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The World of Goo Boards Robby's Studio gets scammed out of $32,400  ~


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   Robby's Studio gets scammed out of $32,400  ~
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   Author  Topic: Robby's Studio gets scammed out of $32,400  ~  (Read 1905 times)
SunShowerSharon
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  sharon_scinta   NEWYORKSHARONN
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Robby's Studio gets scammed out of $32,400  ~
« on: Jan 18th, 2005, 12:48pm »
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Businesses say rapper, entourage bilked them  
 
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------ --------  
Allege they skipped out owing over $348,000  
 
By VANESSA THOMAS  
News Staff Reporter  
1/18/2005  
 
Several Buffalo-area businesses say they were scammed out of more than $348,000 when a rapper and his entourage blew into the city last month, racked up hefty bills for everything from limousine services to video shoots, and then skipped town.  
The businessmen said rapper Da' Franchise - also known as Walter Washington - and associates June Hall and Denise Washington of New Visions Entertainment reneged on contracts. However, the businessmen aren't certain if the scammer is the real Da' Franchise or an impostor.  
 
The rapper had said he would be in Buffalo from Dec. 1 to Feb. 28 to conduct "The $4.4 Million Project" - an elaborate production that included a music video, Da' Franchise's album, songs for about a dozen associates, a mini-movie and a reality television show, according to Jen Rutkowski, the owner of Outer Limit, a recording studio on Walden Avenue. Monday, angry business owners spoke out, with at least one planning to file a lawsuit, if not paid.  
 
Attorney Michael Lee Jackson said he is trying to get the $32,400 that is owed to Chameleon West Recording Studios for a three-month music production agreement with New Vision. He said New Vision has not responded to repeated phone calls.  
 
"They completely defaulted on their contract," Jackson said. "We'll have no choice but to take legal action if they fail to honor the terms of their agreement."  
 
John Wichman, owner of Creative Concepts Studios on Symphony Circle, said his company was taken for about $7,700 after he and his employees spent 51/2 days shooting a video.  
 
"We did some good work and they didn't have any intention to pay," Wichman said. "They went a long way just to scam us and now we don't know where to find them. How can they live with themselves?"  
 
The entourage also is accused of running up a $15,000 hotel bill at the Best Western Inn downtown, where it had eight rooms - including two Jacuzzi suites, according to source who asked not to be identified. Hotel officials declined to talk about the case.  
 
Besides using Chameleon West, the Franklin Street recording studio co-owned by the Goo Goo Dolls' Robby Takac, the rappers also recorded at Outer Limit. Rutkowski, Outer Limit's owner, said the rapper scammed him out of nearly $200,000 worth of services, including a production contract.  
 
The rapper and his associates also hired private security guards, rented limousines and hired dancers and actors from a local talent agency, according to the businessmen, who said they also stole about $93,000 in meals from a West Seneca catering company, which declined to talk about the case.  
 
"Everyone is hungry in this business," said Rutkowski. "(Da' Franchise's) plans were so huge that it was a risk that everyone was willing to take. It was a calculated risk, but the potential for rewards were monstrous."  
 
The businessmen say the rap entourage left behind a trail of contracts and confidentiality agreements that were typed on "professional-looking" letterhead, claiming that New Visions Entertainment had offices in Augusta, Ga., New York City, Brooklyn, and Chicago.  
 
Efforts to reach Da' Franchise, Denise Washington and anyone at New Visions Entertainment were unsuccessful.  
 
According to several Web sites, Da' Franchise is best known for the 2001 song "Livin' In Da City" featuring Butch Cassidy, and has recorded rap with hip-hop stars such as Ja Rule.  
 
Rutkowski said his contract with the rapper seemed legitimate, especially since things had worked much the same way about two years ago when rap star Eminem recorded in his studio and he received a check from the music label weeks later.  
 
 
e-mail: vthomas@buffnews.com  
 
 
http://www.buffalonews.com/editorial/20050118/1031172.asp
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Re: Robby's Studio gets scammed out of $32,400 ~
« Reply #1 on: Jan 18th, 2005, 2:33pm »
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Man ... that really sucks for Robby. I hope they work things out and can get that money back from this guy.
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Re: Robby's Studio gets scammed out of $32,400 ~
« Reply #2 on: Jan 19th, 2005, 10:23am »
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That's a lot of money... Shocked I mean, I could live on that for about three years...
 
Does he now have to go through a bunch of legal hassle to get the money that's owed to Chameleon West? That'll be a real pain in the ass, especially given that the Goos have been through their own share of legal battles in their time, and I imagine it's not exactly a fun thing to be involved with... Undecided
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Re: Robby's Studio gets scammed out of $32,400 &nb
« Reply #3 on: Jan 20th, 2005, 7:15pm »
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That really sucks for Chameleon West. I hope that they find the guy(s) and get their money back, because that is a hell of a lot of money.
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Re: Robby's Studio gets scammed out of $32,400 ~
« Reply #4 on: Jan 21st, 2005, 11:26am »
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That's terrible. I hope they get their money.
 
 
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