In events that could be the basis of any country music song, concert promoter Jason "Buzz Casey" Giardina found himself in the Daviess County Detention Center on Saturday night after headliners David Allan Coe and Confederate Railroad failed to perform at the "The Last Outlaw Tour 2019" concert at the Daviess County Lions Club Fairgrounds in Philpot.
Giardina, through his events company Mr. Bad Guy Presents, was supposed to regale fans with David Allan Coe, Confederate Railroad and five other "country outlaw" acts from 2 to 11:30 p.m. Saturday at the fairgrounds. Neither Confederate Railroad or Coe performed, leaving fans unhappy, musicians unpaid and the Lions Club with a "black eye," said Joan Hayden, Daviess County Lions Club Fair Board secretary.
"All we did was rent him the venue," Hayden said. "The thing of it is is that we worked so hard to get our venue nice so that people can rent it for any occasion. We want people to understand that we are just as upset as they were that this happened. We do not want this to be a reflection on us."
Giardina was arrested at 9:22 p.m. Saturday by Daviess County Sheriff's Department deputies shortly after leaving the fairgrounds.
According to the sheriff's report, he was charged with no brake lights, no registration plates, failure to maintain insurance and operating on a suspended license. He was detained and held on a $25,000 bond for being a potential flight risk because of his temporary vehicle tags being from Tennessee and his suspended driver's license being from Arizona, said Maj. Bill Thompson, head of investigations for the Daviess County Sheriff's Department.
On Monday, Giardina received additional charges of three counts of theft by deception under $500 that stem from his continuing to sell tickets knowing that Coe would not perform and after being verbally warned to cease sales by sheriff's dept. Sgt. Duane Harper, one count of possession of marijuana and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia, Thompson said.
"He was supposed to check out of his local hotel," Thompson said. "When he didn't show up, they extended him, then realized he was in custody. They cleaned out his room and found small amounts of marijuana and paraphernalia and then contacted us. Based on that, we were able to issue an arrest warrant. He is still in custody and will remain on the misdemeanor charges. All of the district court judges are in conference. It will be Thursday before he sees a judge. If someone posts bond, he will be out, but it gives us more time to continue to dig and see what we can find on this guy."
On Saturday, Giardina told Hayden that he had sold roughly 900 tickets to the show and was hoping to be able to sell a few hundred more at the gate, Hayden said.
"As far as how many, we don't know," she said. "He doesn’t have to give us that information."
What is known is that spectators are out their ticket costs, Giardina owes the sheriff's office $1,600 for security services, and none of the talent, including Coe, were paid, said Coe's spouse and manager, Kimberly M. Coe.
Giardina contacted Coe at roughly 1 a.m. Saturday, firing him from the show, Kimberly Coe said.
"The whole time he was conning everyone and was still taking advantage at that gate," she said. "Knowing that David wasn’t going to be there. He fired David at 1 a.m. the night before. We didn’t believe it. We thought it was a hoax. We didn't think it was him. We tried calling and messaging, and he never responded. When our guys showed up to set up, he had told everyone that we canceled. We didn't."
While Coe took a substantial financial loss in terms of travel for his band and himself, the real impact was how Giardina's "con" affected the fans, Kimberly Coe said.
"All of the fans deserve to get their money back," she said. "He told us that he sold 500 VIP tickets. The T-shirts that were promised never got printed, the kegs ran out and they never got to see David play. These people bought a ticket and wanted what they paid for and that opportunity was taken. In my heart and mind, I will do everything that we can and see to it that they at least get the time with their hero. That time was taken from all of us. I want to be able to give back what was taken from them."
As it stands, the sheriff's department and prosecutors are working to make sure that Giardina is held accountable, Thompson said.
"The prosecutor's office, commonwealth and county attorneys are still researching and digging to see what kind of criminal liability that this man may face," Thompson said. “We still have his vehicle, which we are attempting to develop probable cause to get into, which could lead to other avenues of investigation. We have been contacted by other artists saying that he has perpetrated the same scam on them at different venues. Apparently he has a history of moving from town to town deceiving people and then leaving."
According to Confederate Railroad's Facebook page, they missed the concert because of mechanical issues with their tour bus.
Jacob Mulliken, 270-228-2837, firstname.lastname@example.org