Fugitive Texas Promoter

A concert promoter accused of conning Brownsville, Texas, city officials out of $9,562 for a July 4 Boyz II Men concert that never happened is reportedly considered a fugitive from additional concert fraud allegations and other charges.

Brownsville police reportedly have issued two warrants for promoter Hiro Jamal Hariram, who’s wanted on suspicion of theft as well as being a suspect in a 2003 murder case.

Developer Richard Hope of Hope Properties filed a police complaint July 10 claiming Hariram scammed his business out of $46,000 for a Sept. 5 concert featuring Garth Brooks and Shania Twain to be held at Brownsville Sports Park, according to the Brownsville Herald.

Hope’s company planned to sell tickets ranging from $40 to $100. However, a ruse was exposed in June when a local radio program director promoting the concert called the singers’ reps to confirm. He was told neither Brooks nor Twain was booked to appear, the Herald said.

And that’s not the only alleged scheme Hariram had in the works.

He also allegedly tried to work a deal with the Ronald McDonald House Charities in Rio Grande Valley to book a Taylor Swift concert, which also turned out to be bogus, according to the paper.

As for Boyz II Men, the Herald reported July 16 that city officials had no clue Hariram, allegedly claiming to be an agent with Grabow Booking Agency of Beverly Hills, Calif., hadn’t secured the group for the free concert at Brownsville Sports Park until an official checked the group’s Web site a few days before the event. The trio was already booked to perform in another state July 4.

The promoter reportedly denied the fraud allegations via e-mail to the paper, claiming he canceled Boyz II Men back in April or May and that he never pretended he worked for Grabow Booking.

In addition to the fraud charges, Hariram is also said to be facing a murder charge stemming from an incident six years ago.
Court records obtained by the Herald said Hariram was arrested in July 2006 as a defendant in the August 2003 murder of Daryl Hayes as part of a drug deal gone bad. Hariram has been out on $50,000 bail.

Authorities told the paper Hariram was cooperating in the investigation and is expected to testify in the Sept. 15 trial against co-defendant Jason Alexander Smith.