Ex-Concert Promoter Pleads Not Guilty In $300M Fraud Case

A former concert promoter recently extradited to the U.S. from Brazil has pleaded not guilty to fraud and money laundering charges in an alleged $300 million fraud scheme.

Jack Utsick entered the formal plea Tuesday in Miami federal court. He was actually extradited last year following a lengthy Brazilian court fight, but encountered difficulties hiring a lawyer. Utsick is currently represented by a public defender.

Prosecutors say Utsick operated his Worldwide Entertainment Inc. promotion company as a Ponzi scheme, repaying older investors with money from newer ones. The scheme allegedly defrauded an estimated 3,300 investors out of nearly $300 million.

The company also staged tours of top-name acts including The Rolling Stones, Elton John, Aerosmith and The Pretenders, among others.

2005 photo.

A tentative March 23 trial date has been set.