Vancouver Musician Sentenced to Nearly Four Years in Prison for Soliciting and Accepting Investments for Fraudulent Projects
A Vancouver, Washington musician and record producer was sentenced on July 22, 2014 to 46 months in prison for wire fraud schemes which lured investors to non-existent music projects, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. KASEY ANDERSON, 34, pleaded guilty in August 2013, admitting he defrauded investors who believed they were investing in legitimate albums and concerts, including projects featuring major recording artists and celebrities. At the sentencing hearing in U.S. District Court in Tacoma, U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton ordered ANDERSON to pay $594,636 in restitution and said, “the offense is a serious one. You let down a lot of people.”
According to the facts set forth in the plea agreement, ANDERSON admitted that, between 2009 and 2011, he induced more than $500,000 in investments for a number of projects, including a compilation album and concert series featuring well-known artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, and R.E.M. ANDERSON also sought investors for his own album and tours, and the record of another musician. As part of the solicitation for the compilation album, ANDERSON represented that a portion of the proceeds from the record would support the legal defense fund for the “West Memphis Three,” three men convicted of murder in Arkansas in 1994, who had garnered significant attention and support from people who believed in their innocence. ANDERSON claimed to have agreements signed by various music stars and a family member of one of the West Memphis Three. No such agreements existed. ANDERSON created fake e-mail accounts for prominent music industry members and sent e-mails from those accounts to further convince investors his project was legitimate. ANDERSON also forged statements from a music-distribution company purporting to show that the project had earned $1.7 million from advance sales.
In addition to the “West Memphis Three” project, ANDERSON solicited investors for three other music-related projects using forged documents and false representations. ANDERSON solicited investors to fund an album of his music, and provided false paperwork indicating that thousands of copies of the album had been sold, earning more than $1.4 million in royalties. In fact the album had earned less than $10,000 in royalties. ANDERSON provided other forged documents indicating he had earned royalties in connection with an album by an unrelated artist, when in fact the album had been released by another record label years earlier. ANDERSON also falsified documents to claim a 2011 concert tour had earned more than $200,000. ANDERSON also sent investors forged bank account statements showing balances of hundreds of thousands of dollars more than existed in the accounts.
In all, ANDERSON took in more than $590,000 from more than 30 investors.
The case was investigated by the FBI and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Andrew Friedman and former Assistant United States Attorney Thomas Bates.