LOS ANGELES (FOX 11 / CNS) - A concert promoter with operations in West Hollywood faces federal wire fraud charges for allegedly conning investors with false claims that well-known musical acts had agreed to participate in his events, court papers unsealed on Tuesday show.
Gabriel Martin Reed, a 46-year-old former Malibu resident who recently relocated to Las Vegas, was arrested by special agents with the FBI on Saturday in McKinney, Texas, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Reed, who does business under the name Gabe Reed Productions, has agreed to appear in federal court in Los Angeles at a date to be determined and remains in custody pending a detention hearing Friday in Texas.
The complaint charges Reed with wire fraud and aggravated identity theft stemming from an alleged eight-year scheme in which he represented himself as a promoter and organizer of hard rock music events, as well as wrestling matches for World Wrestling Entertainment.
According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, Reed solicited investors by touting longstanding relationships with well-known musicians, showing props from alleged previous tours, and, in some instances, creating fabricated financial records.
The complaint alleges that Reed falsely told investors that musical artists had agreed to participate in his events and that their funds would be used to provide up-front financing for the performances. However, in many instances, the artists had not agreed to participate and, rather than using the funds for the events, Reed used the investors' funds for personal expenses, prosecutors allege.
The complaint alleges that Reed solicited money from at least 15 victims who suffered losses of at least $1.4 million.
In one instance, a Los Angeles investor agreed to put $100,000 into a concert tour Reed was calling "Titans of Rock'' -- but many of the promised artists had not agreed to participate, according to prosecutors.
An FBI review of bank records showed the victim's money was used to pay for Reed's personal expenses, including child support, costs related to a birthday, and meals at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse and Mr. Chow in Beverly Hills, according to the affidavit.
Over the course of several months in 2015, the $100,000 "had been depleted,'' due in part to ATM withdrawals, and the FBI was "unable to identify the payment of any expenses related to a concert or tour,'' the affidavit alleges.
Reed is charged with wire fraud for allegedly bilking the "Titans of Rock'' investor and aggravated identity theft in relation to another promoter whose name he allegedly used in connection with the wire fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
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