Earth, Wind & Fire — Maurice White Accused of Stiffing DEAD Producer

Earth, Wind & Fire creator Maurice White is being sued for allegedly not forking over thousands of dollars to the guy who produced some of his biggest hits … but there”s a catch — the producer DIED 36 years ago.

The man at the center of the controversy is Charles Stepney — who produced a bunch of EWF hits from 1974 until his death in 1976 … including Shining Star, Mighty Mighty, Devotion and Sing a Song.

But according to a new lawsuit, obtained by our sources … Stepney”s children claim they recently discovered their dad NEVER got any royalty checks for his producer work on the EWF hits … even while he was alive.

Now, they want Maurice … along with Sony Music Holdings, Inc … to fork over a HUGE check for all of the royalties they claim they deserve … dating all the way back to 1974.

We reached out to Maurice for comment — so far, no word back.