Texas Fest Promoter Indicted

A promoter who left thousands of ticket holders high and dry for a 2008 Labor Day festival in Houston has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of bank and credit card fraud.

James Watson Jr. organized the three-day Texas Music Festival in the city’s Eleanor Tinsley Park in 2008, and while days one and two reportedly went off without a hitch, day three was a different story.

On the last day of the event, the festival website posted a statement claiming that organizers were forced to cancel a portion of the fest because “we were informed of a storm that was approaching the area,” according to the Houston Chronicle.

A statement from U.S. Attorney Jose Moreno obtained by the paper added that Watson was the principal organizer of the event, receiving $2 million from investors and using said investors to float a $400,000 check.

Watson is “currently incarcerated in a federal prison in California for a similar scam involving the Sacramento Jazz Festival,” the statement said.

If convicted, the promoter could face up to 30 years in prison for bank fraud and 10 years for credit card fraud, plus substantial fines.