Ex-Iowa tourism executives to plead guilty to lying about ticket sales for Maroon 5 and Kelly Clarkson concert that lost millions

Ex-Iowa tourism executives to plead guilty to lying about ticket sales for Maroon 5 and Kelly Clarkson concert that lost millions

The former heads of an Iowa tourism board are set to plead guilty to defrauding lenders who backed a money-losing 2018 concert festival featuring acts like Maroon 5 and Kelly Clarkson.

Federal prosecutors say Aaron McCreight, 46, and Doug Hargrave, 54, inflated advance ticket sales for the three-day Newbo Evolve festival in Cedar Rapids in August 2018 when it approached Bankers Trust for additional money to keep the event afloat.

In all, the concert lost $2.3 million and cost $3.8 million to stage, officials said at the time.

Earlier this week, McCreight, who had been president and chief executive of Go Cedar Rapids, and Hargrave, who was its finance director, were charged with bank fraud. Both men have filed notice that they intend to plead guilty at their arraignments later this month, according to court filings.

Messages left with attorneys for McCreight and Hargrave  weren’t immediately returned. A spokeswoman for…

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