June 4, 2008
Joplin, Mo. - A Joplin events promoter who collected and never repaid money from vendors for cancelled events will pay $31,869 in restitution and costs under a consent judgment and permanent injunction obtained today by Attorney General Jay Nixon. Derrick Gates (also known as Derrick Badders), who does business under the names OnFire Productions and HardNox Productions, must also adopt a series of policies to ensure future compliance with Missouri consumer protection laws under today’s court order, which was filed in Jasper County Circuit Court.
Nixon sued Gates in December 2007 after receiving complaints from vendors who paid for concession booth space at a Christian music festival in Joplin called Godstock but did not receive refunds when the show was cancelled. The Attorney General’s Office also received complaints from vendors in reference to a tattoo convention called Ink Deep which was originally scheduled for December 2007 in Kansas City but was postponed indefinitely. Nixon obtained preliminary injunctions against Gates and two of his associates, Zachary Grimm and Josh Allen, which froze the defendants’ assets and required that a $200,000 bond be posted with the court before they promoted any additional events.
The Attorney General’s Office has since reached a settlement with Grimm, and had a default order against Allen in the matter. Grimm had six victims who suffered $3,325 in losses, while Allen had 10 victims who totaled $5,250 in losses.
“Whatever logistical or financial problems these defendants encountered when planning these events are irrelevant when it comes to their absolute obligation to repay those vendors who paid them for concession space, once the events were cancelled,” Nixon said. “Any business or individual that is paid for goods or services that they can’t deliver must promptly refund those payments – period.”
Under today’s consent judgment and permanent injunction, Gates must continue to secure a $200,000 bond with the court for any event he promotes to protect and reimburse vendors in the event of any cancellation or significant delay in the event. In addition, the defendant is also required to notify the Attorney General’s Office in writing 30 days in advance of any events he plans to promote or produce and prior to accepting deposits from vendors and to sign written contracts ensuring that vendors will be repaid if the event is cancelled prior to accepting any deposits from vendors.
In addition, Gates is required to pay $29,161 in restitution to 56 vendors who paid for concession booths at the “Godstock,” “Battle for the Mic,” and “Ink Deep” events, but never received refunds when the events were cancelled. Amounts of restitution range from $150 to $2,301.
The defendant is also required to pay $2,708 to reimburse the state for the costs of investigation and enforcement of the case. Additionally under the judgment, Gates is ordered to pay a civil penalty of $25,000 that is suspended pending compliance with state consumer protection laws and all terms of today’s court order.