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Hitmaking Producer in Financial Bind

Teddy Riley, who has produced albums for Michael Jackson, Bobby Brown, ‘N Sync ( news – web sites) and other acts, filed for protection from creditors in bankruptcy court.

The 34-year-old R&B recording artist hopes to reorganize his finances under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy law.

Riley’s bankruptcy attorney, Michael Lehman, said Riley didn’t have enough money to pay mounting income-tax liabilities.

The filing shows Riley owes $1.45 million in federal income taxes for 1998-2001 and $243,855 in Virginia taxes for 1996-98 and 2001. He also owes Virginia Beach $35,417 in real estate taxes.

Riley listed his total liabilities at $3.67 million, while claiming assets of $2.4 million, including $1.97 million worth of property in Virginia Beach and Chesapeake.

He moved to Virginia Beach in 1990 from Harlem in New York City. He won Grammys ( news – web sites) in 1992 for producing Jackson’s “Dangerous” album and in 1996 for the song “No Diggity” by his group Blackstreet, which broke up in 1999.

“As a result of the downturn in the music industry and having not been able to produce a successful record of late, my income dropped precipitously,” Riley said in an affidavit filed with the bankruptcy court. “Consequently, I am unable to meet my substantial liabilities.”

Riley filed for bankruptcy April 4 in New York City because all his business advisers are there, Lehman said. The judge handling the case questioned why it wasn’t filed where Riley lived, Lehman said, and on July 8 transferred the case to Norfolk’s U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.