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Ex-Roots Bassist Sues for Removal From Ventures

PHILADELPHIA (CN) - A former instrumentalist for hip-hop band The Roots says its two key members squeezed him out of his ownership of band-affiliated companies after he was diagnosed with cancer.

Leonard "Hub" Hubbard, who filed suit on Wednesday in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, says he joined Tariq "Black Thought" Trotter and Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson in 1992 when the group was still called the Square Roots. Hubbard played bass in the band.

In 2007, Hubbard was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a type of cancer, forcing him to leave the group, according to his lawsuit. He received $25,000 a year until 2011, when his payment allegedly dropped to $7,000.

Hubbard claims that the band members formed a new company that excluded him as an owner. He also says the band's manager threatened to cut him off from all payments and health insurance.

"Defendants embarked upon a scheme and artifice to fraudulently convey all the business and assets of Okay Tours LLC (of which plaintiff Hubbard was a one-third owner) to The Roots on Tour Inc., an entity in which plaintiff Hubbard has no interest, intending thereby to deny plaintiff Hubbard the fruits of his ownership interest and any benefit from the touring business conducted by Okay Tours LLC," the complaint states.

In addition to Okay Tours, Hubbard says he had ownership in Grand Negaz Inc. and Grand Wizards LLC.

Hubbard alleges fraudulent transfer, breach of fiduciary duty, civil conspiracy, constructive fraud, breach of contract and professional negligence.

He seeks at least $50,000 plus punitive damages, and is represented by Frank Rothermel of Bernhardt, Rothermel & Siegel in Philadelphia.

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