Scott Campbell touted himself as a veteran music executive who worked wit successful artists such as Whitney Houston, Ludacris and Pink.
He claimed to have big plans for an Internet-based business similar to “American Idol” that would make him and his investors rich.
But in reality, Florida investigators say, Campbell is a 48-year-old unemployed, violent conman who has been living off of unsuspecting Central Florida women for years.
Campbell, who was recently arrested on one count of grand theft, is accused of bilking at least 20 women out of more than $1 million since 2009, according to the Florida Office of Financial Regulation.
While Campbell remains behind bars in Osceola County, his victims are facing financial ruin, foreclosures and even bankruptcy.
An affidavit released Monday by the Office of Financial Regulation shows Campbell has numerous prior arrests, including for rape and assault, and several domestic violence injunctions. He’s served prison time, was court martialed and dishonorably discharged from the U.S. Army following a 1988 arrest for rape.
The state began investigating Campbell after an investor complained he was promoting fraudulent offerings through his companies BDO Records Inc. and Give Me A Chance Talent Scout Agency Inc.
Investigators learned that since 2003, Campbell, who lives in Kissimmee, “has repeatedly engaged and continues to engage in a criminal scheme to deceive and defraud women victims for personal financial gain.”
Campbell found his victims — including single mothers and the recently widowed — on dating websites and other locations.
He represented himself as a wealthy producer who was going to get investors great returns on their money, the affidavit said. But he didn’t even know how to operate the music equipment he conned women into buying him.
Investigators say Campbell convinced women to give him cash, retirement funds, credit card accounts, even the proceeds of home equity lines and mortgage refinances. Women also bought him vehicles, boats, an RV and a swimming pool.
Investigators said Campbell gambled the victims’ money away in Las Vegas, on cruises, and at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
A Seminole County woman told investigators she met Campbell in December 2011 at Zoosk.com. Within days of their in-person meeting, Campbell solicited her to invest in his company. He told her the money would help build a studio.
The woman said she had reservations, but Campbell had a way of talking her into it. The woman, like others, believed there was a future relationship with Campbell.
She gave him $100,000. An investigator asked the woman why she invested.
“She stated that her whole world had been turned upside down. She had recently lost her husband and needed to raise her son on her own,” the affidavit said. “The idea of not having to work for the rest of her life was comforting to her.”