I saw that Jack Utsick
and Bob Yeager were mentioned in the latest ALPA mag as being the subjects of a lawsuit.
...Washington, D.C., April 17, 2006 - The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that it filed a civil injunctive action in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida charging Worldwide Entertainment, Inc. and Entertainment Group Fund, Inc. and their principal John P. (Jack) Utsick, and American Enterprises, Inc. and Entertainment Funds, Inc. and their principals Robert Yeager and Donna Yeager, in connection with a fraudulent offering that raised over $300 million from over 3,300 investors nationwide.
The Commission's complaint alleges that from at least 1998 through late 2005, the defendants sold unregistered securities in the form of loan agreements or units in special purpose limited liability companies (LLCs) to raise funds for a variety of entertainment ventures produced and/or promoted by Jack Utsick
, the third-largest independent entertainment promoter in the world according to Billboard Magazine
.Defendants told prospective investors that their investments would earn annual returns ranging from 15% to 25% and, in some in instances, an additional 3% of the profits generated by Jack Utsick
In truth, most of the entertainment projects lost money and, as a result, Utsick
companies paid earlier investors with funds raised from new investors.The defendants also made material misrepresentations and omissions to investors about, among other things, the profitability of their investments, the use of proceeds, the payment of commissions, and the existence of state disciplinary actions.
The complaint further alleges that:
The defendants' promised annual returns of 15% to 25% were baseless.Although the offering materials for each venture identified the particular concert or event for which funds would be used, Utsick
commingled all of the funds received for the projects in two operating accounts (Worldwide or Entertainment Group), from which he
paid all business and personal expenses.Because Utsick
did not maintain any separate accounts or books and records for each project, it was impossible for defendants to determine the profitability of any event.
Many of the entertainment projects Worldwide and Entertainment Group
promoted or produced lost money (and at least one project was not produced) and, as a result, earlier investors were paid with monies the defendants raised from new investors.
Contrary to the defendants' representations that no commissions were paid in connection with the offering, Utsick
paid over $7 million in undisclosed commissions to the Yeagers and others.Utsick
used investor funds inconsistently with the purposes promised to investors.For example, Utsick
opened an options trading account for Entertainment Group
through which he
traded (and lost) nearly $17 million.He
also used investor funds to, among other things, pay principle and interest to earlier investors, pay sales commissions, purchase two multimillion condominiums in Miami Beach, Fla., and fund his
The Rise And Fall Of Jack UtsickMonday, Sep 18, 2006 Troubled concert promoter Jack Utsick
is not only under the Security and Exchange Commission's microscope these days, but also under that of the Miami Herald
The paper reports that the modus operandi that put Utsick
in hot water is one he's
used since 1980 - the year he
was first indicted.The paper uncovered an item from the Portland, Maine, Press Herald detailing the case, in which Utsick
allegedly took $25,000 from an investor to stage a concert on the promise that the deal would bring in a tidy 20 percent profit.The indictment charged Utsick
with exaggerating the size of his
stake in the show, but the case was dismissed when a key witness failed to appear for trial.Earlier this year, Utsick
was charged with fleecing 3,300 investors of close to $300 million in what's been described as a Ponzi scheme spanning from 1998 to 2005.His
company, Worldwide Entertainment
, is in court-ordered receivership and Utsick lives on a $10,000-per-month allowance while lawyers and accountants sort out his
global financial and legal mess.It's quite a comedown for Utsick
, who built an empire that just last year saw Jack Utsick Presents and its subsidiaries combined to become the fourth-largest concert promoter in terms of total tickets sold.But Utsick's
accounting system was shoddy, his
international interests too far-flung to manage and his
books a disaster waiting to happen, according to the Miami Herald
isn't giving interviews but, through his
attorney, blamed the financial quagmire on the explosive rate of his
company's expansion in recent years and pledged to pay back investors.
"It's important to note that Jack
promoted many concerts and acquired many assets as promised," Rosen told the Herald.
...The Herald reports that according to his entry in "Who's Who in Entertainment," Utsick graduated from Northampton College in 1968 with a bachelor's of science degree after stints at the University of Miami and Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pa. However, the newspaper confirmed only that Utsick attended Northampton Community College in Pennsylvania, which does not offer B.S. degrees, and he did not graduate.After college, Utsick went on to train as a pilot and worked for TWA, flying members of the Saudi Arabian royal family from 1974 to 1977.
wasn't flying the Saudi royals, he
began promoting concerts on his
off time from his
home near Portland, Maine, and got pretty good at it, competing successfully with established promoters before his
1980 indictment.With the dismissal, Utsick
went into the business in earnest.The Miami newspaper cited another Press Herald account showing that Utsick
made a presentation to town planners in Old Orchard Beach, Maine, to construct a 6,000-seat amphitheatre in 1983.In 1985, Utsick
took a chance on investing in a baldness treatment called Rixivil, containing minoxidil, that he
reportedly discovered while traveling in Italy.According to the Miami Herald
bought the rights to sell the product in the U.S. and sold it at $150 per unit under the name Riahom (Mo'Hair spelled backward).That got the attention of pharma giant Upjohn, which marketed a similar product called Regaine (known as Rogaine in the U.S. and generically known as minoxidil).Upjohn promptly sued on the grounds of unfair trade practices.The company said Riahom was falsely touting Rixivil as a patented product and using Regaine in its advertising.A federal judge agreed - mandating a recall of Riahom and its promotional materials, ruining Utsick's company
.By 1997, Utsick
had rounded up a pool of investors - many of whom were also former pilots - to establish Worldwide Entertainment
.Among them was Robert Yeager and his wife, Donna (who were included in the SEC action against Utsick).
and the Yeagers traveled the country, pitched to pilots' associations and on their Web sites and newsletters, and paid finders fees to others who recruited new investors to another company, The Entertainment Group Fund
.But by 1997, Wisconsin regulators discovered that TEGF's
agent was allegedly selling unregistered security without a license and, in what by then was becoming a familiar pattern, promissory notes for at least $10,000 with 10 percent interest.Utsick
's fraternal relationship with pilots' associations evidently worked in his
favor then and, according to one of the 33 investors who sued Utsick earlier this year, still does.
Mattson acknowledged Utsick
was confident and convincing, and after speaking to about 30 other investors, agreed to pony up his own money.
In the Missouri case, Utsick
allegedly convinced 30 investors to ante up $500,000 for a new arena in New Zealand and $2.1 million for a Barbra Streisand-Neil Diamond tour that never materialized.According to the Herald, returns were promised at up to 25 percent.Utsick
reportedly was forced to pay the investors' principal, plus interest and a $15,000 fine.
..."He always came through, he's an honorable guy, a straight shooter," Jim Camacho, the lead singer of local band The Game which was formerly managed by Utsick, told the Herald.
Yeager and Utsick
have been at this game
My only consolation is that I worked Utsick
over in the simulator on a 727 requal check atJFK one night.He
came out a bit shaky andvery quiet--quite out of character if he
are still alive.