Corona, CA: Hearing set for 2 accused in Electric Daisy Carnival forged wristband scheme

A preliminary hearing has been set for next month in North Las Vegas Justice Court for two men accused of running a scheme to produce and sell about $1 million in counterfeit wristbands for the Electric Daisy Carnival held in late June at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Arron Hernandez, 37, and Pathomrat Neil Kunawongse, 35, both of California, will have their preliminary hearing at 9 a.m. Oct. 10 before Justice of the Peace Chris Lee.

According to police reports, Kunawongse, of Hacienda Heights, Calif., was arrested on charges of attempted forgery, attempting to obtain money under false pretenses, burglary, possession of stolen property and conspiracy to commit a crime. Hernandez, of Corona, Calif., was arrested on charges of attempted forgery, attempting to obtain money under false pretenses and conspiracy to commit a crime. Court records indicate both men have been released on bail.

According to a police report, a Metro detective received information that someone was trying to produce counterfeit wristbands for the June 24 to June 26 music festival.

Detectives said they met with Pasquale Rotella, founder and CEO of Insomniac Inc., which put on the show, and with Meelo Solis, who also works for Insomniac.

Rotella told detectives that each of the EDC events around the country has a specially designed cloth wristband, which special graphic designs, that are printed, then sold to the public to gain access. The designs are kept secret so only a select group of people know about them to make them difficult to duplicate, police said.

Solis told detectives that Kunawongse had called a friend in the printing business about producing the fraudulent wristbands for the Las Vegas show and had sent him a digital image of the wristband so it could be produced, the police report said. Police were told the scheme was to produce 5,000 wristbands for $200 each and that the printer would get 10 percent of the profits.

The police report said only four people, including Hernandez, who was on the Insomniac security staff, knew the designs. As assistant director of security for the EDC, Hernandez had access to the wristband design on June 19, officials said. He allegedly met with Kunawongse that day at Aliante Station and gave him a paper with an image of the guest wristband to be used for the event, according to the arrest report.

Police arrested Kunawongse during a staged meeting June 24 with Solis at the Cosmopolitan. Hernandez was later arrested at Las Vegas Motor Speedway during the EDC.

Police allege that both Kunawongse and Hernandez admitted their guilt in the conspiracy when they were arrested.

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