Now, A ‘Concert’ Ponzi Scheme: FBI Says Miko Dion Wady Of Arizona Claimed Bogus Tie To The Rolling Stones, Barbra Streisand, Mary J. Blige To Lure Investors

If this were Forrest Gump and the subject were Ponzi schemes instead of shrimp, Benjamin Buford “Bubba” Blue might say something along these lines:

There are ‘advertising’ Ponzi schemes, ‘printing’ Ponzi schemes, CD Ponzi schemes, ‘billboard’ Ponzi schemes, Ponzi schemes claiming that ‘uniforms’ are being purchased for prisons and police agencies, ‘Big-Box Retailer’ Ponzi schemes, real-estate Ponzi schemes, ‘kiosk’ Ponzi schemes, ‘autosurf’ Ponzi schemes, ‘HYIP’ Ponzi schemes, ‘Charitable Giving’ Ponzi schemes, commodities-trading Ponzi schemes, precious-metal Ponzi schemes, and insurance Ponzi schemes. That . . . that’s about it.

Except the FBI said today it was not.

Today the FBI announced a “concert” Ponzi scheme, saying Miko Dion Wady, 34, of Chandler, Ariz., and others gathered at least $50 million from 250 investors by telling them he promoted concerts for some of the top acts in the world.

Here is the short list:

  • The Rolling Stones.
  • U2.
  • Barbara Streisand.
  • Faith Hill.
  • Tim McGraw.
  • Mariah Carey.
  • George Strait.
  • Billy Joel.
  • Jamie Foxx.
  • Jimmy Buffet.
  • Mary J. Blige.
  • Pearl Jam.

The trouble with the claim, the FBI said, was that Nady “had no association or contractual arrangement with any of the significant concerts or tours.”

In fact, the FBI said, “Wady appears to have actually promoted fewer than 10 concerts, all involving only local or lesser known artists.”

Victims may be out $25 million, the FBI said.

Wady, according to the FBI, represented that he “operated and had an ownership interest in various business enterprises that purportedly were engaged in the business of promoting concerts or tours of well known entertainers and artists.”

Among the enterprises were Dezert Heat Entertainment Inc.; Dezert Heat Inc.; Dezert Heat Worldwide LLC; NATO Enterprises LLC; and NATO Entertainment LLC. Investors typically were promised interest rates of 4 percent per month for a maximum of six months or 24 percent for one promoted event, the FBI said.

When the Ponzi scheme collapsed in 2007, about 140 victim investors still had not been repaid their outstanding “investment” loans of approximately $25 million, the FBI said.

Between 2004 and March 2007, the FBI said, “Wady used no less than $3 million of victim investor funds to pay for a lavish personal lifestyle.”

Wady bought at least 30 vehicles for himself and others, including a Lamborghini, a Ferrari and a Bentley, the FBI said. He also purchased a $175,000 luxury boat and $800,000 in real estate.

Wady was arrested yesterday in Tempe, Ariz. He was indicted on 37 counts of wire fraud and transactional money laundering.

About the Author

2 Responses to “Now, A ‘Concert’ Ponzi Scheme: FBI Says Miko Dion Wady Of Arizona Claimed Bogus Tie To The Rolling Stones, Barbra Streisand, Mary J. Blige To Lure Investors”

  1. The ATM ponzi was not included.

  2. Hi Kathy,

    Kathy: The ATM ponzi was not included

    Heck, it’s hard to remember them all. This has to be one of the strangest periods in U.S. history. In recent days, I’ve become aware of two “qualified intermediary” Ponzis under Section 1031 of the IRS code — so that’s another one Bubba Blue might want to add to the list. :-)