Mail Fraud Charged In Iowa Scam

Iowa prosecutors have formally charged a Chattanooga, Tenn., man with mail fraud almost a year after he was arrested while attempting to collect cash from ticket sales for a non-existent concert he was "promoting" in Dubuque.

Prosecutors in a Cedar Rapids U.S. District Court accused Charles Warthan during a May 29th preliminary hearing of selling more than $18,000 in tickets to the bogus concert featuring Chris Brown, Ciara and Chamillionaire, according to the Cedar Rapids Gazette.

Warthan allegedly contacted several businesses, organizations and individuals to help "promote" the bogus concert being billed for June 30, 2006, at the Dubuque County Fairgrounds.

A radio station advertised the show and a music store sold tickets on a cash-only basis for the erstwhile promoter. More than 400 tickets were sold, according to the paper.

But the scam was unearthed less than a week out from the scheduled date when Chris Brown’s publicist called the fair association and told officials the singer was not scheduled.

The Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office was notified, and he arrested Warthan June 28th when he made a second trip to the music store to collect ticket money.

Warthan was reportedly decked out in a wig, hat and glasses when he was busted. He faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.