What a sneaky dude Marino De Silva is. Recently, the LA based guitarist has found himself in some serious legal troubles after he was caught out for siphoning millions of dollars from potential investors.
De Silva, who described himself as a “multi-platinum, Grammy Award winning artist and close friend of Keith Richards” according to Classic Guitar, would use his status to lock in meetings with investors where he would then attempt to seduce them into business by claiming he had unreleased material from Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, which he would be digitally remastering.
Once investors handed over the cash, they soon realised it had totally vanished. Using a similar set-up to the good ol’ ponzi scheme, De Silva would use some of the cash from new victims to reimburse previous ones. The material that De Silva eventually handed over wasn’t anything like he had promised either: the unreleased tracks turned out to be poor quality audio interviews and poorly recorded covers of the songs, many of which were done by De Silva himself.
The Muso even burnt some of his close friends in the scam, conning a childhood friend Mike Dawson out of $38,000 to fund a Beatles re-release. Dawson never saw a cent of return: “He was living in a mansion and there was no question he had done well. He asked if I wanted to come on board with one of his ventures. He told me he had some Beatles tracks and he was going to digitally remaster them”.
“But when the album was released it consisted of no new Beatles material – instead it was mainly cover versions including some recorded by De Silva himself. I feel like an idiot now because it’s so implausible – but he was a mate. To be betrayed by a childhood friend is annoying. It seems he’s been using charitable foundations as fronts and simply living the high life without paying his investors back”.
De Silva now faces 8 years in jail for the offense.