“Wonder Blunder” Defendant Hubbard Pleads Not Guilty

HUBBARD: Falsely claimed to represent Stevie Wonder and Alicia Keys.
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BY JIM DOOLEY –Marc Hubbard, the North Carolina man accused of defrauding the University of Hawaii of $200,000, appeared in federal court here today and pleaded not guilty.

“He’s a legitimate businessman,” one of his attorneys, Peter Anderson, said outside court.
Marc Hubbard

Hubbard, a nightclub operator and entertainment promoter based in the Charlotte area, is also represented by local attorney Michael Purpura. Both lawyers are former federal prosecutors.


Magistrate Judge Kevin Chang required Hubbard to post a $200,000 bond secured by real estate he owns outside Charlotte and said he wanted the bond replaced by $100,000 cash within 30 days.

His lawyers said he owns real estate valued at $1.3 million but will need time to liquidate assets to come up with the cash bail.

Michael Purpura, attorney for Marc Hubbard

Chang also set a preliminary trial date of Jan. 29 before U.S. District Judge Leslie Kobayashi, but that trial date is likely to be delayed.

Purpura said Hubbard’s legal team will be “reviewing the government’s evidence” and will file answers in court “at the appropriate time.”

Hubbard, 44, and Miami resident Sean Barriero, 44, were indicted early this month for offenses connected with this summer’s failed UH fundraising concert that was supposed to feature singer/songwriter Stevie Wonder.

The concert was cancelled after Wonder’s agents told university officials he had no involvement in the planned event.

The university wired $200,000 to a Miami bank account controlled by Barriero as part of the concert deal but has not recovered any of that money.

Federal investigators said Hubbard and Barriero spent the money on themselves.

Barriero has pleaded guilty to a charge of illegal interstate transportation of   $200,000 and is cooperating the in case against Hubbard.

A tall and husky man, Hubbard wore a blue suit to court this morning, answered Chang’s questions clearly and succinctly, but otherwise said nothing else.

Hubbard is also facing criminal charges in South Carolina.

The South Carolina Attorney General’s office alleges that Hubbard fraudulently obtained $700,000 from investors based on false promises to promote a 2008 concert by entertainer Alicia Keys.

Hubbard pleaded guilty to wire and postal fraud charges in Charlotte federal court in 1995, records show.

He was sentenced to five years of probation and ordered to pay $9,000 in restitution in that case. Another charge of bank fraud was dismissed.

Sean Barriero

A civil rights suit Hubbard filed against police in Charlotte Mecklenburg County was thrown out of federal court in 2010.

In that case, Hubbard accused local authorities of subjecting him to a long campaign of harassment, including raids and searches of Club Deep, a “private club” he operated in Mecklenburg County.

Authorities in that case cited numerous other violations of liquor laws and dance hall ordinances at a series of other clubs he operated, including “Club Onyx, Club Vegas, Ice 2K, Club Fusion, Club Dimensions, The Underground, Club Deep Oros and three Clubs Matrix.”

County officials also noted that securities regulators in five states had filed “cease and desist orders” against Hubbard and his company, Sports Dimensions Inc., for making false and misleading statements in the sale unregistered securities.