Two Indicted for Fraud Related to Stevie Wonder Concert
News Release from Honolulu FBI
HONOLULU—A federal grand jury in Honolulu yesterday indicted Marc Hubbardage 44, of North Carolina, with wire fraud in connection with a Stevie Wonder concert to benefit the University of Hawaii (UH) in August 2012. The grand jury also charged Sean Barriero, age 44, of Miami, with a related offense of transporting $200,000 taken by fraud.
Florence T. Nakakuni, United States Attorney for the District of Hawaii, said that according to the indictment, Hubbard told Barriero that he had relationships inside Stevie Wonder’s management to book the UH concert and that he was dealing with a close associate of Stevie Wonder who had approved the dates for the concert. As a result of communications with intermediaries in contact with Barriero, in June 2012, UH wire transferred $200,000 to one of Barriero’s accounts in Florida, $120,000 of which Barriero disbursed to Hubbard, who spent all of it on personal and business expenses unrelated to the concert or Stevie Wonder. A Hawaii investor previously had transferred $50,000 to Barriero in May 2012 to secure the concert, $27,500 of which was transferred to Hubbard.
The indictment further alleges that in July 2012, an authorized agent for Stevie Wonder reported that neither he nor his management had any knowledge of the concert. None of the $250,000 was transmitted to Stevie Wonder or his management. If convicted, Hubbard faces up to 20 years’ imprisonment and Barriero up to 10 years’ imprisonment.
The charges in the indictment are merely accusations, and each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Leslie E. Osborne, Jr. is handling the prosecution.
FULL TEXT: INDICTMENT
VIDEO: News Conference
News Release from University of Hawaii
The University of Hawai’i welcomes the announcement today by the United States Attorney and the FBI that two individuals have been indicted by a federal grand jury in connection with what the university believes was fraud perpetrated upon it in connection with the failed Stevie Wonder concert. The university expresses its sincere thanks to the United States Attorney and the FBI for their diligence in this matter.
While the university has been kept informed of certain developments in the case, there is much university officials have not been able to say, and still cannot say, so as not to interfere with the criminal investigation and pending prosecution.
As the United States Attorney and the FBI have stated, since the university reported this matter directly to the bureau in early July, the university and its officials have fully cooperated with the investigation.
President MRC Greenwood stated, "I thank the United States Attorney and the FBI for their diligence in this matter. We at the university have fully cooperated in this investigation, and we look forward to the criminal justice system proceeding to prosecute those charged. The U.S. Attorney and the FBI have now confirmed that the university was the victim of a white-collar crime’. We trust that this will help the university move past the failed concert episode and move forward with its many important missions."
UH Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple said, "I echo President Greenwood's comments and add that I am glad that the United States Attorney and the FBI have today confirmed that no UH employees were a part of what we believe to have been a crime. We look forward to refocusing our efforts and energies into fulfilling our land grant mission and helping Hawai’i."
“We’re grateful the indictment has been brought, we hope we receive some measure of restitution,” concluded Greenwood.
So as not to jeopardize the now-pending criminal case, we cannot make any further comments beyond those that we make in our written statement.
ILind: Indictment fills in details of the Stevie Wonder concert scam