1 of 2 Arizona men who conned 2 Lufkin victims out of $54K accep - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

1 of 2 Arizona men who conned 2 Lufkin victims out of $54K accepts 5 years probation

Zelmer Hagler (Source: Angelina County Jail) Zelmer Hagler (Source: Angelina County Jail)
Michael Mitchell (Source: Angelina County Jail) Michael Mitchell (Source: Angelina County Jail)
LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) -

One of two Arizona men arrested in July 2013 for felony theft by deception for scamming two Lufkin out of $54,000 by convincing them to invest in a bogus December 2011 concert featuring two well-known rap artists.

Zelmer Andre Hagler, of Maricopa, Arizona appeared in Judge Barry Bryan's 217th Judicial District Court. The other suspect in the case, Michael Dwain Mitchell, of Tempe Arizona, hasn't pleaded yet.

When they were arrested, both men were charged with first-degree felony theft between $20,000 and $100,000. Each man's bail was set at $5,000.

Back in July, East Texas News obtained a copy of the arrest affidavit. The case was investigated by a member of the Texas Department of Public Safety's Criminal Investigation Division.

According to the affidavit, Mitchell and Hagler allegedly approached the first of the two Lufkin victims and "presented him with an opportunity to make a large profit on a concert of would invest $48,000 in the event." The two Arizona convinced the victim that they had connections in the rap music world.

In 2011, Mitchell and Hagler traveled to Lufkin and met with the victim under the pretense of promoting a local rap artist the man had managed in the past. The victim made an initial $5,000 investment in an event titled "The Next Big Thing" that was supposed to take place at Arizona State University, according to the affidavit.

At that point, Mitchell and Hagler allegedly offered the victim the chance to invest in a second concert that involved several big names from the rap music world, according to the affidavit. They told the victim that he would need to invest $48,000 in the second concert to get things started. The victim got a personal loan for $50,000 and convinced another Lufkin man to partner with him for the $48,000.

The affidavit said Mitchell and Hagler allegedly told the two Lufkin men that the concert titled "A Night of Chardonnay" was going to take place at the Marquee Theater in Tempe Arizona on December 2, 2011.

The first man began wiring money to an account owned by Hagler for various fees associated with the concert, the affidavit stated. In addition, Mitchell came back to Lufkin and opened a joint account with the two victims. The victims were told the account was going to be where the ticket proceeds for the concert would be deposited.

In the fall of 2011, the two Lufkin men flew back to Arizona to hammer out the details of the planned concert, the affidavit stated. Mitchell and Hagler allegedly took the two men out to eat, and even took them by the theater in Tempe. However, the theater was closed, and the two Lufkin men were unable to make contact with anyone associated with the theater.

The two victims allegedly signed an independent contractor agreement with Mitchell. He also reportedly presented them with a two-page proposal and event description that said two well-known rap artists would be performing as part of "A Night of Chardonnay."

According to the arrest affidavit, the second page of the document outlined the financial aspects of the concert. The two men were told that the total cost for the event would be $48,000, and that based on the projected revenue from the concert and after party, the two could expect an estimated profit of $112,000.

Mitchell also presented them with an artist engagement contract allegedly signed by one of the big-name rap artists on Oct. 28, 2011. The detailed contract specified that the rap artist would perform for 75 minutes during the concert and went on to outline what hotel accommodations would be required, the affidavit stated. The contract from Doing it Big, the business name for Mitchell and Hagler, also specified that a deposit of $20,000 was due no later than Oct. 29, 2011.

According to the affidavit, one of the victims became suspicious when he didn't see any sign of any advertisement or ticket sales for the event in the months leading up to the planned concert. By then, the two men had allegedly sent a total of $49,000 to Mitchell and Hagler. After a while, the two men also started having trouble getting Mitchell and Hagler to respond to call or text messages about the concert.

Later, the two Lufkin men learned that the rap star had never entered into any type of agreement or contract with Mitchell and Hagler to appear at the concert Tempe, Arizona. The DPS investigator was told by the rap artist's lawyer that the contract was a fraudulent document. In addition, the general manager of the Marquee Theater said there was no agreement to book the "Night of Chardonnay concert" for December 2, 2011.

Based on the initial deposit of $5,000 the first victim had given Mitchell and Hagler and the $49,000 he and his partner invested later on in the process, the DPS investigator determined that, together, the two Lufkin men were defrauded out of a total of $54,000.

Copyright 2014 KTRE. All rights reserved.

  • East Texas NewsMore>>

  • Defense questions investigator in third day of Henderson trial

    Defense questions investigator in third day of Henderson trial

    Friday, September 22 2017 7:19 PM EDT2017-09-22 23:19:49 GMT
    James Henderson's defense attorney, Stanley Sokolowski, started off the third day of court by questioning the state's witness, Investigator Bill Rulland. The cross examination lasted most of the morning and even a little into the afternoon. According to Investigator Michael Molnes, with the Houston County Sheriff's Office, Sokolowski attempted to discredit Brenna Theuer's witness testimony, as well as testimony from Robert Mobley.  The trial is expected to head into closing arg...More >>
    James Henderson's defense attorney, Stanley Sokolowski, started off the third day of court by questioning the state's witness, Investigator Bill Rulland. The cross examination lasted most of the morning and even a little into the afternoon. According to Investigator Michael Molnes, with the Houston County Sheriff's Office, Sokolowski attempted to discredit Brenna Theuer's witness testimony, as well as testimony from Robert Mobley.  The trial is expected to head into closing arg...More >>
  • Tar-covered tires stick to parking lot of Lufkin tire shop

    Tar-covered tires stick to parking lot of Lufkin tire shop

    Friday, September 22 2017 7:09 PM EDT2017-09-22 23:09:01 GMT
    More than a few tar-covered tires are hanging on to the parking lot of a Lufkin tire shop.  On August 31, newly laid asphalt on Loop 287 started sticking to tires of those driving, leaving many of the cars un-driveable. As of Friday, the Texas Department of Transportation hadn't come out with an official cause for the incident, but that hasn't stopped over 600 people from filing claims with them. Copyright 2017 KTRE. All rights reserved.More >>
    More than a few tar-covered tires are hanging on to the parking lot of a Lufkin tire shop.  On August 31, newly laid asphalt on Loop 287 started sticking to tires of those driving, leaving many of the cars un-driveable. As of Friday, the Texas Department of Transportation hadn't come out with an official cause for the incident, but that hasn't stopped over 600 people from filing claims with them. Copyright 2017 KTRE. All rights reserved.More >>
  • Trinity County traffic stop results in 2 felony drugs arrests. seizure of weed, codiene, other drugs

    Trinity County traffic stop results in 2 felony drugs arrests. seizure of weed, codiene, other drugs

    Friday, September 22 2017 6:19 PM EDT2017-09-22 22:19:50 GMT

    Deputies with the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office made two felony drug arrests and seized marijuana, Prometh VC with codeine, hydrocodone, Alprazolam, and ecstasy after a traffic stop near the intersection of Robb and Jefferson streets late Tuesday night.

    More >>

    Deputies with the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office made two felony drug arrests and seized marijuana, Prometh VC with codeine, hydrocodone, Alprazolam, and ecstasy after a traffic stop near the intersection of Robb and Jefferson streets late Tuesday night.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly