$14,000 Raised For Boston Benefit Show feat. CONVERGE Allegedly Mismanaged & Partially Missing
On May 6, 2013, Converge, Slapshot, Doomriders and Wrecking Crew played a sold-out show titled "This Is Boston" to the South Shore Music Hall in the name of raising money for the One Fund. The show, which was a benefit for the victoms of the Boston marathon bombings, was promoted by a small-time production company run by Mike Eleftheratos and Mark Laskey named Lykaion Cult Productions and in the end raised nearly $14,000. Laskey said of the show the company "in retrospect we were in way over [their] heads, but at the time it seemed like we could pull it off and it would be a great event" and they did… "until all of this." According to Vanyaland.com, Laskey goes on to explain "all of this."
"'All of this' refers to what unfolded in the months following the event, when it slowly became evident to those close to the show that the money raised hadn’t gotten to the One Fund. Eleftheratos was responsible for handling all money, making the post-show tallies and ensuring that the final amount made it to One Fund, and by many accounts a large sum of the night’s proceeds never reached their intended destination. The day after the show, Eleftheratos made a post to the event’s Facebook page, thanking all participants: 'If it weren’t for you all we wouldn’t have raised nearly $14,000 for One Fund! We are picking up the check for the presale tickets later this week but in the meantime I have counted all the cash from the merch/raffle items/door money and estimated the amount of the presales.'"
Naturally Converge frontman Jacob Bannon got pissed about the money seemingly disappearing and started to follow up with Eleftheratos.
"He spent months after the show following up with Eleftheratos trying to get confirmation of the money’s transfer to the One Fund, and was repeatedly met with excuses. By June 8, in an email to Eleftheratos, Bannon stated: 'As of now we are getting the impression that there is no donation that is being made by your promotions company.'"
Robin Goodhue of Ammonia Booking chimed in as well in the article.
"'I had no reason to be suspicious,' says Robin Goodhue of Ammonia Booking, a promoter who assisted in securing the Quincy venue for the event. 'Why would anyone? I offered to help count money [at the event] and [Eleftheratos] said it was all set; I’m not about to grab money from his benefit show and start counting it. A few band members asked me who he was and if he should be trusted since he had never done a show this big. But at that point he was trustworthy among his friends.'"
Eventually, Slapshot member Craig Silverman got involved and contacted venue owner James Pansullo that October.
"The show had sold 525 advance tickets online, at $20 each; that money, minus the venue’s expenses and security, had been sent via check to Eleftheratos by James Pansullo, owner of the South Shore Music Hall. But the check languished, undeposited, for months, until Pansullo, in early November at the urging of Silverman, Bannon, and others, cancelled the check and issued a new one directly to the One Fund. That deposit, for $8,675 is to date the only verified amount that the event has given the One Fund."
According to Silverman, Bannon, Goodhue and pretty much everyone else involved in the story up to now, Eleftheratos eventually cut off communication even to Laskey.
"'None of us knew he had this in him,' explains Goodhue. 'There is no way to prove that the money isn’t sitting in Western Union either and he is too dumb to get a refund.'"
"Bannon reached out to multiple agencies to get some kind of help or intervention. 'I contacted the One Fund, and the Attorney General’s office. The One Fund did confirm the payment [of $8,675 made by Pansullo in November 2013], and said that they would bring this to the Attorney General’s office. I also left a message with the Quincy Police Department, to see if I could get any legal support, whether it was law enforcement or otherwise. No one ever called me back.'"
I wish there were some solid end to this story like "then Eleftheratos was found and everyone kicked him in the dick a whole bunch of times and donated the money to the One Fund," but there isn't. Eleftheratos is apparently still floating around out there and the the money that wasn't given by Pansullo has just… disappeared. Taking money from charity is not cool.