Insomniac’s Pasquale Rotella Avoids Jail Time in Los Angeles Coliseum Court Case

The years-long trial comes to an end over prosecution misconduct.
August 5, 2016, 6:10pm
EDC 2010 at the Los Angeles Coliseum. Photo via Flickr user christopher alvarez

Insomniac founder and CEO Pasquale Rotella will avoid jail time following a years-long trial involving bribery, embezzlement, and conspiracy at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum due to prosecution misconduct, according to The LA Times. Per a new deal, he pleaded no contest to a "single misdemeanor conflict-of-interest charge," and agreed to pay $150,000 to LA County in addition to serving three years of probation.


Back in 2012, Rotella was indicted on six felony counts and was accused of bribing a public employee, Todd DeStefano (who at the time was the Coliseum's events manager) with more than $1.8 million in kickbacks while he and other promoters threw raves there. In return, DeStefano allegedly provided Coliseum access and low rental rates. The case was prompted by the death of an underaged girl who had attended Insomniac's Electric Daisy Carnival at the venue in 2010, the last year the flagship festival was held there before moving to Las Vegas. When the case was opened, Rotella was looking at up to 13 years and eight months in prison if convicted, according to Radar Online.

The final decision came after a brief hearing yesterday, August 4, when Rotella entered a plea bargain with prosecutors, who admitted they had "mishandled evidence" for the second time. According to The Times, the first blunder, which occurred last year, resulted in the removal of one prosecutor, Dana Aratini, who read privileged emails between Rotella and his attorney, while the remaining team was forced to restart its trial preparations. Despite the presiding judge, Kathryn Kennedy, banning the team from accessing or using Aratani's files, Deputy DA Terrie Tengelsen admitted to maintaining communication, prompting Rotella's team to file for dismissal.

Rotella said in a press statement, "I always knew the charges were politically motivated and publicity driven. While it's taken too long to finally put this behind me, I can now focus my energy where it belongs: my family and my company. Thank you to everyone who has supported me through this."