On March 18, 2019, U.S. District Judge John Z. Lee of Illinois granted summary judgment in favor of an attorney who represented R. Kelly. The attorney was alleged to have fraudulently promised to hold a concert promoter’s $500,000 in escrow but instead forwarded the money to R. Kelly, who spent it before the deal collapsed.
Judge Lee dismissed claims of promissory fraud and breach of contract against Bryan Cave LLP (“Cave”) after making a factual determination the plaintiff, Swervo Entertainment Group LLC (“Swervo”) failed to show Swervo ever had control over the funds.
“Plaintiff’s argument to the contrary — that the money ‘belonged’ to plaintiff and only went through City Center because plaintiff did not yet have a bank account — is a non sequitur,” the opinion states. “If plaintiff did not yet have a bank account, it did not have any money, nor did it provide that money to City Center or to defendants.”
Negotiations between the parties over the tour promotion deal ultimately collapsed, but RSK Enterprises LLC- which has R. Kelly as its sole member- spent the money and did not return it.
Swervo Entertainment Group LLC is represented by Joseph P. Beckman, J. Robert Keena and Brian R. Christiansen of Hellmuth & Johnson PLLC.
R. Kelly and RSK Enterprises LLC are represented by Brian Nix of the Law Office of Brian Nix.
Bryan Cave LLP is represented by Peter A. Silverman and Lisa M. Mazzone of Figliulo & Silverman PC.
Mensch and Linda S. Mensch PC are represented by Eugene E. Murphy Jr. of the Murphy Law Group LLC.
The case is Swervo Entertainment Group LLC v. Mensch et al., case number 1:16-cv-04692, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
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