ORLANDO, Fla. – The govt producer of what would have been the Orlando Audio Festival’s to start with 12 months has been arrested on a federal wire fraud charge.
According to court data, James Walker Watson, Jr., was arrested on May possibly 31 in Orlando after a grand jury in Texas indicted him.
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According to the indictment, the charge stems from Watson’s involvement in the Southfork New music Pageant, which was held just outside of Dallas, between 2018 and 2020.
As that festival’s government producer, prosecutors claim Watson defrauded traders out of at minimum $3 million.
They claimed “instead of utilizing the cash for concert expenses, Watson designed big income withdrawals.”
At a detention hearing at the federal courthouse in downtown Orlando on June 3, a federal justice of the peace ordered Watson held devoid of bond until eventually his demo in Texas following prosecutors claimed he threatened some of the witnesses.
“The Orlando spot desired a pageant like this – not necessarily state, not automatically rock, not necessarily R&B, but sleek jazz,” Watson advised News 6 in April at the Central Florida Fairgrounds.
At the time, Watson mentioned he was seeking forward to the inaugural yr of his Orlando Tunes Pageant, which was scheduled to feature acts this sort of as Brian Culbertson, David Sanborn, Euge Groove, The Jacksons and extra.
News 6 investigated and observed out this was not the initial time Watson has been arrested for fraud.
In 2002, courtroom data confirmed he was convicted of federal financial institution fraud fees for pursuits encompassing the Sacramento Jazz Festival, in which he was accused of kiting far more than $300,000 in checks written by his individual mother.
In 2011, whilst continue to on probation, he was indicted on much more bank fraud costs in Houston.
Federal prosecutors claimed Watson bilked investors out of $2.5 million while manufacturing the Texas New music Pageant – these traders integrated a 92-yr-old woman and her 72-yr-old daughter.
He served additional than 5 several years in prison as a outcome for each cases.
So why make a songs festival in Orlando?
“I have a monitor history of staying a effective producer,” he advised News 6. “I’ve had two stumbling blocks out of 36 audio festivals. I claimed I have discovered my lesson, so I’m concluded with it. So, I’m moving on. There is no report given that then. I have no problems with just about anything that I’ve completed.”
Watson’s organization Audio Festival Productions confirmed to Information 6 the Orlando New music Pageant has been canceled.
“Due to unforeseen circumstances the 2022 Orlando Audio Festival has been canceled,” stated John Griffin, MFP’s president. “Refunds for tickets will be issued shortly. We apologize for any inconvenience this may perhaps have brought on. Thank you for all the help.”
If convicted, Watson faces a greatest sentence of 20 a long time in prison and a $250,000 fantastic.
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