A 30-year-old rock singer from Anaheim was sentenced Monday to seven years in federal prison for submitting false documents to banks to fraudulently obtain more than $10 million in loans to fund his lavish lifestyle and ear-torturing Los Angeles-based rock band. Robert Brandon Mawhinney, whose stage name in Lights Over Paris was Robb "TaLLLLL" University, doctored loan application documents to four banks to show he had almost $8 million in assets when he actually had less than $10,000, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.
Now, I had never heard of Lights Over Paris--unless one was referring to the sparkles over the French metropolis--until this morning. I was told they were quite crappy and later stumbled upon this evidence from our sister paper Miami New Times:
OK, I can confirm at the 13-second mark Lights Over Paris blows and Mawhinney is a major douchebag, although a short Jason Schwartzman wannabe going by "TaLLLL" should have been my first clue.
Mawhinney--hell, even his real name is douchy--apparently thought of himself as an international rock star, who lived that lifestyle and marketed his band as such before federal agents took him into custody in January at Miami International Airport.
Prosecutors built a case in federal court that showed he altered real statements from brokerage accounts that actually contained less than $10,000 to get more than $8.4 million from Comerica, JP Morgan Chase, Zions Bank and Bank of America. In a related case, Mawhinney helped two associates fraudulently obtain more than $1.7 million in loans for their music businesses.
All the loans defaulted, creating total losses of around $11 million for the lending institutions, according to the feds.
On the personal loan applications, Mawhinney claimed the funds would be poured into his music business, including the purchase of recording equipment. But he also spent the fraudulently obtained loot on travel, entertainment and a luxury tour bus that cost more than $750,000.
Mawhinney "used the millions of dollars that he fraudulently obtained for the selfish purpose of funding his fantasy of being a rock star," states the government's sentencing memo. City News Service plucked out that line as well as U.S. District Court Judge Cormac J. Carney saying the singer's motives for the crimes were "ego and greed."
Did someone say douchy? The government also proved Mawhinney used his grandfather's Schwab account statements to create some of the fraudulent statements showing inflated balances that he gave to the banks.
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Mawhinney pleaded guilty on April 22 to four counts of making false statements to federally insured banks and one count of money laundering.
Did someone say double douchy? The next day, Mawhinney made additional false statements to another financial institution in an attempt to obtain more credit, prompting Carney to revoke his bond and remand him into custody.
Ah, well, perhaps he can use the prison time to think up better songs.