Eugene Hutz, the charismatic frontman of gypsy punk outfit Gogol Bordello, is reportedly being sued for $1.9 million by the band’s former guitarist, Oren Kaplan, on behalf of the band’s business entity, after claims that Hutz has “brazenly absconded” with $500,000 of the band’s moolah.
According to The Guardian, Kaplan discovered that his lead singer had been less than financially honest when the former left the band last year. He claims that Hutz took over managing the band’s financial affairs from him in 2009 and began paying himself a salary double that of the other seven band members, as well as transferring $500,000 of the band’s money to new corporations he had started, referring to them as loans but not paying any interest.
The former guitarist also alleges that Hutz secretly made a promo deal with Coca-Cola, allowing the brand to use a Gogol Bordello song to promote the Euro 2012 football championships, allegedly encouraging Kaplan to take time off after his mother died to help conceal the fact that the deal had been made and most of the proceeds were being kept by Hutz.
The suit has been filed in the New York County Supreme Court on behalf of both himself and the band’s business entity, Gypsy Punks LLC, suing Hutz for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and unjust enrichment and seeking half of the $1.9 million for himself in personal damages and the rest to be paid back to Gypsy Punks LLC.
It’s not yet clear whether Kaplan is being backed by the rest of the band. Gogol Bordello are currently on a world tour, having released their sixth studio album released Pura Vida Conspiracy last month.
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Gogol Bordello Sues Frontman For $1.9m After Funds Go Missing - Music Feeds