Published Aug 01, 2013Gogol Bordello leader Eugene Hutz has been sued by former guitarist Oren Kaplan for allegedly siphoning off band funds.
According to a lawsuit filed earlier this week in New York County Supreme Court [via Courthouse News/Billboard], the frontman is accused of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and unjust enrichment, with Kaplan claiming his ex-bandmate "brazenly absconded with approximately half a million dollars."
The suit, filed individually and on behalf of Gogol Bordello's business entity Gypsy Punks, claims that Hutz took cash from the band's bank account and put them into new companies wholly owned by the singer (DAS Grand Kapital LLC, Gypsy Acoustic Punks Inc.). Furthermore, it claims that these new companies paid out a salary to Hutz without compensating other members of the group.
"Hutz has effectively and unlawfully 'locked' plaintiff out of the group and the Gogol Bordello entities and otherwise deprived plaintiff of the benefits to which he is entitled under the group's agreements," the suit alleges.
Specifically, a case is being made that Hutz had secretly entered a business deal with Coca-Cola, neglecting to tell Kaplan about the move while ushering him out of the group to take a grievance-related leave of absence.
"Hutz accomplished this ruse by feigning concern for plaintiff (whose mother had just passed away) and encouraging plaintiff to take an extended leave of absence from the group, during the very time when the group would be recording its song for the Coca-Cola commercial," the lawsuit reads.
The song in question is 2012's "Let's Get Crazy," which served to promote both Coca-Cola during the UEFA European Football Championship.
Kaplan is seeking $950,000 in damages. Hutz has yet to respond to the allegations.
Meanwhile, the band just issued their latest LP Pura Vida Conspiracy last month and have summer dates to attend to, including Canadian stops in Squamish, Edmonton and Calgary next week.
08/02 Minneapolis, MN - Cabooze Outdoor Plaza
08/03 Bonner Springs, KS - Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre
08/07 Portland, OR - Roseland Theatre
08/08-9 Seattle, WA - Neptune
08/10 Squamish, BC - Squamish Valley Music Festival
08/12 Edmonton, AB - Union Hall
08/13 Calgary, AB - Flames Central
08/15 Morrison, CO - Red Rocks Amphitheatre ^
08/16 Omaha, NE - Slowdown
08/19-20 Toronto, ON - Danforth Music Hall
09/21 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - Rock in Rio (Brasil)
09/23 Porto Alegre, Brazil - Opinião
09/24 Curitiba, Brazil - Master Hall
09/25 São Paulo, Brazil - HSBC Brasil
^ with Queens of the Stone Age