Michael Tullberg, Getty Images
The CEO and five accomplices have been indicted on 29 counts of bribery, embezzlement, conspiracy and conflict of interest -- all tied to shady deals made with two Los Angeles city officials.
LA District Attorney Steve Cooley alleges the festival laundered $2.5 million to Los Angeles Coliseum Events Manager Todd DeStefano and General Manager Patrick Lynch in exchange for low rates and a safe haven for drug use.
"In the past, electronic music concerts, also known as raves, were generally conducted illegally, without permits and with rampant drug use. More recently their promoters have managed to bring the events to conventional venues but have faced resistance from the public due to continued drug use and other safety issues," Cooley writes in the recently released court documents.
"The best way to overcome such resistance is always the use of an inside man. In 2008, DeStefano, Gerami, and Pasquale Rotella agreed that the two promoters would pay DeStefano personally and in exchange he would use his official position to provide them access to the Coliseum and low rates ... Lynch learned of the payments in 2009 and ... [assisted] him in continuing his crime."
If convicted, Rotella could serve up to 13 years in prison. He is currently free on bail after being arrested on March 23. The festival promoter's lawyer has panned the charges, claiming they are "clearly politically motivated and publicity driven."
As Spinner previously reported, the Electric Daisy Carnival was in hot water after an underage concertgoer overdosed and died on the festival's grounds in Dallas last year. The festival made headlines again in July 2011, when a riot broke out at the electronic concert's movie premiere.