Ryan Leslie Ordered To Pay $1 Million For Recovered Laptop

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Adelle Platon / November 29, 2012

Hip-hop music man Ryan Leslie knows that less is more, but now his pockets will be paying the price.

After his laptop was stolen during an overseas trip in January 2011, the “Ups & Downs” rapper issued a reward of a million dollars in a YouTube video to whoever could return the hard drive to its rightful owner. However, R.Les caught the heat when he didn’t fork over the cash like he promised to auto-repair-shop owner Armin Augstein who was able to retrieve and deliver the property.

“The reasons I defended myself in the case are the same reasons I believe Mr. Augstein is not entitled to the reward,” Leslie said in a Manhattan federal court Tuesday (Nov. 28). He said that his offer was contingent upon retrieval of several unreleased multitrack songs stored on the hard drive, which he couldn’t access after he got the machine back.

Though divided on the hefty amount, jurors ultimately delivered the verdict that Ryan cash out. “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,” Augstein told The NY Post in German through one his lawyers, Steven Thal.

But don’t expect the newly rich German man to start spending the dough like a Powerball win. “As we say here in Germany, we can only eat the chicken after it’s been plucked.”

Ryan tells the Post (on which he graced the cover) he’ll consider going for an appeal.