Jurors taught a big-talking hip-hop artist a lesson about broken promises yesterday when they ordered him to pay the $1 million reward he had offered for the return of his stolen laptop.
Cheapskate performer and producer Ryan Leslie must fork over the Benjamins to auto-repair-shop owner Armin Augstein, who found the computer while walking his dog and turned it over to German cops in November 2010.
In a YouTube video, Leslie had promised a $1 million reward to whoever found the missing laptop and an external hard drive. But when Augstein produced the goods, Leslie went from big-money mogul to double-talking skinflint.
Leslie testified Tuesday that his offer was contingent upon his ability to retrieve several unreleased multitrack songs stored on the hard drive, which he said couldn’t be accessed after he got it back.
But Judge Harold Baer Jr. yesterday told jurors that because Leslie disposed of the hard drive by returning it to the manufacturer after Augstein claimed the reward, they could assume that the data was there when Augstein handed it over.
The verdict came about 45 minutes after jurors sent out a note saying they were divided because “we feel the $1 million is too high,” and asking if they could compromise on a lower amount.