Manila Concert $1.2M Judgment

A middle agent in Stamford, Conn., has been ordered to pay a Filipino promoter $1.2 million over a Justin Timberlake concert that never took place.

Arnold Vegafria of ALV Events International claimed in a lawsuit he paid agent Kofi Degrat Johnson a $437,500 deposit to feature Timberlake at a November 2008 show in Manila.

The suit said Vegafria was originally trying to arrange for Rihanna to do the Manila show when he was put in contact with Johnson, who allegedly claimed he could get Rihanna and Chris Brown for the event. Vegafria then paid Johnson $100,000 in September 2008 to secure the singers’ performance and began promoting the event.

That’s when Vegafria reportedly received a letter from William Morris Agency stating it represented Rihanna exclusively and she wasn’t available. Johnson allegedly then offered Timberlake as a substitute for the event instead of returning the $100,000 deposits. Another $337,500 allegedly exchanged hands before Johnson stopped communicating.

Johnson never appeared in court to defend himself, according to the Hartford Business Journal. A judge ordered Johnson to pay $1,165,274 to Vegafria’s firm.

“Mr. Vegafria was consistently led to believe that Justin Timberlake was willing and able and, in fact, eager, to perform at the special concert being arranged in Manila,” Vegafria attorney Russell Green said in a statement. “It is gratifying that the judge agreed this is a clear case of breach of contract, misrepresentation and theft.”