Four men are looking at some serious time after trying to scam millions of dollars for fake concerts featuring major stars. The bumbling quartet claimed they could organize events by Rihanna, Bruno Mars and Janet Jackson, but they needed investors to cough up some serious dough first. According to the feds Kevin Carriker, James Ganiere, Kwasi Asar, and Mark Lamica solicited upwards of $19.5 million by offering a 22% return on investments for a Rihanna tour to take place between 2018-19.
It is also alleged that they sent and FBI agent an email seeking a $4 million investment in a “one-off” concert by Bruno Mars being promoted by Rio Vista Universal, a purported entertainment company in Los Angeles that operates out of a “virtual office” building in Beverly Hills.
The scam blew up in the men’s face after a lawyer for the entertainment company that represents Rihanna told the FBI that defendant Kwasi Asare was shopping around an unauthorized investment opportunity for a concert featuring Rihanna without her consent. This is when an undercover agent arranged to meet Asare, according to a complaint filed in Central Islip federal court. Asare attempted to solicit the $4 million investment mentioned above from the agent and that set things in motion allowing the feds to build their case.
Asare’s LinkedIn account claimed that he had extensive industry experience working with Sean “Diddy” Combs, Ice Cube and Prince but that has all been removed as of publishing this article.
All four defendants were arrested in California and charged with wire fraud conspiracy.