A King's Ransom: Candlebox's Ex-Management, Mobile Mike Sue Seminole Tribe

Candlebox hasn't been spending too much time dominating the pop charts lately, but unlike a lot of alternative-rock acts that rode the grunge wave to popularity in the '90s, the band is still alive and kicking.

2013 was supposed to be a big year for the 'Box. Band members were celebrating a 20th anniversary and had a new album to promote. Then, according to a lawsuit filed last month in federal court, they ran into a bad business partner: the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

Court documents show that Lujen, the band's former marketing and managing company, in January 2013 signed a devil's deal with the tribe.

According to a letter of intent that was filed with the court as an exhibit and signed by Seminole Chief Financial Officer Michael Ulizio, the tribe promised to sink $400,000 into the band. In return, the tribe would get rights to two albums completed by the band, 60 percent of the sales, and guarantees from a January to March 2013 tour, 100 percent of the same for the band's summer 2013 tour until the investment was paid back, and then 60 percent after, followed by a 50/50 cut of all profits thereafter.

As a kicker, the band agreed to hand over autographed guitars to the tribe's Boston Hard Rock location, as well as play the March 2013 Burgers & Bash concert at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino for a serious discount. But when the $400,000 never came through after repeated promises, the band fired its management, the lawsuit claims. Lujen is now suing the tribe.

"My clients were jumping through every hoop, and then [the tribe] stopped returning phone calls and they stopped responding to emails," says Lujen's attorney, Stefanie Moon. "The main issue is that the tribe portrays themselves as being friendly to business and entertainers when they're not."

In similar business suits, the attorneys for the tribe typically cite the Seminoles' sovereign immunity, a legal term that, as an independent nation, means they're protected from lawsuits. "When you have an issue or a claim that they have harmed you," Moon says, "they use their sovereign immunity."

A similar suit is currently churning through the courts in Broward. Marketing guru and radio personality Mobile Mike claims he inked a deal in 2012 that make him head of an in-house promotional firm that worked solely for the tribe — a job that earned him $100,000 a month. Then, in June 2013, the payments stopped. "They just cut me off," he says.

Mobile Mike is now suing the tribe for $250 million for breach of contract.

Tribe spokesperson Gary Bitner says, "Anyone can file a frivolous lawsuit about anything, and in fact, the band Candlebox is not even a party to this suit. Their former manager filed it without their involvement."

 
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14 comments
marktate
marktate

Sad....Dont give up you guy's→Rock! Look forward to seeing ya'll again in Raleigh NC

sffallon
sffallon

Although, the record business is not entirely friendly...they are notoriously to the word about contracts. The claim of sovereign immunity is ridiculous The law, is to protect rights of a particular group, not a shelter for lies and bad business practices.

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HoopsStar12
HoopsStar12

The Indians have been and continue to ruin the Hard Rock image and disgrace their heritage

Anthony
Anthony

Can't believe they would pull this SH*T.. They make Millions a day.. PAY THEM THEIR MONEY!

Gsmack
Gsmack

Make it right Osceola,  you loser

thornyrose
thornyrose

It's a shame, it tarnishes the Hard Rock name. 

jameswebster2002
jameswebster2002

It is a sham when a multi-Billion dollar organization decides to walk over people and completely destroy their lives.... I would sue for 10 time the amount...$400k is nothing to them...The penalty should be made to hurt them so they stop doing this to others. 

jameswebster2002
jameswebster2002

It is a sham when a multi-Billion dollar organization decides to walk over people and completely destroy their lives.... I would sue for 10 time the amount...$400k is nothing to them...The penalty should be made to hurt them in the pocket book so they stop doing this to others.  


Giacomo

RonJames
RonJames

I love Candlebox. Looks like the Seminoles are about to run the Hard Rock brand into the ground. I will not be visiting them anymore! 

slo316
slo316

Must be nice to be able to hide behind sovereign immunity when you decide to back out of a deal!!! Must be where the term Indian givers comes from!!!

DougW
DougW

SEMINOLE TRIBE AND HARD ROCK INTERNATIONAL= CROOKED!



BOYCOTT HR Cafe's, casinos and hotels!  We need to spread this word LOUD AND CLEAR

DougW
DougW

SEMINOLE TRIBE AND HARD ROCK INTERNATIONAL=  CROOKED !

Frank16
Frank16

The days when you word actually meant something are obviously gone.  Chris Osceola and Mike Ulizio have a past of legal troubles and they are both con men!  I cannot believe they keep getting away with FRAUD and cheating.  BOYCOTT their properties and businesses YES.


Why don't they do what's right and actually KEEP THEIR WORD, for once!   I hope this manager and band nail them to the wall and get them removed from office.  CHRIS OSCEOLA LIED TO HIS OWN PEOPLE TO GET IN OFFICE....It's getting out of control

Micadoo
Micadoo

What a bunch of B.S.  The Seminoles own Hard Rock International since 2011. Do they only pull this crap on the Hard Rock's located on tribal land (under the shield of sovereign immunity) or all of them? I will boycott them and tell my family & friends to do the same!!! this is ridiculous! If I was a band I would be wary of every performing at any of their properties. 

 
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