Robert Mawhinney tried to pay his band’s way to success with $ 11 million in bank loans.
If Jordan Belfort is the Wolf of Wall Street, this guy is the lobo of Los Angeles.
Rocker Robert Mawhinney, the former front man for American punk band Lights Over Paris, painted a picture of lavish success — complete with champagne, caviar, a customized tour bus, and a $ 10,500-a-month luxury rental in the Hollywood Hills.
But, like Belfort, Mawhinney’s high-flying antics were too good to be true — the 30-year-old singer, who didn’t have a record label or recording contract, funded his lavish lifestyle with millions of dollars in loans that he never intended to pay back. And it landed him in prison.
The Lights Over Paris rocker – who idolized bands like Blink 182 — went to great lengths to create the illusion of his band’s success after the real thing failed to come along.
The singer said in a candid interview with ABC’s “20/20″ that he is full of regret. “My lifestyle… it was crazy, and I was hoping deep down that I could rectify the situation and… pay these things back,” Mawhinney said from his jail cell.
The Lights Over Paris rocker — who idolized bands like Blink 182 — went to great lengths to create the illusion of his band’s success after the real thing failed to come along.
“There was no money coming into his bank accounts,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Ranee Katzenstein told CNBC last month. “He couldn’t get loans unless he lied.”
Photo credit: Mary Cybulski/Mary Cybulski
Leonardo DiCaprio plays Jordan Belfort, a man who scammed people out of millions of dollars, in ‘The Wolf of Wall Street.’
So Mawhinney lied his way into the lifestyle of a rock star, applying for more than $ 11 million in loans beginning in 2009. He received $ 6.2 million of that. To get such a sum, he forged documents stating he had $ 8 million in stocks and other funds, court documents show.
“He was living the life of an A-lister,” Katzenstein told CNBC, detailing Mawhinney’s custom-made $ 750,000 tour bus with platinum bathroom tiles and a master suite.
Mawhinney was charged in January 2012 with making a false statement in a loan application and later pleaded guilty to four counts. He is currently serving out a seven-year sentence.
“The thing I regret is… kind of losing control,” he told “20/20.”