Panic! Frontman Claims Pal Looted Account


     LOS ANGELES (CN) - Panic! at the Disco frontman Brendon Urie sued his former roommate, claiming photographer-filmmaker Shane Valdez embezzled more than $120,000 from his bank account.
     Urie sued Valdez in Superior Court, alleging conversion, embezzlement, fraud and other counts.
     In the lawsuit, Urie, 27, claims Valdez, his "former trusted friend and one-time roommate" looted more than $127,269.54 from Urie's checking account between February 2009 and September 2013.
     Urie says he allowed Valdez to use the bank account so his friend could pay bills and other expenses for the homes they shared while he toured with his band in 2008 and 2009.
     The musician says his friend "assured Urie that he could be trusted and was eager to prove himself worthy of such trust and confidence."
     "Urie has now learned that such trust and confidence was seriously misplaced," his 9-page lawsuit laments.
     The singer claims that in November 2013 he was "shocked to discover" that his best friend had been helping himself to his money, through more than 70 unauthorized withdrawals from the account.
     Urie claims it took him years to discover the fraud because the accounts were not managed by his representatives he had "no reason to suspect that Valdez was systematically looting money from his account."
     The Panic! lead vocalist claims when his lawyers asked Valdez to give back the money the photographer's attorney "attempted to fabricate an alibi for his client's thievery" by claiming that Urie had verbally agreed to pay Valdez for making a documentary about his life.
     Urie calls that claim "ludicrous."
     "There was no oral agreement regarding any documentary film. Further, Valdez was never involved in any aspect of Urie's business activities and the two had not been roommates for more than 3½ years while Valdez continued to systematically embezzle Urie's money. It is clear that Valdez has concocted these explanations in a desperate attempt to justify his activities now that he got caught," the complaint states.
     Urie wants the money back, with interest, and punitive damages.
     He is represented by Alan Gutman of Beverly Hills.
     Valdez did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment Tuesday afternoon.