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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Tennessee - Nashville Con Continues

Nashville Bike Week is still calling itself Nashville Bike Week even though it will now happen, if it happens, at the American Rebel Mud Park which is 12 miles north of Waynesboro, Tennessee. Waynesboro is 100 miles from Nashville.
Mike Leffingwell, the conman with several names who is stuck in jail in Bowling Green, Kentucky, agreed this week not to contest extradition to Tennessee, Georgia, and Missouri where he is a wanted man. Nashville Bike Week was Leffingwell’s dream but now the torch has been passed to Janelle Roberts – who is the blonde in the photo above and the video below – and Stan Chiras, also in the photo above, who used to sell snakes in Florida but now owns American Rebel Mud Park.
Chiras runs events called “Rockin on the River” at his mud park. There is one this weekend that will feature “mud wrestling, hill’n hole mud drags, dirt drags, hot wheels downhill,” “super burgers. nachos. dogs. crawdad boil” and a guy named Brad who will let you shoot his Barrett .50 caliber rifle if you pay him.

Bad News

The bad news is that the Nashville Bike Week has gotten off to a very rough start. Leffingwell sold tickets for a year and at least 4,700 people gave him money. A ticket receipt obtained by The Aging Rebel lists “early bird” ticket charges of $200 per person, an “RV parking” pass that cost $500 and a beer pass that cost $150.
The event was originally scheduled for Loretta Lynn’s Ranch and Camp Grounds, then for the Opryland Hotel and now for Chiras’ Mud Park. Chiras told Nashville television station WKRN, “When I heard the Opryland venue fell through I reached out to the organizers and told them about my place. I talked to Mike that day, but he ended up getting arrested that afternoon.”
At least a million dollars is missing and Chiras has no clue about where it might be. “I’m trying to figure out what has happened. How much money came in. Where the money went. Who we have commitments to,” Chiras said.
Earlier this year Leffingwell claimed to have invested $900,000 in the event. A Facebook page called Nashville Bike Week Scam claims to have helped disgruntled ticket holders get $80,000 in refunded credit card charges.

Janelle Roberts

Besides Leffingwell, the only Nashville Bike Week “organizer” anybody has been able to identify is Roberts and she denies it. She told WKRN, “she is an independent agent contracted to promote Nashville Bike Week. She also said Axle is no longer affiliated with the organization, though they are working to uphold some of the contracts he signed.”
“People are really excited about it,” she said on camera. “I think with it being so close to the event date people are excited to have somewhere to go first of all.”
She took a slightly different tone on Nashville Bike Week’s Facebook page. A follower complained that the Mud Park in Waynesboro is “kinda far” from Nashville.
The administrator of the page, and so far Janelle Roberts is the only suspect, answered “Yeah so do we, but bankruptcy is a lot further.”
The worst news about Nashville Bike Week is that every day this festival is starting to look like the biggest fiasco since the Celebration of Life Festival. That one was on the banks of the Atchafalaya River near McCrea, Louisiana in June 1971. This one is on the banks of the Buffalo River. That one, by all accounts, was a drug, violence and mud soaked hell. This one has high hopes.
The most obvious thing for Roberts and whoever else is neck deep in this scam would be to give back the money and walk away. The emerging mystery is why she will not do that.
This going to make a great movie!