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Scotty McCreery owes his former manager more than $239,000, a Nashville jury ruled. / Jae S. Lee / The Tennessean

NASHVILLE -- Country music star and former American Idol winner Scotty McCreery owes his former manager $239,329 following a jury verdict on Wednesday in the legal dispute between the two parties.

Music industry veteran Todd Cassetty sued McCreery last year for back pay that accrued over five months. Cassetty argued that he was owed the industry standard 15 percent of McCreery's gross revenue, but McCreery disagreed and the matter went to trial earlier this week.

Cassetty, represented by Nashville attorneys Stephen Zralek and Ed Yarbrough, sued on other grounds as well, but those claims were dismissed either voluntarily or by Chancellor Carol McCoy.

According to the lawsuit, McCreery's mother, Judy McCreery, who was named as a defendant in the case, controls most of his affairs and makes most of his business decisions. After initially being managed by 19 Entertainment following his American Idol win in 2011, McCreery parted ways with the company and hired Cassetty as his manager in 2012.

The parties never finalized a written agreement and ultimately ended their business relationship in April 2013. According to the lawsuit, McCreery had not compensated Cassetty at the time they parted ways. The lawsuit quoted emails from McCreery in which he said, "I will make sure you get a large 15% touring check from FBMM this month." Flood, Bumstead, McCready & McCarthy, Inc., is a Nashville entertainment wealth management firm.

After the end of the relationship, McCreery offered to pay Cassetty 2 percent instead of 15 percent.

Cassetty's long career includes stints working promotions at the Country Radio Seminar, Gaylord Entertainment and Giant/Reprise Records, a division of Warner Bros. His digital marketing company, Hi-Fi Fusion, counts clients such as Warner, Sony, Big Machine and other record labels, plus clients like Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan and other top-level artists.

McCreery won American Idol in 2011 and is signed to Universal Music Group's Mercury Records.

In a prepared statement, McCreery said he always intended to pay Cassetty. He said he was pleased the jury award was less than the $570,000 Cassetty first requested.

"While it has been difficult to risk having my reputation challenged, I always believed that the truth would prevail, and it has," McCreery said. "I have a management team, including a professional business manager, in Nashville advising me. Now I am happy to put this behind me and focus on my music. As always, I am thankful to my fans for all of their support."



Copyright 2014USAToday

Read the original story: Verdict: Scotty McCreery owes ex-manager $239K

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