Amazon VP Swindled In Petty Scam

The U.S. Attorney’s office in Seattle has filed a criminal complaint against a Las Vegas man who used “false and fraudulent pretenses” to present himself as a booking agent and swindle an Amazon exec out of $165,000 for a Tom Petty show.

According to court documents obtained by the Smoking Gun, Chad Christopher Lund created a business – LundLive Agency, Concert Management & Consulting – and a website, through which he would “falsely represent and mislead individuals into believing that he had the means of procuring artists.”

One of those individuals was Amazon Sr. VP Brian Valentine, who filed a complaint with the FBI in May noting “he believed he was the victim of fraud.”

Valentine wanted to book Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers as a wedding gift to his fiancée and discovered Lund’s website. Through email correspondence, Lund “represented that he had a relationship with Tom Petty and the Heartbreaker’s management team, and that he would negotiate for a price for the band’s performance.”

Lund later reported he’d talked the management team down to a mere $330,000 for the band to perform at Valentine’s wedding, and provided a proposed contract purportedly signed by Petty’s manager, Tony Dimitriades, to Valentine.

Valentine wired 50 percent of the booking fee and Lund provided him with an email address for Tom Petty’s production manager, Chris Adamson, to “work out the logistical details” of the performance.

But after Valentine had trouble getting in touch with Adamson, he reached out to Petty’s management, the documents note, and received a rude awakening.

“We have never heard of Chris Lund or his agency,” Dimitriades wrote. “We are not aware of any deal for Tom Petty to play Seattle in July and I have never signed a contract for any such event. It looks like you have been defrauded.”

Valentine’s efforts to recover his money proved fruitless, and correspondence with Lund dried up following an April 24 email in which the man stated he had “every intention of getting your $165,000 back to you out of my own personal funds… If you are willing to take payments that would work out really well. I am even willing to pay extra for your convenience.”

Lund left his home in Las Vegas and was reportedly arrested in Illinois Aug. 5.

Despite the major setback, Valentine was apparently still determined to book the band for his reception. A Facebook post by his wedding planner noted the July 21 event featured a surprise performance by Tom Petty & The Heartbeakers.