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Friday, February 23, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

L.A. Rocker Looking at 30 Years

LOS ANGELES (CN) - Federal prosecutors charged the front man of the rock band Lights Over Paris with defrauding banks of millions of dollars for he loans he used to support his band and his "lavish lifestyle."

Robert Brandon Mawhinney was arrested Thursday, the day before his 30th birthday, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement.

A judge ordered him held without bond, "after determining that he posed a flight risk, given Mawhinney's frequent travel abroad, conflicting information about his finances and the fact that he had sent hundreds of thousands of dollars to Cyprus," prosecutors said in the statement.

Mawhinney submitted fraudulent documents to get four bank loans for a total of about $6.25 million, then defaulted, prosecutors said.

Mawhinney used the banks' money "to pay for travel, entertainment and a luxury tour bus that cost well over $750,000," prosecutors said in the statement.

The banks he is accused of suckering are Comerica, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Zions Bank.

If convicted of the criminal charge of making a false statement in a loan application, he faces up to 30 years in federal prison.

Two of his former associates also were charged in a case that was unsealed Thursday.

"Matt Salazar, 29, of Valley Village, and his brother, Jason Salazar, 28, of Grover Beach and Fresno, have agreed to plead guilty," the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

"The Salazar brothers, who are co-owners of the Burbank-based Matt Salazar

Recording Productions and part-owners of LA Sound Gallery, also based in Burbank,

admitted in court documents that they provided false documents to Bank of America,

Greystone Bank and Huntington National Bank to obtain about $1.7 million in loans for their music business. Mawhinney also used the Salazars' studio to bolster his own fraudulent loan applications," prosecutors said.

The Salazar brothers both face up to 5 years in prison.

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