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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Kasey Anderson Arrested for Wire Fraud

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Thu, Jan 31, 2013 at 2:14 PM

Kasey Anderson leaving court in Seattle on Tuesday.
  • AP/Ted S. Warren
  • Kasey Anderson leaving court in Seattle on Tuesday.
AP reported on Tuesday that musician Kasey Anderson—a Vancouver, Washington, native who was based in Portland for part of his career—has been arrested and charged with wire fraud, in relation to his raising over $500,000 for musical projects that were never realized. These are further developments in a story I mentioned in December, but as more details come to light, the more troubling Anderson's behavior is. He allegedly impersonated Bruce Springsteen's manager, created fraudulent financial reports, and lied about high-profile contributions (Springsteen, Lady Gaga, Willie Nelson) to a charity album that was never made.

Ryan White over at the Oregonian put together a thoughtful, sad piece that's not so much about what Anderson did, but about how strange and disappointing it is for someone with so much going for him to screw up so bad. It's well worth reading.

My thoughts: Anderson's alleged mental illness is mentioned as a culprit, and those who know Kasey seem baffled and confused by this sad turn of events. I can't be quite as bummed—I never met the guy, but everyone knows perfectly well that charming people can sometimes be up to no good. While mental illness could be a factor, this looks like Anderson has had a long, long habit of bilking people out of money, and cognizantly doing so. I've heard anecdotal stories of Anderson owing other people money before, and of him getting out of financial scrapes with the help of family wealth (his father was at one time the head of Keds footwear, from what I've been told). But at the risk of speculating—which is all anyone can do outside of the courtroom—Anderson's actions aren't those of a con man wanting to score a big cash fix and sail away into the sunset. There's something more pathological and troubling at work here, the desire to pull the wool over people's eyes for the inherent thrill of it.

I guess at any rate, don't go throwing money at any Anderson-related Kickstarters anytime soon.

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