Rave Corruption Figure Is Sentenced

EDC Vegas in 2015EXPAND
EDC Vegas in 2015
Marco Torres/L.A. Weekly

The saga of alleged corruption at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum is pretty much over. The last sentence for a major figure in the case was announced Wednesday, according to the L.A. County District Attorney's Office.

Former Coliseum manager Patrick Lynch was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy to three years of probation. Prosecutors had alleged Lynch was a key figure in a bribery and public corruption scheme to divert money from the publicly owned venue. He pleaded guilty to felony conflict of interest.

Lynch was the superior of Coliseum events manager Todd DeStefano, whom prosecutors alleged helped divert $1.8 million from rave promoters in exchange for facilitating massive raves such as Electric Daisy Carnival. "The pair were involved in a variety of schemes that siphoned money from the stadium," according to a statement from the DA's office. After the corruption controversy peaked in 2011, Lynch resigned.

Lynch already paid $385,000 restitution and performed 1,500 hours of community service, prosecutors said. DeStefano was handed six months behind bars and three months of probation for his role. He also was ordered to pay $500,000 restitution.

Rave promoter Pasquale Rotella of Electric Daisy Carnival fame received three years of probation and was ordered to pay $150,000; fellow promoter Reza Gerami of Go Ventures got three years of probation and was ordered to pay $30,000. Both pleaded to contest to misdemeanor conflict of interest.

While the case against those two appeared thin at times — the promoters didn't really get anything above and beyond the norm for their money — prosecutors said in their statement that "the defendants have agreed to pay more than $1 million to Los Angeles County taxpayers."

The controversy over under-the-table payments to DeStefano's sideline events company erupted after the Coliseum's large-scale raves received increased scrutiny in 2010 and 2011. A 15-year-old girl who had sneaked into Electric Daisy Carnival at the Coliseum in 2010 later died of ecstasy intoxication, prompting public officials, including then–Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, to express outrage over the laissez faire atmosphere at the electronic dance music events.

In 2011 EDC moved to Las Vegas to great commercial success, although there has been an average of about one ecstasy death per year among eventgoers since then.


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