Carissa Scott and Nancy Jean of media agency, Canvas Media Group charged with wire fraud after concocting fake benefit concert for Sandy Hook victims.
Two women who appeared at a NYC court on Thursday are accused of having concocting a bogus Sandy Hook benefit concert, telling would be investors, funds were necessary to secure feature artists, Justin Timberlake and Bruno Mars – only for the ponied up money to be spent on a car and a Saks shopping spree instead.
Posing as booking agents for the event, Nancy Jean, 51 of Riverdale, Ga. & Carissa Scott, 41, of Fayette, Miss. under the managing group, ‘Canvas Media Group’ – told would-be backers the December 2019 show, planned for in San Antonio, Texas would help Sandy Hook Promise — a charity formed by families who lost loved ones in the 2012 mass shooting in Connecticut.
Between September and December 2019, the criminal complaint filed at a Brooklyn federal court – documents the women allegedly telling wealthy backers securing star performers would cost at least $800,000 for Timberlake and $600,000 for Mars.
They also promised they could deliver other big-name stars including Lady Gaga, Drake and Usher, according to the court docs.
$100 wired to Canvas Media Group:
On Oct. 31, an unnamed investor wired Scott, of Mississippi, $100,000 as a deposit to lock down Timberlake the nypost reports.
The only problem being- the would be booking agents never had any contact with the crooner. For shits and giggles, the pair proceeded to go on a shopping spree with their new acquired wealth, including leasing a Mercedes-Benz (Bingo!), along with going on a $1,203 shopping haul at Saks Fifth Avenue as well as making more than $8,700 in cash withdrawals (cause celebration Mimosas are never cheap….), the criminal complaint alleges.
A manager for Timberlake told prosecutors he ‘had never heard of any concert in San Antonio, Texas’ and that the star had never signed up for the act. A manager for Mars said the same thing.
The women were busted after they allegedly tried to pull the scam on an FBI agent posing as Brooklyn-based financier, according to the court papers.
During a conference call on Dec. 3, Scott allegedly told the agent that Timberlake and Mars were ‘frustrated and worried the concert was a joke, and had demanded[ed] full deposits,’ according to the court docs.
‘If we want to move forward with whomever we choose to move forward, we need to have that deposit up front,’ Jean added, per court docs.
Both women were arrested Wednesday at JFK airport and charged with wire fraud.
‘As alleged, the defendants viewed a fundraiser for a charity formed to protect children from gun violence as an opportunity to commit fraud and line their own pockets,’ US Attorney Richard Donoghue said in a statement.
‘Simple stealing is bad enough, this is worse.’
How two scammers used a charity for gun violence victims as a personal free for all:
Sandy Hook Promise is a non-profit that works to protect children from gun violence. It was created by families of those killed when a gunman opened fire on kids at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, 2012.
On Thursday, Scott and Jean were both hauled before a judge in Brooklyn and were released on $75,000 bond.
‘Nancy Jean and Carissa Scott may have been able to realize a quick profit as a result of their alleged fraudulent booking scheme, but not long after their illegal activity took off, they landed in New York to face federal criminal charges. It’s discouraging to think these defendants were willing to defraud an investor supporting a charity foundation. Fortunately, the FBI doesn’t entertain such activity,’ FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney said in a statement.
A judge prohibited them from working as booking agents or promoters while they await trial.
But there’s more:
A google web search reveals the sham organizing group, Canvas Media Group still running an active website they – whereby the outlet describes offering ‘media resources for small business owners at affordable prices.’ The site even includes a story about how the bogus company started, referencing a ‘small business’ in New York that was sold. The portfolio section of the site boasts a number of music festivals, including ‘November Fest 2019’ and ‘Cincy’s R&B Fest.’ It remained unclear if would be investors were also fleeced during organizing for those would be sham concerts.