As Joe Meli prepares to be sentenced for wire fraud, his attorney Daniel Fetterman has dropped a treasure trove of evidence in the case to present his client as both a dedicated family man and a legit businessman.

Fetterman has submitted 100 letters of support for Meli to the courts from friends and family members, as well as a number of business email exchanges and text messages that seek to prove that while Meli did commit a crime, he was a real businessman with actual ties to major concert promoters and agents, who agreed to sell him ticketing inventory directly, which he would then allegedly resale on sites like StubHub.

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That then begs a larger question — who in the concert business was pulling tickets and selling them off the books to Meli? And who was Joe Meli communicating with in the three months leading up to his arrest?

One of the files submitted to the court in seeking leniency for Meli is a bizarre 37-page transcript of conversations which you can download here with an unknown individual that chronicles Meli’s alleged attempts to procure primary ticketing inventory from concert promoters and agents, which we assume would be sold through the DTI platform, although that’s also unclear. The exchange is heavily redacted, but there are still plenty of interesting nuggets to pick from to make the case that Meli at least appeared to actually be working with major players in music.

So who the hell was he talking to? Our first thought was maybe Curtis Cheng or Jared Cutler at DTI, but they both told me they were not the person documented in this long exchange.

So who was it then? We don’t know, but there are some really interesting clues in this conversation that might reveal some hidden truths that the world might not be ready for. But you’re ready, right? Throw on your detective hat and grab your smoking pipe….we’ve got a mystery to solve.

Fact 1: The conversation began on Nov. 7 and ended one day before his arrest in January. More odd — the tweets we assume are linked to Meli are labeled ‘Dad,’ which we’re not totally understanding. Was he talking to his son? Perhaps, but doubtful.

Fact 2: The mystery individual possibly lives in Los Angeles

On Nov. 11, Meli sent a text message to the unknown individual saying “How Goes it boss? I am coming to LA Monday. Hope to see you if you’ve got time brother.”

Wait….is this person Meli’s boss, or brother? Is his brother his boss? Or does Meli just bro-out with his boss?

The next day Meli texts again, saying “I will be in LA Sunday night late thru early Thursday morning. Hopefully we can connect even for a hug.”

Connect for a hug? Perhaps these two aren’t actual siblings, but are, as some say, brothers from another mother.

Fact 3: Meli is constantly name dropping CAA, WME, AEG and Live Nation.

On the same chain where Meli says he wants to connect for a hug, he also mentions “I have some news on WME and LN(,) and CAA has been following up with me FYI.”

This is a constant theme through the multi-month conversation — Meli is always updating the mystery individual on meetings he’s working on and those four firms — we assume LN means Live Nation — comes up a lot.

Please — take all of this with a grain of salt, afterall, Meli has admitted to lying and creating false documents, so this conversation could be Meli lying the whole time. But we have to ask ourselves, if Meli was lying, why would his attorney use the conversation as evidence?

And for those keeping score, Meli mentions he has met with CAA nine times over three months. On Nov. 22, Meli says he “had a great meeting with CAA.” The next days he texts to says “NFL owners fund asked us to come in on Dec 15th to finalize a discussion on an investment in DTI,” adding “That means we have active discussions with CAA mlbam and nfl owners for direct investments.”

MBLAM is professional baseball’s ticketing service — again no idea what Meli is talking about here, nor do we understand what he means when he says on Nov. 30 via text message “I am getting a lot of good feedback from CAA.” A day later he claims he was on a call with CAA.

The CAA thing seems to a positive note until Dec. 8 when Meli ominously warns “TM guys wanting to know about our relationship with CAA. Says it keeps coming up internally. Not sure what that means.”

We’re not sure what the means either — and we’re assuming TM means Ticketmaster, but the circumstances get strange again on Jan. 5 when Meli writes “Also would love ur advice on how to either push or back off of CAA.”

Waaaaaaaaa???

Fact 4: The person he was speaking with claimed to have attended Aspen Live in 2016. The dates of the text message match the dates of the conference held by Lewi ever year in the Colorado resort town, which was the 20th anniversary of the conference. Later, this same individual spent Christmas in Sun Valley with an individual named Noah.

Fact 5: Meli claims to have taken a meeting with Tim Leiweke on Nov. 16, mispelling his last name but telling his unknown subject “Tim is a force brother”

The above summary represents just a small slice of the lengthy conversation between Meli and this unknown individual. While many details are redacted, there are plenty of clues that help craft a picture of Meli’s business dealings in the months leading up to his arrest.

Think you can piece together the identity of this mystery individual? Read the text message exchange here and email dave@ampthemag.com with your theories and thoughts.

Dave Brooks
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Dave Brooks

Founder & Executive Editor at Amplify Media
Dave Brooks has over 15 years experience as a writer, including eight years as the Managing Editor of Venues Today. He started Amplify in 2014 to give the industry its own voice and turn up the volume on live entertainment.
Dave Brooks
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