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musicman1
New Member


Joined: 17 Sep 2011
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I too was a victim of one of Shaun's scams, and this one was even stranger: he never asked me for money. In fact, he gave me $5 as a donation for a CD.

Shaun contacted me pretending to be a composition professor at a college in Arizona, asking if he could workshop my musical, PLACEBO, with his students in June. He even offered to pay me for the rights and to fly me out to oversee the workshop. He claimed to have worked as an orchestrator for many big names, including Marc Shaiman and Hans Zimmer--and also claimed that Marc Shaiman would be attending the workshop to give feedback.

It sounded too good to be true, but he never asked me for any money, so I didn't question it. And besides, he was actually very musically knowledgable when we talked about my orchestrations. I did get suspicious though that no information about the workshop was available online, and whenever his "secretary" was supposed to give me my travel information, she was always conveniently "out of the office". Regardless, I cancelled a week of work and cleared my schedule to do this.

Finally, on the day before I was supposed to fly out there, I got an email from Shaun pretending to be someone named "Steven Crane". The email said (in very specific detail) that Shaun's fiancee and their unborn child were killed in a car accident the previous day, and that the workshop would have to be cancelled. It sounded like a morbid excuse to get off the hook for this lie, except that in that email he STILL said that a check would be coming for the expenses and that the show would be workshopped at the same festival next summer.

I eventually was able to contact Marc Shaiman, who confirmed that he had never heard of Shaun and had no plans to be in Arizona in June. I called Shaun and confronted him about this, and he asked me to hang up and email him what I knew. When I did, he responded saying that he suffers from Bipolar I disorder and that he had recently been off of his medication for the first time since age 18. I still do not know if this is true and have since found out that Shaun often uses this an excuse for his actions. I would guess that this is also a lie, because this was in June, BEFORE the other crimes detailed on this message board had occurred. He claimed to be back on his medication then, although it is clear now that he continued to perpetrate more scams.

The question I am left wondering is....why? Since he never asked me for money, what did he want? What was the purpose of designing such an elaborate lie, only to pull the plug on it later?

One other ***IMPORTANT*** thing: Officer West's email address is listed incorrectly on this forum. The correct address is kwest@thatcher.az.gov and it is very important to include the ".gov" part or the email will not go through. If you tried before and your email did not go through, please try again with the correct address. It is very important to add your case to the file so that Shaun can be held accountable for his actions.
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jivepatrol
Regular Member


Joined: 13 Nov 2007
Posts: 96

PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 5:16 pm    Post subject: The Talented Mr. Crane Reply with quote

Shaun and I had been casual Facebook friends for a couple of years. One day in June, he emailed me and mentioned that he wanted to throw $2500 at my big band recording project. Needless to say, I was very excited. He asked for my address and said that he would get a check right out to me from his LLC. Well, six weeks went by. At the time, he claimed to be living in Thatcher, AZ, so I knew it wouldnt take that long to get to me. After a time, I kept asking if itd been returned to him or lost. Finally, he said that hed send another one, this time by Fed Ex, so nothing would happen to it. During this exchange, he also mentioned that hed been injured in a car wreck (along with his pregnant girlfriend) were the reasons for the delays (he later added that he was bi-sexual and bipolar). When I asked him for a tracking number, he told me that his brother-in-law (Leonard Williams, which turned one of five aliases of his) was a big-wig at Fed Ex and that they used an in-house sending system for their personal things, without tracking numbers (he also provided an email address and phone number, but was urged to email him). I emailed this Leonard guy and noticed that he wrote in Shauns style of writing. I figured out quickly that this was all bullst, too.

So, he said he would send out ANOTHER package via USPS. This time, he actually provided a tracking number AND took a snapshot of the check. The check was for $4000. I received the check two days later. As an aside, Shaun told me that he was at the airport and he snapped the picture and sent the check the same day he was leaving for a few days for northern Wisconsin (note: he also told me he had to leave Arizona to get away from stress. He was actually fleeing the authorities and skipping out on rent from his apartment complex). I received the check and called SunTrust to verify funds. They told me that this was not his account and they didnt know who he was (I found out later that Shaun lifted someones account and routing numbers and put them on phony checks with his name on them). This account had a LOT of money in it, but not $4000. I contacted him, wherever he was, and called him out.

He STILL continued the lie told me that would wire transfer the $1300 from his Chase personal account to make the check cashable. During this process, I did my homework and found that there wasnt a chase within 50 miles of where he supposedly was in northern Wisconsin. Also, during this exchange, Shaun changed phone numbers. He had two contact numbers a cell and a Blackberry. On one of them, he claimed to have lost his phone in the lake in Minocqua, WI. The other, he didnt want the service anymore. During this short time, we stayed in contact via Facebook. When he sent his new cell phone number, I noticed that it was a (312) area code. I happen to be from Wisconsin, so I knew that he couldnt have gotten a prepaid number from up there with that area code. That area code happens to be from around Chicago which, I knew from previous discussions, was where Shaun was from (that was true. Hes from around Marshall, IL., according to the police. As it turns out, his mother still lives there and he fled Arizona to return home. He never was in Wisconsin).

At that point, I directed the Thatcher (AZ), Phoenix, the Illinois State Police, and the FBI in that direction. He has warrants out with them. A couple of things amaze me about him. Firstly, he continued the scam -even after he had to know I was on to him. Right up to 8/3/11 at 7:00 pm (my very last contact with him), he told me he was on the way to Western Union (with the $1300 cash) to wire it to me. The only reason I stuck with him was to see how far hed go and if hed crack. Secondly, I dont understand what he got out of it continuing this elaborate scam to send me money?! The last thing I saw from him was a photo on his Facebook wall of the ER he was supposedly in, suffering from an anxiety attack (I used the photo to figure out where he really was and sent the police that way). Shortly thereafter, he closed his Facebook account and hasnt been heard from since. Im assuming that the authorities got him.
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connicalman
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 17 Dec 2007
Posts: 1668
Location: West Medford, MA

PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I feel for you. It's been said before in a song: Manic depression's a frustrating mess.

Can you maybe see how something titled 'Placebo' might resonate with the rest of the story and players as aired out here?

Let's all hope fewer people get hurt & more hurtin' people get help.

Bunny Rawson, I hope you're OK.
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musicman1
New Member


Joined: 17 Sep 2011
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

connicalman wrote:
Can you maybe see how something titled 'Placebo' might resonate with the rest of the story and players as aired out here?


Actually, it's funny you say that. I actually noticed a lot of weird parallels between the story of PLACEBO (which Shaun was familiar with) and this situation. The story involves someone profiting from selling something that isn't real to begin with, and deals with blurring the line between what's real and what isn't, seeing yourself the way you want to in your mind. Then of course there's the theme of medication/pills (Shaun claimed that this whole situation happened because he stopped taking his medicine) and also, the main character's girlfriend is injured and ends up in the hospital, just as Shaun claimed happened to his fiancee. Almost makes me wonder if he was pulling pages from my own story to create his fabrications.

@jivepatrol: No, the authorities haven't found him yet. Please email kwest@thatcher.az.gov
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jivepatrol
Regular Member


Joined: 13 Nov 2007
Posts: 96

PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I talked to West, and several others, on 8/5. I REALLY hope they get this cat and give him the help he needs.
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musicman1
New Member


Joined: 17 Sep 2011
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jivepatrol wrote:
I talked to West, and several others, on 8/5. I REALLY hope they get this cat and give him the help he needs.


Me too. And I agree with you, I just can't understand what he got from this. I could understand if he was trying to get money, but what was his motivation for trying to give us money? Most likely, we'll never know.
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PhxHorn
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Posts: 2187
Location: Phoenix, AZ

PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My last contact with him was the last Monday in July, when he failed to show up for a meeting about a recording session. Like the Placebo thing, I'm not sure what he hoped to gain from booking a bogus session at a studio that wasn't even available that day. Guys like that just seem to enjoy the attention they get when they 'book' someone. There's another guy in Phoenix who books people for bogus gigs and then cancels at the last minute.

I recently got a call from Bruce Gregory in Thatcher who got stiffed on rent when Shaun fled the state. He'd found my original contract for the recording session that had been left on his scanner. Shaun had been using Bruce's name as an alias, too.
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