Local musician Kasey Anderson has already come out on the losing end of a federal lawsuit alleging he bamboozled a large group of investors out of an extremely large sum of money - by telling some insanely large lies. Now he's facing five counts of wire fraud because of it.
Anderson, of Kasey Anderson and the Honkies fame, was formally charged Monday in U.S. District Court in Tacoma. Prosecutors argue Anderson is guilty of a number of the things he's already admitted to in this paper - like impersonating well-known record producer (and friend) Danny Bland and tricking people into investing money in a farfetched West Memphis Three benefit record that would never be.
And that's just the tip of the iceberg ...
According the 45 pages of charging documents filed in the case, federal prosecutors contend Anderson bilked two groups of investors out of roughly $370,000, all part of a scheme that allegedly saw the alt-country singer and guitarist using fake email accounts to impersonate Bland, Bruce Springsteen's manager Jon Landau, entertainment lawyer Rosemary Carroll and even the wife of one of the West Memphis Three. The charges contend Anderson told his investors - many who'd wired money from across state lines - that he'd secured artists and acts like Pearl Jam, R.E.M., Johnny Depp, Tom Morello, Tom Waits, Willie Nelson, Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, Beck, Steve Earle, Paul Westerberg, Death Cab for Cutie, Arcade Fire and Jack White for a benefit record and concerts in support of the West Memphis Three. Perhaps most unbelievable of all, federal authorities say Anderson led people to believe the benefit record would feature a collaboration between Bruce Springsteen and Lady Gaga.
None of this was true.
To weave his star-studded, two-year web of deception, and to pacify investors growing increasingly nervous as the ruse went on, prosecutors contend Anderson falsified bank documents - sometimes adding an extra three digits in front of a balance shown in the hundreds to make it appear as though the account in question had more cash than it actually did. Charging documents also accuse Anderson of trying to pass off the 1983 Springsteen song "Don't Back Down" and another tune off the Boss' 1995 greatest hits compilation as collaborations between Springsteen and Arcade Fire destined for the benefit record.
And according to the feds the scheme didn't stop with the bogus West Memphis Three record. Prosecutors say Anderson solicited and duped investors into helping him fund his own record and spring tour, not to mention an album by Ron Franklin Entertainers.
"To the outside it looks like this guy is just malicious and just bleeds people dry," Anderson told Seattle Weekly late last year, in the aftermath of the federal lawsuit that helped lead to Monday's federal wire fraud charges. As part of that article, Anderson tells Keegan Hamilton he's been diagnosed as Type I bipolar--an acute form of the disorder that, according to the Mayo Clinic's definition, is characterized by severe mania, risky behavior, delusions, and "spending sprees or unwise financial choices."
"I didn't set out to do this. I abhor the person that I was, and the person that I am. I don't want to be this person. I don't want to be a person who is capable of those things, and when I think about it, don't know how I could be. I'm not that person in my heart," Anderson is quoted as saying.
Despite his outward contriteness, it's clear a certain segment of the population is far from ready to forgive Anderson. In the 31 comments attached to our initial story on Anderson and his scheme, the words "liar," sociopath," and "fraud" appear regularly.
And yesterday, for example, as news of the federal charges against Anderson were spreading, John Roderick took to Twitter:
Don't forget this lesson: just because someone is funny on twitter doesn't mean they're not a thief and a liar. blogs.seattletimes.com/today/2013/01/...— john roderick (@johnroderick) January 30, 2013
Anderson - who declined comment for this story - was in court Tuesday and is currently out on bond.
His story is far from over.
Find federal charging documents filed against Anderson on the following page ...