Orlando Music Festival executive producer sued by Texas investor

Allen Cox claims he invested $120K and has seen no return

A Texas man has filed a lawsuit against the head of the Orlando Music Festival, claiming he owes him hundreds of thousands of dollars in investment money.

SAN ANTONIO – A Texas man has filed a lawsuit against the head of the Orlando Music Festival, claiming he owes him hundreds of thousands of dollars in investment money.

Attorneys for Allen Cox filed the lawsuit against James Walker Watson, John Pierre Griffin and Music Events Productions (MEP) in Dallas County, Texas, on Thursday.

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Watson, who is the founder and executive producer of the Orlando Music Festival, was arrested in May on charges that he bilked investors in his Dallas Southfork Music Festival out of $3 million.

As a result, the Orlando Music Festival, which was scheduled to take place this weekend at the Central Florida Fairgrounds, was canceled, leaving hundreds waiting for ticket refunds.

According to the lawsuit filed on Thursday, Cox claims he was one of the investors in the Southfork Music Festival who was promised a return on his investment, but he never saw it.

“John Griffin and I both served together in military special operations. We were teammates, and so, I knew him personally,” Cox told News 6 on Thursday. “I gave him the benefit of the doubt, you know, relying on brotherhood as a fellow veteran. We went through very extreme selection and training together, and so I gave him that benefit of the doubt that he had learned his lessons. He said he was involved with a music event productions company, and that’s why introduced me to James Watson about this deal.”

The lawsuit claims Cox invested $120,000 in the event, which was to take place May 22-24, 2020, at Southfork Ranch, known from the television series Dallas.

Cox’s attorneys claim he was promised a 5% share of the revenue from the event, and he also signed a promissory note guaranteeing him $240,000 if the agreement was broken.

He said to this date, he has received no money.

“It’s like everything in my life was hijacked because it was essentially my life savings,” Cox told News 6. “At the time, I was trying to buy a house and invest in other areas and progress, and that was hijacked from me. Everything has been contention since then. My career was put on hold, my personal life and it just halted everything in this hurricane of misinformation.”

“Defendants Watson and Griffin have shown a complete disregard of paying back past investors as they recently planned a similar jazz music festival set for early July 2022 in Orlando, Florida,” the lawsuit reads. “Watson and Griffin have displayed a habit for defrauding investors and have yet to even attempt repayment for the cancelled 2020 jazz music festival herein, over two years after it was set to take place.”

Watson previously served more than five years in prison for bilking investors out of money at two other music festivals; one in Houston and one in Sacramento.

Thursday’s lawsuit claims Watson, Griffin and Music Festival Productions committed fraud and breached their contract with Cox.

Cox is seeking the $240,000 promised, as well as lost wages.

His attorneys are also asking a jury to decide if Cox should receive money for damages, as well.

News 6 reached out to Griffin and MEP for a comment on the lawsuit, and they have not responded.

About the Author:

Erik Sandoval joined the News 6 team as a reporter in May 2013 and became an Investigator in 2020. During his time at News 6, Erik has covered several major stories, including the 2016 Presidential campaign. He was also one of the first reporters live on the air at the Pulse Nightclub shooting.