Local Promoter Arrested for Defrauding
The promoter of last summer’s Big Wake Weekend at Folsom Lake was recently arrested for reportedly not paying vendors hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to an official press release from the Placer County Sheriff’s Office.
The Big Wake Weekend event is a 3 day boat racing, music, and beach party event. This year’s edition is scheduled for Memorial Day weekend at Camp Far West, on the south shore of Camp Far West Reservoir north of Lincoln and east of Wheatland near Beale Air Force Base, where Placer, Yuba and Nevada Counties meet.
Robert Richards, Jr., 54, of Folsom was reportedly arrested on Wednesday, April 2, after Sheriff’s detectives had served a search warrant for his Folsom home. Richards was reportedly charged with defrauding by false pretenses and was booked at the Placer County Jail on $10,000 bail. He was reportedly bailed out later that day.
According to Placer County Sheriff, detectives began an investigation after vendors from last year’s event reported they were not getting paid. One man was reportedly owed nearly $200,000 — Richards reportedly paid him by check, which bounced. Further investigation revealed Richards had defrauded even more vendors.
Fans may be wondering if the arrest of Richards and the charges against him will affect the event coming up in less than two months. Richards himself posted a message Friday on the Big Wake Weekend Facebook page saying “With your support we will continue to promote and produce Big Wake Weekend 2014 Roar at the Shore! Our resolve is never been stronger to bring quality entertainment to this community and we will do so with honesty, integrity and tons of hard work. I have faith in the system, our fans, sponsors and vendors, I hope you will too…Humbly, Bob Richards Jr. Promoter Big Wake Weekend.”
In the comments on his Facebook posting, he also stated, in response to the breaking story, “many vendors did get paid others still getting paid…” and “Please give us a chance to prove otherwise, we could and would appreciate the opportunity…” Richards is associated with 41Live!, promoting events involved with motorcycle tours, NASCAR, IndyCar, NHRA and AMA Racing.
KCRA: Big Wake Weekend promoter: Fraud allegations false
Auburn Journal: Big Wake Weekend promoter arrested at his Folsom home
Sacramento Bee: Folsom Lake hydroplane racing promoter arrested