bad decision away from being your cellmate.’ In Charles’ case, that bad decision became his reality.