Drake Accused of Making Off With $200,000 Over Nixed Chicago Gigs

"We changed the price because our value went up," an OVO Touring rep allegedly said

Drake Tour Lawsuit Concert Fraud Chicago
Drake: Would You Like a Tour? Well, tour bad for you... Photo by Getty Images
Chris Martins WRITTEN BY
Chris Martins

Drake and his OVO Touring company are being sued for allegedly making away with more than $200,000 of a Chicago concert promoter's money. In court documents filed Tuesday, December 10, and obtained by SPIN, Status Entertainment says the Nothing Was the Same star bailed on two agreed-upon gigs, that his people attempted to increase an already set price due to his rising stardom, and that a third party spent half of the cash on an unrelated event.

The lawsuit cites in great detail the emails between Drake's reps and Status, who first began communicating about a planned show for March 2012. The latter alleges that OVO agreed to the gig at an asking price of $250,000. Status then transferred $100,000 over, but the concert was cancelled. OVO said they'd return the funds, but failed to do so, eventually informing the promoter that another member of Drake's camp spent it on a separate happening.

Drake then threw a June concert in Chicago with a separate promoter at a far bigger venue, meaning gross profits for someone other than Status in the range of $340,000 to just over $1 million based on ticket pricing. The two parties then worked together to make the situation right. They allegedly made a second agreement for an October 2012 show at the Allstate Arena, whose size would create a gross ticket revue of $740,000 to $2.3 million.

Again, Status claims to have sent money — just over $100,000 this time — but that OVO became non-responsive, and ultimately wrote back with, "We changed the price because our value went up." Status, it seems, was no longer interested and so demanded their cash returned (all of it), and in several correspondences, OVO said they would indeed refund all of the money. But it never happened, despite a lawyer's "e-mail[s], text message[s], and phone calls."

The charges include breach of contract, conversion, Quantum Meruit, unjust enrichment fraud, and violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act. Status is asking for the $202,800, plus court costs, interest, and whatever the judge deems fair for "disgorgement of profits" (the concert money Status would've made). Drake played Chicago on December 12 with a gross profit margin of $2.3 million to more than $23 million.

A telling excerpt from the lawsuit:

During these negotiations, Drake experienced a meteoric rise to the top of the music charts achieving worldwide fame and fortune. Instead of honoring their obligations, Defendants knowingly and intentionally breached the Agreements and refused to schedule the concert unless Plaintiffs gave them more money due to Drake's newfound fame. Defendants have admitted that they did not foresee Drake's success and attempted to change the terms of the Agreements because they believed that they had a more valuable asset in Drake then when the first Agreement with Plaintiffs was agreed upon. Defendants then fraudulently contracted another company to put on a Drake concert in the Chicago area in June of 2012 and profited handsomely as a result and to the detriment of Plaintiffs.

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