Arizona Concert Promoter Busted for Running Ponzi Scheme
A Phoenix concert promoter is facing federal charges after running a successful Ponzi scheme that cheated about 140 investors out of $25 million from 2004 to 2007. Miko Dion Wady of Chandler, Phoenix is up against 37 indictment charges, which rum the gamut from money laundering to wire fraud. 34-year-old Wady was arrested on Wednesday and is currently awaiting a bail hearing.
According to reports, Wady convinced victims that he was effectively promoting concerts for premiere acts, including The Rolling Stones, Barbra Streisand and several hip-hop acts such as Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige and Jamie Foxx. Wady's scheme entailed collecting money from investors to cover upfront costs while promising them 4 percent returns monthly. Although Wady claimed to promote well over 30 concerts high-profile concerts during this time, records show that he was only involved in promoting less 10 small-level shows.
Three other Arizona men have been named in the indictment, but it is still unclear what charges they will face. James Cundiff and his two sons Jeremiah and Adam were reportedly involed in recruiting the investors that Wady cheated. The three have been involved in several civil lawsuits that were filed in Maricopa County Superior Court, but the Cundiff's lawyer said that the three men were the ones who alerted the cops about Wady's scheme. According to the lawyer, Steve Mahaffy, the family has been cooperating with federal authorities for two years now. "We were duped," Mahaffy said. "The Cundiffs were duped by Miko Wady just like all the investors. When the Cundiffs learned of Wady's Ponzi scheme, they went right to the federal authorities."
During the ongoing investigation, several victims have come forward to attest to the millions they lost in Wady's scheme. Phoenix lawyer, Rosemary Shockman, who represents about 50 clients who lost $7 million to Wady said the scheme drained some people of their life savings. "A lot of these were people who were encouraged to borrow on their homes to invest or to take it out of their retirement savings," Shockman said. "One fellow retired early, puts the retirement money into this, and now he has nothing and he can't go back and get another job that pays near what he made before." Wady reportedly used at least $3 million to furnish a lavish lifestyle, which included several cars and real estate.