The state's largest-ever Ponzi scheme run by a Mercer Island man has now pulled musician John Mayer into a web of ill-gotten gains that a sprawling bankruptcy lawsuit is trying to recover.
According to TMZ.com in a story published on Sunday, new legal documents filed by creditors of former Mercer Island resident Darren Berg say Mayer was paid from Ponzi scheme money to perform at a corporate event hosted by Berg and his investment fund Meridian Group in 2008.
The fund was declared bankrupt in 2010 and Berg was later arrested in October 2010 and charged with 12 counts of fraud and money laundering relating to a Ponzi Scheme he ran that involved investments of up to $245 million (some estimates of Meridian's assets place that number at approximately $280 million).
TMZ.com reports that booking agency Grabow & Associates — and Mayer by extension — were paid by Berg and Meridian as much as $465,000 from the Ponzi scheme.
Mayer's lawyer told TMZ, "John Mayer performed at a corporate event in 2008 and was paid for his services. The opportunity was brought to John through his talent agency, CAA.”
Bankruptcy trustees filed suit against to recover some of the cost, and US District Court Judge Richard A. Jones ruled in April that Berg is responsible for repaying $140,356,155 in restitution as part of his sentence.
According to federal prosecutors, the restitution cannot be waived by bankruptcy. Following his prison term, no less than 10 percent of his monthly income will be required to go for restitution.
Berg's in early 2011 for just over $6 million. He is .