Wednesday, April 22, 2009

That's Lestorti and He's Stickin' to It: Music Row Bigwig Swindles Dozens?

Posted By on Wed, Apr 22, 2009 at 11:36 AM

click to enlarge Bada Bing, Bada Boom! Know what I'm sayin'?
  • Bada Bing, Bada Boom! Know what I'm sayin'?

Incompetence on Music Row?? Poppycock! Well, it be not poppycock according to WSMV, who just yesterday reported that WhiteStar Entertainment CEO and former Elvis impersonator J.C. Lestorti might have swindled some folks and hopped a plane to Tampa. Lestorti's employees at Nashville-based WhiteStar Entertainment (a label that was basically representing, you know, aspiring white stars) claim that he took tens of thousands of dollars from the company before taking off and leaving all of their artists hanging:

The marketing staff was promoting other artists, like "Nashville Star" finalist Jason Meadows. Then, checks stopped coming or started bouncing. "Me and apparently dozens of other people were left holding the bag," said studio musician Mike Brignardello. Some of Lestorti's former employees wonder if the label, the whole Nashville experience, was nothing more than fun and games for the wealthy Lestorti. "It's an interesting case of ego and delusional mentality," said artist manager and plaintiff Dave Clemmer. "I think that he's a crook," [WhiteStar Managing Director Walt] Wilson said of Lestorti. "I think that he's a fraud."

"I'd say that they need to see a psychiatrist," said Lestorti in response to his former employees' perceptions of him. The Channel 4 I-Team tracked Lestorti to New York at one of his several homes after hearing from 12 different people who accuse Lestorti of abandoning [them]. "We didn't abandon anybody," said Lestorti. He said his label hasn't folded; it's being reorganized in Miami. He said he's had serious stomach surgery that he's now recovering from.

Right. It's just like that time my boss moved away indefinitely without telling any of us where he was going, stopped paying us and got his stomach stapled. Happens all the time. Lestorti's former employees and clients are now seeking $900,000 in damages, assuming they can squeeze that many bones out of the alleged greaseball.

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