The former general director of the now-defunct Los Angeles Metropolitan Opera Co. has pleaded guilty to 13 felony charges stemming from a scheme to find financial backers for a 1984 production of "Aida," officials with the state Department of Corporations said.
At least 29 investors lost a total of more than $100,000 on the ill-fated opera, said Gloria M. Richards-Johnson, a staff attorney with the corporations department. The production, which was scheduled to be staged during the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, never was presented.
In his futile effort to stage the program, general director Huey R. Weathersby sold investment contracts and limited partnerships to the public despite an order prohibiting him from doing so. Moreover, he failed to obtain necessary permits and neglected to inform potential investors of the problems, Richards-Johnson said.
According to court documents filed in connection with the case, some investors put up as much as $20,000 on the promise that they would receive a 30% return on their investment. They were not repaid, the documents showed.