Fake Wrestling, Concert Promoter Sentenced to 57 Months in Prison
Gabriel Reed has been telling investors that he can organize World Wrestling Entertainment events and hard rock concerts for years. And now those false claims have earned him years behind bars.
Reed, who had been operating as Gabe Reed Productions was sentenced to 57 months in federal prison on wire fraud charges, after promising investors big name events and then using their money for personal expenses like rent and travel.
The Texas-based Reed has been defrauding concert investors for years, and had become so infamous in promoting circles that one scorned investor started a Stop Gabe Reed twitter account, three years ago. He's been targeted by multiple lawsuits for cancelled shows and un-refunded fees, dating as far back as 2011. He also allegedly bilked a mother out of over $350,000, claiming he was an entertainment attorney and promising her that her daughter would be an opening act on concerts that never happened. As of 2016, Reed had failed to pay any of the several judgments against him.
Reed proved to be a slippery character until the FBI caught up with him in Texas in May last year. "Reed falsely told investors that musical artists had agreed to participate in events and that their funds would be used to provide up-front financing for the events," according to a Department of Justice press release. "However, in many instances, the musical artists had not agreed to participate and, rather than using the funds for the events, Reed allegedly used the investors' funds for personal expenses."
Is Wrestling Fake?
Along with falsely promising such concerts as Rock N' Roll Allstars, Metal All Stars, and Titans of Rock, Reed also held himself out as a wrestling promoter, according to federal agents:
Over an 8½-year period, Reed 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 in concert events by touting longstanding relationships with well-known musicians, showing props from alleged previous tours, and, in some instances, creating fabricated financial records related to music events.
Reed pleaded guilty to wire fraud in October last year, and federal prosecutors are also asking that he be forced to pay restitution to his victims.
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