This much we know for sure: T.I. will be getting out of the big house by the end of the month.
As for why exactly he wound up back behind bars following what was supposed to be an early release—that still seems to be a bone of contention between the feds, who claim his VH1 reality show was the reason, and the rapper's lawyers, who are crying foul.
Here's where things stand.
According to Bureau of Prisons documents obtained by CNN, T.I. (real name Clifford Harris Jr.) was sent back to the clink after prison officials learned that a VH1 producer and T.I.'s manager were on the bus that transferred him from the Forrest City federal facility in Arkansas to an Atlanta halfway house last week.
"Such people were not authorized to travel with him in the conditions of his furlough," the report states. "[T.I.] further indicated he was discussing a new reality series and a book with those individuals."
The government's decision had nothing to do with the lavish coach in which the Grammy winner traveled, followed by a fleet of black SUVs containing his entourage.Rather, it was all about the "business" that officials believe the group talked about on the trip—per the terms of his release, such discussions were expressly forbidden.
As a result, federal officers took Harris back into custody soon after he arrived at the halfway house and he remains holed up at a nearby United States penitentiary until the official last day of his sentence on Sept. 29.
The entertainer's reversal of fortune rankles his Atlanta-based attorney, Steve Sadow, who adamantly denies the Bureau's assertions that business was conducted on the bus.
"No business was transacted," he tells E! News.
The attorney went on to explain that the BOP's allegations in the report did not constitute a violation.
"The provision itself speaks in terms of conducting a business or conducting or directing an investment transaction. The purpose of that provision is not so that people can't talk about their business, it's so that you don't run a business while you're in the Bureau of Prisons," Sadow claims.
He also says that both the TV producer and his manager had permission to visit T.I. at his Forest City lockup, where it was not "unexpected that they would be talking to him about projects…that would take place upon his release."
"That posed no problem to anyone but they now say the same two people who had approval to visit him and discuss matters of mutual interest in prison are not permitted to be on the bus with him," says Sadow.
Sadow also blames the halfway house, saying that officials there were the ones who ratted out T.I., and the "What You Know" crooner wasn't even there when the supposed violation took place.
T.I.'s legal team has since forwarded letters to the Bureau of Prisons from manager Brian Sher, Cris Abrego, copresident of 51 Minds Entertainment, and cocounsel Jonathan Leonard, who insisted that any business dealings among the three were concluded in July, long before the transfer.
"The [reality TV] deal was negotiated and signed in late July and processed by my office eliminating the need for business to be conducted during his travel from Arkansas to Atlanta," writes Leonard. "No such business was conducted during that trip as the incident reports. As for the referenced 'book,' my office also negotiated that deal with HarperCollins Publishing several months ago."
A rep for the Bureau of Prisons could not be reached for comment.
But Sadow says he expects a disciplinary hearing officer to take up the matter any day now and, based on the submitted statements, "a fair and impartial decision" will be reached.
And despite the setback, Sadow says that he is holding up well.
"T.I. is doing all right. He believes he's been singled out in this instance for his celebrity status and would just like the opportunity to return to the halfway house and complete his sentence."