Los Angeles, California - A promoter who bilked investors, promoters and performers who invested in concerts and World Wrestling Entertainment events – stealing at least $1.7 million from the victims – was sentenced today to 57 months in federal prison.
Gabriel Martin Reed, 47 – a former Malibu resident who currently lives in McKinney, Texas – was sentenced by United States District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez.
Reed pleaded guilty in November to one count of wire fraud and admitted that he defrauded his victims by making false promises and then using their money for personal expenses.
Reed, who conducted business under the name Gabe Reed Productions, took money from victims after falsely telling them that events would take place, certain performers had agreed to participate in those events, and their funds would be used to organize and promote the events. Instead of using the money for concerts and other events as promised, Reed used investor funds to pay his rent, utility bills and travel expenses.
According to court documents, for almost nine years, Reed represented himself as a promoter and organizer of hard rock and wrestling events. Reed solicited investors by touting what he claimed were longstanding relationships with well-known musicians, showing props from alleged previous tours, and fabricating records related to music events. According to a sentencing memorandum filed by prosecutors, Reed operated a sophisticated scheme, which included creating bogus email addresses and distributing fabricated artist contracts, bank statements, and correspondence to convince his victims that their funds were being legitimately invested.
When he pleaded guilty, Reed specifically admitted defrauding one Los Angeles investor, who agreed to put $100,000 into a 2016 concert tour Reed was calling “Titans of Rock.” However, many of the promised artists had not agreed to participate in the purported tour.
Prosecutors have asked Judge Gutierrez to order Reed to pay restitution to his victims. The court will schedule a hearing, likely early this summer, to determine the amount of restitution.
The case against Reed was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Poonam G. Kumar of the Major Frauds Section.