A judge has tacked on an additional $180,000 to the $1 million reward Ryan Leslie is being forced to pay after losing a lawsuit over the recovery of his stolen laptop.
As previously reported, Leslie’s backpack containing his laptop, external hard drive, jewelry and cash was stolen following a performance in 2010. The producer initially offered a $20,000 reward for the external hard drive and computer since they contained session files which he could never get back, but immediately bumped up that reward to $1 million.
A German man, Armin Augstein, found Leslie’s laptop while walking his dog in a forest and returned it after hearing about the reward, but Leslie refused to pay up because his music files had been corrupted. In November, Leslie was ordered by a court to pay the award he had offered via video.
"They're different from just an MP3, 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,” said Leslie’s attorney David DeStefano.
On Friday, it was decided that Leslie must now pay a reported total of $1.2 million to suffice for the interest that accumulated between 2010 and 2012.
DeStefano and Leslie have yet to contend the motion for $180,000 because they plan to appeal the entire decision in court.
"This music was stolen from him," DeStefano said. "That was it. That was his composition. Those were his files, and he was unable to release an album for two years. So as an artist he released two albums in 2009 and was nominated in 2009, and then he was not able to release an album for two years."
It seems as though Augstein is ready to play hardball. His attorney, Michael S. Fischman, was quoted as telling the New York Post that "had Mr. Leslie honored his promise, or responded to the repeated requests for contact, this matter could have been amicably resolved a long time ago without litigation."
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(Photo: Taylor Hill/Getty Images)
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