Jonny Craig’s Great $8000-$12,800 Swindle: The Story
By Garry Lee. Additional reporting by Jack Appleby and Sebastian Fonseca.
UPDATE #5: Emarosa cancelled their show tonight in Buffalo, NY on February 26th without any statement being released as to why. Here is a poster that is being displayed at the gig confirming this rumour. Fans at the gig have tweeted confirming this (@LostInLuna, @EmilyEatsFace, @holdyourbreath), and while there had been no announcement at the gig detailing why the band are unable to appear tonight, fans from the show believe that the band are no longer playing because “apparently Jonny took off to California”. More on this when it happens.
UPDATE #4: We have an exclusive MindEqualsBlown.net interview with bandmate Jon Mess of Dance Gavin Dance on the Jonny Craig situation. Click here for the interview!
UPDATE #3: Dance Gavin Dance bassist Eric Lodge releases a statement to urge fans to direct their emotions towards Jonny, and not the bands he is a member of:
- ericjlodge at 5:13 pm: “I’m writing this as a reaction/personal outlet to Jonny’s most recent actions. They strike me as disappointing, but in no way surprising. Selfish individuals often do egomaniacal things. In my opinion, this is consistent with his repertoire. However, in previous instances such selfishness didn’t come at the expense of his faithful fans. I plainly wanted everyone reading this to know that he acted as an individual, and this has nothing to do with any other members of DGD or even Emarosa. Many of you have every right to be angry. I wrote this with no intensions of defending Jonny; instead I would simply like those who are angry to understand the rightful direction of their emotion. As for any advice for Jonny… In the words of Elton John, “the bulldog is barking in the backyard.“
UPDATE #2: More of Jonny’s friends have begun weighing in on the situation via Twitter. Craig Owens and Nick Martin of D.R.U.G.S. and Isles & Glaciers both have tweeted recently.
- craigowens at 1:20 pm: “@nodirectionhome @briansouthall – …and people wonder why we won’t do another I & G record.”
- nodirectionhome (Martin) at 5:20 pm: “@craigowens quote of the day right there. Dude, no tolerance for that junk.”
All three have been contacted for interviews.
UPDATE #1: I have so far received 16 reports from fans scammed by Jonny Craig, putting the total somewhere between a minimum of $8000 and a maximum of $12,800 based on the prices quoted in his tweets. We have been sent a range of pictures of Western Union e-mail confirmations, moneygram transfer receipts, text message conversations about transactions with his confirmed 504 phone number and e-mail exchanges about transactions with his confirmed istillfeelher e-mail address.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE: The internet has come alive with the news that the disgraced Jonny Craig, lead singer of Emarosa and Dance Gavin Dance, has been scamming his own fans out of an alleged (and somewhat confirmed by our own investigating) $8000-$12,800 under the guise of selling black MacBooks on his personal Twitter account. Due to the sheer amount of rumours being spread about the situation, we at Mind Equals Blown decided to do some digging and bring you what we believe to be the real truth on the story. Prepare for what we are calling the Great $8000-$12,800 Swindle.
Jonny has of course denied any allegations that he has done anything wrong and believes that, somewhere over the two months of Twitter messages he sent advertising the black MacBook for sale, his account had been hacked. The story begins slightly before this though, with a person who was scammed before he started to advertise the sale of the MacBook in question. Since she intends to press charges against Jonny, we can only identify her as Stacey.
On September 2nd 2010, Jonny posted on his Twitter account that he was selling an autographed microphone that he had used at a show. As something of a romantic gesture, Stacey made a deal with Jonny to buy it for $300 as an anniversary present for her boyfriend. Jonny agreed on the price but only on the condition that he received the money the next day before noon. Stacey then transferred the money via Western Union, and did not, and has still not received the microphone.
Jonny kept in touch with Stacey and even met her and her boyfriend after a show on October 31st in their hometown with promises that he would pay her back after signing her boyfriend’s magazine. Stacey didn’t hear from Jonny again until January 9th 2011 when she began to fill out court papers to take legal action against him. He told her that he was selling his laptop that he had tweeted about buying on January 6th in order to pay her back. He insisted he wasn’t trying to scam her and that “he was selling everything he owns to pay her back.”
The number that she used to contact Jonny matches up to all of the other personal accounts from the people scammed that we have received, and it matches a tweet made by Jonny himself in 2010 that he posted in an attempt to buy drugs. His addiction to heroin was covered in an e-mail I received from a former fan called Brittany who confirmed that he also uses oxycontin and cocaine, and that he has previously texted her from said phone number asking for the aforementioned drugs whenever he happens to be in town. Brittany had previously met Jonny and said of him that “he really is crazy”, “he has something messed up in his head” and that “he needs help”. The business on Twitter surrounding his alleged 859 number has turned out to be untrue, and the number he used both to score drugs and to contact the buyers of MacBooks has since been disconnected; his close friend Mod Sun confirmed this on Twitter.
Going back to Stacey’s story, Jonny called her on said number around the time of her beginning to file court papers to confirm that he was about to receive a cheque for $5000. Rather conveniently, this is pretty much the same amount of money ($4950) that the Facebook group Jonny Craig Twitter Scam is claiming has been scammed out of his loving, gullible fans.
The story that I have now heard from multiple people is that Jonny would post an ad on his Twitter account claiming to be selling a black MacBook for a figure of around $600-800. On agreeing the sum of money with the fan eager to receive a bargain and a rare opportunity to deal with the singer of one of their favourite bands, Jonny would request that the person use a wire transfer (typically Western Union) because he claimed that he had been “fucked” using PayPal in the past, and this way both of them would receive paperwork detailing the transfer.
With Western Union, you need ID to both send and receive money, so the claims from Jonny that someone else was scamming these people through his account rings slightly hollow unless someone else has the ID to collect money sent to Jonathan Monroe Craig in his hometown and state.
So far, of the people we have spoken to directly, the amount accounted for is somewhere in the region of $4000, but of the currently 24 members of that Facebook group and the many people on Twitter who claimed to have been subject to the same scam, we have only received contact from a handful of those people.
Jonny’s close friend Mod Sun has felt that it was necessary to say his thoughts on the matter in a series of tweets regarding his perceived involvement in the controversy. He said:
“Dear friends, so one of my very close friends Jonny Craig has recently made some very bad decisions. His actions are now being directed at me by certain people he hurt/ripped off. I am now forced to address this issue. I truly apologize if you have been taken advantage of by him….it’s very sad. I need you to understand that I have NOTHING to do w/ any of this. I mean absolutely nothing. He had someone pay pal me $ one time for his old laptop he was selling. It was transferred to me & I immediately gave him cash. This was about 35 days ago. Any point after that my account was NOT used. He continued trying to sell a MacBook for a month after that. I truly apologize for his actions because I feel bad for the people who try to support him & get hurt. I’m one of those people as well. I would never treat my friends like that. So, there it is. I have called him & let him know the severity of the situation & am tryin to help yall.”
So it seems that even those who consider Jonny to be a close friend are, at this point, feeling like they have to step up and almost speak for him. And in this case apologize on his behalf in the face of his continued denial that he has done anything wrong. As of right now, not a single person who has transferred money to Jonathan Monroe Craig has received anything in return.
If you have been scammed or have any information related to this story please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and/or email@example.com.