Bare Knuckle Fight Promoter Owes Casper Businesses Thousands of Dollars
The promoter of the bare knuckle fight which took place in Casper in November owes local businesses thousands of dollars, their representatives told K2 Radio News on Tuesday.
The Casper Police Department will neither confirm nor deny that it is conducting an investigation into the pay-per-view World Bare Knuckle Fighting Federation (WBKFF) and owner Tomasz Stankiewicz who promoted the "Rise of the Titans" event, which was held at the Casper Events Center on Nov. 8.
Three businesses so far have confirmed that they haven't been paid, and whether they will be paid remains unknown because Stankiewicz soon is scheduled to be sentenced in Illinois to federal prison.
"I played the fighter intro music for them as all the fighters came in, and then I did the after party for them down at the Hilton Garden Inn," said Clint Wenn, owner of Rocky Mountain Sound & Light.
"These guys have dropped off the radar," Wenn said. "They won't return phone calls or texts or anything with me."
The Federation owes him $850, he said.
The Federation and Stankiewicz owe the Ramkota Hotel $3,000, manager Renee Penton-Jones said.
The promoters, Stankiewicz and a man just known as "J.C." gave the Ramkota a credit card that didn't authorize and they asked the hotel to wait. The card never has authorized, Penton-Jones said.
"We've talked to the promoter a few times and he told us he's trying to scrape the money together," she said. "Now he won't even return phone calls."
The Ramkota was to be the host hotel for the fights, but had another event and referred the WBKFF to another hotel, which lost tens of thousands of dollars, Penton-Jones said. The manager of that hotel was not available for comment Tuesday.
Many of the stations, including K2 Radio, owned by Townsquare Media in Casper were involved in the promotion of the fights. Stankiewicz and WBKFF have not paid Townsquare Media, either, operations manager Donovan Short said. "We are one of the people they owe money, and we are actively trying to collect."
Short declined to say how much Townsquare Media is owed.
Stankiewicz and the Federation did not return calls seeking comment.
Besides local businesses, many of the fighters who participated in the Rise of the Titans of the event weren't paid, so the bills are probably far higher than those unpaid to Casper businesses, according to mymmanews.com.
"There were 22 fighters that competed on the show, not to mention all the supporting staff members who have yet to be paid," according to an article on mymmanews.com last week. "Add to that the more than $70k in hotel fees, and who knows what else is out there pending, and the monies owed is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars."
Stankiewicz formed the WBKFF on June 25, 2018, according to the Wyoming Secretary of State.
That was two months after Stankiewicz pleaded guilty to wire fraud in running a scheme in the Chicago area that caused buyers to fraudulently qualify for at least eight Federal Housing Administration loans for more than $2.1 million.
He is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 22 in U.S. District Court in in the Northern District of Illinois.
The federal sentencing guidelines recommend a prison term of four years nine months to five years 11 months.
However, Stankiewicz last week asked for a reduced sentence of two years 10 months.
He attorneys say he is sorry for what he did and that he has no significant criminal history.
""Tomasz's participation in the charged mortgage fraud scheme was truly out of character for him and was the product of a serious lack in judgment at a time when he was in financial distress and vulnerable to the opportunities presented by others to make money rehabbing distressed properties," according to the request for a sentence reduction.
The document also said he invested in the Bare Knuckle Fighting Federation in Wyoming, and acknowledged the financial issues the company faces.
"The business is awaiting its payout from the cable media provider, which typically occurs 90 days after the event," according to the sentence reduction document.