Today's Lesson: How To Lose $27K And End Up In Court

Lately Rocks Off's readers have been getting a steady stream of what not to do when it comes to booking and promoting shows. Last week we learned that when an artist scheduled to play your venue shows up for their gig, it's a good idea to have enough money - either cash on hand or in your checking account - to pay them.

Today's lesson is similar, although a little different: When someone says they can deliver an A-list rapper - Young Jeezy, say - for your event, it's a good idea to make sure they really can. Before you give them any money.

According to a lawsuit filed Monday in Harris County District Court, Chris Moreno, Sonny Manila and Roger Manila of Porter-based M&M Promotions signed a contract with Dallas-based booking agent Carlos Goodspeed of Top Agent Booking to hire Atlanta-based Jeezy for an unspecified event. (Rocks Off Googled M&M, and their MySpace page says M&M has been doing custom car shows for more than five years.)

The suit says Goodspeed represented himself as the agent for Young Jeezy, a "popular performer," and signed an agreement with M&M's Moreno for Jeezy to appear at a Houston venue - doesn't say which one - "at a date to be announce [sic] in 2008/2009."

if this all seems remarkably vague to you, especially for a court document, it does to us too. Rocks Off called M&M's attorney, Chad Blasingame, Tuesday afternoon, but he had left for the day. We got Top Agent Booking's number from Goodspeed's Twitter page, and the phone message said calls will be returned within 48 hours. We're not holding our breath.

Anyway, this next part definitely isn't vague. The petition says the agreement called for a $50,000 advance payment, which Moreno delivered. Then, for whatever reason, Jeezy "did not agree to appear" (if he even knew he was supposed to in the first place), and Goodspeed returned the contract around Dec. 30, 2008.

He also returned $23,000 of the $50,000 and a signed note promising "will return in full." He didn't, or hasn't - "despite repeated requests and promises subsequently," the suit says - and here we are in court. M&M is claiming breach of contract and fraud against Goodspeed, and seeking damages, court costs and legal fees.

This isn't the first time Goodspeed has been called out in court, either. According to allhiphop.com, a suit was filed in Dallas district court in September claiming that in March 2009, Goodspeed promised Metroplex promoters '80s Baby he could get R&B singer Ciara and rappers Soulja Boy and Plies for '80s Baby's upcoming "Summer Jam" concert.

When it came out that Ciara was in Europe, the article says, Goodspeed promised to return the money and never did.

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