According to Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Portland musician Kasey Anderson has been sentenced to four years in prison after defrauding investors out of almost $600,000 by promising to put on a benefit concert and release a compilation album featuring some big musicians to benefit the West Memphis Three, who were incarcerated for 18 years before being released after DNA evidence came to light that demonstrated their supposed innocence. Anderson said the benefit would feature appearances from Tom Petty, Pearl Jam, and Johnny Depp. The compilation album would have had songs from Pearl Jam, R.E.M., and Bruce Springsteen both with Lady Gaga and Arcade Fire. All of the artists supposedly involved had no knowledge of the event. He pulled off the scheme mostly by impersonating people through e-mail, including Jon Landau, tour managers, and relatives of the West Memphis Three.
Anderson, who is famous enough to have his own Wikipedia page, was doing all of this to fund his own rock star dreams. He released a few solo albums and was frontman of Kasey Anderson And The Honkies, which also included the guitarist for alt-rock band the Presidents Of The United States Of America as a member. His band once toured with Counting Crows, who in turn covered his song “Like Teenage Gravity” on their 2012 album Underwater Sunshine.
“I am a deeply flawed and mentally ill person who made some terrible choices, causing so much emotional and financial damage to others,” Anderson said in a letter. “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.” The investors have still not been completely repaid.
[Photo Jason Kempin/Getty.]