The charges follow charges of 10 counts of criminal sexual abuse brought against Kelly in February and another 11 charges of sexual offenses brought against the singer in May. Those payoffs were said to include gifts and foreign travel as well as cash, and that Kelly also "used physical abuse, violence, threats of violence, blackmail, and other controlling behaviors" to silence his alleged victims. He pleaded not guilty and was released from Chicago's Cook County Jail after posting bail.
"The purposes of the enterprise were to promote R. Kelly's music and the R. Kelly brand and to recruit women and girls to engage in illegal sexual activity with Kelly", the Brooklyn indictment said.
An attorney for the 52-year-old Grammy Award victor says Kelly denies wrongdoing. It's unclear at the moment if the new federal charges relate to Kelly's earlier charges.
Kelly has been linked to allegations of abuse, manipulation and inappropriate encounters with girls and young women for more than two decades.
R. Kelly's attorney Steve Greenberg has maintained Kelly's innocence, claiming the accusers were all liars.
In an intense interview with Gayle King for CBS This Morning in March, Kelly spoke out on the allegations against him. The obstruction charges would likely be on different grounds, at least, which suggests that the US Attorney has a different set of charges.
Johnson said that Kelly was now being held in Cook County, Illinois. In 2008, he was tried on child pornography charges and found not guilty.
Prior to Thursday's arrest, Kelly was on bail for a slate of charges in Chicago, including five felony counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault.