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Prosecutors investigating R. Kelly's associates over alleged sex trafficking

R. Kelly's legal troubles are expanding to his associates.

R. Kelly // Instagram

R. Kelly's legal troubles are expanding to his associates, TMZ reports.

Federal prosecutors from the Northern Illinois U.S. Attorney's Office have reached out to several parties "closely associated" with the embattled R&B singer over alleged sex trafficking claims. Prosecutors are reportedly investigating the validity of a criminal operation between Kelly, his associates, and underaged women over the years.

According to TMZ, Homeland Security has also launched a separate human trafficking investigation against the 52-year-old musician.

The report comes after months of turmoil for Kelly. Back in February, the "I Admit" singer was charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. He was arrested and released twice since then. The heinous charges, three of which allegedly involved minors, followed Lifetime's explosive, six-part docuseries "Surviving R. Kelly," which aired in January.

While speaking with CBS' Gayle King last month, Kelly denied ever having sex with anyone under the age of 17. When asked about the endless list of allegations made against him by various women over his career, Kelly told King, "So nobody's allowed to be mad at me and be scorned and lie on me?"

Kelly has pleaded not guilty and faces up to 70 years behind bars if found guilty. In the meantime, the Eastern District of New York has unearthed another sex tape which appears to show him engaging in sexual relations with an underaged female.

In addition to his ongoing criminal case, Kelly has faced financial woes as well. On Wednesday (April 10) it was reported that the Grammy Award-winner's music royalties were seized in order to pay back rent to his former landlord, Midwest Commercial Funding. Over the weekend (April 14), Kelly's bank account was overdrawn in order to pay off the rest of the unpaid debt.

Kelly is due back in court over the 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse on May 7.

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