Back in 2010, the untimely death of 15-year-old Sasha Rodriguez at EDC in Los Angeles launched an investigation that still affects Insomniac CEO Pasquale Rotella to this day. Upon intense scrutiny of the company’s financial transactions, investigators found that Rotella had been sending unsolicited payments to Todd DeStefano – the L.A. Memorial Coliseum event manager at the time. Further inquiry revealed that these payments actually amounted to $1.9 million, suggesting that Rotella and his promotions partner, Reza Gerami, had been paying off DeStefano in exchange for a guaranteed spot for the now multi-million dollar festival.
Obviously these allegations are still inconclusive, as the six-year investigation has experienced several delays. The most recent delay was due to the increasingly dense schedule of appointed Judge Kathleen Kennedy, as she was endowed with the responsibility of handling the infamous “Grim Sleeper” serial murder case at the beginning of 2016. A year prior, prosecution attorney Dana Aratani was pulled off the case after she was caught reading emails between Rotella and his defense attorney – violating a sanctified procedural law of which even I am aware. The ensuing replacement of the prosecution attorneys delayed the trial even further.
It may seem like this trial is going nowhere, but four embezzlement charges were dismissed back in 2013. While one count of embezzlement and one count of bribery still remain, it seems as though everything will finally be settled come November. What started as a tragic story of a young girl who snuck into EDC may turn into the shroud of conspiracy that corrupts Rotella’s legacy, but that has yet to be seen. We’ll only know for sure once the court date arrives in a few months.