06/16/2006 at 08:00 AM EDT
Ruben Studdard has entered the winner's circle again. The 2003 American Idol victor has been awarded $2 million in his lawsuit against the ex-manager he claimed misappropriated more than $246,000 from him.
Jefferson County (Ala.) Circuit Judge Scott Vowell on Thursday awarded the 26-year-old Studdard $500,000 for his actual losses and another $1.5 million in punitive damages in his suit – filed last year – against former manager Ronald W. Edwards and Edwards's promotions company, Sez Inc., the Birmingham News reports.
According to the ruling, Edwards raided Studdard's checking and other bank accounts, improperly used his credit cards and even spent Studdard's money to repay a $10,000 bank loan.
Studdard, dubbed "The Velvet Teddy Bear" on Idol, has sold more than 2.2 million records, but the damage to his credit because of Edwards fraud made it hard to get financing to buy a home, Vowell's order said.