Pittsburgh Police detectives are launching a criminal investigation into the LionHeart Event Group and its dealings with the city over the Three Rivers Regatta.
LionHeart, which is run by Derek Webber, was a main organizer for the Three Rivers Regatta, which was canceled abruptly Tuesday after board members learned that insurance for the event had not been purchased.
"We believe there is enough to initiate a criminal investigation and to determine potential victims," Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich told Channel 11's Rick Earle.
According to court documents uncovered by Target 11, Weber defaulted in a $15,000 credit card bill and owed a landscape company $700 in the past.
The regatta board said Webber mislead them and presented documents that payments had been made.
"It appears that the reports were being falsified that they were being given on a monthly basis false financial records and they believed that," Mayor William Peduto said.
While the city itself has little involvement in the regatta, Target 11 learned former Chief Operations Officer Guy Costa suspected trouble earlier this year when he and Hissrich met with Webber. He is accused of owing the police department $28,000 for the past two regattas.
"I think he just had a feeling that if something wasn't right with us. that it could be more," Peduto said.
An internal review has been launched by the regatta board, but Peduto said he expects substantial financial losses.
"Once their board begins this audit, there are going to be a number of vendors into the six figures (of owed money). This isn't isolated," he said.
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