A recently imprisoned local businessman faced a setback Tuesday in his attempt to sue the rock-star client he defrauded.
Richmond Circuit Court Judge Melvin R. Hughes Jr. ruled to amend a lawsuit that Getty Andrew Rothenberg filed against Dave Matthews Band member Boyd Tinsley.
The amended version will have to leave out parts irrelevant to Rothenberg’s business claims against Tinsley, largely allegations about his personal and sexual life.
Hughes also ruled that no sanctions be brought against D. Hayden Fisher, a local attorney who previously represented Rothenberg.
Rothenberg filed the suit on March 9 and is seeking $10 million from Tinsley, whose finances he handled for more than a decade.
The original complaint accused Tinsley of hurting Rothenberg’s business prospects, including with tennis player Andy Roddick and other members of the tennis world. Much of Rothenberg’s arguments centered on lengthy accusations about Tinsley’s personal life.
The same day Rothenberg filed his complaint, Tinsley filed a motion for sanctions against Rothenberg and Fisher, seeking attorneys’ fees and an amended suit. Fisher filed an opposition to Tinsley’s motion on March 12.
Tinsley did not have a comment about the hearing but is expected to file a response to Rothenberg’s amended complaint by March 30.
Tinsley is represented by Henry Willett of Christian & Barton. Rothenberg and Fisher each represented themselves.
Willett argued that the sordid claims about Tinsley’s personal life had nothing to do with Rothenberg’s business complaints.
“Only the essential facts should be included,” Willett told the judge. “Let’s get rid of this extraneous stuff.”
Willett argued that Rothenberg’s claims about Tinsley’s personal life were an act of revenge for the “sole purpose of public ridicule.”
In 2013, Rothenberg was convicted of one count of felony wire fraud for skimming millions of dollars from Tinsley’s bank accounts while serving as the musician’s finance manager. He was ordered to pay $1.25 million in restitution to Tinsley and sentenced to nine months in a Petersburg federal prison, nine months in home confinement and three years of supervised release.
During the hearing Tuesday, the judge asked Rothenberg how Tinsley’s alleged “parties where drugs and alcohol abound” were related to the business claims in his complaint.
“It shows the pattern of his conduct,” Rothenberg said. “It shows how loose he is with everything.”
But the court ruled that Rothenberg’s personal allegations against Tinsley be left out of the refiled suit. Rothenberg said he plans to hire an attorney in preparation for Tinsley’s response.