Singer k.d. lang is suing her former business manager, alleging that hundreds of thousands, or possibly millions, of dollars in excessive fees were fraudulently drawn from the musician’s account.
The Grammy-winning Canadian vocalist filed suit yesterday (Nov. 8) in Los Angeles Superior Court against Annabel Lapp, her company the Annabel Lapp Group and Lapp Group employee Dina Correale. The action seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
The suit claims that the total amount of allegedly misappropriated money could not be determined because Lapp has failed to turn over the vast majority of lang’s financial and business records.
Calls to the Lapp Group’s Canadian offices were not returned. Lapp’s Beverly Hills office could not be reached.
According to lang’s suit, Lapp represented lang and her touring entities from 1990 until Sept. 2 of this year, when the musician terminated the business manager.
Lapp allegedly wrote checks on lang’s business accounts without disclosing the amount of the fees or seeking or obtaining lang’s approval for the payment of such fees.
The suit also alleges that during the week of Sept. 6 — following Lapp’s termination by lang — the one-time business manager wrote five checks totaling $22,000 on lang’s accounts without her knowledge or consent.
The action claims that following the termination, Lapp demanded payment of more than $50,000 in supposed fees plus an additional retainer of $75,000 to assist in the transition of lang’s affairs to a new business manager. The fees remain in dispute, and lang refused to pay the $75,000 retainer.
In early September, lang paid Lapp $10,000 for the boxing and shipment of all her files. However, Lapp allegedly supplied records for the years 2004-05 alone, making it impossible to complete an investigation of Lapp’s conduct during the 15 years of her representation.
The lang suit marks the second legal action in recent months lodged against a one-time business manager by a well-known Canadian performer. In August, singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen sued his business manager for allegedly defrauding him of at least $5 million.