Sep 4, 2023 2 min read

Pras lawyers seek dismissal from lawsuit over alleged forged release document

A law firm has asked to be dismissed as a defendant in a case against Pras of The Fugees, arguing that it was not involved in creating an allegedly fraudulent document used to secure a deal on the musician’s music rights.

Pras lawyers seek dismissal from lawsuit over alleged forged release document

One of the law firms named as a defendant in a lawsuit filed against one time Fugee Pras has formally requested that it be removed from the litigation.

New York-based Davis Shapiro Lewit & Grabel LLP argues that "uncontroverted evidence conclusively shows" that it was not involved in creating - or even aware of - an allegedly fraudulent document used to help secure a mega-bucks deal with investment outfit HarbourView around Pras's music rights.

The lawsuit has been filed by Open On Sunday LLP, a company that allows artists and songwriters to access upfront cash secured on rights and royalties relating to their recordings and songs. It seemingly loaned Pras money at the start of last year secured on the recording royalties he receives from Sony Music.

However, when he subsequently failed to meet his obligations under the loan agreement and Open On Sunday began legal proceedings, it discovered that he had actually sold the royalty rights that stem from his old Sony record deals to HarbourView.

Open On Sunday claims that Pras had tried to change the terms of his loan agreement once it was in place so that it would be secured on a theoretical book deal rather than his Sony royalties. However, it declined to make that change.

Pras nevertheless went ahead with a deal to sell his Sony royalty rights to HarbourView, allegedly forging a release document as part of that sale that seemed to show that Open On Sunday had indeed agreed to secure its loan on the book deal.

When Open On Sunday went legal last October, it named Pras, his lawyers and HarbourView as defendants on the lawsuit. However, it then voluntarily removed HarbourView from the litigation earlier this year.

Davis Shapiro Lewit & Grabel LLP now also want to be axed as defendants. It did advise Pras on his HarbourView deal, but - it insists - it was not in any way involved in any alleged forgery.

In a legal filing last week it states: "The uncontroverted evidence conclusively shows that the DSLG defendants were unaware of the alleged forgery, did not commit a fraud upon plaintiff, and did not engage in any conspiracy to wrongfully transfer the collateral to HarbourView or otherwise harm plaintiff".

It goes on: "Even plaintiff admits it cannot cite any evidence supporting the elements of the causes of action it asserts against the DSLG defendants".

And it notes: "When plaintiff confronted [Pras] about the alleged fraud, [Pras] responded '... I hate to tell you but it’s no conspiracy, the legal team and HarbourView had nothing to do with this it’s all on me".

With all that in mind, the law firm states: "The DSLG defendants respectfully ask this court to grant their motion for summary judgment in its entirety and dismiss all of plaintiff’s claims against them with prejudice".

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