OGDEN -- Local philanthropist John Gullo has asked Ogden police to investigate a music promoter he contends owes him $11,250 over musical performances at Ogden's recent Hot Rock'n 4th celebration.
Gullo, who is trustee of the American Dream Foundation, said Jason Taylor, of Orem-based Double Play Entertainment, was supposed to reimburse him for payments Gullo made to country music performers Josh Gracin and the Bellamy Brothers.
Gullo wants to see Taylor prosecuted for giving him a check that bounced.
"I would rather not get the money and hope he goes to jail," said Gullo, whose foundation puts on the Hot Rock'n 4th event as an annual fundraiser for Weber County charities.
"White-collar crime doesn't get treated like other crime."
Ogden Police Lt. Mike Ashment confirmed Gullo's complaint is being investigated.
Taylor said he intends to reimburse Gullo the $11,250 he paid to Gracin and the Bellamy Brothers on Taylor's behalf.
However, Taylor also maintains Gullo owes him money from proceeds generated by Hot Rock'n 4th and ticket sales to the concert.
"At this point, I consider Mr. Gullo a just and honorable man who has panicked and forgot the commitment he made to me regarding settlement of the show and the revenue share," Taylor said in an email to the Standard-Examiner.
Taylor initially intended to put on a July 4 concert at Lindquist Field featuring the Bellamy Brothers, Gracin and performers Richie McDonald and Jared Ashley.
Originally called "Blaze at the Ballpark," the concert was supposed to be the second of three concerts featuring Lonestar at Lindquist Field. Lonestar was paid in advance, Taylor said.
The concerts were to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project, which provides programs and services to wounded veterans and their families. However, Lonestar pulled out in a last-minute contract dispute.
After the first concert on June 28, it became clear to Ogden Raptors officials that Lindquist Field could not withstand two more concerts.
Taylor initially tried to move the July 4 concert to the Ogden Amphitheater, but city officials told him they didn't want to compete with the Hot Rock'n 4th event at Ogden Stadium, Gullo said.
It was then that John Nicholas, director of the amphitheater, introduced Taylor to Gullo.
Gullo said he agreed to host the concert at Hot Rock'n 4th because Taylor assured him that he had already paid for the musical acts. Gullo then spent an additional $5,000 on marketing and advertising to promote the show.
Gullo said that, on July 3, Taylor told him there was a problem because the Bellamy Brothers demanded to be paid in cash and that he had forgotten to go to the bank.
But the following day, Gullo said, Taylor told him didn't have money to pay $5,000 owed to Gracin and $6,250 to the Bellamy Brothers. Gullo said Taylor told him he had already paid McDonald and Ashley by check.
Gullo said he feared the reputation of Hot Rock'n 4th would suffer if the concert were canceled, so he agreed to cover the money owed to Gracin and the Bellamy Brothers and paid the bands before the performance so they would go on.
Nicholas said the price Gullo paid, particularly for the Bellamy Brothers, was a deal.
"He got a cheap price," he said, adding the Bellamy Brothers usually charge $35,000 per show.
Gullo said Hot Rock'n 4th didn't need the concert and has done well financially in previous years without major musical entertainment.
Gullo said his attorney, Neal Sabin, of Salt Lake City, prepared a reimbursement contract that was signed by Taylor and witnessed by a pair of Ogden police officers providing security at Hot Rock'n 4th.
Gullo said Taylor gave him a $20,000 check on July 4 to cover payments to Gracin and the Bellamy Brothers and asked that the balance of $8,750 be returned. The check has since bounced, Gullo said.
Taylor said Gullo failed to provide him with instructions in time so he could wire funds before the $20,000 check was deposited.
Gullo said his accountant contacted Taylor on July 5 with wiring instructions.
Taylor also said Gullo promised him a cut of Hot Rock'n 4th proceeds.
"He told me what he would do is take the average revenue for the last three years of his show, come up with a number, and give me whatever funds were greater than that average," Taylor said recalling his deal with Gullo.
"I mentioned to him I did not want or intend to make money on the event and would only take money against my expenses and wanted the rest to be given to charity (the Wounded Warrior Project)."
Gullo said he would never give any funds to Taylor from Hot Rock'n 4th because it would violate the charitable purpose of the event.
Taylor said he expected to be paid immediately after Hot Rock'n 4th but Gullo told him it would take a few days to complete accounting for the event.
Gullo denied Taylor's characterization of the agreement.
Gullo also said Taylor told him he had paid McDonald and Ashley by check for playing at Hot Rock'n 4th. However, Gullo learned from their manager after the show they never agreed to a check and also wanted cash that Taylor had not provided.
Gullo said he didn't pay them.
Taylor said in a phone interview he plans to pay McDonald and Ashley. "They are going to get their money."
Gullo said until he gets repaid by Taylor, it will impact the amount of money the American Dream Foundation will donate to charity from Hot Rock'n 4th proceeds.
"Even though American Dream sponsors Hot Rock'n 4th, it has to stand as a business on its own," he said. "Hopefully, this loss won't impact continuation of Hot Rock'n 4th."
Taylor said he has tried unsuccessfully to communicate with Gullo to resolve the dispute.
"I have no intention of keeping one dime of the money intended for him or anyone else regarding this show, but my hands are tied until he settles with me," he said in the email to the Standard-Examiner.
"All I am trying to do is live up to the obligation I made to the people of Ogden to provide low-cost, high-value entertainment this summer. If we wouldn't have had Lonestar cancel the shows they did, and that they were paid in advance for, none of this would be happening."
Taylor said he invested more than $40,000 in the Hot Rock'n 4th concert.
Taylor said later Monday night in an email to the Standard-Examiner he intends to file a civil suit against Gullo and the American Dream Foundation as early as Wednesday for fraud and breach of contract.
Gullo said Taylor has no legal grounds because no contract was ever drawn up or signed.
Taylor is also the promoter for a concert this Sunday at the Ogden Amphitheater featuring Tracy Lawrence, Charlie Jenkins, Haywire and Due West.
"All indications are that it's going to happen," Nicholas said.
Tickets are available through Smith's Tix, 800-888-TIXX.