Portland-born musician Kasey Anderson has been sentenced to nearly four years in prison by a US District Judge after he defrauded 30 investors out of nearly $600,000 between 2009 and 2011. The singer-songwriter told investors that he was raising funds to record a star-studded charity album.
According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Anderson told investors that the money was going towards an album called Trapped Like a Ghost to benefit the West Memphis Three Legal Defense Fund. However, Anderson was instead funnelling the money into his own musical aspirations.
He alleged to have recruited acts like Arcade Fire, Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen, and R.E.M. to appear on the album, going so far as to impersonate a Seattle tour manager, an entertainment attorney, and even forging an email from a family member of one of the West Memphis Three.
Anderson’s scheme reportedly even involved him playing two previously released Springsteen cuts — Don’t Back Down and Blood Brothers — for potential investors in an attempt to pass them off as new collaborations with Arcade Fire. He also promised to team up Springsteen and Lady Gaga.
The musician pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges last August and still owes almost $400,000 to investors. In a recent letter to the court, he attempted to apologise, writing, “I am a deeply flawed and mentally ill person who made some terrible choices, causing so much emotional and financial damage to others… I am so sorry for what I’ve done and want so badly to make it right.”
Watch: Kasey Anderson – Don’t Look Back