Pair Stole $2M Promising Fake Lady Gaga and Rihanna Concerts, Officials Say
NEW YORK CITY — They didn't have a good enough poker face.
Two men were indicted on charges of grand larceny and fraud for stealing more than $2 million by promising fake Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Ke$ha concerts to unwitting clients around the world.
Authorities at the Manhattan District Attorney's Office said Vincent Carroll, 47, of Whitehouse Station, N.J., and Meceo McEaddy, 38, of Queens, allegedly began defrauding event production companies in 2010, when they promised to book Rihanna for a concert in Rio de Janeiro and charging $825,000 for their fraudulent services.
Carroll claimed that he worked for Rihanna's management company and drew up contracts, which were signed by McEaddy under an alias, Ray Annis, according to prosecutors. The pair allegedly withdrew the cash to pay for cars and jewelry, along with dental and hotel bills.
The Brazilian company only learned of their "bad romance" with the pair after they began to promote the falsely-promised concert and receiving cease-and-desist orders from Rihanna's actual representation.
“These defendants are charged with selling concert promoters around the world a false bill of goods,” said District Attorney Cyrus Vance in a statement.
“Rihanna’s ‘Please Don’t Stop the Music’ could be an anthem for the legions of disappointed fans who heard about her concert in Brazil, only to learn that it had to be canceled before tickets even went on sale," Vance continued. "The defendants capitalized on the popularity of three of the most famous pop stars in the world to steal more than $2 million from event promoters."
Carroll was also charged in a second alleged scam, when he claimed to be a personal friend of Lady Gaga's management and promised the pop star would appear at a private party in Cancun. He charged $650,000 for his services, but never booked Lady Gaga for the event, authorities said.
In a third case, McEady, under his Ray Annis alias, promised he would book Lady Gaga for a concert on Long Island, and Ke$sha for one in Taiwan. He collected a total of $45,000 in that scam, authorities said, and quickly spent it at restaurants, a nightclub, furniture stores and on airline tickets.
In all, officials charged McEaddy with three counts of grand larceny, four counts of criminal tax fraud, and one count of fraud. Carroll was charged with two counts of grand larceny and one count of fraud.