Promoter Sues Over Fake Concerts

A Virginia concert promoter claims in court that it was conned into investing more than $30,000 in concerts by R. KellyMary J. Blige, and Wale that were never going to happen.

In a complaint filed July 14 in Richmond Federal Court, Top Shelf Productions claims defendant Kendra Wilson-Stokes, owner of KBW Enterprise, pitched the company in early 2016 seeking a $20,000 investment in a concert featuring Wale and Jasmine Sullivan.

KBW told in Houston, Texas, and guaranteed a $36,000 return for the investment, the complaint says.

But when Top Shelf checked Live Nation’s website for details, it says it found no such concert had been scheduled, according to Courthouse News. Despite that revelation, on March 20 Top Shelf said it agreed to invest another $10,000 in a Mary J. Blige and R. Kelly concert at the  in Las Vegas. Once again, KBW promised that Blige and Kelly were already committed to the event, for which Top Shelf would see $12,500 in profits, and that Top Shelf’s investment, which had been paid by credit card, would be returned within 20 days.

“However, these opportunities did not exist, were predicated on deceit and misrepresentations, and never came to fruition,” the complaint says.

Though KBW told Top Shelf that its investment had been refunded a few days late, Top Shelf claims it has yet to receive any of its money back, according to the News. Top Shelf also claims that Kelly and Blige hadn’t been scheduled to perform together at MGM. Top Shelf allegedly exchanged more than 100 texts with Stokes, who continued pushing investment opportunities for events featuring artists JadakissErykah Badu, and .

“Ms. Stokes intended to utilize communication through wire by text messages and electronic email … to defraud [p]laintiff located in the Commonwealth of Virginia out of more than $30, 000,” Courthouse News reported.

The complaint also accuses Stokes of previously pulling the same con on another promoter. In November 2015, KBW allegedly conned Texas record label EIU Entertainment into financing a bogus concert featuring Tank and K. Michelle.

This time Stokes allegedly used some of Top Shelf’s investments to pay EIU back, the News said. Stokes reportedly lost her home to foreclosure in January 2015, she continues to advertise KBW’s consumer credit advisement and refinancing services through her personal Facebook page, Top Shelf claims.

“Ms. Stones’ systemic racketeering behavior is engaged in with a similar purpose, result, participants, victims, and methods of commission,” the complaint said.

Stokes told the News she has since contacted Top Shelf to settle the claim. “We’re already in the process of settling with them … Everyone will get their initial investments back so nothing will be lost,” Stokes said.