Former Gogol Bordello songwriter and guitarist Oren Kaplan is suing frontman Eugene Hutz over allegations the singer ousted him from the group and cut him out of profits. Kaplan filed papers against his ex-bandmate at New York's Manhattan Supreme Court on Friday (26Jul13), accusing Hutz of tricking other members into signing "consent forms" to boot the musician from the line-up in 2012.
The dismissal caused Kaplan to stop receiving royalty payments from Gogol Bordello's songs and banned him from accessing the group's funds.
Kaplan also claims Hutz, who took over the group's finances in 2009, has funnelled $500,000 (£33,330) from the gypsy punk rockers' bank accounts into other businesses he owns without his fellow stars' permission, while one year he paid himself a six-figure salary - more than double the $57,000 (£38,000) the guitarist had received the year before.
Kaplan is demanding $950,000 (£633,330) in personal damages and is also fighting for the same amount of compensation for the other members of the band via its corporation Gypsy Punks LLC, reports the New York Daily News.
Hutz, who co-founded the eclectic group in 1999, maintains Kaplan is no longer an official member of the band and therefore has no right to demand a review of its finances.