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Rapper Who Promised Million Dollar Reward Has to Pay Up

Ryan Leslie

Ryan Leslie is a record producer, songwriter and occasional rapper. He composes his songs on his laptop. So when he lost the computer in Cologne, Germany back in 2010 he had a big problem, since there were several unreleased tracks on the hard drive.

Leslie offered a $20,000 reward for the laptop’s return. When that didn’t work, he made a YouTube video in which he upped the reward to one million dollars.

Not long after doing so, German auto-repair-shop owner Armin Augstein apparently found the laptop while walking his dog. He presented the computer to Leslie, but Leslie refused to pay the million.

Augstein sued Leslie, who is American, in US Federal court. Yesterday, a jury ruled that Leslie must pay Augstein the money.

The 54-year-old Augstein is obviously thrilled with the verdict.

“I’m very happy . . . that the American judicial system, which is so totally different from ours, functioned so well with a jury that are not professionals and are laymen,” he said.

He also added that he was disappointed Leslie had implied in court he had stolen the laptop, but that the singer/songwriter was “personally very friendly.”

As for the friendly, but suddenly a million dollars poorer rapper, he said he is considering an appeal.

In short, posting your million dollar reward offer on YouTube is not wise.

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