OAKLAND (CBS SF) – A Berkeley entertainment agent has pleaded guilty in federal court in Oakland to a fraud charge and admitted bilking two Eastern European concert promoters of $450,000 by promising to arrange performances of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Quincy Krashna, 49, who operated a business called Left of Center Productions Inc., pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of wire fraud before U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White.
He will be sentenced by White on July 7. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
Krashna acknowledged in a written plea agreement that he told the promoters in 2012 that he could arrange to have the Red Hot Chili Peppers, a Los Angeles funk rock band, give concerts potentially in Croatia, Hungary and Romania.
He admitted that he persuaded the promoters to wire him $450,000, which he promised to place in an escrow account that could be refunded if he failed to secure the concerts.
Instead, Krashna admitted he created a fraudulent escrow agreement using the name of Chase Bank and placed the money in accounts he controlled.
As part of the plea agreement, Krashna agreed to pay restitution of at least $450,000.
Krashna never met the promoters in person and communicated with them through email and telephone, according to a 2017 grand jury indictment.
He was indicted on a total of seven counts of wire fraud, all pertaining to emails he sent in the spring of 2012. In exchange for his guilty plea to one count, prosecutors will dismiss the other six counts.
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