Alleged Hawaii concert scammer pleads not guilty - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Alleged Hawaii concert scammer pleads not guilty

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Hubbard arriving at Federal Court Friday morning Hubbard arriving at Federal Court Friday morning
Mike Purpura Mike Purpura
Peter C. Anderson Peter C. Anderson
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The North Carolina man indicted for fraud in the Stevie Wonder blunder case pleaded not guilty to defrauding the University of Hawaii Friday morning.

Marc Hubbard, 45, appeared in court with his wife Daunetra, as well as attorneys from North Carolina and Hawaii. 

He pleaded not guilty to wire fraud and his trial has been set for Jan. 29.  

Hubbard's Honolulu attorney, Mike Purpura, told reporters, "We are very early in the process.  We are going to receive and review the government's evidence.  We are going to review it with our client and we will answer the evidence in court at the appropriate time." 

Federal Magistrate Judge Kevin Chang allowed Hubbard to be released with a $200,000 bond secured by his nightclub in Charlotte, North Carolina, which is worth more than $1 million. 

But Chang said after one month, Hubbard has to put up a bond of $100,000 in cash. 

"My client came from North Carolina," Charlotte, North Carolina attorney Peter C. Anderson told reporters outside federal court in Honolulu Friday morning. "I accompanied him as well. The purpose of our trip, obviously, was to demonstrate, as we had predicted, that he is not a flight risk.  He will be back here.  He respects the court.  He respects the process.  He's a legitimate businessman." 

Two experienced federal prosecutors serve on Hubbard's legal team.

Anderson is a former assistant U.S. attorney in North Carolina who was also a trial attorney in the Justice Department's environmental crimes section.  In 2009, he was one of three finalists considered by President Barack Obama to become U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. He also represented a Duke University lacrosse player in a case that made national headlines in 2006, when a woman falsely accused several lacrosse athletes of rape. The case resulted in the disbarment of the lead prosecutor.

Purpura, a partner in the Honolulu firm Carlsmith Ball, is a former assistant U.S. attorney in Hawaii and the Southern District of New York. He also served as associate counsel to President George W. Bush from 2007 to 2008, representing the White House in Congressional investigations and "other sensitive matters," according to his biography. He is a lecturer at the UH law school, where he teaches a seminar on white collar crime.

The federal indictment claimed Hubbard convinced a Hawaii promoter he had connections with a former Motown Records executive who could secure Wonder for a UH athletics department fundraiser on Aug. 18.

The university paid $200,000 as a deposit, but later learned neither the singer nor his representatives authorized the concert.  Prosecutors claim Hubbard received $120,000 of the deposit money, spending it on personal and business expenses.

If he's convicted, Hubbard could face 20 years in federal prison.

Sean Barriero, 44, a British citizen from Miami, has pleaded guilty to lesser charges and is cooperating with federal prosecutors.  Barriero is accused of keeping nearly $69,000 of the UH deposit money.   

In a separate South Carolina case, Hubbard is accused of bilking investors out of $70,000, money that was supposed to mount a series of Alicia Keys concerts that never materialized.  The South Carolina Attorney General's office charged him in late October with forgery and securities fraud. 

Records show in December of 2009, The South Carolina Securities Commissioner issued Hubbard a "cease and desist" order, telling him to stop soliciting money for the concert tours.

The South Carolina AG said Hubbard's company collected as much as $1.8 million from people over the last few years, even after other states including California, North Carolina and Nevada sent him similar orders to stop soliciting investments.

Records show Hubbard filed for personal bankruptcy in November of 2006. His company SDI faced a federal tax lien of at least $450,000 in October of 2008 and second tax lien in the amount of $297,024 in January of 2009.

Under terms of Hubbard's release, he must wear a monitoring device, surrender his passport and is only allowed to travel within South Carolina, western North Carolina and Hawaii.

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2 men indicted in Stevie Wonder blunder

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