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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Rapper Dr. Dre and record producer Jimmy Iovine are being vilified as scam artists in a lawsuit that alleges the duo duped one of their former partners in Beat Electronics before selling the trendy headphone maker to Apple for $3 billion last year.

The complaint filed Tuesday in San Mateo Superior Court accuses Dre and Iovine of double crossing Noel Lee, the founder of video and audio cable maker Monster LLC.

Lee once held a 5 percent stake in Beats as part of a partnership between the headphone maker and Monster that ended in 2012. The lawsuit alleges Dre and Iovine orchestrated a “sham” deal with smartphone maker HTC in 2011 that led to the termination of the Monster alliance.

The suit alleges the shady maneuvering prompted Lee to pare his stake in Beats to 1.25 percent before selling his…

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