A longtime member of Gogol Bordello is taking frontman Eugene Hutz to court, claiming the singer kicked him out of the group.
Oren Kaplan filed suit in Manhattan Supreme Court July 26 for personal damages of at least $950,000 plus another $950,000 for Gypsy Punks LLC, a corporation that once held the band’s money, the New York Daily News reported.
According to court documents obtained by the paper, Hutz took over management of the band’s money in 2009.
The frontman began paying himself a six-figure salary, set up new corporations and started transferring funds into them – in total about $500,000 – as “loans” from the Gypsy Punks account, the suit says.
Though the band reportedly gives each active member a share of profits and a full financial reckoning every month, Kaplan claims he lost access to the royalties and the accounting after Hutz tricked other group members into signing papers to kick him out of the band.
The suit alleges the ousting occurred in 2011, around the time Hutz urged Kaplan to take time off to visit his sick mother in Israel.
Virgin Mobile Festival, Baltimore, MD.
August 9, 2008
However, in the meantime, Kaplan contends Hutz had inked a profitable deal for Gogol Bordello to write a Coca Cola jingle and wanted to cut Kaplan out of the proceeds. Hutz has argued Kaplan was officially kicked out of the band and has no rights to the finances, the suit says.