Vancouver musician pleads guilty in scam

He solicited more than $525,000 for fictitious projects

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter

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A Vancouver musician pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to soliciting more than $525,000 in investments for fictitious music projects, including some that involved Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam and R.E.M.

Kasey Anderson, 33, is scheduled to be sentenced for wire fraud Nov. 22, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office. Federal wire fraud carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Anderson surrendered to federal officials in Seattle in January.

Federal prosecutors said the singer-songwriter raised money for an album called "Trapped Like a Ghost" to benefit the legal defense of the "West Memphis Three" — three men who were convicted of the murder of three boys in 1994.

He told investors that many famous musicians had agreed to contribute songs and fabricated emails to help convince them.

He also forged statements from Burnside Distribution that his own record, "Heart of a Dog," had yielded more than $1.1 million in sales during a three-month period, according to The Oregonian.

Prosecutors said he has repaid more than $160,000 of the money. Some of the investors who sued Anderson in Portland won a $185,000 judgment in October, according to The Oregonian.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Paris Achen: 360-735-4551; http://twitter.com/Col_Courts; http://facebook.com/ColTrends; paris.achen@columbian.com