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Two US agents arrested over bogus Justin Timberlake and Bruno Mars bookings

By | Published on Friday 10 January 2020

Justin Timberlake

Two women associated with an Atlanta-based music and promotions company called Canvas Media Group were arrested in New York this week over allegations that they fraudulently claimed to have booked Justin Timberlake and Bruno Mars to play a concert that would have raised funds for the Sandy Hook Promise Foundation.

A court filing by an FBI investigator claims that Nancy Jean and Carissa Scott took and partly spent a $100,000 advance payment as part of their negotiations with organisers of a benefit concert that was due to take place in Texas last month.

The payment was supposedly a deposit to secure a booking with Justin Timberlake and then, later, Bruno Mars, but, it’s alleged, neither Jean nor Scott had any contact with Timberlake or Mars or any of their respective representatives.

Having paid the $100,000 deposit, organisers got concerned as to why Timberlake hadn’t posted about the concert on social media as had been promised. Jean and Scott then told them that Timberlake had decided that he needed to be paid $275,000 of his $500,000 fee to publicly announce the show.

In the subsequent back and forth, the defendants arranged for a man who claimed to be Timberlake’s manager to call the organisers to reassure them a booking had been made; they then said that the pop star’s fee had gone up to $800,000; before claiming that they could get Mars to play instead for a $600,000 fee, providing they received a $300,000 deposit payment up front.

At this point the benefit show’s backers got suspicious and went to the FBI. The aforementioned FBI investigator then approached Jean and Scott claiming to be a new investor in the charity event who was also interested in possibly backing other concerts.

After asking for an update on the Timberlake and Mars bookings, he was told both artists were concerned that the proposed charity show was a joke and that they would therefore need their full deposits paid to publicly announce their involvement. Jean and Scott also added that they could alternatively book Drake, Flo Rida or Ed Sheeran for the show.

The FBI then checked in with Timberlake’s management and the booking agency that reps both Timberlake and Mars.

They all confirmed that they had never been approached by Jean and Scott, with Timberlake’s manager saying that his client wasn’t even available on the proposed concert date. Mars’s agent added that there was no way that his client – or Timberlake for that matter – could have been booked to play the proposed benefit show without him being aware of it.

The FBI’s investigation also showed that Jean and Scott had withdrawn cash and made payments from the bank account that the $100,000 deposit had been paid into, which had few funds in it other than the Timberlake advance.

The two women were arrested at JFK Airport in New York on Wednesday and are now facing charges of conspiracy to defraud. Neither they nor Canvas Media Group have as yet commented.