crimesider

Fake Taylor Swift concert promoters stole $225K, says N.Y. DA

Derrick Robinson and Emmanuel Bentil; Taylor Swift performs in Aukland, New Zealand, March 18, 2012
Westchester County D.A./CBS New York;Sandra Mu/Getty Images

(CBS) WHITE PLAINS, NY - Two men allegedly exploited Taylor Swift's star-power to promote a bogus concert and steal nearly $225,000 from a California investor, CBS New York reports.

The Westchester County D.A.'s Office says Derrick "Suits" Robinson and Emmanuel "Kojo" Bentil are charged with grand larceny and forgery for falsely claiming they were affiliated with agents for the superstar Swift, and planned to put on a concert.

According to the D.A., between Nov. 2009 and Jan. 2010, Robinson and Bentil convinced Kachik Mouradian, CEO of Omega Alpha Enterprises in Los Angeles, to invest $375,000 for a fake concert in Phoenix, Arizona.

Bentil, an attorney, wrote up two fictitious documents and sent them to Mouradian to convince him to invest in the concert, prosecutors say.

Authorities say the documents were signed with the forged signature of Michael Schweiger, CEO of CEG Talent in New York City, stating he was an authorized representative of Taylor Swift.

The first letter was sent on Dec. 7, 2009 and said Swift had agreed to perform in concert in March of 2010.

The second was sent on Jan. 11, 2010 and said Swift would perform on March 9, 2010 in exchange for $500,000 and other considerations.

Prosecutors say Bentil eventually returned $150,000 of the initial $375,000 after Mouradian became suspicious.

Officials say the rest of the money was used for the defendants' "personal use" and that they did not have permission or consent to use Schweiger's signature. They also say Schweiger is not a representive for Swift.

Bail for Bentil was set at $100,000 cash or bond. Bail for Robinson was set at $5,000 cash or bond.

Both are due back in court in April and face five to fifteen years in prison if convicted.

Photo: Derrick "Suits" Robinson and Emmanuel "Kojo" Bentil (credit: Westchester County District Attorney's Office)/cbs new york

  • Barry Leibowitz

Comments

Follow Us

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.