Mobile Club Gets Scammed

A nightclub employee at Mobile, Ala.’s new Delta Blues House Live who claimed to have booked top acts including James Brown has been arrested and charged with theft of $10,000 worth of sound and lighting equipment.

Club manager Joseph Patrick said venue booker John Edward Washington claimed he could bring in performers who had been scheduled to play at Mississippi casinos before Hurricane Katrina hit. Acts included Buckwheat Zydeco, the Atlanta Rhythm Section, and Kool & The Gang. Tickets were sold for a bogus Brown gig that was advertised for November 12th.

Washington told Patrick that before the shows could happen, the venue – which sustained flood damage during Katrina – would need a new sound system.

Patrick authorized the purchase of $10,000 worth of equipment. Washington picked up the equipment November 7th and then disappeared. The manager reportedly began checking with the scheduled performers’ management, only to find that none were aware of any bookings in Mobile.

Washington was picked up later that week and charged with one count of first-degree theft of property, according to the Mobile Register. Washington, who has reportedly had numerous run-ins with the law, was being held on a $97,500 bond.

The stolen equipment was said to be recovered.

Delta Blues House Live representatives could not be reached at press time but reports said the venue was offering ticket refunds for the bogus shows.