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Monday, July 28, 2014

Kasey Anderson Gets 46 Months in Prison

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Mon, Jul 28, 2014 at 11:24 AM

kaseyanderson.jpg
  • Jason Kempin/Getty
We've reported on the weird criminal turn that former Portland-based singer/songwriter Kasey Anderson's career has taken before (here and here). Anderson was charged with wire fraud after he bilked various investors out of close to $600,000, claiming that he was raising funds for a charity album for the West Memphis Three, which would include contributions from Bruce Springsteen, Lady Gaga, Arcade Fire, Pearl Jam, R.E.M. (!), Tom Petty, and others. None of it was true. Along the way, Anderson impersonated many different people via email, including Springsteen's manager, Jon Landau.

In August, he pled guilty to the charges, and last week, Anderson was sentenced to nearly four years in prison for his crimes, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports. The story's been picked up by national music news outlets, and rightly so: It's a whopper. Here's Pitchfork's breakdown of Anderson's crimes in handy bullet-point format:

• He told investors that Springsteen, Pearl Jam, R.E.M., and other artists would be on the album, and that profits would benefit the West Memphis Three Legal Defense Fund.
• He also claimed there would be an associated concert series.
• He impersonated a Seattle tour manager and claimed to have "firm agreements" with Tom Petty, Pearl Jam, and Johnny Depp.
• He told investors that a collaboration between Springsteen and Lady Gaga was forthcoming. When it didn't surface, he told them that Springsteen agreed to pay $1 million for the delay.
* He played investors two older Springsteen songs—"Blood Brothers" (1996) and "Don't Back Down" (an outtake from the Born in the U.S.A. sessions)—and told them they were new collaborations with Arcade Fire.
• He forged an email from the wife of one of the West Memphis defendants blaming Springsteen for delays in monetary assistance.
• He impersonated an entertainment industry attorney.
• He falsified bank records.
It got worse from there, as Anderson also lied about sales of his own album in order to secure funds from investors. And he borrowed money from close friends when he was initially charged last year—he put three grand on an unknowing pal's credit card for a trip to California. Anderson's letter of apology to court read, in part:
"I lied to myself and others, and believing those lies, I told myself consistently that whatever was going on with me … I could fix it on my own. I convinced myself that it was normal.

“I am a deeply flawed and mentally ill person who made some terrible choices, causing so much emotional and financial damage to others. But I believe I have much to offer my community. …

“I am so sorry for what I've done and want so badly to make it right.”

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