A New York conman who duped concert promoters out of millions by posing as a booking agent for artists such as Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga and Rihanna has been sentenced to prison. Meceo McEaddy, 39, pleaded guilty to 21 charges, including felony grand larceny and fraud, after he and his partner Sylvester Vincent Carroll were busted by authorities last summer (13) on suspicion of scamming more than $2 million (£1.18 million) from promoters around the world.
McEaddy was handed five to 10 years behind bars during his sentencing in a Manhattan court on Tuesday (30Jul14) and ordered to pay $550,750 (£323,971) in restitution to his victims.
Earlier this month (Jul14), his co-defendant Carroll, who had also pleaded guilty, was jailed for between three and nine years. In addition, he had to hand over funds amounting to more than $2 million in compensation.
A musician who conned investors into giving him hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund non-existent music projects with the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Pearl Jam has been sentenced to almost four years behind bars. A federal judge in Washington has convicted Kasey Anderson after he was found guilty of launching various bogus schemes that tricked investors into giving him $600,000 (GBP353,000).
The projects included a benefit album for the incarcerated members of the West Memphis Three.
In his sentencing on Tuesday (22Jul14), judge Ronald B. Leighton said, "You let down a lot of people."
Anderson was also ordered to pay almost $600,000 in restitution.
He previously told the court that he suffers from a mental illness and wrote a letter to the judge, telling him, "I convinced myself that it (behaviour) was normal."
20th Century Fox via Everett Collection
Actor Shia Labeouf has signed up for professional help to treat his alcoholism.
A day after multiple reports suggested the Transformers star had checked in to a rehab centre in Los Angeles, his representative has revealed he is actually voluntarily receiving treatment for alcohol addiction.
The spokeswoman says, "He understands that these recent actions are a symptom of a larger health problem and he has taken the first of many necessary steps towards recovery.'' She insists the rehab reports are bogus.
The news comes just days after LaBeouf was escorted out of a New York theatre following an alleged altercation with security staff after they caught him smoking. He was subsequently charged with disorderly conduct, criminal trespass and harassment.
Focus Features via Everett Collection
Thousands of Ryan Gosling fans were fooled into thinking the movie hunk had become a dad on Sunday (15Jun14) after a fake Facebook.com message suggested he had adopted a baby last year (13). Pranksters behind the hoax profile set up in The Notebook star's name sent devotees into a spin on Father's Day after sharing a photo of the actor holding a child.
Post by Ryan Gosling.
The accompanying caption read: "This father's day, I've decided to tell the story of how I became a father. "This little guy was only 9 months old when I became his dad. His mom and I were great friends before she passed away from cancer. I promised her, I'd always look after him. So, I had decided to step up and become his dad."
The fake message went on to detail how the infant had "brought me so much joy", until a custody fight with the baby's biological father ended in despair: "Of course, I put up a fight, but he won. That 1 year of being his father taught me how to love unconditionally."
The prank attracted almost one million 'likes' from followers and prompted many to gush about the actor's "decision", but the page, which has not been verified by Facebook bosses, has since been dismissed as bogus.
The Father's Day post also directed fans to another website, which encouraged them to purchase T-shirts to win the chance to spend a day with Gosling. The pranksters also claimed all proceeds would go towards the Orphanage Home Foundation, a charity which does not exist.
The Hollywood star, who does not have any children, has yet to comment on the bizarre Facebook stunt.
Kanye West embarrassed a diehard fan during an encounter in Paris, France this week (begs19May14) after alerting the man to the fact that his Nike Air Yeezy II Red Octobers, which the rapper designed, were fakes. The devotee had asked the Stronger hitmaker to autograph the shoes, and despite pointing out they were bogus, he obliged. The $245 (£153) sneakers, West's final design for Nike, sold out immediately upon their release in February (14). West cut ties with Nike last year (13) and has since moved on to work with rival brand Adidas.
R&B star Rihanna insists a new Instagram.com account set up in her name is a fake. The Stay hitmaker recently disabled her 'badgalriri' blog after coming under fire from website bosses for breaking their nudity rules by posting risque shots from her sexy covershoot for French men's magazine Lui, in which she was snapped exposing her bare breasts and her nipple piercing.
She was forced to remove the saucy pictures from the photo-sharing site and subsequently decided to close down her page, which had amassed 12 million followers.
However, it appeared Rihanna had returned to Instagram just days later after a profile named 'badgalriri_again' was set up, with a tagline stating, "IM BACK B**CH (sic)!". It also included a Vevo.com link to her video for the song Pour It Up.
News of the phoney page has since been brought to Rihanna's attention and she reached out to her fans via Twitter.com on Monday (19May14) to warn them not to fall for the bogus account.
Alongside a screen grab of the Instagram profile, which had garnered over 47,000 followers, she wrote, "#PHAKE (sic)!!!! Let’s be clear, I do NOT have an IG account!"
Rapper Rick Ross has been accused of dodging process servers' attempts to slap him with court papers for the past six months after he allegedly bailed on plans to perform in London in 2012. The heavyweight hip-hop star was named in papers alongside his collaborators Meek Mill, Wale and Omarion amid accusations they pulled out of a gig at the city's Wembley Arena after promoters at Executive Decision gave them a large advance of their performance fees and covered other costs, amounting to $93,281.26 (£58,300).
Company boss Christian Ezechie filed his complaint in New York federal court in October (13), but now claims that "despite numerous and diligent attempts" he has been "unable to locate the defendants".
Ezechie reveals a registered address for Rick Ross Touring in his hometown of Miami, Florida turned out to be bogus, while a process server who attempted to reach the Hustlin' hitmaker at his Miami pad was told by one of the star's associates that he had no idea how to contact the rapper.
Servers have also tried to reach Ross at his concerts, but according to Ezechie, they are "hesitant to serve him while he is surrounded by security guards".
However, the plaintiff may not have to track Ross down in person - a judge ruled last week (ends18May14) that if he is unable to formally serve the defendants with papers before a hearing on 4 June (14), Ezechie can seek permission to notify the stars of the legal action via an alternative route, such as posting a message in a newspaper, according to the New York Post.
Morrissey's bogus Twitter.com account has been commandeered by bosses at his record label. Fans of the former The Smiths frontman were thrilled when he seemingly started tweeting earlier this week (begs12May14).
The message, from the account @itsmorrissey, which had been first set up in 2009, read: "Hello. Testing, 1, 2, 3. Planet Earth, are you there? One can only hope..."
However, Morrissey soon took to his official website to insist the account was a fake, adding, "I gather that a Twitter account has been opened in my name - as 'It's Morrissey' - but it is NOT Morrissey. I do not know who has opened this recent Twitter account, but please be aware that it is bogus. That's, of course, if you should remotely care."
Now bosses at his label, Harvest Records, have taken over the account to prevent anymore confusion.
A tweet from the company reads, "We’ve taken over @itsmorrissey to protect it from interlopers. Alas, it's already time to bid farewell to the account."
British rocker Morrissey has warned fans not to be fooled by a new Twitter.com account set up in his name, insisting the blog is "bogus". The former The Smiths frontman surprised fans on Wednesday (14May14) by appearing to send out his first tweet since originally joining the social media site in 2009.
The message, from the account @itsmorrissey, read: "Hello. Testing, 1, 2, 3. Planet Earth, are you there? One can only hope..."
The page seemed to be legitimate as it featured the verified account check mark from Twitter bosses, and more than 248,000 devotees, including comedians Stephen Fry and Russell Brand, clicked to follow Morrissey's musings.
However, the Suedehead hitmaker has now spoken out to distance himself from the blog, exposing the mystery writer as a fake.
In a statement posted on his fansite True-to-You.net, he writes, "I would like to stress that I do not have either a Twitter or a Facebook account.
"I gather that a Twitter account has been opened in my name - as 'It's Morrissey' - but it is NOT Morrissey. I do not know who has opened this recent Twitter account, but please be aware that it is bogus. That's, of course, if you should remotely care."
Morrissey signed off the note with the words, "Untwitterably yours."
Six men have been charged with fraud after allegedly conning $1.8 million (£1.13 million) out of investors who handed over cash to fund a non-existent movie starring Donald Sutherland and Jean-Claude Van Damme. Samuel Braslau and Rand Chortkoff, who co-founded Mutual Entertainment LLC, were arrested on Thursday (20Feb14) amid accusations they worked with Stuart Rawitt from 2011 to convince more than 60 businessmen to pour their funds into a new World War II film, purportedly called The Smuggler.
They reportedly claimed the movie would feature The Hunger Games star Sutherland and martial arts icon Van Damme, but the project, along with two other proposed films, was bogus and the money was instead diverted to the trio's personal bank accounts, according to officials at America's Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Braslau, Chortkoff and Rawitt, along with three other suspects, are now facing up to 20 years behind bars after being hit with fraud charges in two federal grand jury indictments, authorities announced on Thursday (20Feb14).
Three of the men have so far pleaded not guilty, while another is a fugitive, according to the Associated Press.