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Two Indicted for Fraud Related to Stevie Wonder Concert

HONOLULU—A federal grand jury in Honolulu yesterday indicted Marc Hubbardage 44, of North Carolina, with wire fraud in connection with a Stevie Wonder concert to benefit the University of Hawaii (UH) in August 2012. The grand jury also charged Sean Barriero, age 44, of Miami, with a related offense of transporting $200,000 taken by fraud.

Florence T. Nakakuni, United States Attorney for the District of Hawaii, said that according to the indictment, Hubbard told Barriero that he had relationships inside Stevie Wonder’s management to book the UH concert and that he was dealing with a close associate of Stevie Wonder who had approved the dates for the concert. As a result of communications with intermediaries in contact with Barriero, in June 2012, UH wire transferred $200,000 to one of Barriero’s accounts in Florida, $120,000 of which Barriero disbursed to Hubbard, who spent all of it on personal and business expenses unrelated to the concert or Stevie Wonder. A Hawaii investor previously had transferred $50,000 to Barriero in May 2012 to secure the concert, $27,500 of which was transferred to Hubbard.

The indictment further alleges that in July 2012, an authorized agent for Stevie Wonder reported that neither he nor his management had any knowledge of the concert. None of the $250,000 was transmitted to Stevie Wonder or his management. If convicted, Hubbard faces up to 20 years’ imprisonment and Barriero up to 10 years’ imprisonment.

The charges in the indictment are merely accusations, and each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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