Crime

‘Lights Over Paris’ singer arrested in fraud case

By Aaron Blevins, 1/31/2013

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The frontman of a Los Angeles-based rock band called Lights Over Paris has been charged with submitting false documents to banks to fraudulently obtain millions of dollars worth of loans, money that he allegedly used to fund his band and his lavish lifestyle.

Robert Brandon Mawhinney, 30, who authorities believe currently resides in the luxury WaterMarke Tower in downtown Los Angeles, was ordered detained on Jan. 25 by a federal judge.

During the hearing in U.S. District Court, U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles Eick ordered Mawhinney held without bond after determining that he posed a flight risk — given his frequent travel abroad — conflicting information about his finances and the fact that he had sent hundreds of thousands of dollars to Cyprus.

Mawhinney, who uses the stage name Robb “TaLLLLL” University, was arrested at Miami International Airport earlier this month after he returned from a trip to Buenos Aires. He was subsequently transported to Los Angeles by the United States Marshals Service. Mawhinney was arrested pursuant to a criminal complaint that alleges he applied for loans by submitting phony brokerage statements that falsely showed that he had almost $8 million in assets. The phony statements were altered versions of real statements that showed less than $10,000 in the brokerage accounts.

Between August 2009 and April 2011, Mawhinney obtained four loans from Comerica Bank totaling approximately $6.25 million. Mawhinney defaulted on the loans, causing Comerica to suffer losses of approximately $6 million. Mawhinney allegedly used the money from the Comerica loans and loans from other banks to pay for travel, entertainment and a luxury tour bus that cost more than $750,000. He is charged with making a false statement in a loan application. He faces a maximum statutory penalty of 30 years in federal prison, and is scheduled to be arraigned on Feb. 11.

 

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