Contact Us

Guitarist Faces Jail After Convincing Investors to Fund Bogus Charity Album Featuring Jimi Hendrix, Beatles + More

Marino De Silva

In what feels like it has to be the strangest, saddest story of the year, an L.A.-based recording artist is facing up to eight years in prison after being accused of swindling millions of dollars out of investors who believed they were helping fund the release of new recordings from rock legends for a charity compilation.

As Noisecreep reports, guitarist Marino De Silva approached investors claiming to be a Grammy-winning “famous producer” in possession of previously unheard recordings by Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles, Carlos Santana and the Rolling Stones. De Silva, who reportedly told his marks that he was close personal friends with Stones guitarist Keith Richards, funneled donations to a foundation he operated — named Angels on Earth — with the stated goal of raising money for a variety of causes, including “wounded American troops and kids with autism.”

Sadly, it all appears to have been a Ponzi scheme — at least, that’s the contention of Las Vegas police, who arrested De Silva on 22 counts of fraud and theft. According to one longtime acquaintance who says he was bilked out of nearly $40,000, “It seems he’s been using charitable foundations as fronts and simply living the high life without paying any of his investors back.”

When pressed, De Silva apparently did produce recordings, but they were clearly fakes; Noisecreep’s report describes them as “poor quality covers of already known songs, mostly recorded by De Silva.”

Somewhat bizarrely, De Silva managed to maintain a semblance of a recording career as recently as February of this year, when he released a track called ‘Possessed,’ featuring vocals from ‘Into the Night’ singer Benny Mardones. Watch the clip embedded below, and pray we don’t report on anything stranger than this before January.

Next: Top 10 REAL Jimi Hendrix Songs

Marino De Silva featuring Benny Mardones, ‘Possession’

Best of 106.9 Classic Rock

Recommended For You

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for All Access Pass quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive All Access Pass contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.