Peter Chantel, the former Chief Financial Officer of music merchandiser Signatures Network, Inc. (SNI) has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against his former employers alleging that he was dismissed partly because he had knowledge SNI was “engaged in several fraudulent and unlawful practices” involving ticket distribution. The lawsuit also names SNI’s new parent company Live Nation as a defendant.
According to the text of the lawsuit, Chantel claims that SNI violated the terms of its artists’ contracts by “fraudulently charging overhead costs to artists for production of merchandise through the creation of a shell company,” as well as “dumping concert tickets to ticket brokers without authorization from the artists,” which, in addition to violating the company’s contracts, may be deemed a violation of both state and federal law. The lawsuit continues, alleging that SNI’s CEO Dell Furano and Chief Operating Officer Phil Cussen, upon being informed by Chantel of the questionable practices of SNI, refused to act and retaliated against Chantel, causing him undue stress which contributed to a back condition.
Ticket dumping has become a hot topic, as the Hannah Montana ticket crisis included allegations of tickets being leaked to venues and withheld so that the public would be unable to buy them. There is no indication within the lawsuit that Live Nation or SNI had a hand in this particular issue.
The lawsuit also alleges that Chantel’s recent dismissal exacerbated a chronic back injury, which was complicated by Chantel’s continual job stress heightened by the actions of Furano and Cussen.
When contacted by TicketNews, John Vlautin, Live Nation spokesperson, declined to comment, saying that the company does not comment on pending litigation. TicketNews was unable to reach Chantel’s lawyer for comment. The case is set to begin in late July.