Ryan Leslie Ordered To Pay $1 Million Reward for Stolen Laptop

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Do you remember when Ryan Leslie had his laptop stolen while on tour in Germany in 2010? Then, went on camera twice to offer up rewards, the first a generous $20,000, and then the next a literally insane $1 million!  A few weeks after he released the video stating the reward, a man came forward claiming he found the laptop while walking his dog in the woods of a park. Of course, at this point he refused to pay the outlandish reward, and a back and forth began. The multi-talented artist claimed the hard-drive was damaged and he couldn’t retrieve the important music sessions he was desperate to recover. Well, the person who found the computer, a 54-year old German man named Armin Augstein, decided to take Mr. Leslie to court in the States. Yesterday, according to the New York Post, a jury decided in favor of the plaintiff, and found R-Les responsible for his monetary promise…

“No one forced him to make an offer of so much money for a finder’s fee,” Augstein said. “It seems like he believes that that which he promised, he doesn’t have to live up to.”

Leslie, 34, sat stone-faced as the unanimous verdict was announced after just over three hours of deliberations.

Leslie — who had earlier joked he would either “be writing checks or buying Maseratis” — insisted afterward, “I’m not disappointed” and said he would consider an appeal.

He also remained unrepentant about his refusal to honor the reward, “The reasons I defended myself in the case are the same reasons I believe Mr. Augstein is not entitled to the reward,” Leslie said.

Leslie testified Tuesday that his offer was contingent upon his ability to retrieve several unreleased multitrack songs stored on the hard drive, which he said couldn’t be accessed after he got it back.

But Judge Harold Baer Jr. yesterday told jurors that because Leslie disposed of the hard drive by returning it to the manufacturer after Augstein claimed the reward, they could assume that the data was there when Augstein handed it over.

The verdict came about 45 minutes after jurors sent out a note saying they were divided because “we feel the $1 million is too high,” and asking if they could compromise on a lower amount.

Leslie’s lawyers then sought some time to try to strike a settlement, but Augstein’s team said “that ship has sailed” and insisted that the jury be told to continue deliberating toward an all-or-nothing decision.

Last night, Leslie seemed to accept the verdict, tweeting. “Ain’t no way to get around ups & downs.’ Jury of my peers rules for the plaintiff.”

Read the full NYP article here.

By the way, the Post notoriously does people dirty. This is totally insane, but Ryan made the video and offered the unrealistic reward, he will most likely move with an appeal, but honestly a settlement should have been made long ago. It seems, ego, can even trump a Harvard education.

What do you think??

1 Comment
  1. Wifi 10 years ago

    At least he looks good on the picture! LOL Nice shades!

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