The City of Summerside, P.E.I., is suing an American concert promoter for fraud, saying it paid $1.3 million for a Michael Jackson tribute concert that did not exist.
'The Michael Jackson Tribute Show was, from start to finish, an elaborate fraud.' — Statement of claim
The city filed papers Monday in a San Jose, Calif., courthouse against Katrina Berg Sussmeier and her promotion company, Starlink Productions. The city claims Sussmeier promised it could host the first concert of an official Jackson tribute, featuring stars such as Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, Rihanna and Usher.
Summerside would have kicked off the world tour July 24.
"In reality," reads the statement of claim, "the Michael Jackson Tribute Show was, from start to finish, an elaborate fraud."
The statement of claim describes how the city fell completely for Sussmeier's plans.
It says the city wired two separate payments of $650,000 to the promoter: the first in July 2009, the month after Jackson died, and the other in March 2010. The second payment was sent to the promoter despite red flags already being raised for the city.
The second payment was made despite growing doubts.
"Summerside officials became increasingly concerned about the status of the concert," says the statement of claim about the months leading up to that final payment.
The city is suing to get back the $1.3 million in taxpayers money, as well as for unspecified damages.
None of the allegations have been proven in court. A message left for the promoter Monday night by CBC News was not returned.