Alt-Country Singer Kasey Anderson Indicted On Federal Wire Fraud Charges
By: Matt Bjorke
Seattle-based Americana artist Kasey Anderson built up a loyal audience over the past few yeras with a string of strong albums that showcased a burgeoning talent with the kind of bonafides that lead to other musicians wanting to collaborate on projects with him. The "I Was A Photograph" singer then used those connections to bamboozle well-meaning investors, fans and more, all under the vision of creating a benefit album that would help the West Memphis Three get their lives back in order after nearly two decades in jail for crimes they didn't commit.
The singer was indicted Monday, January 28, 2013 in a federal court on five counts of wire fraud. In the case, federal prosecutors contend that Anderson bilked two groups of investors out of roughly $370,000, all part of that scheme to create a benefit album. When things started cllsing in on him, Anderson went so far as to set up fake email accounts to impersonate Bruce Springsteen's manager Jon Landau, well-known Alt-Country producer Danny Bland, entertainment lawyer Rosemary Carroll and even the wife of one of the West Memphis Three. The federal governemt's charges contend that Anderson told his investors, many whom had wired money across state lines, that he'd secured artists and acts like Johnny Depp, Tom Waits, Willie Nelson, The Foo Fighters, Pearl Jam and Jack White. None of this, including a proposed collaboration between Bruce Springsteen and Lady Gaga, was ever true.
The story was told and expanded on over a two year period by anderson and found him falling deeper and deeper into the ruse, allegedly creating false documents and more, including trying to pass off the 1983 Springsteen song "Don't Back Down" as one of a pair of new tunes recorded by The Boss with Arcade Fire for the project. The scheme even went as far as to con the investors into funding his own record and subsequent spring tour, not to mention an album by "Ron Franklin Entertainers."
Anderson, who has reportedly been diagnosed as Bi-Polar is said to be sick of all of his scheming:
"I didn't set out to do this. I abhor the person that I was, and the person that I am. I don't want to be this person. I don't want to be a person who is capable of those things, and when I think about it, don't know how I could be. I'm not that person in my heart," Anderson is quoted as saying.