NEW ORLEANS (CelebrityAccess) — Roland Von Kurnatowski, the former owner of the famed New Orleans nightclub Tipitina’s and the Orpheum Theater, died at his home after he was injured in a seemingly bizarre hunting accident.
According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, details about the exact nature of the accident were scarce, but Von Kurnatowski, who was 68, reportedly died from injuries sustained while using a rifle to try to kill a wild boar on his property near Carriere.
Hancock County Coroner Jim Faulk told the newspaper that Von Kurnatowski remained under “thorough investigation” but declined to elaborate. Kurnatowski was said to be alone at the time the accident occurred.
Von Kurnatowksi sold his stake in Tipitina’s late last year to members of the band Galactic but appeared to have suffered a series of financial setbacks that became apparent in 2017 when he began to have trouble paying acts that performed at his New Orleans venues.
Those troubles appeared to be compounded in 2018 when the FBI launched an investigation after several people sued Von Kurnatowksi, alleging they had invested in a fund he managed called Bond Fund One, or BF-I, which traded in U.S. Treasury bills but which had never been formally registered with financial regulators.
Investors claimed that Von Kurnatowski refused to let them cash out of the fund, leading at least one investor to accuse him of running a Ponzi scheme.
Von Kurnatowski was also sued by his sister Joan Hooper and her sons Christian and Andre Hooper who accused Von Kurnatowksi of failing to repay a sizeable loan worth almost a million dollars for real estate projects that failed to come to fruition.
However, according to the Times-Picayune, the Hoopers and Von Kurnatowski had since settled the disagreement out of court, and the case was dismissed.
Von Kurnatowksi maintained his innocence and described much of the financial turmoil to a falling out with his former business partner.
Despite the legal challenges he faced, Von Kurnatowski was a well-regarded figure in the New Orleans music scene and he helped to restore the iconic Orpheum Theater after it was heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina.
As well, The Tipitina’s Foundation, which Von Kurnatowksi chaired, donated millions to charitable causes of the years and provided thousands of musical instruments to aspiring local musicians.
Survivors include his wife, Mary, and children.