A concert promoter with operations in West Hollywood is expected to plead guilty in the coming weeks to a felony charge for conning investors with false claims that well-known musical acts had agreed to participate in his events.
Gabriel “Gabe” Reed, a 46-year-old former Malibu resident whose Gabe Reed Productions office is in West Hollywood, signed a plea agreement with federal prosecutors Tuesday. Reed agreed to enter a guilty plea to a single wire fraud charge, documents show. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years behind bars, but Reed is expected to receive a lesser sentence.
A court date is set for Nov. 20 but it was not immediately known if Reed will plead guilty at that time.
Reed, who does business under the name Gabe Reed Productions, was charged in May with wire fraud and aggravated identity theft stemming from what prosecutors describe as an eight-year scheme in which he represented himself as a promoter and organizer of hard rock music events, as well as wrestling matches for World Wrestling Entertainment.
Reed solicited investors by touting longstanding relationships with well-known musicians, showing props from alleged previous tours, and, in some instances, creating fabricated financial records, according to his plea agreement.
In the document, Reed admits telling investors that musical artists had agreed to participate in his events and that their funds would be used to provide up-front financing for the performances. However, in many instances, the artists had not agreed to participate and, rather than using the funds for the events, Reed used the investors’ funds for personal expenses.
Reed solicited money from at least 15 victims who suffered losses of at least $1.4 million, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
In one instance, a Los Angeles investor agreed to put $100,000 into a concert tour Reed was calling “Titans of Rock” — but many of the promised artists had not agreed to participate, according to prosecutors.
As part of his plea agreement, Reed agreed to pay full restitution to the victim.
An FBI review of bank records showed the victim’s money was used to pay for Reed’s personal expenses, including child support, costs related to a birthday, and meals at Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Mr. Chow in Beverly Hills, according to court records.
Over the course of several months in 2015, the $100,000 “had been depleted,” due in part to ATM withdrawals, and the FBI was “unable to identify the payment of any expenses related to a concert or tour,” an affidavit filed in Los Angeles federal court states.