Tuesday Aug 01, 2023

Episode 20: Concerts and Con Artists Inside the Multi Million Dollar Music Fraud Scheme” THE CASE OF MICHAEL BANUELOS - FERRARI MIKE CASE

In this episode, Dominique and Tom dive into the multi million dollar music fraud scheme of Michael Banuelos, better known as Ferrari Mike. From 2005 to 2012, Mike swindled nearly 3 million dollars out of multiple investors all while living the high life off of their hard earned money. He makes himself out to be a big shot with impressive connections to top recording artists like Ludacris, Usher and Chris Brown. He even produces a fake video of his home on MTV Cribs to convince people of how strong his connections are. By preying on the dreams of aspiring musicians and investors interested in their careers, he uses forged documents from major recording label Def Jam Records to convince people to give him hundreds of thousands of dollars. But all is not as it seems with Ferrari Mike. He may look like a real VIP with his luxurious lifestyle, but he had not truly earned a single cent of it. In fact, he had not done an honest day's work since 1997. 


Talking Points:

  • Who is Ferrari Mike?
  • From 2005 to 2012 Mike swindles multiple groups of people out of millions
  • Mike claims he has professional connections to Ludacris and Def Jam Records
  • Musician Four Eyes’ testimony about his relationship with Ferrari Mike
  • Mike produces a video and fakes that his own home is being featured in an episode of MTV Cribs
  • Mike’s victims include The Vern L and Ty T Investor Groups, and the musical duo Highlife
  • Mike forges documents from a major recording label and the employee whose name was forged ends up committing suicide. Mike uses this as an excuse to explain why the deal wasn’t able to be finalized.
  • In February 2009, Mike claims Chris Brown can’t meet with Ty T because of the legal troubles with his domestic violence charge against Rihanna
  • Then, Mike offers Ty for Highlife to be the opening act for Usher’s tour if he just scrapes up an additional $10K. 
  • Gerald S. falls into Mike’s trap when he receives a memorandum of understanding dated October 9, 2008 between Def Jam Music Group and Michael. Memorandum claims Def Jam will pay 23 million dollars for the rights to HighLife’s performances. Gerald invests $100,000.
  • Between 2009 and 2010, Gerald poured even more money into Mike’s fraudulent deals including a $340,000 investment for the supposed deal with Sony who Mike claimed was offering $285 million for the rights to musician Brian White. 
  • In July 2012, Ferrari Mike was finally arrested.
  • Mike continues attempting to defraud people from prison claiming his arrest was a misunderstanding.
  • What did Mike do with all that money?
  • Mike did not have an honest job since being a deputy in 1997.
  • Find out the shocking truth behind this master manipulator and his devastating impact on the lives of aspiring artists in Part 2!




Podcast production and show notes provided by HiveCast.fm

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