Women created bogus Sandy Hook benefit concert, blew money shopping: feds
Two women were arrested for allegedly concocting a bogus Sandy Hook benefit concert they claimed would feature Justin Timberlake and Bruno Mars — then blowing investors’ cash on a car and a Saks shopping spree instead, according to federal authorities.
Posing as booking agents for the event, Nancy Jean and Carissa Scott told would-be backers the December 2019 show 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, a criminal complaint filed Thursday in Brooklyn federal court alleges.
They also promised they could deliver other big-name stars including Lady Gaga, Drake and Usher, according to the court docs.
On Oct. 31, an unnamed investor wired Scott, of Mississippi, $100,000 as a deposit to lock down Timberlake.
But the women never had even had contact with the “SoulMate” singer or his reps — and instead used some of the dough to pay for a Mercedes-Benz, shopping at Saks Fifth Avenue and more than $8,700 in cash withdrawals, 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, according to the court documents. A manager for Mars said the same thing.
A handout photo shows evidence scenes taken in the aftermath of the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook.EPA
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.”
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.
A judge prohibited them from working as booking agents or promoters while they await trial.
They both declined to comment.