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N. Carolina man pleads not guilty to Wonder concert scam

By Nelson Daranciang

LAST UPDATED: 12:34 p.m. HST, Nov 30, 2012

The accused mastermind of the phony Stevie Wonder concert which cost the University of Hawaii $200,000 pleaded not guilty this morning in U.S. District Court to wire fraud.

Marc Hubbard, 44, a Charlotte, N.C., nightclub owner and businessman, is accused of lying about securing Wonder for an Aug. 18 benefit concert at UH-Manoa. The concert never materialized. A representative of the artist told UH officials that Wonder had no knowledge of the concert.

Hubbard was arrested Nov. 8 in North Carolina. A federal judge there allowed him to remain free on $100,000 unsecured signature bond pending his arraignment in Hawaii today.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Kevin S.C. Chang ordered Hubbard this morning to sign over his nightclub in Charlotte to secure his release. He gave Hubbard 30 days to replace that with $100,000 cash bond.

Chang scheduled trial for January.

A federal grand jury indictment charged Hubbard with lying to promotors, who convinced UH officials to send $200,000 to secure Wonder’s services for an August concert. 

The indictment charges one of the promoters, Sean Barriero, with interstate transport of stolen property, for receiving the $200,000 from UH. Barriero, 44, a British citizen who lives in Miami, has pleaded guilty and is cooperating with the prosecution.

The indictment says Barriero kept $68,750 of UH’s money, sent $11,250 to a promoter in Europe and sent $120,000 to Hubbard.

Fallout from the concert debacle included UH Athletic Director Jim Donovan being transferred to another job at the university and state lawmakers conducting hearings on how UH officials allowed the school to be swindled.

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