AREA NEWSThe White Plains Examiner

Two Arrested in Taylor Swift Concert Scam in White Plains

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Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift

On Thursday, two White Plains residents were arraigned on a scam involving a fake Taylor Swift concert.

Derrick “Suits” Robinson, a 29-year old White Plains resident and Emmanuel “Kojo” Bentil, a 47-year old White Plains resident, were arrested and charged with grand larceny in the second degree and two counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree.

Between November 2009 and January 2010, the duo allegedly stole more than $225,000 from Kachik Mouradian, CEO of Omega Alpha Enterprises of Los Angeles, an investor, by falsely representing to Mouradian that they were affiliated with agents for Swift.

Derrick Robinson
Derrick Robinson

The defendants convinced Mouradian to initially invest $375,000 in a fictitious concert featuring Taylor Swift which was scheduled to take place in March of 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona, according to a news release from the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office.

In order to convince Kachik Mouradian to invest in the concert, Bentil, a New York attorney, presented Mouradian with two fictitious documents which were ostensibly signed by Michael Schweiger, CEO of Central Entertainment Group, (CEG Talent) of New York City, the D.A.’s press release stated.

In December 2009, Bentil presented Mouradian with an “Artist Offer Letter” bearing the forged signature of Schweiger, which stated that Schweiger was an authorized representative of Swift and had entered into an agreement to have Swift perform in a concert in March of 2010, according to the D.A.

Emmanuel Bentil
Emmanuel Bentil

In January 2010, Bentil created a “Performance Agreement” ostensibly signed by Schweiger which specified that an agreement had been reached for Swift to perform in a concert, in Phoenix in exchange for the sum of $500,000 and other considerations.

The defendants allegedly falsely represented that CEG Talent was authorised to act on Swift’s behalf, and forged Schweiger’s signature, the D.A. said. Bentil subsequently returned $150,000 of the initial investment when confronted by Mouradian regarding the deception by the defendants.

According to published reports, lawyers representing Bentil said that he believed that Robinson represented Swift and that Robinson scammed him too. Bentil claims that Robinson lied about his relationship with Swift and that he prevented Mouradin from investing an additional $150,000 into the phony concert.

Bail for Robinson was set at $5,000 cash or bond. His next court date will be on April 2. Bail for Bentil was set at $100,000 cash or bond. His next court date will be on April 11. They face up to 15 years in state prison if convicted, while Bentil faces disbarment.

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