Promoter: UH Stevie Wonder deposit money found - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Promoter: UH Stevie Wonder deposit money found

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Honolulu (HawaiiNewsNow) – The local promoter who booked the now-canceled Stevie Wonder concert told Hawaii News Now late Friday afternoon that the University of Hawaii's deposit money has been located, a claim that could not be independently verified.

Bob Peyton said the $200,000 UH Athletic Department funds are now in the hands of the singer's management team. 

"I'm confident that the deposit money is in the right place," Peyton said in an email to Hawaii News Now. 

He claimed the money is not in the escrow account of the Epic-Talent agency in Miami, where UH originally wired the funds. 

Peyton also claimed Wonder's managers now want the entire cost of the concert money up front.  

They are asking for more money than the original amount, which was $730,000 for a fund raising show at UH and a second concert on Maui, plus travel costs, Peyton said.   

"I have been told that I must guarantee the full amount within two business days they will play the show," Peyton said in an email. "Of course, this whole thing must be totally transparent to the state's satisfaction."

"The UH will be informed when I get an updated agreement," Peyton added.

"We are unable to comment during the active FBI and third-party investigations," said UH Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple in a written statement in response to an inquiry from Hawaii News Now.

Other UH officials did not return phone calls and emails Friday afternoon or said they could not verify Peyton's claims. 

Earlier Friday, UH President MRC Greenwood posted a letter on UH's web site and other social media addressed to UH "ohana, colleagues and friends," updating them on the failed concert. 

"I want to assure you on behalf of your university that we are doing everything we can to understand the facts and circumstances regarding this regrettable situation," Greenwood wrote. "Unfortunately, the university may have been the victim of a fraud." 

"To discover all the facts will take time.  In the meantime, we urge you not to prejudge the university or any individuals with respect to roles, responsibilities, and actions," Greenwood said.  

The UH placed UH Athletics Director Jim Donovan and Stan Sheriff Center Rich Sheriff on indefinite paid leave Wednesday, while it opened an independent investigation into the botched concert and went to the FBI. Donovan oversaw the deal and had Associate Athletics Director Carl Clapp sign the contract for the concert because Donovan was out of town, sources said. 

As Hawaii News Now first reported Wednesday, lawyers in the UH's general counsel's office signed off on the contract, a source said. 

And the UH's Chief Financial Officer, Howard Todo, approved wiring the $200,000 to Epic-Talent agents in Miami, the source added. 

Greenwood reported 98 percent of tickets have been refunded after UH said the singer had not agreed to the Aug. 18 concert date, and UH canceled the concert Tuesday. 

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