The top two executives of Spanish-language music label Del Records face charges of doing business with a Guadalajara-based concert promoter with ties to Mexican drug cartels in violation of the Kingpin Act, federal authorities said.
Angel Del Villar, 41, of Huntington Beach, and Luca Scalisi, 56, of West Hollywood, were arrested Tuesday morning. Del Villar is CEO of Bell Gardens-based Del Records and its subsidiary talent agency Del Entertainment, of which Scalisi is CFO.
Del Villar and Scalisi were named in a federal criminal complaint that charged them of conspiracy to "transact in property of specially-designated narcotics traffickers" in violation of the Kingpin Act.
A third man named in the complaint – 37-year-old Jesus Perez Alvear of Cuernavaca, Morelos Mexico – is believed to be in Mexico. Alvear is a music promoter who the FBI says controls Gallistica Diamante, also known as Ticket Premier, a company listed as "Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers" under the Kingpin Act, which prevents people in the U.S. from conducting business with either company.
According to the criminal complaint, FBI agents approached a "well-known musician" identified only as Individual A on April 19, 2018 and told him about Perez's designation under the Kingpin Act and that prohibits him from doing business with Perez and performing at concerts that Perez promoted. Less than 10 days later, the musician went on to perform at a concert organized by Perez after being flown on a private jet from Van Nuys Airport to Aguascalientes, Mexico paid for by Del Villar, Department of Justice officials said.
The musician performed four more concerts in 2018 and 2019 promoted by Perez, acting at the direction or knowledge of Del Villar and Scalisi, according to the FBI.
In a statement, Del Records said they believed the allegations came from the "complaints of a disgruntled former business partner."
"Angel del Villar is a self-made and widely respected music executive who has built a successful entertainment company that produces some of the most beloved Regional Mexican music in the industry. Luca Scalisi has been an executive with the DEL companies for almost 10 years," the statement said. "The suggestion that they would be involved in anything related to illegal narcotics is absurd."
Del Villar and Scalisi both made their first appearance in federal court on Tuesday, when their arraignments were scheduled for July 20. Del Villar and Scalisi were released after posting $100,000 and $35,000 bail, respectively.
If convicted as charged, both men face a statutory maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison. Perez, whose whereabouts are not known, faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
Anyone with information about Perez can contact the FBI's Los Angeles Field Office at (310) 477-6565.
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