Utsick Sentencing Looms

Jack Utsick, the former concert promoter who pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud in what was described as a massive Ponzi scheme, was unable to further delay sentencing in the case and was to learn his fate in a South Florida U.S. District Court sentencing hearing beginning Sept. 29.  
2005 photo.

U.S. District Judge Cecelia Altonaga set aside two days for the sentencing hearing, which was in progress as Pollstar went to press.

Prosecutors filed a 24-page sentencing memorandum recommending a sentence of 210 months, or 17.5 years, in addition to an earlier plea deal in which Utsick agreed to restitution of almost $170 million.

The maximum statutory term is 20 years. Utsick was extradited to the U.S. in December 2014 from Brazil, where he moved in 2007 to reportedly resume his career. He had been in Brazilian custody fighting the extradition for two years. It’s not clear if the recommended sentence includes time served in Miami and Sao Paulo. Once sentencing is handed down, the remaining six charges in the 10-year-old case, in which Utsick is charged with defrauding some 300 investors of about $270 million, will be dropped.

Prosecutors gave no quarter to the 73-year-old Utsick, who is said to be in ailing health, in recommending a hefty prison sentence.

“The defendant, Jack Utsick, committed one of the worst fraud schemes in the history of south Florida,” prosecutors wrote in the sentencing memorandum. “In doing so, he was remorseless, using victim money right up until the Receiver took over to pay his criminal defense attorney and other personal expenses. …The bare facts of Utsick’s fraud scheme are breathtaking,” prosecutors wrote. “Utsick committed a massive, 10-year, $207-million fraud scheme,” prosecutors wrote in conclusion.

“He pled guilty, but refuses to acknowledge the seriousness of his crime or the impact of his actions. He blames everyone else for the losses, and claims that victims did not rely in any way on the false representations he made.”

In his plea deal, Utsick agreed not to appeal his sentencing. But he apparently isn’t going down without one last fight.

He has submitted a list of 14 character witnesses that include Orbin, Andrea Bocelli (via remote), Harvey Firestein, Australian promoter Kevin Jacobsen (also by remote), former defense attorney Dick Kraut, and former co-defendant Robert Yeager.