Rapper Ryan Leslie Ordered to Pay $1.2 Million Reward for Lost Laptop

Promises can be hard to keep, especially when there's more than a million dollars at stake.

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Eugene Gologursky / WireImage for UrbanDaddy
Eugene Gologursky / WireImage for UrbanDaddy

Ryan Leslie performs at the 2012 UD Holiday Pool Party on December 15, 2012 in New York City.

Promises can be hard to keep, especially when there’s more than a million dollars at stake.

When rapper and R&B singer Ryan Leslie’s backpack was stolen in Cologne, Germany in 2010, he lost his laptop, an external hard drive, jewelry, and cash. So he did what any rational person would do: he offered a cushy $20,000 reward for the return of the bag and its contents, which he announced in a YouTube video. When no one came forward, he upped the reward to $1 million. An auto-repair mechanic turned the computer in a month later, saying he found it tucked in a garbage bag in a German forest, and expected to collect his cool million. But Leslie refused to pay the reward on the grounds that the valuable computer files had been corrupted. Now a court has weighed in saying that the Grammy-nominated musician must live up to his promise and pay the reward, plus interest.

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In court yesterday, according to the New York Post, Leslie testified that his offered reward 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.” His lawyer, David Stefano explained Leslie’s position to ABC News, “He made a second reward video and offered $1 million for just the intellectual property on the external hard drive and computer, the session files.” DeStefano added that the session files were the main item the performer hoped to recover with his reward, “MP3s are nothing for a producer or a studio engineer, they can’t do anything with them. They need the session files. These were his compositions.”

In November, a jury unanimously agreed that despite the fact that Leslie was unable to access the session files on the laptop, he still owed the substantial reward money to Armin Augstein, the German auto-shop owner who found the bag while walking his dog. On Friday, the court once again sided with Augstein and ordered Leslie to pay an additional $180,000 in interest that accrued between when the laptop was found, in 2010, and when the decision came down from federal court in 2012.

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9 comments
donc314
donc314

I suspect that he will back up his files in the future.

CaseyGordon
CaseyGordon

Does anyone other than myself question the guy's story who "found " the backpack in a garbage can? I find it really hard to believe that someone took the pack containing a laptop ,external hard drive , jewelery and cash and just threw it in the trash leaving all the items inside. I would say the real criminal here is most likely the mechanic who most likely stole the pack and only returned it after a reward was offered.


robmccallr@yahoo.com
robmccallr@yahoo.com

@CaseyGordon No doubt the criminal won in court. Pathetic since he also tried to steal the intellectual property or successfully did and then ruined the files afterwards.

diablo135
diablo135

@CaseyGordon  Well Luckily, since you know nothing about the case, the judge disagrees with you

babydremusic
babydremusic

I find it odd that all of these news outlets keep referring to him as a rapper. I would never compare his singing and composing to someone like Lil Wayne or Lil Boosie. Ryan Leslie is not a rapper, does anyone have access to Youtube? It seems like calling him a rapper instead of the composer he is, is an attempt to discredit him. To put interest on it as well, is just ridiculous. Here are all of your paint cans but the paint is gone, can I have the award plus interest?

DanBunn
DanBunn like.author.displayName 1 Like

It's a pity and a crying shame when an American has to live up to their own words.... 

In my opinion, they are way to free with them in this country.

Mainly because the words "I'm sorry" have become so debased and worthless.


THINK before YOU SPEAK.

BudkisMandel
BudkisMandel

@DanBunn He is not American He is African American. Apparently they are seperate and have their own TV Channel to boot. The BET, Black Entertainment TV, just think if we had the WET? That would be racist right?

What starts with an N******R and ends with an R- and is something a white person never ever ever ever wants to call a black person?

NEIGHBOR

troy8888888
troy8888888 like.author.displayName 1 Like

Is that really singular to Americans? I love how all nations love to project faults on the US, as if greed, racism, corruption, ect don't exist in every other society.

steV0dd
steV0dd

Just like the picture above in the article, I think he's gonna have to play a lot more Bar Mitzvahs and children's pool parties to get the scratch he's gotta cough up now. Maybe do a little magic show too. He already knows a magic trick: make a laptop disappear then reappear!