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Two Indicted in 'Wonder Blunder' Concert Scam that Targeted the University of Hawaii

Marc Hubbard

BY JIM DOOLEY AND MALIA ZIMMERMAN - Federal officials today announced the indictment of two Mainland men for their alleged involvement in the $200,000 “Wonder Blunder” fundraiser scam at the University of Hawaii.

(See the full video of the press conference here)

Charged are Marc Hubbard, 44, of Mecklenburg, N.C., and Sean Barriero, 44, of Miami.

A grand jury today indicted Hubbard, who is already facing unrelated state criminal charges in South Carolina, with wire fraud.

Barriero, who is cooperating in the investigation and will appear in federal court here this afternoon, was charged with illegal interstate transportation of money obtained through fraud.

Hawaii U.S. Attorney Florence Nakakuni said Hubbard is “in the live concert business” and Barriero “aspires to be in that business.”

Hubbard falsely claimed to have connections with singer/songwriter Stevie Wonder and offered to arrange a fundraising concert by Wonder here that would benefit UH intercollegiate athletics programs, according to federal officials.

“Mr. Hubbard had no such connetions and was never in any position to secure Stevie Wonder’s appearance here in Honolulu,” Nakakuni said.

The arrangements were made through local entertainment promoter Bob Peyton, who was not charged in the indictment. Peyton separately lost $50,000 in the failed concert venture.

Late last month, South Carolina officials charged Hubbard with fraudulently obtaining $700,000 based on false promises to promote a 2008 concert by entertainer Alicia Keys.

Hubbard was arrested by FBI agents in Chartlotte, N.C., this morning and a hearing is scheduled in federal court there next week about transporting him to Hawaii to face the new charges.

Sean Barriero

Nakakuni said Barriero, acting at Hubbard’s direction,  “falsely represented to a UH official” that $200,000 paid by UH as a deposit for the concert had been sent to Stevie Wonder.

Instead, according to the federal government, the money was spent by Hubbard and Barriero on personal and business expenses.

Federal agents last month seized a 2010 Mercedes Benz automobile purchased by Barriero’s fiancé and business partner, Sannise Crosby, with $25,000 of UH’s money.

That automobile is heavily financed and Vida Bottom, Special Agent in Charge of the Honolulu FBI office, said it is unlikely that the university will recover much, if any, of the $200,000.

University officials today did not say if they intend to file civil law suits against Hubbard, Barriero or others involved in the concert fiasco.

The university said today that it “welcomed” news of the indictment.

“The university expresses its sincere thanks to the United States Attorney and the FBI for their diligence in this matter,” said UH spokeswoman Jodi Leong.

Sannise "Sunny" Crosby of Epic Talent LLC

Hawaii Reporter previously disclosed that Barriero and Crosby had formed Epic Talent in Miami just this year and were operating the business from a Miami postal box.

Crosby, who is not charged in the federal case, has unpaid federal tax liens pending against her in Florida. A Florida car dealer last year repossessed a 2002 Ford Taurus from her.

Her home address listed in Florida business records is a house in a dilapidated Miami suburb where many of the homes are wrapped with bars on their windows and doors.

Barriero listed his business address at 14359 Miamar Parkway in Miramar, Florida, but that location is actually a UPS store with more than 400 private mailboxes. A clerk there told Hawaii Reporter that he had never heard of Barriero.

Barriero is a principal in several other businesses that appear to be operated either from mailbox drops or his home in Miami Gardens, Florida.

Barriero is also listed as an assistant vice president for CTN-J Investments, CTN-J Group or CTN-J Inc, depending on the business filing.

FBI Special Agent Tom Simon said today that Barriero is a British citizen who has spent much of his life in this country.

Barriero voluntarily flew to Hawaii to face the criminal charge against him. He is represented by Federal Deputy Public Defender Sean Coutain, who declined comment on the case this morning.

FBI agents stressed that both men are presumed innocent until proven guilty. If convicted, Hubbard could spent up to 20 years in prison and Barriero as many as 10 years in prison.

KEY PLAYERS IN THE WONDER BLUNDER SCAM

Helen Williams

Helen Williams of Elite Entourage Management

Helen Williams of Elite Entourage Management located in Spain was the point of contact for Robert Peyton, the local promoter in Hawaii.

According to Peyton, she claimed to be Wonder’s international agent.

Peyton negotiated the Stevie Wonder contract with Williams.

Because he did not want to transfer money to a foreign account, she proposed using Sean Barriero of EPIC Talent LLC.

Peyton’s company BPE entered into an agreement with Elite and Epic Talent to bring Stevie Wonder to Hawaii in May 2012. The agreement included two shows.

The total fees were a $50,000 binder, and $325,000 deposit due June 22, and a $355,000 deposit due August 1. Those fees were for the shows on Oahu and Maui. The total cost for the show at UH was $450,000 and a $250,000 deposit and binder were required.

According to federal documents, Williams, listed as just “H.W”., did receive two wire transfers from Barriero: $8,750 and $11,250.

Williams has not been charged with a crime or arrested.

 

Marc Hubbard

Marc Hubbard

Marc Hubbard, 44, of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, is a concert promoter and club operator.

He’s operated multiple companies including Sports Dimensions Inc. (aka Club Deep Oros) in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Club Hush (aka Club Vision) that operates in both North Carolina and South Carolina.

Before being indicted for wire fraud related to the theft of $200,000 from the University of Hawaii, Hubbard was in trouble with the law.

On October 27, Hubbard was arraigned in South Carolina on one count of securities fraud and one count of forgery after he was accused of soliciting more than $700,000 in exchange for staging Alicia Keys concerts that he had no authority to arrange.

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson said: "He (Hubbard) acquired approximately $700,000 from the victim without using those funds for that purpose, and without evidence that he ever had contacts or the ability to deliver the concert.”

Previous to that, in 2009, the South Carolina Securities Commissioner issued a "cease and desist" order, demanding Hubbard stop taking funds for the Alicia Keys concerts.

His alleged concert scams have spanned several states including South Carolina, North Carolina, California and Nevada.

Hubbard has been in financial trouble. He declared bankruptcy in 2006. He also had two federal tax liens filed against him for a nearly $750,000 in 2008 and 2009.

On March 5, 2007, the North Carolina Secretary of State's Securities Division issued a Final Order to Cease and Desist to Sports Dimensions, Inc. and Marc Hubbard, according to the secretary of state web site in North Carolina.

The site said: “The Summary Order ordered Sports Dimensions Inc. and Marc Hubbard to cease and desist immediately from offering for sale, soliciting offers to purchase, or selling securities in the form of investment contracts and promissory notes or selling any securities of any issuer in violation of §§78A-24, and 78A-36 of the North Carolina Securities Act.”

In 2005, the North Carolina Alcohol Beverage Control Commission cited him for selling alcohol without a proper permit.

Most recently, Hubbard was in the news in September 2012. He paid $15,000 to fly in reality star Kim Kardashian from New York to Charlotte, North Carolina, so she could host a party after the Democratic National Convention.

Radaronline declared the event a flop, claiming just 50 people attended the event, but Hubbard maintained that number was more like 250 people.

Kardashian’s boyfriend, Rapper Kanye West, introduced her to Hubbard, according to Hubbard who features a photo with Kardashian on his Twitter page.

Sean Barriero

Sean Barriero, 44, has been indicted by a federal grand jury on the charge of transporting $200,000 taken by fraud. He lists himself as the head of EPIC Talent LLC in Miami, Florida. According to UH officials, the UH wired $200,000 to Barriero’s account in Florida at the direction of local concert promoter Robert Peyton. Peyton also wired $50,000 as a binder.

Barriero then dispersed the $50,000 as follows: $27,500 to Marc Hubbard in North Carolina; $8,750 to Helen Williams of Elite Entourage Management in Spain; and Barriero kept $13,750. Barriero also distributed the $200,000 as follows: $120,000 to Hubbard; $11,250 to Helen Williams and he kept $68,750 for himself.

Barriero has no affiliation with Stevie Wonder and no authority to collect money on Wonder’s behalf.

Epic Talent LLC is nothing but a mailbox drop in Miami, Florida. There is no worldwide headquarters as Hawaii Reporter confirmed with a visit to the address listed on the Epic Talent web site.

Sean Barriero

Barriero is a principal in several other businesses that appear to be operated either from mailbox drops or his home in Miami Gardens, Florida.

Barriero lists his business address at 14359 Miamar Parkway in Miramar, Florida, but a separate visit to that location revealed it is actually a UPS store with more than 400 mailbox drops in that location, none of them belonging to Barriero, according to the store clerk. The store clerk confirmed he had never heard of Barriero.

Barriero is also listed as an assistant vice president for CTN-J Investments, CTN-J Group or CTN-J Inc, depending on the business filing.

The head of that company is Charles West, 33, of Miami Gardens, who lives just 0.8 miles from Barriero’s fiancé, Sannise Crosby. Sannise Crosby lists herself as a principal in EPIC Talent LLC on the company’s web site.

West also owns All American Casket Supply, which operates from the same phone number as the CTN-J group of companies that Barriero is a part of.

Sannise Crosby

Sannise Crosby

Sannise Crosby, account executive for Epic Talent, has not been charged with a crime at this time.

She is the fiancé of Sean Barriero, according to her own Facebook page, on which she displays her engagement ring.

Sannise lives at 18800 NW 29th Street in Miami Gardens, Florida. Her house is in a dilapidated suburb outside Miami where many of the homes are wrapped with bars on their windows and doors.

The Crosby family home’s mustard yellow walls were in need of paint, a detail that is notable because also listed at that address is Divine Painting, Inc. and Divine Painting Properties, Inc., two companies headed by Sannise’s father, Gamal Crosby, for which she serves as the executive.

Legal filings in Miami-Dade County, Florida, list pending federal tax liens of $84,867 against Sannise Crosby and $23,565 against Divine Painting. The lien against Sannise Crosby was filed last year and the Divine Painting lien was filed in 2010.

Last year, a Florida used car dealer filed repossession papers for a 2002 Ford Taurus driven by Sannise Crosby and financed by Gamal Crosby, Dooley reports.

In a brief conversation, Sannise confirmed Epic Talent LLC has no office in Miami and operates out of a mailbox drop.

See related statement from the University of Hawaii

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Short URL: http://www.hawaiireporter.com/?p=197736

5 Comments for “Two Indicted in 'Wonder Blunder' Concert Scam that Targeted the University of Hawaii”

  1. Thanks for your diligence in pursuing and putting up for viewing this cast of characters who outwitted "all" and unofficially earned their own UH DD degrees--Doctorates in Duplicity. Dear old UH, not wary, not chary, just dupes. Auwe!

  2. In seminars and the meetings from the discussion one can learn many new things and those are the creativity in man comes from many new topics from many peoples. Slow Democracy inclusion takes creativity is very unique thing happening now a day. Mostly democracy is our need but on this time people want a free life and the politician making our life just like hale. So people becoming very creative in nature and makes our life suitable also.
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  3. Sounds like Barriero is snitching to save his own skin, but he is connected to all of the money. This seems to be a 'witch hunt', as Williams and Crosby did not receive any charges. This is some bull@%$#.

  4. Wonder Blunder would work great in my country. Someone should try it, if he'll avoid Hubbard's mistakes!

  5. Hubbard falsely claimed to have connections with singer/songwriter Stevie Wonder and offered to arrange a fundraising concert by Wonder here that would benefit UH intercollegiate athletics programs, according to federal officials.

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