Tuesday, September 26, 2023
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‘Selfish’ Rock Singer|Sentenced to 7 Years

LOS ANGELES (CN) - The singer for L.A.-based rock band Lights Over Paris was sentenced Monday to seven years in federal prison for defrauding banks of millions of dollars "for the selfish purpose of funding his fantasy of being a rock star," prosecutors said.

Robert Brandon Mawhinney, 30, of Anaheim, pleaded guilty on April 22 to money laundering and four counts of making false statements to federally insured banks, the U.S. Attorney's Office said. But "the very next day," he lied to another bank to try to get more credit; his bond was revoked and he was jailed, prosecutors said.

Mawhinney obtained more than $11 million in credit by getting loans using phony brokerage statements, and spent more than $750,000 of it on "a luxury tour bus," according to the U.S. attorney's statement.

Citing a sentencing memorandum filed in court, the U.S. attorney said: "For approximately three and a half years [Mawhinney] obtained and assisted others to obtain substantial loans from multiple banks through fraud. In order to obtain and maintain the loans, [the] defendant made myriad false statements to the victim banks and presented numerous false documents, including fabricated financial statements and tax returns bearing the forged signatures of identity-theft victims. Even [the] defendant's family members' documents weren't safe; for instance, [Mawhinney] used his grandfather's Schwab account statements to create some of the fraudulent statements showing inflated balances that he gave to the victim banks."

U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney said Mawhinney's motives were "ego and greed."

When the ersatz rocker defaulted on his loans, the banks lost more than $8.4 million.

In a related case, Mawhinney helped two cronies get more than $1.7 million in loans for their music business, the U.S. Attorney's Office said. When the cronies defaulted, the lenders lost it all.

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