‘Wonder Blunder’ Promoter Withdraws Guilty Plea In Stevie Wonder Hawaii Concert Scam

Wonder Blunder
Dennis Oda/The Star-Advertiser via AP, File
– Wonder Blunder
In this Oct. 4, 2016, file photo, North Carolina concert promoter Marc Hubbard walks to federal court in Honolulu.

The North Carolina concert promoter that pleaded guilty to defrauding the University of Hawaii of $200,000 by promising to secure Stevie Wonder for a fundraising concert that never happened has changed his mind.

Marc Hubbard was scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 22 in Honolulu federal court but filed a motion to withdraw his plea the previous day.

Why Hubbard decided to back out was not revealed because the motion is sealed, but defense attorney William Harrison in a court hearing referred to the “coercive nature” of the agreement with officials.

Hubbard pleaded guilty in 2016 to wire fraud after university reps paid the $200,000 deposit in 2012 and began selling tickets before learning that neither Wonder nor his representatives had authorized a show. Thousands of ticket purchases had to be refunded, causing embarrassment for the school and prompting investigations.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Marc Wallenstein argued against allowing Hubbard to take back his plea because nothing changed in the time since he accepted the plea deal.

Wallenstein added that if the motion is allowed, Hubbard would lose the deal that would let him serve his Hawaii sentence concurrently with a six-and-a-half-year sentence he received for a similar conviction in Pennsylvania.

U.S. District Judge Leslie Kobayashi postponed Hubbard’s sentencing and set a hearing in March to discuss whether he’ll be allowed to change his plea.