October 23, 2009
Recycled Percussion drummer facing charges

MANCHESTER - A drummer in the Goffstown band that achieved national fame last month for being a finalist in NBC's "America's Got Talent" faces fraud and theft charges for allegedly taking funds from the band's account and diverting them into other bank accounts.

A Hillsborough County grand jury indicted Justin Spencer, 32, of Goffstown on two counts each of theft by unauthorized taking and identity fraud.

Spencer, of 11 Second Ave., also is charged with one count of attempted theft by unauthorized taking, according to indictments made public yesterday.

The indictments all are class A felonies, each of which carries a 7 1/2- to 15-year prison term and up to $4,000 in fines.


Spencer, who founded the band Recycled Percussion in 1995, previously denied any wrongdoing. He could not be reached for comment yesterday. But his attorney said the matter essentially is a "stockholder dispute" and his client will be vindicated.

"In this case, the county attorney has made a big mistake," Manchester attorney Frank B. Mesmer Jr. wrote in a statement.

"These charges will be shown to be an extension of the campaign of harm launched by the disgruntled stockholder from California. People who know Justin already know he is being victimized," Mesmer added.

Police investigating the matter have said Spencer was the only target of their probe.

Recycled Percussion received national attention last month when it placed among the top 10 finalists in the "America's Got Talent" reality show. The group ultimately ranked third in the contest.

Spencer is accused of diverting funds from Shelter Management Inc. of Manchester, the company which manages Recycled Percussion. 

Shelter Management incorporated in 2006 with Spencer and Alexandria Thompson of California as equal stockholders for owning, managing and producing the band.

The alleged thefts, all involving amounts in excess of $1,000, occurred between Jan. 1, 2006, and June 1, 2007, and again from July 1, 2007, through Feb. 1, the indictments claim.

TMZ.com reported last month that Spencer allegedly embezzled nearly $200,000 from Shelter Management's account.

Spencer also is charged with trying to get St. Mary's Bank to write a bank check on June 6, 2007, for $40,000 from an account set up with funds diverted from Shelter Management. 

The check was to be made payable to NuWave Electric, the indictment alleges.

The grand jury also accused Spencer with posing as Thompson on Jan. 14 and using her name and password to obtain account, billing documents and Web site service from Tierra-net.

Spencer's attorney said the county attorney's office did not respond to several attempts he made to discuss the matter.

"As a result, she presented the grand jury with a story that could not have been complete," Mesmer said.

"The unfortunate consequence is that Justin and the band will suffer additional insult to their reputations. They are beginning to realize the success they deserve," he added.

Spencer, he said, has filed a counter-claim in Hillsborough County Superior Court in response to two civil complaints Thompson filed.

"Our effort is to try to get her kicked out of the company," Mesmer said.

An arraignment date has not yet been set on the charges.


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