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Electric Daisy Carnival Creator Could Face Up to 13 Years in Prison

Pasquale Rotella faces stiff sentence on L.A. Coliseum corruption charges

April 4, 2012 2:36 PM ET
Pasquale Rotella posed backstage during day two of the Electric Daisy Carnival electronic music festival.
Pasquale Rotella posed backstage during day two of the Electric Daisy Carnival electronic music festival.
Michael Tullberg/Getty Images

Following his March arrest for an indictment including 29 counts of bribery, embezzlement, conspiracy and conflict of interest, court documents reveal that Electric Daisy Carnival creator and Insomniac Events CEO Pasquale Rotella could face up to 13 years and eight months in prison, Spin reports.

Rotella is one of six individuals charged in a colossal corruption case concerning Los Angeles' historic stadium, the Coliseum, where the EDC has been held many times. According to L.A. District Attorney Steve Cooley, more than $2.5 million of Coliseum money was rerouted to the personal accounts of Coliseum Events Manager Todd DeStefano and General Manager Patrick Lynch via back-room deals.

"In 2008 DeStefano, [Go Ventures promoter Reza] 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," reads a court document submitted by Cooley. "Lynch learned of the payments in 2009 and . . . [assisted] him in continuing his crime."

These charges are not the first to taint the EDC and the Coliseum. After attending the carnival at the Coliseum in 2010, 15-year-old Sasha Rodriguez died of ecstasy-related causes at a nearby hospital. Following her death, the L.A. Times looked into the Coliseum's practices, which led to the city's 13-month-long investigation that brought about Rotella's indictment.

In the court document, Cooley draws a connection between the corruption and drug usage at events such as the EDC. "In the past, electronic music concerts, also known as raves, were generally conducted illegally, without permits and with rampant drug use," he stated. "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. The best way to overcome such resistance is always the use of an inside man."

Rotella is currently out on bail. His attorney, Gary Kaufman, has issued a statement maintaining Rotella's innocence, calling the charges "clearly politically motivated and publicity driven." Insomniac claims none of their events will be impacted by the arrest.

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