Nils Lofgren Claims Ex-Manager Owes Him

     PHOENIX (CN) – Rock star Nils Lofgren claims in court that his former tour manager and accountant owes him money, an accounting and damages for constructive fraud.
     Lofgren and his wife sued Anson Smith and his companies, Anson Smith Management, Anson Smith CPA, and Anson Smith Development.
     Lofgren, who has performed with Bruce Springsteen, Crazy Horse, Ringo Starr and others, claims that Smith wouldn’t help him and his wife Amy find their bank accounts during the Wells Fargo takeover of Wachovia. Smith “delegated this task to Nils and Amy,” causing their accounts to be missing for months, the Lofgrens claim in Maricopa County Court.
     Lofgren claims he hired Smith as his accountant in 1982, and that Smith charged him 5 percent of his earnings. In 1983, Smith also began to work as Lofgren’s tour manager, charging an additional 15 percent of his earnings, according to the complaint.
     Lofgren says this agreement changed at the beginning of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band Reunion Tour in 1999. Under the new arrangement, Smith “would receive 15 percent of the net of the Reunion Tour salary, 7.5 percent of Nils’ net earnings for Anson’s work as a CPA and 7.5 percent of Nils’ net earnings for Anson’s work as Nils manager for Nils’ work with Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band,” according to the complaint.
     Smith was to continue to receive 20 percent of Lofgren’s net earnings for his solo work: 5 percent of net earnings for Smith’s work as a CPA and 15 percent of Lofgren’s net earnings for Smith’s work as manager for his solo career.
     Under the agreement, Smith was “to facilitate song placement through a publishing company” and provide Lofgren with “a monthly expense versus income report on Nils’ website and solo work,” the complaint states. But Lofgren claims that Smith failed to do either one.
     Their relationship deteriorated. Smith “began spending less of his personal time communicating with Nils,” and started to delegate duties to his assistants and Lofgren, according to the complaint.
     On Jan. 10, 2007, Lofgren and Smith discussed ending their relationship, but Smith “suggested making the arrangement regarding money earned with Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band to 5 percent of Nils’ net earnings for his work as a CPA and 5 percent of Nils’ net earnings for his work as Nils’ manager and regarding money earned from Nils’ solo career to 5 percent of Nils’ net earnings for his work as a CPA and 10 percent of Nils’ net earnings for his work as Nils’ manager,” according to the complaint.
     In January 2012, Lofgren says, he and Smith agreed that the Wrecking Ball tour with Springsteen’s E Street Band would be the last tour for which Smith would act as Lofgren’s accountant and manager. Lofgren says he terminated his agreement with Smith on Sept. 15, 2012.
     But On Jan. 2 this year, Smith claimed he had not been fired in September, and “was entitled to his percentage under the agreement” through Jan. 2, the complaint states.
     Lofgren claims he “suffers from stress induced attacks for which his doctor has proscribed a nitrate,” and that he gets these attacks “about once a year, but during the time when Nils and Amy’s bank accounts could not be located and Anson was providing none of his agreed to services, Nils suffered four attacks in one week.”
     The Lofgrens seek an accounting and damages for breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, constructive fraud, negligent misrepresentation and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
     They are represented by Dennis Wilenchik and Brian Hembd, with Wilenchik & Bartness.

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