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PONDEROSA PARK Felony warrant issued for concert promoter



Published: Wed, November 7, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The promoter of the failed concert series has left the state, authorities said.

SEBRING -- A felony warrant has been issued for the arrest of a former concert promoter who booked a failed concert summer series at Ponderosa Park pavilion in Goshen Township.

Authorities said they think Jeffrey P. Best, 30, formerly of South Salem-Warren Road in Salem, has fled the state. He is accused of writing bad checks.

Maj. Michael Budd of the Mahoning County Sheriff's Department said a warrant was issued out of county court in Sebring, accusing Best of one count of passing bad checks in excess of $500, a fifth-degree felony.

Sheriff's department reports show that Best wrote checks in August to the Country Pantry convenience store and an Ace Hardware store. Both businesses have the same owner.

The checks, totaling $1,271, bounced. They were written on a Ponderosa Park recreation committee account.

Failed concert series: Best leased the Ponderosa Park pavilion for a 12-week schedule of Sunday concerts last summer. The first show was the only one that happened. Other performers canceled concerts with agents, saying Best failed to return signed contracts and make deposits.

"He had a scam at Ponderosa Park in that he was booking entertainment that never transpired," said Sheriff Randall Wellington. "Also, he passed bad checks."

Wellington said Best fled town after bilking customers of money paid for shows they never saw.

Several customers have complained that they have not received refunds on tickets they bought for canceled shows, said Debbie Rodgers, senior trade practice specialist at the Better Business Bureau of Mahoning Valley.

Wellington said Goshen Township police are investigating customer claims.




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