At least two people gave a Salt Lake man up-front fees in exchange for a promise they would be touring with pop music stars.
The trouble was, according to a criminal complaint filed in 3rd Circuit Court, the pop music stars weren't touring.Foster Myles Weller Jr., 42, was charged Thursday with two counts of theft by deception, second-degree felonies. He is held in the Salt Lake County Jail without bail because he was on parole after serving a prison sentence for fraud, said Salt Lake police detective Mike Welch.
Weller's company, Illumination Entertainment Ltd., was accused of placing a newspaper ad in October encouraging people to inquire about employment in the entertainment field, touring for eight months with female music stars. The ad said no fees were required, all expenses would be paid and promised an income between $26,000 and $28,000.
Those who responded to the ad were told they would need to pay $1,859 up front as a deposit to ensure the company that they would not back out of the tour. Inquirers were told they would work as lighting and logistical personnel on tours with artists such as Belinda Carlisle and Carly Simon next June, said a police report.
A woman who interviewed with the company called Simon's record company and said they told her Simon has a specific distaste for tours and refuses to do them. They said even if she would tour, it would be premature to plan now for a June concert tour, the report said.
"People are so damn gullible in this state," said Welch. "When people have to pay any up-front fee, there's usually something wrong."
The criminal complaint states that if the charges of theft by deception do not stick, Weller will be charged with communications fraud, a third-degree felony.