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News

2 Former Top Execs for L.A. Coliseum Plead Not Guilty to Corruption Charges

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Two former top-tier executives for the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum along with two rave promoters pleaded not guilty today to corruption charges included in a grand jury indictment.

Former Coliseum General Manager Patrick Lynch and ex-events manager Todd DeStefano were arrested yesterday and appeared in front of Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Patricia Schnegg this morning, according to City News Service. It's not clear what exactly the charges were in the indictment, but CNS reports that they're centered on allegations of bribery and kickbacks. Reza Gerami, the owner of rave promoter Go Ventures Inc. who was arrested yesterday, and Pasquale Rotella, the founder of rave promoter Insomniac Inc. who surrendered to the court today, also pleaded not guilty to charges.

Schnegg agreed to let the defendants out on bail on the condition that they surrendered their passports and could prove that their bail money came from legitimate sources. Bail was set at $1.2 million for DeStefano, Rotella and Gerami, while Lynch's bail was set at $800,000.

DeStefano and Lynch found themselves in hot water when it was discovered that DeStefano was working as a paid consultant for the group Insomniac Inc., which puts on events hosted at the Coliseum like the Electric Daisy Carnival. It appears that Lynch approved of DeStefano's side gig. This double-duty looked shady to some. When this relationship was disclosed, Commissioner Rick Caruso said, "We have now learned the fox was guarding the henhouse, since the staffer in charge of planning security was also secretly working for the rave organizer."

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Attorney Richard G. Hirsch said the charges being brought against his client DeStefano are politically-motivated. He claims that his client is innocent and that he is being turned into a scapegoat for the Coliseum's financial woes.

Insomniac Events attorney Gary Jay Kaufman released a statement proclaiming Pasquale's innocence and saying that there was nothing wrong with the relationship between Insomiac and the Coliseum:

All transactions between Insomniac and the Coliseum were transparent and approved by the Coliseum General Manager, his staff and the attorneys representing the Coliseum. While we recognize that issues surrounding the Coliseum demand attention, we are extremely disappointed that the District Attorney would seek to have Mr. Rotella arrested when he did nothing wrong.

Related:
2 Former Top Execs for L.A. Coliseum Arrested, Pair "likely fleeced" Venue of Over $1M
When it Comes to Raves at the Coliseum, Was 'the fox guarding the henhouse'?
Parents of Teen Who OD'd at Electric Daisy Carnival Suing Coliseum and Event Promoters