HONOLULU (AP) — Sentencing has been postponed again for a North Carolina man who prosecutors say scammed the University of Hawaii out of $200,000 by lying about his ability to secure Stevie Wonder for a fundraiser concert.
Marc Hubbard was scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday, but his defense attorney, William Harrison, asked for time to review Hubbard’s pre-sentence report prepared by probation officials.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Marc Wallenstein objected to another delay. “This proceeding has been put off, I can’t tell you how many times,” he said.
A judge rescheduled the sentencing hearing for April 6.
Hubbard pleaded guilty to wire fraud in 2016. His sentencing has been postponed several times. The day before his sentencing was scheduled last month, he filed a motion asking to take back his guilty plea.
He said he’s innocent and was coerced into pleading guilty because he feared prosecutors would reveal he cooperated against East Coast mobsters. Prosecutors denied that and said while he did offer to cooperate against purported organized crime figures, his help was useless.
A judge rejected his request to withdraw his guilty plea, ruling that there was nothing ambiguous in the questions he was asked during his 2016 guilty plea hearing and the answers he gave. She noted that at the time she asked him if he agreed that relying on his false statements, the university wired $200,000 and he replied “yes.”
The university paid the $200,000 deposit in 2012 then began selling tickets before learning that neither Wonder nor his representatives had authorized a show.
Thousands of ticket purchases had to be refunded, causing embarrassment for the school and prompting investigations.
A special state Senate committee that investigated the university’s handling of the bungled concert said the incident tarnished the university’s reputation.
The committee said no one at the university looked into whether the agent was an authorized representative of the singer. They also faulted a lack of oversight and communication in the school’s athletics department, general counsel and disbursing office.
As part of a plea deal, prosecutors will recommend his sentence run concurrently with the more than six-years he’s serving for a similar Pennsylvania case.
By JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER
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