Virginia Beach Concert Promoter Pleads Guilty In Fraud Scheme
RICHMOND, Va. – Kensey Lamonte Wright, 42, of Virginia Beach, Virginia, pleaded guilty today to wire fraud.
Dana J. Boente, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Joseph D. Morrison, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service’s Richmond Field Office, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by Magistrate Judge David J. Novak.
Wright was indicted on May 6, 2014, by a federal grand jury on a superseding indictment charging eight counts of wire fraud. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years’ imprisonment, full restitution, and a fine of $250,000 when he is sentenced on September 9, 2014, by Senior United States District Judge James R. Spencer.
According to the statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, between January 2007 and December 2013, Wright acted as a representative of Fifth Degree Tours #1, Inc., Fifth Degree Records, Inc., and Turnwright Enterprises, Inc. In that capacity, Wright solicited investors in Virginia and elsewhere to invest in concerts, tours, and similar entertainment events to be held at various locations throughout the United States. Wright represented to investors that the investment funds would be used to produce, promote, or otherwise administer proposed entertainment events, to include events featuring the artists Prince, Beyoncé, Jay Z, R Kelly, and TLC. To solicit investments, Wright promised returns as high as 100% within time periods as short as two weeks to two months. Wright admitted that he knowingly and intentionally misrepresented to investors that their funds would be used to produce or promote the proposed entertainment events, and that he used the vast majority of the funds for his own personal use and benefit, including for gambling and other expenses at various casinos.
As a result of Wright’s ongoing scheme to defraud, investors lost between $750,000 and $1,000,000. The final loss amount will be determined at sentencing and Wright will be ordered to pay that same amount to investors for restitution.
This case was investigated by the United States Secret Service. Assistant United States Attorneys Dominick S. Gerace and Michael Gill are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on https://pcl.uscourts.gov.