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White Plains Pair Charged in Taylor Swift Scam

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- The Westchester District Attorney's Office announced Thursday that two White Plains men were charged with three felonies apiece after law enforcement officials said the pair swindled a California CEO into investing $225,000 in a fake Taylor Swift concert.

Derrick "Suits" Robinson, 29, and attorney Emmanuel "Kojo" Bentil, 47, were charged with one count of second-degree grand larceny and two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, all felonies. The White Plains men face a maximum of five to 15 years in state prison. Bentil would be disbarred if convicted of a felony.

Robinson and Bentil pretended to be agents for country singer Taylor Swift while persuading Kachik Mouradian, CEO of Omega Alpha Enterprises, to invest $375,000 in a March 2010 concert, according to the district attorney's office.

Officials said Bentil, an attorney, used two fake documents purportedly signed by CEO of Central Entertainment Group Michael Schweiger to gain Mouradian's investment from November 2009 to January 2010. He showed the Los Angeles investor an "Artist Offer Letter" and a "Performance Agreement" with forged Schweiger signatures, which the district attorney's office said backed up the duo's lies that they were organizing a concert on Swift's behalf.

Bentil returned $150,000 of the investment when confronted by Mouradian about the scam, according to the district attorney.

Robinson is scheduled to appear in court on April 2. Bentil's next court date is April 11.

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