Fatemi, Itinerant Musician Indicted on Embezzlement Charges


Mugshots courtesy of the Hampshire County Jail.

AMHERST, Ma. – The Northwestern District Attorney’s office unveiled felony embezzlement and conspiracy charges against Amherst College Assistant Dean of Students Hannah Fatemi and traveling performer Ben Haggerty on Sunday after Haggerty admitted to a plot to siphon funds from a College account.

In a press conference announcing the 23-count indictment, District Attorney David E. Sullivan alleged that Fatemi and Haggerty, who assumed the alias “Macklemore” during planning, conspired to embezzle over $10,000 from the Amherst Student Activities Fund to obtain a 1990 Cadillac Seville limousine.

“Today’s indictment alleges that the defendants intended to allocate, by trick and deception, several thousand U.S. dollars or financial equivalents from a not-for-profit academic fund for their own selfish interests,” said Sullivan.  ”These serious charges are even more insidious in light of the fact that one of the defendants bore professional and legal responsibility for managing the fund.”

The alleged conspiracy unraveled when Haggerty boasted before a gathering of students that Fatemi had consented to diverting money from the account to help him obtain the vehicle.  Haggerty, of Seattle, reportedly taunted the students, declaring that the transaction would deplete the funds available for purchasing academic books.

Haggerty also allegedly threatened to coerce potentially thousands of students into the vehicle.  However, Sullivan declined to charge him with criminal intimidation, attempted kidnapping, or seatbelt infractions after determining that the threat was insufficiently articulated to prove intent.

Investigators continued to gather evidence of Haggerty’s ability and intent to execute the heist, noting that the 29-year-old performer had reported spent the three weeks prior to his indictment scouting other public institutions around the country.  Speaking on background, several Commonwealth officials noted that the musician appeared to associate with a small gang of similarly aliased members, including “Baby-Faced Singer” Ray Dalton, “King of the Ghetto” Da Kuda Brown, and “Ryan Lewis.”  Investigators believe the gang operated independently of major syndicates in Los Angeles and New York.

The indictment is the third for Fatemi, who awaits trial on charges of simple obstruction and impersonating a public servant.