Florida musician-turned-concert promoter Lee Koenig pleaded no contest April 21st to an organized fraud charge for walking off with $80,000 in proceeds from events that were supposed to be fund-raisers two years ago.
Koenig faces up to 30 years in prison when he is sentenced June 4th, according to the Palm Beach Post.
"There was a strong amount of evidence against him," Assistant State Attorney Lev Evans told the paper. "We had a good chance of winning if the case had gone to trial, so this is probably his best shot."
Koenig’s problems began last year when investigators followed up on complaints from organizers of the August 2006 "Rockin’ on the Riverkeeper" benefit at the Sunrise Theatre in Fort Pierce and the Humane Society of the Treasure Coast’s "Dollars For Collars" event. The organizers claimed Koenig collected money toward promoting and advertising the events but didn’t follow through on his promises.
Investigators claimed Koenig took in $25,000 in ad sales for the Riverkeeper event program and nearly $15,000 from ticket sales.
The other $40,000 was reportedly collected for the Humane Society event, which was postponed a few times and then canceled in December 2006.
Michael Brubin, Koenig’s attorney, previously told Pollstar that his client hadn’t done anything underhanded and had not pocketed any money from either event.
At the time, Brubin said that a lot of the expenses for the Riverkeeper event came out of Koenig’s pocket and that the "Dollars For Collars" event had been canceled in order to get more advertisers and sponsors on board.