Gabe Reed, a concert promoter who operated out of both Texas and California, was sentenced to 57 months in federal prison on Monday for his role in the defrauding of investors for at least $1.7 million. Reed, who pled guilty in November to one count of wire fraud, will also have to pay restitution to his victims, which will be sorted out at a hearing later this summer.
Reed admitted in November that he defrauded victims by making false promises about being able to secure acts for performances, then used their money to pay personal expenses. One victim in Las Angeles was taken for $100,000 related to a proposed 2016 concert tour Reed referred to as “Titans of Rock.” The artists, however, had not agreed to perform on the tour.
Prior to his apprehension, which involved an FBI investigation, Reed had become increasingly complex with his schemes to avoid detection by potential victims.
According to court documents, for almost nine years, Reed represented himself as a promoter and organizer of hard rock and wrestling events. Reed solicited investors by touting what he claimed were longstanding relationships with well-known musicians, showing props from alleged previous tours, and fabricating records related to music events. According to a sentencing memorandum filed by prosecutors, Reed operated a sophisticated scheme, which included creating bogus email addresses and distributing fabricated artist contracts, bank statements, and correspondence to convince his victims that their funds were being legitimately invested.
What brought Reed down in the end was actually a former partner, who discovered that he made false claims regarding the participation of members of Slayer and Megadeth in a tour he was planning for Europe.
“In my case, he thought he was dealing with some naive woman who he could take advantage of and run right over, but he was wrong once I found out what he was, and that is a fraud,” Helms said prior to Reed’s guilty plea. “I have had enough experience dealing with men like him in the industry that I knew what to do and say to get a reaction, and I purposely did just that.”
The case was prosecuted by AUSA Poonam G. Kumar.