WHITE PLAINS, NY (CBSNewYork) — The Westchester County District Attorney’s Office says two people have been arraigned on charges they stole nearly $225,000 from a California investor after claiming they were affiliated with agents for singer Taylor Swift and wanted to put on a concert.
Officials say Derrick “Suits” Robinson and Emmanuel “Kojo” Bentil, both of White Plains, are charged with grand larceny and criminal possession of a forged instrument.
According to the DA’s office, between Nov. 2009 and Jan. 2010, Robinson and Bentil convinced Kachik Mouradian, CEO of Omega Alpha Enterprises in Los Angeles, to invest $375,000 for a fake Taylor Swift concert in Phoenix, Arizona.
Bentil, an attorney, wrote up two fictitious documents and sent them to Mouradian to convince him to invest in the concert, prosecutors say.
Authorities say the documents were signed with the forged signature of Michael Schweiger, CEO of CEG Talent in New York City, stating he was an authorized representative of Taylor Swift.
The first letter was sent on Dec. 7, 2009 and said Swift had agreed to perform in concert in March of 2010.
The second was sent on Jan. 11, 2010 and said Swift would perform on March 9, 2010 in exchange for $500,000 and other considerations.
Prosecutors say Bentil eventually returned $150,000 of the initial $375,000 after Mouradian became suspicious about the concert.
Officials say the rest of the money was used for the defendants’ “personal use” and that they did not have permission or consent to use Schweiger’s signature. They also say Schweiger is not a representive for Swift.
Bail for Robinson was set at $5,000 cash or bond. Bail for Bentil was set at $100,000 cash or bond.
Both are due back in court in April and face five to fifteen years in prison if convicted.
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