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Former PledgeMusic CEO threatens legal action after musician makes allegations of improper conduct

By | Published on Monday 25 November 2019


Former PledgeMusic CEO Dominic Pandiscia has threatened legal action after the website Brooklyn Vegan published accusations of financial impropriety that had been made against him by record producer Ken Andrews.

Last week Andrews published a long post on Facebook outlining the impact the high profile collapse of pre-order and fan-funding platform PledgeMusic had had on his band, who go by the name Failure. In it he says the band was owed $75,000 when the Pledge company folded.

He then makes various claims about Pandiscia and his time running the fan-funding firm. And also alleges that, after resigning from his Pledge role, Pandiscia started working with music company Primary Wave and then ensured that all of its artist management clients who had made use of the Pledge platform got paid before the company went bankrupt.

The post was widely shared on social media, including by other artists who were left out of pocket by Pledge’s downfall, but it seems that Pandiscia only responded after Brooklyn Vegan published a news story quoting some of the allegations made by Andrews. The website seemingly didn’t approach the former CEO for comment before publishing its article, which was subsequently taken down after an apparent legal threat.

In a statement to Variety, Pandiscia said: “The allegations made against me by Ken Andrews are patently untrue and fabricated. It is irresponsible for any publication to print such inflammatory rhetoric without fact-checking or providing opportunity for comment. Had they done so, it would have cleared up the errors and falsehoods. This leaves me no choice but to explore options for legal action for libel and slander”.

In another Facebook post, Andrews questioned why Pandiscia had not taken the opportunity to specifically correct those “errors and falsehoods” in his statement, saying: “Thousands of Pledge victims, both artists and customers, are all sitting here patiently waiting for a straight talk explanation. Pandiscia had a perfect opportunity to explain his side of the story, to an engaged journalist, with pen in hand last night, and all he could say to the reporter is ‘the allegations are false, and I’m probably going to sue'”.

He added: “If Pandiscia can show conclusive evidence that contradicts the main thrust of my article, I will happily issue a retraction and apology. I would so love to be wrong here”.

PledgeMusic finally went into liquidation in August after months of uncertainty. The company admitted a year ago that it was facing financial difficulties, but said that it had made internal changes to overcome these problems. However, artists continued to complain about delayed payments and, in February this year, all payments and live campaigns were suspended as various attempts to rescue the company were pursued.

In May it was announced that the company would be heading into administration, though efforts to sell the business continued. But with no deal done, liquidation then followed.

Last month, the UK government-appointed court official overseeing PledgeMusic’s liquidation said that it is “unlikely” any creditors of the company – which includes all the artists owed monies raised via their past Pledge campaigns – will be paid.